A Complete Guide To Student Visa For Canada

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Shireen Parhee

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In 2022, Canada issued 5,48,875 study permits to students from 184.  Of the total student visas for Canada, 2,25,865 were for Indian students.

 

In other words, about 41.15% of student visas for Canada were for Indian students.

 

This popularity is not without reasons:

 

In the QS Rankings for 2023, 9 Canadian universities are among the top 200 universities of the world. 

 

Here are the top 3 from this list. 

Source

 

A recent US News analysis ranked Canada as the 3rd best country to live in the world, on a Quality of Life index. 

Source

 

That’s not all. Canadian universities offer all traditional and contemporary degree programs, which means you will find something ideal for you, irrespective of your academic and career goals. 

 

If you dream of studying in the country and are wondering how to get a student visa for Canada from India, this blog is for you.

 

Here’s a sneak peek of what this page has to offer you.

 

Student visa for Canada from India – 2024 Updates

A student visa for Canada allows you to study at a designated learning institution in Canada for a temporary period.  If you’re about to apply for a student visa to Canada from India, it’s important that you’re aware of the updates in rules & regulations. 

 

  • Canada is limiting the number of new international students it allows in. This may result in a 35% decrease in new study permits in 2024, with students in undergraduate programs most affected. Existing students and those pursuing graduate studies will not be impacted.

 

  • However, this study permit cap isn’t permanent. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will re-evaluate the cap at the end of 2024. This means the number of new study permits issued in 2025 could be different from the reduced number in 2024. 

 

  • Another major change is an update in eligibility for Spousal Open Work Permits (SOWP). Spouses of some international students in Canada who are enrolled in undergraduate or other college programs will face restrictions with open work permits. 

 

Also read: Canada Vs Australia – which is better for Indian students?

Types of student visa to study in Canada

From the “How to apply for a study visa in Canada” stage to the “I received my student visa for Canada” stage, you will encounter these two terms a lot: Student Visa and Study Permit.

 

Let us help you understand them better. 

Student visa for Canada versus study permit

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, aka IRCC, issues a study permit that allows you to study at a DLI (Designated Learning Institution) in Canada. DLIs are institutions approved to host international students by a provincial or territorial government. 

 

Without a study permit, you cannot study in Canada. However, it only grants your stay in the country; it doesn’t allow you to enter it.  To be able to do that, you will have to get a study visa or another valid visa. 

Eligibility criteria for student visa to study in Canada

Are you eligible to apply for a study permit to Canada? Let’s find out.

 

Here’s everything you must prepare before you can apply for the permit – 

 

  • You will need to be accepted and enrolled at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada. These are schools approved by the government to host international students. 
  • You must have no criminal record and demonstrate that you will follow Canadian laws. 
  • Good health is a requirement. You may need to undergo a medical exam.
  • You will need to show that you can cover your tuition, living expenses (for yourself and any accompanying family members), and return transportation for everyone once your studies are complete. (More details below)
  • You will need to prove to the immigration officer that you intend to return to your home country after your study permit expires.

 

  1. A police clearance certificate might be required, depending on your situation. 

Requirements for student visa to study in Canada

If you’re applying to get a student visa for Canada from India, there are various documents you need to produce.  Please ensure that you have all the required documents. After all, you don’t want to keep shifting your appointments or refilling applications because of a minor mistake in your documents. 

 

Also read: Top reasons why student visas for Canada from India get rejected.

Document requirements: Student visa for Canada from India

To avoid any mistakes, here’s an exhaustive list of documents you require to attain a student visa to study in Canada.

 

Document Category Details
Passport  You must hold a valid passport, which means that the validity of your passport must cover your intended stay in Canada. 
Letter of Acceptance (LOA) You must hold the original or electronic copy of the acceptance letter provided by your school.

Exceptions:

If you’re a family member of those with approved study or work permits, you can forgo a letter of acceptance, provided the permits were issued before you went to Canada.

 

Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL)
  • As of 22nd Jan’2024, you must submit your PAL, which will be issued from the territory or province where you intend to study. 
  • Your PAL only needs to be valid till the immigration authorities receive it. 

Note:

You must submit the letter with your application and not after. 

Exceptions:

If you’re applying for a master’s degree or a doctoral program, you don’t have to produce this document. Click here for more details.

Photographs
  • You must have two recent passport-size photographs of yourself. 
  • Each photograph should have your name and date of birth mentioned on the back. 
Letter of Explanation
  • You need to provide this document to a visa officer.
  • This letter aims to help the officer understand your reason for studying in Canada.
  • This document also demonstrates your understanding of the responsibilities as a student. 
Medical Exam You might have to prove your good health through a medical exam if – 
  • You’re staying in the country for over 6 months.
  • You recently stayed in one of these countries.
English Language Proficiency Exam Score Documents to prove your proficiency in the English language are not mandatory at the time of your visa application. However, you must produce this document to get admission confirmation from a Canadian university. It is only after getting an acceptance letter from your intended school that you will be able to apply for a study permit. 
Credit Card You will have to pay the Canadian visa fees during the online application process. For that, you will require a credit card, as the system does not allow debit cards. 
Transcripts 
  • These documents are not mandatory for your visa application; however, you may be asked to bring them for your personal interview. 
  • For that, you should keep your diplomas/ transcripts/ certificates/ degrees from the school you attended handy. 
Proof of Funds See below for details. 

 

Funds requirements: Student visa for Canada from India

Through your financial documents, you have to prove that you can support yourself while you are in Canada. If your family members are also accompanying you, you will have to prove that you can support them as well. 

 

Here are the documents that you need to produce as proof of your financial support: 

 

  • If you have transferred money to a Canadian bank, you must prove the account is in your name. 
  • If you’re opting for an education loan, you need to show the sanction or approval letter provided by a bank. 
  • You need to provide a GIC (Guaranteed Investment Certificate) issued by a participating Canadian financial institution. 
  • You need to provide your bank statements for the past four months. 
  • You need to provide a bank draft that can be converted to Canadian dollars.
  • You need to prove that you have paid your tuition and housing fees. 
  • If someone is sponsoring your education, you need to provide a letter from that person to prove the same. 
  • If you are in a Canadian-funded educational program or receiving a scholarship from a Canadian university, you need proof of funding. 

 

Minimum funds needed to support a student (All provinces, except Quebec)

The amount of funds required every year changes based on the number of family members accompanying you.

 

This is how much money you must have to prove that you can support yourself and your family in the country. 

 

Note: The amount does not include tuition costs.

 

No. of Family Members (Including you – as an applicant) Funds Required per Year
1 CAN$ 20,635
2 CAN$ 25,690
3 CAN$ 31,583
4 CAN$ 38,346
5 CAN$ 43,492
6 CAN$ 49,051
7 CAN$ 54,611
7+ (additional amount for each family member) CAN$ 5,559

 

If you plan to study in Quebec, here are the funds you would require. 

Where to apply for a student visa to study in Canada?

The easiest way to apply for a student visa to study in Canada is through Student Direct Stream. It’s an online application process; your processing time is usually 20 calendar days. Read below for a step-wise guide on the application process for a student visa for Canada from India.

How to apply for a student visa to study in Canada?

Before you start your Canada student visa application, here are some things you must know.

 

  • To apply online, you must have a scanner/camera to produce e-copies of your documents.
  • Keep a valid credit card with you.
  • Read through the instruction guide provided by the immigration authorities.
  • Keep all the important documents ready with you. (Read above to get a list of necessary documents)

 

Follow these steps to complete your application process: 

 

  1. Visit the official website of IRCC.
  2. Register on the portal to receive an invite code. Using that invite code, you will create an account. 
  3. After creating an account, you can start filling out the online form and upload your documents. 
  4. The next step is to pay the Canada visa fees.
  5. Once done, you can submit the application form.

 

An example of what the application page would look like: 

Source

Canada visa fees for Indian students

 

  • The Canada student visa fee for Indian students is CAD$ 150.
  • After you submit your application, you may or may not need to submit your biometrics. For that, you will have to pay a fee of CAD$ 85.

 

Top universities to study in Canada

Now that you’ve understood the process of getting a student visa to study in Canada, it’s time to find the perfect university. 

 

Canada Ranking Institution QS World Ranking Overall Score
1 University of Toronto 26 85.3
2 McGill University 27 84
3 University of British Columbia 46 77.1
4 Université de Montréal 111 57.3
5 University of Alberta 126 55.2
6 McMaster University 140 52.7
7 University of Waterloo 149 50.5
8 Western University 170 47.5
9 University of Ottawa 230 40.2
10 University of Calgary 235 39.7

 

Finding the perfect option can be tricky, but not with a powerful AI tool like SelectRight.

 

Find out why 60,000+ students trusted SelectRight to find their best university programs across the globe, not only in Canada. 

 

  1. Register on SelectRight (it’s quick, easy, and free). 
  2. Sit back as the powerful AI engine matches your profile with the best universities. 
  3. Compare and shortlist. 
  4. Connect with student mentors and learn from first-hand experiences of others.
  5. Select your university program. 

 

This tool uses data points from thousands of programs to suggest the best fit. It also connects you with mentors for guidance, even alumni or current students.

Education loans to study in Canada

Even though studying in Canada is comparatively cheaper than in the US or UK, it can still be expensive.

 

But you don’t have to worry about that with FundRight. This tool helps you find the best deal on education loans to fund your education. 

 

  1. Register today and complete your profile. 
  2. Get loan offers within 2 days. 
  3. Compare offers from 15+ banks and NBFCs. 
  4. Get expert advice from a financial expert and negotiate loan terms with banks. 
  5. Submit documents securely, and get your loan approved in 10 days. 

Also read: Scholarships to study in Canada for Indian students

 

Hope the guide above helped you understand the Canada student visa process and how to manage funds for your education. 

 

FAQs 

  1. What are the Canada visa fees for Indian students?

Ans. The Canada visa fee for Indian students is CAD 150. You may incur additional charges based on the documents you are required to produce. 

 

  1. How to get a PR in Canada after a Study Visa?

Ans. As an Indian student with a Canadian study visa, explore the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) after 1 year of work experience. This program prioritizes skilled workers with Canadian experience for permanent residency.

 

  1. How to apply for a study visa in Canada?

Ans. You can visit the official website of IRCC to apply online for a student visa to study in Canada. After completing all the steps, you can submit your application and expect to hear from the authorities within 20 calendar days. 

Picture of Shireen Parhee

Shireen Parhee

A creative producer turned content marketeer, Shireen has a flair for weaving words into compelling stories and bringing them to life through captivating videos. A vivacious leader, she naturally inspires her team, driving them to surpass expectations with her positive energy and insightful feedback. Boasting over a decade of experience across different forms of media, she is on a mission to create memorable content that will leave a lasting impact for years to come.

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