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How to Obtain a Canadian Student Visa

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In order to study in Canada as an international student, you will be required to obtain a Canadian study permit, which serves as a Canadian student visa for the duration of your study. 

A Canadian student visa, also called a“student permit,” is a document that permits international students to live and study in Canada while on a course of study at a designated learning institution (DLI). 

Canadian student visas are valid for up to 4 years based on the duration of your program from the date of issue. You can extend your visa at any time after its expiry by presenting your valid study permit along with proof of ongoing enrollment at the school.

Before thinking of studying in Canada, you should figure out whether it is difficult or not to obtain a student visa. We have put together the steps to ease your research on how to obtain a Canadian student visa. 

How to Get a Canadian Student Visa

  1. Apply at a Canadian university and get your acceptance letter

Canadian universities are obliged to offer their programs in English and so all applications must be submitted in English. So if you do not speak English, it is essential that you start learning it well in advance of applying for a Canadian student visa. It is also important that you apply for admission in time so that you can enjoy priority selection criteria and priority processing when applying for a Canadian student visa. If you delay applying for admission or apply too late, you may miss out on these privileges.

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When you apply for admission, make sure that you list all the documents required to prove your eligibility for the chosen program and provide proof of payment of fees and tuition fees, where applicable. Be sure to keep all supporting documents ready before applying for a Canadian student visa.

Most universities will inform you about the type of documents they will require for the visa, including letters of acceptance from universities in Canada and an acceptance letter from the school where you wish to study. After you have been accepted at a Canadian university, you will receive an acceptance letter that will be required for the visa application. 

Below are some of the Canadian universities we recommend for international students:

Our recommendation is based on Times higher education. The majority of the best universities in Canada for international students can be also found in the international higher education top, below are the few we listed:

  • University of British Columbia
  • McGill University
  • Concordia University Montreal
  • Simon Fraser University
  • University of Alberta
  • University of Windsor
  • Dalhousie University
  • York University
  • University of Regina
  • University of Toronto
  1. Begin your application for the Canadian student visa

After receiving your acceptance letter, you should begin your application for a Canadian student visa. There are several steps involved in this process, which include:  

Proof of Funds: In order to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to cover your course fees, you will need to submit evidence of financial support such as bank statements or employment contracts with payslips showing the funds available to cover the course fees and living expenses during your studies. Proof of funds must be presented prior to being granted a student visa.

Fees & Tuition: Once you have demonstrated sufficient funds, you will need to pay your tuition fees in order to prove that you are fully able to meet your financial obligations during your studies. This will also allow you to take advantage of priority selection criteria when applying for a student visa. You can find more information on how to pay tuition fees here.

University Documentation: Once you have been accepted at a Canadian university, you will need to supply documentation proving that you are registered with and studying at the university. These documents may include:  

– Your passport (not valid for more than 6 months after your program start date)

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– Your academic transcript (showing all completed courses)

– A course outline (a description of the courses you are taking)

– Confirmation of enrollment from the university or faculty ( email or paper copy)

– Academic proof of status from the university or faculty (mail or email copy)

– Medical examination reports if required by the school.

– Proof confirming you have no criminal record. 

– Letter of intent

  1. Language requirements for studying in Canada

You must demonstrate that you are able to understand and use the English language well enough to enable you to successfully complete your studies in Canada. To satisfy this requirement, you will need to show evidence of an approved language test taken no more than 2 years before your program start date. Below are the accepted language tests:

  • IELTS Academic
  • TOEFL iBT
  • PTE Academic
  • C1 Advanced
  1. Biometrics appointment and interview

Based on your nationality, you might be required to show up at a visa application center in your country to have your biometrics taken. The biometrics fee is around 85 CAD. Not all countries request biometrics, so their citizens are not required to visit an application center.

Additionally, you might be called for an interview based on your individual situation.

  1. How long does it take to receive the Canadian study permit?

For most people, a student visa will take 3-4 weeks or even 90 days to process, depending on how quickly you provide all the required documentation and the situation in your country.

When applying for a student visa, it is possible to indicate that you want the permit as soon as possible. This means that if you meet all the criteria and apply within 30 days of arriving in Canada, you may receive your student visa faster.

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If you wish to make this option, please mention it when you submit your application. You can take advantage of the Student Direct Stream to get the study permit faster. The fee is estimated to be around 150 CAD and the processing is usually around 20 calendar days. Note that note all countries are eligible to use the Student Direct Stream, it is only available to students from the countries below: 

  • China
  • India
  • Morocco
  • Pakistan
  • The Philippines
  • Senegal
  • Vietnam

For more information or to get updated information about the Canadian student visa, visit the official student visa page of the Canadian government.

 

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