Canada Student Visa: Eligibility, Requirements, Application Process, Fees

Canada has always attracted international students all over the world and is popularly gaining momentum in recent years. Those who aspire for a post-graduation degree must be aware of the Canada Student Visa requirements for Indian students or otherwise. The following procedure is discussed in the blog below:

  • The Canada Student Visa Fees
  • The Application process
  • The Rules of Canadian Student Visa 
  • Getting a study permit in Canada
  • The validity of the student permit

It is of utmost importance to understand the application process and be well-acquainted with the documents you’ll be required to present for obtaining a Canada student visa.

10 Things you MUST know about Canada Student Visa:

1) Important documents to have in hand before starting the Canada Student Visa / Study Permit application process:

Canada student visa requirements include the following:-

  • Valid Passport: A Valid Passport is essential to apply for a Study Permit. According to the Canadian High Commission, it is important that you have a passport whose validity covers the intended period of stay in Canada. For example, if you are planning for a session in Canada during October 2019 for a three-year course, your passport should be valid until at least October 2022.
  • Letter of Acceptance from a designated institution: An acceptance letter from the intuition or university you are planning to study at, is required. The letter must be from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). Colleges under DLI host international students under the authorization of the Canadian government.
  • Proof of funds: For obtaining a Canadian study permit, you must present a validation of the funds you possess. It is essential to prove that you would have enough funds to pay for the tuition fees as well as take care of living expenses. The Canadian Immigration deems a student would require at least Canadian $10,000 per year of stay. Other than this, the student must also have enough funds in his/her account for return airfare to his/her country of origin.

2)  Canadian Study permit VS. Canada Student Visa:

If you intend to study in Canada, you would need a Canadian Study Permit. The study permit is an official document issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that allows a foreign national to study in Canada for a limited time.

A Canada student visa, on the other hand, is a temporary resident visa which enables you to reside in the country for a period exceeding 6 months and study. If the course you are entitled to is within a span of 6 months, a student visa is enough; you may not require a study permit, which is in fact a longer procedure. Getting Canada student visas are relatively easy.

To acquire the study permit the important documents and proof of funds mentioned above is of utmost importance. Moreover, the student must possess a clean record; no criminal charges from any country must be issued against him/her. The student must also have a proper health record with no serious diseases that could prove to be fatal. Post all the documents being presented, the student needs to apply for the study permit either by online application or in paper format. The time taken for issuing a study permit may vary, taking longer especially in the summer months.

In order to renew the study permit, if the student decides to change the course from mathematics to physics or from one institution to the other, they do not have to apply for a new student permit. Instead, students are required to update the IRCC upon changing institutions or courses. It must be noted that a study permit expires 90 days after graduation. Thus it is extremely important that international graduates update the IRCC of their current status within 90 days of graduation.

3) What is the best way to answer the common Canada Student Visa questions in the interview:

After the Canada student visa fee is paid, the applicants can schedule an interview with the Canadian Embassy. The visa interview is the final stage of the application process which determines the approval of the Canada Student Visa. During the visa interview, the consulate officers verify the documents that have been provided by the students as well as enquire as to their purpose of choosing to study in Canada, their plans upon completing their program and so on. The questions asked in the interview are usually pretty elementary ones, and must be answered to the point with a certain degree of confidence. Some of the questions asked by the consulate are:

(i) Ques: Have you been to Canada before?

      Ans: Reply politely with a yes or a no.

(ii) Ques: What would be the primary purpose of your visit?

      Ans: Whether you have had visited Canada as a tourist or to inquire about the different colleges or any relative resides in the country, just be true to the answer.

(iii) Ques: Are you nervous?

       Ans: Keeping the answer brief and formal might be the best option

(iv) Ques: Why are you choosing Canada for your higher education?

       Ans: Highlighting the country’s teaching standards and its development efficiency could be a good answer. Moreover, you can also explain how the teaching methods are different from your country

Remaining honest and confident while answering the various questions asked and not beating around the bush will help students make a good impression on the visa officer. You must also be sure of the name of your institution, the exact degree you will be receiving, the date of commencement and course duration.

4) Approximate application fees in Canadian Universities:

Canada visa fees according to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) are grouped under the following subheads:-

Canada Student Visa Fees

The application fees ranges from Canadian $45 (1 CAD = Rs. 52 approx.) in Medicine Hat College to about $300 in Red River College. Most of the universities like Northern College, Selkirk College, Northern Lights College, Georgian College, North Island College , Niagara College, Camosun College have application fees of $100.

5) Canada Student Visa success rate:

In the first quarter of 2017, 60% of all study visa applications were approved. There were 38,000 applications in the first three months from 175 countries.

Approval rates vary depending on the source country.

Applications from Japan had the highest approval percentage of 97%

Cameroon was very low at 9.5%

India had 6928 applications, and 59% were approved — the same as the overall average approval rate.

There were only 218 applications from the USA, 88% approved.

Some tips to improve chances in getting the Canada student visa are:

 Candidates who are applying for Technical or PG programs should have at least 60% in their core subjects.

For programs related to Business or Accounting – the student’s marks in English, Math, Statistics & Accounting should be more than 60%.

The IELTS band requirement for PG courses and programs related to direct public dealing is 6.5 overall with not less than 6.0 on each individual band

Do not attempt to hide any semester’s mark sheets from the CIC as they will assume that you are hiding information and it may be sufficient grounds for visa refusal.

Gaps after studies should not be more than 2 years for undergraduate students and not more than 5 years for Graduates.

 A maximum of 8 backlogs is acceptable – However, failing in core subjects, requiring more than 2 attempts in the same subject and more than 5 backlogs are viewed negatively.

Applications with more than 10 backlogs will be considered as NON – SPP application, with the same being applicable in instances where there are more than 5 gap years.

Applicants who took more than the stipulated time to complete their undergraduate program (i.e., Took 5 years to complete a 4-year program) are most likely to be refused.

Applicants who studied in the UK, Australia or New Zealand earlier may apply for programs in Canada with good IELTS scores (i.e; 6.5 overall or above) and they should have successfully completed their previous programs.

6) The importance of your IELTS score:

The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is an examination that is required to be taken by students who are non-native speakers of English, even if they are from countries which speak English as one of their official languages.  There is absolutely no limit of the number of times you can appear for the test, but it is advisable to go well prepared as the exam fees aren’t really cheap (approx. Rs. 12.650). Different universities have different IELTS score band requirements, however, the minimum accepted score generally hovers around the 6.5 band mark. Given below, are 3 of the most sought after Canadian universities and the IELTS scores they require.

For more information Checkout our eBOOK on “A Definitive Guide for IELTS

Below there are three top-ranked universities with their IELTS Score:

  • The University of Toronto: An overall band score of 6.5, with a minimum score of 6 on each section of the exam.
  • The University of British Columbia: An overall band score of 6.5, with a minimum score of 6 in each section of the exam.
  • McGill University: An overall score of 6.5, with no minimum score by section.

A few universities, though, have a minimum band score of 5.5. Some of these universities include:

  • Royal Roads University: 5.5 band overall with a minimum 5.0 in each band.
  • Canadore College of Applied Arts and Technology: 5.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each band.
  • St. Clair College of Applied Arts and Technology: 5.5 overall with a minimum of 5 in each band.

7) Student visa processing time for International Applicants:

If you are applying for a bachelor’s or master’s degree program the canadian student visa processing time is usually three weeks. If one is applying for an SPP programme the time taken is up to one week. However it is advisable to apply to Canadian High Commission about three months in advance in order to get a favourable consideration for one’s student visa.

8) Opportunities to extend your study visa or convert it to a job-seeker/work visa post completion of your program:

If you intend to extend the study visa, you must do so at least 30 days prior to the expiry of your study permit. It is not feasible to extend the study permit post the expiry of your passport. If, by, chance your study permit gets expired, there’s no option but to leave Canada. Prior to applying for an extension in the study permit you must make sure your school is on the Designated Learning Institution list (DLI). If you extend your study permit, you need to enrol at a DLI. You can apply either online (and thus save time), or on paper.

It is advisable that you explain with clarification as to how your status has been lost, though there is no assurance that study visa extension would indeed be granted.

However, if you desire to work full time, you must be able to show a job offer from the respective employer and also obtain an approved LMIA (Approval to hire a foreign worker). The LMIA process approximately requires a number of months to get over and costs nearly $1,000. During the process, the employer must prove that they had advertised for the job but couldn’t find a desirable Canadian employee. It must be kept in mind that most employers are not willing to undergo this tedious procedure of LMIA. To work in Canada after your graduation, you will need a work permit. The work experience you gain will further enrich your qualifications for a better job and permanent residency.

9) Stay back opportunities in Canada after your completion of your graduate studies:

Your study permit will become invalid 90 days after you complete your education period therefore, if you wish to live and continue working in Canada, you need to apply for a work permit following the instructions above or remain in the country as a visitor. After completing your studies if you wish to stay in Canada as a visitor, you must apply for a visitor record.  For an initial work or study permit or for a new visitor visa you may have to leave Canada to submit your bio-metrics to the nearest Visa Application Centre (VAC).

10) Top mistakes to avoid that can potentially lead to visa rejection:

Some common reasons for rejection, often overlooked, include:

(i) Inadequate Family relations in Home Country

Insufficient ties to the home country may adversely affect the chances of Canada student visa approval as this may raise doubts on the applicant’s intent to return home after completing his or her program. Normally, having a family established in the home country with ownership of property and other assets may be enough to prove family ties.

(ii) Financial Insufficiency

The Program Delivery Instructions clearly states that the applicant is required to provide proof of adequate finances for the first year of the course. Your application for a Canadian student visa might be rejected if you are suspected of financial insufficiency. This might lead to taking up jobs in Canada and eventually settle there; hence this is a very significant factor for the student permit to be rejected.

(iii) No Job Prospects in the Home Country

If the current employer is assured that there will be a job for the student in the home country after he or she completes the education programme, there will possibly be no difficulties in acquiring the student visa. According to the Canada student visa rules, candidates without a proper job may submit a proof that after the due course in Canada, they intend to be employed in their home country and that there are sufficient job prospects in regard to the course back in the home country. Otherwise, the immigration office may conclude that the study permit is intended to help the applicant settle permanently in Canada.

(iv) Inadequate Travel History

If the applicants do not have their passports stamped by other countries or haven’t travelled by air previously, there are chances your visa might get rejected. This is true mostly for candidates who have just completed high school and have travelled only within their home countries.


However, students who pursue their education in Canada are usually most likely to stay back in Canada and settle in this blissful land. There has been a constant rise in the number of students staying back in Canada after studying, with a 50% rise in the number of Indians being granted Canadian citizenship in 2018 compared to the previous year. Also as a student, you are bound to explore new horizons of knowledge, thanks to the advanced educational facilities and faculties present here in the country. Considering the success rate of visa, it is considerable you might get a chance into the country. Having proper documents and possessing a clean record will ensure the peaceful stay in Canada and also the visa application process will continue smoothly. Here’s wishing you all the best for your dreams to study in this nation and achieving great success. If you have any doubts or queries, feel free to write to us in the comments below.

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