How to Apply for a Student Visa in Canada: 7 Step-by-Step Guide

Canada is one of the most popular destinations for international students who want to pursue higher education abroad. With its world-class universities, multicultural society, and natural beauty, Canada offers a lot of opportunities and experiences for students from different backgrounds and interests.

But before you can pack your bags and hop on a plane to Canada, you need to get a student visa first. A student visa, also known as a study permit, is a document that allows you to enter and stay in Canada for the duration of your academic program.

7 steps to apply for a student visa to Canada

Getting a student visa in Canada is not as hard as you might think, but it does require some planning and preparation. In this blog post, I will show you how to apply for a student visa in Canada in 7 easy steps. I will also share some tips and tricks to make your application process smoother and faster.

Step 1: Choose your program and institution

The first step to apply for a student visa in Canada is to choose your program and institution. You need to decide what you want to study, where you want to study, and how long you want to study.

There are many options to choose from, depending on your level of education, field of interest, and budget. You can find a list of designated learning institutions (DLIs) in Canada that are authorized to accept international students on the Government of Canada website.

You can also use online platforms like Study in Canada or Schools in Canada to search and compare different programs and institutions in Canada.

Once you have chosen your program and institution, you need to apply for admission and get an acceptance letter. The admission requirements and deadlines may vary depending on the program and institution, so make sure you check them carefully and submit your application as soon as possible.

Step 2: Check your eligibility

The second step to apply for a student visa in Canada is to check your eligibility. You need to meet certain criteria to be eligible for a student visa in Canada, such as:

  • You must have a valid passport or travel document
  • You must have enough money to pay for your tuition fees, living expenses, and return transportation
  • You must be in good health and undergo a medical exam if required
  • You must have no criminal record and provide a police certificate if required
  • You must prove that you will leave Canada at the end of your authorized stay
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You can check your eligibility for a student visa in Canada by using the online tool on the Government of Canada website. You will need to answer some questions about your personal and academic background, and the tool will tell you if you are eligible or not.

Step 3: Gather your documents

The third step to apply for a student visa in Canada is to gather your documents. You will need to provide some documents to support your application, such as:

  • Your acceptance letter from the DLI
  • Your passport or travel document
  • Your proof of financial support, such as bank statements, scholarship letters, or sponsorship letters
  • Your proof of identity, such as birth certificate, national ID card, or driver’s license
  • Your proof of language proficiency, such as IELTS, TOEFL, or other test results
  • Your medical exam report and police certificate if required
  • Your letter of explanation, which is a statement that explains why you want to study in Canada and how it relates to your future goals

You can find a detailed list of the documents you need to apply for a student visa in Canada on the Government of Canada website.

Make sure you have all the documents ready before you start your application, and scan them in PDF format. You will need to upload them online when you submit your application.

Step 4: Apply online or offline

The fourth step to apply for a student visa in Canada is to apply online or offline. You can choose to apply online or offline, depending on your preference and availability.

Applying online is faster, easier, and more convenient. You can apply online through the IRCC website. You will need to create an account, fill out an online form, upload your documents, pay the application fee, and submit your application.

Applying offline is slower, more complicated, and more expensive. You can apply offline by mailing a paper application to the nearest visa office or visa application centre (VAC). You will need to download and print the application form and checklist, fill them out by hand, attach your documents, pay the application fee, and mail your application.

You can find the application form, checklist, and instructions for applying offline on the Government of Canada website.

Step 5: Submit your biometrics

The fifth step to apply for a student visa in Canada is to submit your biometrics. Biometrics are your fingerprints and photo that are used to verify your identity and security.

You need to submit your biometrics if you are applying for the first time or if your previous biometrics have expired. You can check if you need to submit your biometrics by using the online tool on the Government of Canada website.

You can submit your biometrics at the nearest VAC or at a biometric collection service point in your country. You will need to make an appointment, bring your passport, your biometric instruction letter, and pay the biometric fee.

You can find the location and contact information of the VACs and biometric collection service points on the Government of Canada website.

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Step 6: Track your application status

The sixth step to apply for a student visa in Canada is to track your application status. You can track your application status online or offline, depending on how you applied.

If you applied online, you can track your application status through your account on the IRCC website. You will receive email notifications when your application is received, processed, and decided. You can also check the processing times and the status of your application on the IRCC website.

If you applied offline, you can track your application status through the VAC or the visa office where you submitted your application. You will need to provide your application number, passport number, and date of birth. You can also check the processing times and the status of your application on the IRCC website.

Step 7: Get your visa and prepare for your departure

The seventh and final step to apply for a student visa in Canada is to get your visa and prepare for your departure. If your application is approved, you will receive a letter of introduction and a temporary resident visa (TRV) or an electronic travel authorization (eTA), depending on your country of citizenship.

The letter of introduction is not your student visa, but a confirmation that you are authorized to study in Canada. You need to bring this letter with you when you travel to Canada and show it to the border officer when you arrive. The border officer will then issue your study permit, which is your actual student visa.

The TRV or eTA is a travel document that allows you to enter Canada. You need to have this document in your passport when you travel to Canada and show it to the airline staff when you board your flight. The TRV or eTA is valid for multiple entries, as long as your study permit is valid.

You can find more information about the letter of introduction, the TRV, and the eTA on the Government of Canada website.

Before you depart for Canada, you need to prepare some things, such as:

  • Book your flight and accommodation
  • Arrange your health insurance and travel insurance
  • Pack your essentials and documents
  • Learn about the Canadian culture and customs
  • Plan your budget and expenses
  • Contact your institution and confirm your arrival details

You can find more tips and resources for preparing your departure on the Government of Canada website.

Congratulations! You have completed the 7 steps to apply for a student visa in Canada. I hope this blog post was helpful and informative for you. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. I would love to hear from you.

And if you liked this blog post, don’t forget to share it with your friends and followers on social media. You never know who might need this information.

FAQs

To wrap up this blog post, I will answer some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about applying for a student visa in Canada. These are some common questions that you might have or encounter during your application process.

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Q: How much does it cost to apply for a student visa in Canada?

A: The cost of applying for a student visa in Canada depends on the type of application and the country where you apply. The main costs are:

  • The application fee, which is $150 CAD for online applications and $100 CAD for paper applications
  • The biometric fee, which is $85 CAD for individuals and $170 CAD for families
  • The TRV or eTA fee, which is $100 CAD for a TRV and $7 CAD for an eTA
  • The courier fee, which is variable depending on the service and the destination

You can find more information about the fees and payment methods on the Government of Canada website.

Q: How long does it take to process a student visa application in Canada?

A: The processing time of a student visa application in Canada varies depending on the type of application, the country where you apply, and the volume of applications. The average processing time is 8 weeks for online applications and 12 weeks for paper applications.

However, you can check the current processing times for your specific country and application type on the Government of Canada website.

You can also speed up your processing time by applying online, submitting your biometrics as soon as possible, providing complete and accurate documents, and using the Student Direct Stream (SDS), which is a faster and simpler way to apply for a student visa in Canada for eligible students from certain countries.

Q: What are the chances of getting a student visa in Canada?

A: The chances of getting a student visa in Canada depend on your personal and academic profile, your financial situation, and your purpose of study. There is no fixed or guaranteed percentage of success, but you can increase your chances by following these tips:

  • Choose a program and institution that match your qualifications, interests, and goals
  • Provide a strong letter of explanation that demonstrates your motivation, relevance, and benefits of studying in Canada
  • Provide sufficient proof of financial support that covers your tuition fees, living expenses, and return transportation
  • Provide evidence of language proficiency that meets the minimum requirements of your program and institution
  • Provide a clear and realistic plan of leaving Canada at the end of your authorized stay

Q: Can I work while studying in Canada?

A: Yes, you can work while studying in Canada, as long as you have a valid study permit and you meet certain conditions. You can work:

  • On-campus, without a work permit, for up to 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions and full-time during scheduled breaks
  • Off-campus, with a work permit, for up to 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions and full-time during scheduled breaks
  • As a co-op or intern, with a work permit, as part of your academic program, for up to 50% of the total duration of your program

You can find more information about the eligibility and requirements for working while studying in Canada on the Government of Canada website.

Q: Can I stay in Canada after graduating?

A: Yes, you can stay in Canada after graduating, if you apply for and obtain a post-graduation work permit (PGWP). A PGWP is a document that allows you to work in Canada for up to 3 years after completing your academic program.

To be eligible for a PGWP, you need to:

  • Have a valid study permit when you apply
  • Have completed a full-time program of at least 8 months in duration at a DLI
  • Have graduated from an eligible program at a DLI
  • Apply within 180 days of receiving your final marks

Thank you for reading and happy studying in Canada! ??

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