In order to study in Canada, you will need to obtain a Canadian study permit, which serves as a Canadian student visa for the duration of your stay. You do not need a Canadian study permit if your course or program lasts six months or less. Nonetheless, it may be a good idea to apply for a permit before you come to Canada anyway – otherwise if you decide you want to continue your studies in another program, you’ll need to leave Canada to apply for a study permit through a visa office.
The process for obtaining a Canadian student visa is as follows:
- • You must first obtain a standardized letter of acceptance from a recognized higher education provider. Students studying in Quebec must also apply for a certificate of acceptance, known as a CAQ, from the government of Quebec. You must acquire this before you are permitted to apply for a study permit.
- • The next stage is to get a Canadian student visa application package, either from the CIC website or by contacting your local visa office, or the Canadian embassy or consulate in your home country.
- • In order to get your application package you’ll need to answer a few questions about yourself on the CIC website. These questions will determine whether you are eligible to apply online for a Canadian student permit.
- • If you are found eligible, you will receive a personal checklist code, valid for 60 days, which you will need in order to submit your application online.
- • When you are ready to apply, create a MyCIC account, where you will enter your personal checklist code. You will then receive your personal document checklist which allows you to upload and send your documents to CIC.
- • Once you have your documents and application form ready and have paid your fees, you can submit your completed application to CIC.
- • Some applicants may have to attend an interview at their local visa office.
Additional Canadian student visa requirements:
- • Applicants from certain countries will need to provide biometrics (photograph and fingerprints).
- • Some applicants may also need to get a medical exam and/or police check before submitting their application. You will not be able to get a study permit if you have a criminal record – you may be asked to provide a Police Clearance Certificate as proof.
- • Canadian student visa requirements also include proof of funds to support yourself. At present this is deemed to be C$10,000 (US$9,400) for every year of your stay (C$11,000/US$10,350 if you’re applying to study in Quebec) on top of your tuition fees. You will also need to make sure you have enough money to pay for transportation to return home.