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Canada Student Visa Requirements Explained

Choosing Canada as your study destination can be more than just earning .

a qualification in one of the most educated countries in the world, it can also mean choosing your next permanent home. That’s right, not only do you receive top-tier education as an international student, but you also have the opportunity to become a permanent resident in Canada.

Three in 10 international students who arrived in Canada after the year 2000 transitioned to permanent residency within 10 years since receiving their first study permit. Check if you meet the Canada student visa requirements and push your education and life to the next level!

How Can I Study in Canada?

Regardless of your study program or the length of the program, all foreign nationals who want to study in Canada will need to get a study permit. To apply for the permit, you’ll have to meet the following requirements:

You need to be enrolled in a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) and the DLI needs to be on the list of DLIs with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan;

  • You need to prove that you have enough funds for tuition and living expenses for both yourself and family members who come to Canada with you. Your return transport will need to be covered in the funds as well;
  • You should have no criminal record and obey the law. You may need to get a police certificate if requested;
  • You need to be in good health, you may also be required to get a medical exam; and
  • Lastly, you’ll need to prove to an officer that you will leave Canada once your study visa expires.

A DLI is a school that has been approved by the provincial or territorial government for international students.

The following documents will be required from you in order to apply for the visa:

  • Proof of acceptance;
  • Proof of identity; and
  • Proof of financial support.

Additional documents that you may also need include:

  • A letter of explanation – this will help the officer understand why you want to study in Canada;
  • Certificat d’acceptation du Québec – this certificate is needed if you want to study longer than 6 months in Quebec;
  • A custodian declaration (for minors only) – A custodian is a responsible adult, who is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, who will take care of and support the minor child; and
  • Other documents – this may depend on your country or region.

The Canadian study permit is valid until the completion of your study program plus an extra 90 days. Your completion date is on the day your school sends you a completion letter, transcript, degree or diploma.

On average the Canadian study visa processing time can be up to three months long, from the time the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) receives your application. However, if you’re a resident in certain countries you may be eligible to apply to get your student visa much faster through the Student Direct Stream.

What is the Student Direct Stream?

The Student Direct Stream(SDS) is a way of obtaining a study permit quicker. The processing time can be as short as 20 calendar days. To apply through the SDS you need to be a resident of one of the following countries: