The process for obtaining a Canadian student visa is as follows:-
- You must first obtain a standardized letter of acceptance from a recognized higher education provider. Students studying in Quebec must also apply for a certificate of acceptance, known as a CAQ, from the government of Quebec. You must acquire this before you are permitted to apply for a study permit. You can get this online, by printing out a form, or by requesting a paper form from your university, which will also provide advice on this subject.
- The next stage is to get a Canadian student visa application package, either from the CIC website or by contacting your local visa office, or the Canadian embassy or consulate in your home country. You may also need to obtain a temporary residence permit if you are from a designated country (find out if you need to get one here), but this will not complicate matters too much as it’ll be processed at the same time as your study permit application.
- In order to get your application package you’ll need to answer a few questions about yourself on the CIC website. These questions will determine whether you are eligible to apply online for a Canadian student permit.
- If you are found eligible, you will receive a personal checklist code, valid for 60 days, which you will need in order to submit your application online. Make sure to print out the page containing your code for future reference. The page will also include an application guide, an estimated tuition fees amount, a list of documents you will need to submit with your application, and guidelines for your next steps.
- When you are ready to apply, create a MyCIC account, where you will enter your personal checklist code. You will then receive your personal document checklist which allows you to upload and send your documents to CIC.
- Once you have your documents and application form ready and have paid your fees, you can submit your completed application to CIC.
- Some applicants may have to attend an interview at their local visa office.
Additional Canadian student visa requirements
Some or all of the following additional Canadian student visa requirements may also apply:-
- Applicants from certain countries will need to provide biometrics (photograph and fingerprints).
- Some applicants may also need to get a medical exam and/or police check before submitting their application. You will not be able to get a study permit if you have a criminal record – you may be asked to provide a Police Clearance Certificate as proof.
- Unless you’re from the US, St. Pierre and Miquelon, or Greenland, you will need to prove you have a valid passport which allows you to return to your country of origin after your course is complete. Two passport-sized pictures are also required, with your name and date of birth written on the back.
- Canadian student visa requirements also include proof of funds to support yourself. At present this is deemed to be C$10,000 (US$9,400) for every year of your stay (C$11,000/US$10,350 if you’re applying to study in Quebec) on top of your tuition fees. You will also need to make sure you have enough money to pay for transportation to return home.