Canada is a wonderful tourist destination. It is also very attractive to students. It has great teaching methods and valuable degrees. So lots of people want their children to enter Canadian schools. To do so, students might need a Canada Student Visa.
In this article, we will explain all about a student visa, study permits, how to apply for a study permit from in and outside of Canada, the requirements, application process, fees, FAQs, and more.
What is a Canada Student Visa?
You can start your studies in Canada with a student visa. It is the same as a Canada Tourist visa and eTA. But students need a study permit. So the Canada student visa is a mixture of a Tourist visa, study permit, and an eTA.
By a Canada student visa, you can only start studying at Designated Learning Institutions (DLI). By a study permit, you can:
- stay in Canada until your program ends.
- work while you are enrolled in school.
- or work after you graduate.
To keep a Canada student visa, you must have the following conditions:
- Always keeping enrolled in a DLI.
- Continue working to complete your study program.
- Fulfill the student visa requirements.
- Quit studying if you don’t fulfill the requirements of the student visa.
- When your study permit expires, leave Canada immediately.
By a study permit, you may not:
- get Canadian-issued documents.
- enjoy Canadian government benefits such as health benefits.
The Canada student visa makes applying for Canadian citizenship easier.
Who Needs and Does not Need a Canada Student visa?
Whether you need a Canada student visa or not depends on:
- Your nationality.
- Duration of your stay in Canada.
Please note that Canada student visa is a non-immigrant visa (short-stay). It is valid as long as your study permit. A few countries are exempt from Canada short-stay visa. If you are one of these countries, and your course takes less than 90 days, you don’t need a Canada student visa. However, you need a study permit.
A few countries are eligible to apply for eTA – Electronic Travel Authorization for Canada. The eTA is somehow like a Schengen visa. If your nationality is eligible for eTA and your study course takes less than 90 days, you can apply for eTA and a study permit to study in Canada.
In conclusion, a few countries are eligible for eTA some are free of Canada short-stay visa. The citizens of these countries can study in Canada with eTA or without a visa if the study course takes less than 90 days.
What is a Designated Learning Institution?
You may only apply for a Canada student visa if you have enrolled in a DLI. DLIs are universities/schools the government allows to host international students.
All Canadian primary and secondary schools are by default DLIs however, some are not DLIs. You may not attend them even if they accept you. So don’t apply to them.
You can check the list of DLIS in Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada( IRCC) Website. IRCC website is the official institution for all Canadian visas. You can see the list of DLIs in every province or territory. You can check if the place you apply for is DLI or not.
What if The Canadian Institute Loses DLI?
Imagine you are studying in one of the Canadian DLI centers. If during your study, it loses the right of DLI, what would you have to do?
You have the authorization to continue studying there until your study permit expires.
What is a Canada Study Permit?
The Canadian immigration authorities issue a study permit to allow foreign students to study in Canada. You may not study in Canada without a valid study permit.
Who Needs and Does Not Need a Canada Study Permit?
Each and every international student who wants to study in Canada needs a student visa and study permit. You can not enter Canada only by a student visa. You may enter with a visitor visa or eTA. Then start your studies with a study permit.
Yet, some people may not need a study permit to study in Canada:
- If your study or course lasts six months or less.
- If you are a staff or family member of a foreign representative to Canada. But Global Affairs Canada should accredit it.
- If you are part of a Foreign Armed Force in Canada. But your family members could need a study permit.
- If you have country citizenship that has a Registered Indian Status in Canada.
- In case you are a minor child in Canada and you are:
- In a kindergarten.
- A refugee claimant or refugee.
- In case your parents are refugee claimants or refugees.
- You go to preschool, primary, or secondary school, and your parents may study or work in Canada.
Eligibility for Canada Student Visa
How do you find out that you are eligible for a Canada Student Visa? You should fulfill some requirements to be eligible for a Canada Student visa:
- A valid acceptance letter from your education institution. It must have the following information:
- An official letter confirming acceptance to study at a DLI center in Canada.
- The course and degree you will get.
- The beginning and finishing dates of the course.
- Be 18 years old. If not, the parents should apply for a student visa on behalf of their children.
- Have a clean background or no criminal record.
- Filling and signing a Visa Application Center (VAC) Consent Form.
- Submitting copies of immigration status.
- Prove your stay is temporary. You will leave Canada after your studies.
The Required Documents for the Canada Study Visa
Once you complete the forms, you must submit these documents:
- Valid passport.
- Copy of all passport pages. You should prove that you have blank pages in it.
- A clean background/ no criminal record.
- A declaration letter to the Canadian government. You explain why the government should give you a visa and study permit.
- Two photos according to the Canada Photo Requirements. Your name and date of birth are written on the back.
- A medical exam of being in good health conditions.
- Your education or employment through a diploma or resume.
- Evidence and proof to have enough money to pay:
- Your tuition fees
- The living expenses, including yourself and any family members.
- The return costs for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada
- You can prove your financial independence through:
- A Canadian bank account in your name.
- A Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) issued by a Canadian financial institution.
- Bank statement of a student loan.
- Documents of an education/student loan from a financial institution.
- Your bank statements for at least the past 4 months.
- Proof of paid tuition and housing fees.
- Scholarship proof.
In case you are going to study in Quebec, you must submit a Certificat d’acceptation du Quebec (CAQ). The Quebec government issues it. Your school will give you instructions on how to apply for a CAQ.
You should submit an explanation letter saying:
- Why do you want to study in Canada?
- Guarantee that you understand and accept your responsibilities as a student in Canada.
If you are a minor and need a custodian that is not your parent, you also need to submit a Custodian Declaration Form. It states who is the legal guardian of the child. The legal guardians or parents of the child should sign it.
You must write your study permit document number. You could find it in letters that the Canadian Government has sent you.
If you have not applied before
You don’t need a study permit document number. It’s a document number on the study permit. It’s also called a Unique Client Identifier (UCI).
If your family members are going with you
- You should get an application for them.
- You should apply together as a family.
English Proficiency Certificates. We recommend getting it before the application process. It is not mandatory at the time of application. Canadian educational institutions accept IELTS and TOEFL scores.
Your documents should get translated into English or French. You should also get the verification of a certified translator. When you submit all the documents, you could submit the application and pay the fees.
What are the Financial Requirements for a Canada Student Visa?
To get a study permit/Canada student visa, you should have enough finances to cover your:
- Tuition fee
- Living costs in Canada
- Your family member costs if coming with you.
The two types of fund requirements for students:
- Students studying outside of Quebec
- Students studying in Quebec
Studying outside of Quebec
If you are studying outside of Quebec, you should have these funds to cover your studies in Canada:
|Amount of required funds by month (plus the tuition)||Amount of required funds by year plus the tuition)||People coming to Canada|
|$333||$4,000||First family member|
|$255||$3,000||Every other family member going with you|
Studying in Quebec Province
If you are studying inside of Quebec, you should have these funds to cover your studies in Canada:
|Amount of required funds per month (in addition to the tuition)||Amount of required funds per year (in addition to the tuition)||People coming to Canada|
|$425||$5,100||First family member (18 years old or older)|
|$317||$3,800||First family member (under 18 years old)|
|$427||$5,125||Every other family member going with you (18 years or older)|
|$159||$1,903||Every other family member going with you (under 18 years old)|
How Can You Apply for a Canada Study Permit?
To study in Canada, you should apply and get approved for a study permit. Yet, you can apply from three situations:
- Outside of Canada;
- Inside of Canada;
- At the Canadian Port of Entry (POE) ;
In every situation, you can apply through the online system or paper format. The two application process is the same. But:
- If you apply through paper format, you should print all the documents and send them to the Canadian Consulate.
- If you apply online, you can attach the completed forms and scanned documents by your account and submit them.
Applying for a Study Permit From Outside of Canada
The application process for international students outside of Canada who are accepted by a DLI:
- Apply for an extended visitor visa and a study permit.
- Apply for an eTA (if your country does not need a visa to Canada) and study permit.
If you get approved for the visa, you will also get a study permit. You don’t need to make a separate application.
Apply for a Study Permit Within Canada
If you have some of these conditions, you can apply for a study permit within Canada:
- You are under 18 in a primary or secondary school;
- You are a visiting student or exchange in Canada;
- Your short-term course of study (less than 6 months) got completed;
- You have a family member who has such a TRP Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) for 6 months or more,
- Your spouse got sponsored to immigrate to Canada or has applied for permanent residence;
- You want to extend your study permit;
- You are the family member of:
- a Canadian based sports team;
- a representative of media ;
- a clergy member;
- military staff assigned to Canada
- the private staff or a family member of a foreign representative in Canada.
You should contact or go to the Canadian Embassy to submit documents in person and pay the fees.
Applying for a Canada Study Permit at the Port of Entry (POE)
You could apply for a study permit when you travel to Canada at the port of entry. Yet, you should meet one of the following requirements. You must be:
- A US citizen.
- A citizen of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon or Greenland.
- A US Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR)
To apply for a study permit at the POE:
- You should get an eTA.
- Present the documents named in Applying for a Study Permit Outside of Canada section.
Your documents will get reviewed by the officials. They will decide to give you the study permit or not.
How long is the Canada Student Visa valid?
It is only valid for the time of your course of study plus 90 days. With this added time, you can:
- prepare for leaving Canada
- Apply to extend your Canada study visa.
- Apply for a different visa or citizenship.
Can You Visit Your Home Country with the Canada Student Visa?
International students can visit their families with a Canada student visa. You can travel to your home country during the summer and winter school holidays.
Yet, when you return to Canada, you should provide your status proof. You have to show an eTA or valid visa and study permit. If your documents are not valid, you may not enter. Make sure of the validity of your documents before you travel out of Canada. If not, apply for extensions before you travel.
Can you Change your School or institution Under a Canada Student Visa?
You can change your schools if you fulfill the requirements. In some situations, you should inform the Canadian Government:
- You have finished primary school and are about to start high school.
- Your high school got finished, and you are starting post-secondary school.
- In case you are a post-secondary student, and you are changing schools. Such schools include;
- training institutions, career colleges, academies, Private universities.
- French as a Secondary Language (FSL), English as a Second Language (ESL), or other language training courses.
- Community colleges, CEGEP, institutes.
- In case you should change the conditions stated in your study permit.
You have to change your study permit in such situations. So get a new one. You should pass the application process and get the study permit for the new school.
When you Don’t Need to Inform Authorities
In the following situations, you don’t need to inform the Canadian Government of changing schools:
- In case you are changing your school at the same educational level.
- Your course/study program is 6 months or less.
- Changing your study program while staying in the same institution.
Can your family member Accompany you with a Canada student visa?
Your close family member can go with you:
- your spouse or common-law partner
- minor children
But they have to apply for their own visa. They have to apply for a tourist visa or eTA. You could submit your applications together to get processed as a family.
Can you work with a Canada student visa?
You have to meet a few requirements to work while you are under a Canada student visa. Such requirements are to stop illegal workers. They just get a student visa and don’t attend classes.
Yet, you may work in these conditions:
- In case you enrolled in a full-time program, you can get on-campus;
- complete internships or co-ops if they are necessary from the program curriculum;
- If your study permit allows Off-campus work. It should be less than 20 hours per week;
Each and every one of these choices has other requirements. You should check with the Canadian government. You can also visit working with a Canada student visa article.
Can you Work After Your Canada student visa?
Some students want to get Canadian citizenship after their studies. They want to stay and work in Canada. It is easy to get a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) when you have a student visa.
The requirements students must fulfill are as follows:
- Study courses less than eight-month are not eligible.
- Students with eight months to two years of study courses can get a PGWP at the same time.
- Applicants who have had a two years study course or more get a PGWP for 3 years.
- Students who enrolled and completed more than one study program could get a PGWP for up to 3 years.
Let’s sum up …
In this blog, we explained all you need to know about the Canada student visa.
We covered the Canada study permit, the people who need it, how to apply for it from in and outside of Canada, requirements, application process, fees, FAQs, and more.
You can find all the Canada visa information in the world here.
To find out more about the visa that suits you, go through the menu of the site. You can find all the types of Canada visas at the left sidebar.
You can check the Visa Library to find more information about other countries’ visas.
In case you have some experience, please write it down in the comment section. Your comments let the readers choose better and avoid mistakes. Conveying your experiences as comments is a great help for applicants.