How to apply for Canada Student Visa

Each year, over 130,000 international students choose to study at Canadian universities. This is due to a high-quality education system in Canada. Also, Canada provides numerous opportunities and rich culture. Hence students always try to figure out how to obtain a Canada student Visa. Here we’ll be looking at the Canada student visa requirements and the eligibility criteria. There are also Canada student loans that are available for certain categories of students

The international student application is on the increase at all Universities in North America. Canadian University enrollment for international undergraduate and graduate students is increasing  for so many reasons:

Reasons why should study in Canada

  • Tuition fees and costs of living in Canada are among the poorest in the world
  • Off-campus employment is plenty and gives  students valuable experience and money they cannot see anywhere
  • Canada already has a high populations of people of all ethnic groups so students are never completely alone
  • Canada is very open to everyone, providing opportunities they’d find nowhere else in the world
  • Student Visa applications and approvals are easier to get in Canada.

However, you need a Canada student visa and a Canada study permit to be able to study in Canada.

canada student visa

What is Canada student visa/study permit?

This permit is a type of Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) that allows students to study in Canada for a temporary period of time. Also, it indicates the educational institution they are attending and the course of study. So, to qualify, an applicant must satisfy a certain set of requirements.

It’s a permit or a document issued by the Citizen and Immigration (CIC) which allows you to study in Canada. So, if you hold a Canada study permit, you must remain enrolled and make reasonable progress towards completing your course.

Furthermore, your study permit is always accompanied along by a visitor visa or Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA). Also, note that a study permit is a document that allows you to study in Canada while a visitor visa allows you to enter Canada.

Applying for a Canadian study permit

Application for a Canadian study permit can either be online or through a paper application. It can be obtained from the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website. Also, paper applications take about twice as long. It’s always advised to check the processing times well in advance.

canada student loans

Canada student visa requirements

Here are some basic requirements you will need for your student visa

#1. Letter of Acceptance 

This is gotten from a University, College, or other accredited educational institution

#2. Proof of Identity document(s)

It includes a valid passport or travel document for you and each family member with you.

#3. Proof of financial support –

This is proof of a Canadian bank account in your name, bank statements for the past 4 months. Also, you’ll a letter from the institution providing your financial support, proof of payment of school fees.

Canadian student visa requirements also include proof of funds to support yourself. At present this is to be CA$10,000 (~US$7,650) for every year of your stay. It is (CA$11,000/~US$8,400 if you’re applying to study in Quebec) on top of your tuition fees. You will also ensure you have enough money to pay for transportation to return home.

#4. Letter of Explanation

If you are applying for a short-term course and wish to continue your studies after that, you will need to submit a letter explaining your condition.

For an online application, you’ll need a credit/debit card. You will also need to create electronic copies of your supporting documents (i.e. using a scanner or camera). The visa office in your country will give specific instructions on which documents you need to provide; this can vary depending on your location. For assistance, you can get help at your nearest visa application center (VAC).

Canada student visa processing

The process for obtaining a Canadian student visa is as follows:

  1. Firstly, you will obtain a standardized letter of acceptance from a recognized higher institution. Also, students studying in Quebec must also apply for a certificate of acceptance, known as a CAQ. You can get this online, by printing out a form, or by requesting a paper form from your university.
  2. You then get a Canadian student visa application package, either from the CIC website or from your local visa office. It may also be gotten from the Canadian embassy or consulate in your home country. You may also need to get a temporary residence permit if you are from a preferred country.
  3. For your application package, you’ll need to answer a few questions about yourself on the CIC website. These questions will determine your eligibility to apply online for a Canadian student permit.
  4. When found eligible, you will receive a personal checklist code, valid for 60 days. It will aid you to submit your application online. Be sure to print out the page containing your code for future reference.
  5. Some applicants may have to attend an interview at their local visa office depending on your country.

Additional Canada student visa requirements 

Some of the following additional Canada student visa requirements can also apply:

  • Applicants from Europe, the Middle East, or Africa may need to provide biometrics.
  • Some applicants may also need to get a medical exam before submitting their applications. You won’t be able to get a study permit if you have a criminal record. You may be asked to obtain a Police Clearance Certificate as proof.
  • Except you’re from the US or St. Pierre and Miquelon, you will need to prove you have a valid passport that allows you to return to your country after your course is complete.

Applying through the Student Direct Stream

Recently, Canada introduced the Student Direct Stream, through which students from China, India, the Philippines, or Vietnam can apply in order to get their study permit faster. The requirements are similar to the regular study permit, though there are stricter language requirements. You need an IELTS score of 6 or a 7 in the Niveaux the Compétence Linguistique Canadiens for French. Alternatively, you must have graduated from a Canadian-curriculum high school.

Canada Student loans

The Government of Canada offers Student Loans to full and part-time students who have financial needs. Even if you have a Canada student visa you might not be able to apply for the loan. We have 2 main categories of government student loan programs:

  • Canada Student Loans Program (for full-time and part-time students. It is also known as the Federal Program)
  • Provincial and territorial programs

Am I eligible for a loan?

To be eligible to apply for government student loans and grants, you must:

  • be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada.
  • be a permanent resident of a province that gives government student loans and grants.
  • show or demonstrate a financial need.
  • be enrolled in a degree, diploma, or certificate program running for at least 12 weeks in a 15-week period. It should be offered by a designated post-secondary institution.
  • be taking at least 60 percent of a full course load if you are a full-time student. For part-time students, you will need between 20 and 59 percent of a full course load.
  • pass a credit check if you are 22 or older.
  • be applying for student loans and grants for the first time.
  • not have used up your maximum lifetime limit of financial assistance, including interest-free status.

How to apply for Canada student loans

In 5 provinces (Ontario, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, and British Columbia) federal loan programs are combined. Hence, you only need to apply to one place (your province of residence).

For other provinces (with the exception of Yukon), applications are made to one central department. However, you can receive and manage two separate loans.

Things to note:

  • When applying for a Student Loan, you will be assessed for most Canadian student grants.
  • You have to submit an application for loans and grants for every year of study.

Disbursement of Canada student loans

The approved funds will be paid into the borrower’s bank account once the Student Services Branch receive:

  • confirmation that the student returned the master student loan agreement to their provincial Student Assistance Office.
  • confirmation of enrolment from the University, which will be sent to Funding, Graduation & Awards for completion before returning to the right Student Services Branch.

However, due to current travel restrictions, some applicants will not be able to travel to Canada at this time. This is even after they have obtained the Canada student visa. Eligible students traveling to Canada now must have a plan to isolate for 14 days when they arrive in Canada. This is necessary, even if they have no symptoms. Those who don’t have a plan should not travel to Canada.

Do you have any questions regarding your Canada student visa application? Drop a comment and we will definitely answer them.