The process of applying for a study permit to come to Canada can be intimidating and confusing. While it is a process with several steps and documents to complete, our team at Learning Flow wants to help alleviate some of that stress. We’re here to help you every step of the way!
This post will walk you through each step of the Canadian student visa application process. And if you still have questions afterwards, simply reach out to one of our international education experts who will be happy to help.
What Is An International Student Visa?
An international student visa, also sometimes referred to as a study permit, is a written authorization issued by an officer allowing foreign nationals to study in Canada.
It’s important to know that once you’re granted your study permit to Canada, you must begin your studies within 90 days. Otherwise, your permit will become invalid and you’ll have to begin the application process again.
What You Need First To Apply For A Student Visa to Canada
First things first, you’ll need to know what school you want to study at before applying for your Canadian student visa. Luckily, our team at Learning Flow can help with that! Once we know what type of program you want to attend, we can connect you with one of our partner schools.
Check out our post All About Our Partner School, Robertson College to learn more.
When exploring different Canadian schools, be sure they are a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). Your student visa will only be granted if your acceptance letter is from a DLI. You can consult the Designated Learning Institution List to view all the approved institutions.
Next, you’ll need to obtain a letter of acceptance for the school of your choice before applying for a student visa. We can also help you with that!
Additionally, you’ll want to be sure you have these documents available for you student visa application:
- Proof of identity (birth certificate, identification, etc..)
- Proof of vaccination
- Proof of financial support
- Purpose of visit letter (indicating that you plan to study)
- Letter of explanation (this is where you can make your case for why you want to study in Canada)
- A custodian agreement (for students under the age of 18)
We suggest referencing the Study Permit Document Checklist to be sure you have the necessary paperwork. Note that this might vary depending on your country of residence.
Be sure to thoroughly check the visa office instructions for your country to see if there are any other additional requirements.
How To Apply To A School In Canada As An International Student
Again, this is something our team at Learning Flow can gladly help with! We can support you in applying to a college or university in Canada as an international student.
There’s tons of great schools across Canada to choose from. But the reality is, some institutions aren’t as well recognized by employers as others. Luckily, we work with a great network of trusted partner schools we can align you with, such as Robertson College.
Here’s the typical steps for what the college/university application process looks like for international students:
- Download the application form from the school of your choice.
- Complete the form accurately with all your information.
- Pay the application fee that will be required for your application to be processed.
- Submit your application and payment online.
- Wait until you hear back from the admissions office.
- If you received a letter of acceptance, pay your tuition deposit to accept the offer and secure your spot.
- Check your mail/email regularly for your official letter of acceptance. This is what you’ll need to apply for your international student visa.
How To Apply For An International Student Visa To Canada
Now that you’ve obtained a letter of acceptance to the school of your choice and have all your documents together, you can get started on your student visa application to Canada. Exciting!
Whether you are already located in Canada or outside of Canada, you must apply for the student visa online.
You’re only eligible to apply on paper if you have a disability that prevents you from applying online or if you hold an identity or travel document for non-national residents, refugees or stateless persons. The information for paper applications can be found here.
5 Easy Steps To Follow When Applying For A Study Permit To Canada
Step 1: Make copies of your documents by either taking a photo of them or scanning them to your computer. This will allow you to keep the originals and have a copy of them to submit electronically online.
Step 2: Fill out the various application forms provided by the Government of Canada. You can find the full list of application forms here. Take your time completing these forms to ensure all information is complete and accurate. Then be sure to sign and date each application form.
Step 3: Create an IRCC account. This is where you will be able to submit your form, make payments and check the status of your visa.
Step 4: Once in your IRCC account, upload your application forms. Then use your debit or credit card to pay the application fees online. You may also be required to pay biometrics fee, depending on your country of residence. These fees must be paid in Canadian dollars. These fees range from $150-$300 CDN. You can make these payments here.
Step 5: After you’ve uploaded your application forms and entered your payment information, be sure to print two copies of the IRCC official receipt with barcode. Keep one for your records and upload the other with your application forms.
For more information on study permits and work permits, visit the Government of Canada website.