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Canada Student VISA - Everything you need to know

Introduction & Benefits of Studying in Canada:

Canada is not only well known for its natural beauty, snow clad mountains, sub-zero temperatures and its national sport ice hockey but is also a popular neighbor to USA. A highly developed nation where quality education is guaranteed. Canadian universities provide plenty of educational opportunities to Indian students and consider India as the leading market to tap UG students.

There are many benefits of studying in Canada, to list a few are:

  1. High Quality of Education - Canadian Universities have established high academic standards and rigor in their curriculum. This has provided International students a platform to have a successful career prospects in the long term. Canada has a robust financial services industry that is backed by policy which drives the Canadian economy. In terms of employment, Canada makes for a good option for international students seeking work experience in Canada.
  2. Affordable Western Education - A great benefit that Canadian universities offer are high quality education, both for tuition fees and boarding at comparatively lower costs to the USA, UK, Australia.
  3. International Recognition - A Canadian degree, diploma is recognized and accepted worldwide. Canadian universities make up some of the top 50 engineering and technology colleges globally.
  4. Permanent Residency Advantage - The major long term benefit to graduating from a Canadian university is being able to stack up points towards the Permanent residency option offered by the country. There is an option to immigrate permanently without leaving Canada for international/Indian students graduating from Canadian universities. Applying to convert a Canadian Student visa to a work permit is also possible to gain work experience in Canada.
  5. Campus Life and a Multicultural Experience - Canada and Canadian universities offer English and French as major languages but also cater to a wide variety of international students from diverse ethnicity and cultures. Canadians are also known as a welcoming society and are friendly and personable by nature. Canadian universities are well equipped recreationally and offer Olympic quality sports facilities to a vibrant arts and music cultural experience.
  6. Best in class Research opportunities - At the heart of a Canadian University education is research. Both the government and industry support research in all areas of development such as telecom, medicine, agriculture, environmental sciences and technology. You will be spoiled for choice with the abundant research opportunities available to you as an International/Indian student.

Applying for a Canada Student VISA:

A Canada student visa process can be accomplished both offline and applying online before entering the country. The online process to acquire a Canada study visa is noted to be quicker.

Eligibility/Canada student visa requirements:

  • To be accepted and enrolled at a designated learning institution (DLI).
  • Furnish proof of funds to cover your tuition and living costs to stay in Canada, return travel to your home country.
  • No criminal record on file.
  • Be fit and in good health (A complete a medical exam may be required/for to study certification).
  • Be able to prove that you will be exiting Canada after completing your studies.

Indian/International students from China, India, the Philippines, Vietnam, Senegal and Morocco can process their Canada student visa application faster using the Student direct stream.

Your application to get a Canada student visa can only start as soon as you receive the letter of acceptance from any Canadian universities that you have applied to and have chosen to go to. This is the primary requirement in the Canadian student visa eligibility requirements list.Next would be to demonstrate your financial/money/assets you have. You will need to establish availability of sufficient funds to pay for your tuition fees, cover the living expenses of yourself and any accompanying family members, as well as your intent to exit after your stay in Canada. Applying as an international student in Canada, the immigration officer will need to be convinced that you will not stay in Canada after you finish your studies. Other than this, you must be in good health. Proof of a medical exam may be requested. Lastly, not having any kind of criminal record is a must to move forward with your application for a Canada student visa.

In the instance a short term course or program which is of less than six months’ duration is being undertaken, a Canadian study permit is not required.

Types of a Canada student visa:

A Canada study permit is not a visa. It will not let you enter Canada. As an Indian/international student, you will need a visitor visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTA). Once a study permit for Canada is approved, the visitor visa or electronic travel authorization(eTA) will also be issued simultaneously. There no different types of Canadian Student Visa, Indian/international students need to apply for a general Canadian study permit.

However, there are some programs or categories for Indian students to apply for Canadian Student Visa like Student partnership program (SPP) and student direct stream(SDS). Under student direct stream, Indian students and some international students can process their study permits faster. This option is directly linked to the students and allows eligible students to apply for study under this category.

Student partnership program is an arrangement between selected Canadian universities and the Canadian High Commission in India to provide a quick and easy Canada study visa for the prospective students. Getting the study permit faster and furnishing fewer supporting documentation is one of the advantages under this category.

These are programs or categories under which students can apply but they are not considered as types of Canadian Student Visa.

Documents required for a Canada student visa:

  1. An original letter of acceptance from a Canadian university with a valid DLI number. This letter must be attached to your application form.
  2. Valid identity proof for all applicants and any accompanying family members, recent passport size photos, name and date of birth.
  3. Proof of financial support such as recent bank statements (past 4 months), a bank account in Canada, assets and loans if any which can establish clearly that tuition fees, living costs for you and your family members can be supported during your temporary residence in Canada.
  4. The visa office may require additional information like your medical examination and no criminal record information in the form of police clearance certificates.


As of Dec 2019, your fingerprints and photo (bio-metrics) will be required as part of the Canada study visa process.

  1. After the bio-metrics fee has been paid and your application form has been submitted, the Canadian embassy will send a letter directing you to give your bio-metrics. This letter details on you on where and how to submit your bio-metrics within 30 days. Schedule an appointment online at the nearest authorized center.
  2. After checking your Canada study visa application to ensure that it is complete with all the required documents, the embassy will proceed to process it and come to a decision. A personal interview at the Canadian high commission in your country may be requested, though it is not typically requested for Canadian student visas unless asked by a visa officer. The normal processing time to issue the letter of introduction and visa/ETA is from 15-30 days. For details on updated fees for Canadian student visa, bio-metrics and visas for accompanying family members can be found on the official Canada government immigration website.
  3. Once the application is approved, A letter of introduction will be sent. This letter is NOT your Canada student visa. This letter has to be presented upon arrival in Canada along with your visitor visa (temporary resident visa) or your electronic travel authorization. If you’re from a country where you need an electronic travel authorization (eTA), the letter of introduction will include information about your eTA. Your eTA will be linked to your passport and valid for 5 years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. It’s important that you travel with the passport you used when you applied for your Canadian study permit. If you’re from a country where you need a visitor visa (temporary resident visa), the visa will be pasted in your passport. It will indicate if you have been granted single or multiple entry privileges. You must enter Canada before your visa expires.

Living with your Canada Study VISA:

Canada is known to be a progressive, diverse, warm and welcoming nation. It fosters a multicultural society with two official languages-English and French and welcomes Indian and international students. With so many highly ranked Canadian universities, and simple Canada study visa requirements, studying and living with your Canada study visa is easy.

A Canada student visa is usually valid for the length of your study program, plus an extra 90 days. The additional 90 days let International/Indian students prepare to leave Canada or apply to extend their stay.

If students do not finish their courses before the date on their Canadian study permit, they must put in an application to extend their stay as a student. If not, students will need to stop studying and leave Canada.

If students do not finish their courses before the date on their Canadian study permit, they must put in an application to extend their stay as a student. If not, students will need to stop studying and leave Canada.

In the instance that students complete their program early, their permit will cease to being valid 90 days after such completion, no matter what day is printed on the Canadian study permit. Your studies are considered complete on the date the university first informs you by way of a completion letter, a transcript or degree/diploma.

International/Indian students are permitted to leave and re-enter Canada during the course of study, however they will need to present a valid electronic travel authorization (eTA) or a temporary residence visa (Visitor visa) and proof of being enrolled in the program upon re-entry.

Working while on a Canada Student VISA:

Having a Canadian study permit additionally gives you the freedom to work part time on campus as a full-time student. A total of up to 20 hours a week, while classes are ongoing, international/Indian students can work on or off campus. Also, during breaks and holidays, you are allowed to work full time.

Another benefit is if you decide to pursue study in Canada, you can apply to renew the study permit faster while living in Canada without leaving the country. From a long term perspective, you can work in Canada for up to three years after you graduate, provided you apply for a Post-Graduation work Permit.


Ques 1: Can I apply for/receive financial aid/scholarships in Canada?

Ans 1: There are various scholarship and fellowship options available to international students. To list a few:

  • Students and PhD researchers: These awards are available to international students for study and research in Canada.
  • Faculty and Researchers: Awards for faculty to conduct research in Canada or Abroad as students.
  • Academic Institutions: These are awards for students from non-Canadian institutions to study in Canada.

Ques 2: How long can I stay on my Canada student visa after completing my studies?

Ans 2: A Canada student visa is usually valid for the length of your study program, plus an extra 90 days. The additional 90 days let International/Indian students prepare to leave Canada or apply to extend their stay.

Ques 3:Is a Canada study visa/permit required for short courses?

Ans 3: While a Canada study permit is not required for short-term courses, an immigration officer must accept and process an application form for a study permit, even when the duration of the course or program of study is 6 months or less.

Ques 4:What can I do next if my Canada student visa application is refused?

Ans 4: If your visa was denied due to lacking documents, you may reapply to make sure that the application form and lacking documents are complete this time around. Some common reasons that student visas are denied are, lack of financial proof to support the student's tuition fees and living expenses in Canada. Missing or incorrect transcripts, incorrect identity documents and incomplete application forms or any other reason that makes the visa officer believe that you may not return back to your home country after finishing your program of study in Canada are some of the most compelling reasons that Canadian student visas are denied. If your visa was denied outside of Canada, you have 60 days to appeal and/or reapply.

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