Canada Student Visa
Canada is appealing to students in addition to being a highly well-liked tourism destination. It is a well-developed nation with excellent teaching practices and worthwhile degrees. Due to this, many parents desire to enroll their kids in Canadian elementary or secondary institutions, and many individuals also wish to begin their university or graduate studies there. The students must possess a study visa and study permit to be able to accomplish this.
This article will go through the details of the student visa and study permits.
What is a Canada Student Visa?
The holder of a Canada student visa may begin their academic career in Canada. Students require a study permit in addition to their visa, which is essentially the same as a Canada visitor visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTa). Therefore, the Canada student visa combines an eTA and a study permit or a visiting visa and a study permit.
You can only begin your studies in Canada at so-called Designated Learning Institutions (DLI) with a study visa for Canada. The study permit enables you to remain in Canada until the conclusion of your program and, in some situations, to work while you are a student or after you finish. To keep the Canada study visa, you must fulfill these conditions: apply
- Always be enrolled in a DLI.
- Be working to complete your study program.
- Meet the requirements of the student visa.
- Stop studying if you do not meet the requirements of the student visa.
- Leave Canada immediately once your study permit expires.
The study permit will not allow you to get Canadian-issued documents or Canadian government benefits such as health benefits. It will however create an easier path for you to be able to apply for Canadian citizenship if that is your goal.
Do I Qualify for a Canada Student Visa?
To be eligible to apply for a Canada Student visa and permit you must fulfill the following conditions:
- Possess a valid letter of acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) that includes the following information:
- The school’s official letterhead.
- The course of study and degree you’ll get.
- The cost of your required tuition.
- The program’s beginning and ending dates.
- You must be at least 18 years old to apply for a student visa as the primary applicant, and your children fewer than 18 cannot apply on your behalf. Therefore, you must apply on your child’s behalf if they wish to enroll in elementary or secondary school.
- Have a spotless criminal record, and provide court documentation to support this.
- A Consent Form for the Visa Application Center (VAC) must be completed and signed.
- You must submit copies of your current immigration status in another country or Canada.
- Prove that your stay in Canada is temporary and that you will return to your home country once your studies are over.
Canada Student Visa Requirements
When you complete the forms, you will also have to submit the following supporting documents:
- A scan of your passport to verify its validity.
- Your travel itinerary, as well as a scan of your entire passport to show that it has no blank pages.
- Letters from the court and police in your nation attesting to your lack of criminal history;
- A letter that you write to the Canadian government outlining your request for a visa and study permit.
- Two images that adhere to Canada’s picture standards.
- Health screenings.
- Your educational or employment history as shown on a resume or diploma.
- Documentation demonstrating your ability to pay for your studies in Canada (including tuition and living expenses) in one of the following ways:
- You must have proof of a Canadian bank account that is in your name;
- You must have a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) issued by a Canadian financial institution.
- You must have proof that you have taken a student loan from a bank.
- You must have bank statements for at least the past 4 months.
- You must have proof that you have already paid your tuition and housing fees.
- You must have a letter from a person or institution giving you money.
- You must have proof that you have a scholarship.
- If you are going to study in Quebec, then you will also need to submit a Certificat d’acceptation du Quebec (CAQ)which is issued by the Quebec government. You will get instructions from your school on how to apply for a CAQ.
- You must submit a letter of explanation saying why you want to study in Canada and guarantee that you accept and understand your responsibilities as a student in Canada.
- If a minor is going to Canada to study and needs a custodian that is not a parent of the minor, then you also need to submit a Custodian Declaration Form which states who the custodian of the child is and must be signed by the parents or legal guardians of the child.
- If you are applying for the first time, then a document number on the study permit that is called a Unique Client Identifier (UCI) is not required for you. If you have applied for a study permit before, you are required to write your study permit document number which you can find in any letters that have been sent to you by the Canadian Government.
- If your family members (spouse or common-law partner and minor children) are also accompanying you, you must also have the application forms ready for them and apply together as a family.
All the documents must be translated into English or French and you must have certifications and proof that the translation is correct. Once you submit all the documents, you can then proceed to submit the application and pay the fees.
What are the Minimum Financial Requirements for a Canada Study Visa?
To be able to get a student visa or study permit, you must have enough funds to cover your tuition fee and living costs in Canada. If you have family members accompanying you, then you will also need additional funds. There are two types of fund requirements for students:
- Students studying outside of Quebec
- Students studying in Quebec
Students studying outside of Quebec must have these funds to prove they can cover their studies in Canada:
|Persons coming to Canada||Amount of funds required per year (in addition to the tuition)||Amount of funds required per month (in addition to the tuition)|
|First family member||$4,000||$333|
|Every additional family member accompanying you||$3,000||$255|
Students studying in Quebec must have these funds to prove they can cover their studies in Canada:
|Persons coming to Canada||Amount of funds required per year (in addition to the tuition)||Amount of funds required per month (in addition to the tuition)|
|First family member (18 years old or older)||$5,100||$425|
|First family member (under 18 years old)||$3,800||$317|
|Every additional family member accompanying you (18 years or older)||$5,125||$427|
|Every additional family member accompanying you (under 18 years old)||$1,903||$159|
How to Apply for a Canada Student Visa?
Here’s how you can apply for a Canada student visa as a third-country national:
- Register online for your application.
- Prepare the required documents.
- Fill out the application form.
- Pay the required visa fee.
- Submit your application.
Register Online for Your Application
Canadian immigration authorities have stated that all visa applications must be submitted online via the immigration website here. The first step you must complete is open an account— ensure you have a valid email address ready. After you open an account, follow the instructions of the application process that will guide you through each required step.
Prepare the Required Documents
Then, you need to prepare several required documents for your student visa application. You must also check carefully with a Canadian embassy or consulate in your country and translate or certify specific documents.
Please note that only authorized individuals, such as public notaries or official translators, can translate and certify your documents. You need to check with your correspondent authorities in your home country to see who is considered a certified translator.
Fill Out the Application Form
In addition to the student visa application form, you must also fill out and submit other forms— all of which you can find at the corresponding Canadian embassy or consulate in your country. Make sure that you fill out all the correct information in the forms with your up-to-date details. Do not forget to sign the visa application form at the end.
Pay the Required Visa Fee
Before you submit your student visa application, you must complete the visa fee payment. You must pay a processing fee and a biometric fee (as listed below). You must remember that the fees are non-refundable regardless of the decision on your student visa application. Moreover, fees are liable to change without notice at any given time.
You are required to pay the fee online via the online payment gateway here. Make sure to follow the instructions carefully. After you pay the fee, you need to print out the receipt and attach a copy of the receipt to the rest of your documents. Keep a second copy for your records.
Submit Your Application
Since applications are submitted online, you must scan the documents and submit them via the account you made with the immigration website. After you submit your application, the system will check to ensure you have provided all the required documents and paid the applicable visa fee. If something is missing or is incorrect, the system will return the application to you without making a file that you submitted an incomplete application.
Other Ways to Apply for a Canada Student Visa
Depending on your nationality or personal situation, you can also apply for a Canada student visa in any of the two following ways:
- Apply for a Canada student visa from inside Canada. Only specific categories of applicants can apply for a student visa from within Canada; the application process from Canada must also be completed online
- Apply for a Canadian student visa from the port of entry (POE). For an application at the port entry, you must first meet the eligibility criteria. With this option, you will retrieve your student visa at the border.
Applying for a Student Visa from Inside Canada
To apply for a student visa from inside Canada, you must belong to one of the following categories:
- You’re a Ukrainian national or a family member of a Ukrainian national.
- You are a minor child in primary or secondary school.
- You are an exchange or visiting student in Canada.
- You have completed a short-term (less than 6 months) study course or program in Canada.
- You have a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) for 6 months or more, or your family member has such a TRP.
- You are the spouse or common-law partner or someone who is being sponsored to immigrate to Canada or has applied for permanent residence.
- You have a study permit from outside of Canada, and you want to extend it.
- You are the family member of:
- A Canadian-based sports team;
- A media representative;
- A member of the clergy;
- Military personnel assigned to Canada;
- You are a family member or private staff member of a foreign representative in Canada.
As mentioned previously, if you are eligible to apply for a Canada study visa from inside Canada, you still have to complete the application process online.
Applying for a Student Visa from the Port of Entry
Another option for applying for a study permit is when you travel to Canada at the port of entry. However, you can only apply at the POE if you fulfill these conditions:
- You are a Ukrainian citizen or a family member of a Ukrainian citizen.
- You are a citizen of the United States of America (USA).
- You are a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) of the US.
- You are a resident of Greenland or Saint-Pierre and Miquelon.
To apply at the POE, you will first have to get an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) and then present the documents mentioned above (section: Applying for a Study Permit Outside of Canada) at the Canadian Port of Entry. The officials will review these documents and will decide whether to grant you the study permit or not.
Can I Apply for a Student Visa In Person?
Only specific categories of applicants can apply in person for a Canada student visa:
- You have a disability that prevents you from applying online.
- You have a travel document or identity document that is issued to non-national residents, refugees, or stateless persons.
To apply in person, you need to collect copies of your documents and submit them via one of the following:
- A Canadian embassy or consulate in your country of citizenship.
- Another embassy that Canada has outsourced visa processing to.
- A visa application centre.
What is the Cost of the Canada Student Visa?
The application process for the Canada Student Visa requires that you pay all the application fees per person as well as for your family members applying. You cannot apply without paying your fees if you are applying online and if you submit paper applications without the fee, they will not be processed.
You must pay the fees if you are serious about applying for a student visa and starting your studies in Canada. The fees are as follows:
|Application (per person)||CAN$|
|Study permit (including applications for extensions)||$150|
|Biometrics fee (per person)||$85|
|Biometrics fee for a family (2 or more applicants)|
Maximum total fee for families that are applying together at the same time
How long is the Canadian Student Visa valid?
A Canadian student visa is valid only for the length of the study program and an additional 90 days. These 90 days allow you to prepare for leaving Canada or to apply for extending your Canada study visa.
So if you do not complete your program within the time that your study permit is valid, then you will need to extend it. If you complete the program earlier than the study permit expiration date, then you will only have an additional 90 days and must leave Canada.
You must provide proof that you have completed your program by submitting the notification of graduation from your school such as an email, a letter, or another document, or submit a copy of your degree, diploma, or certificate. The date when one of these was issued will be used as the date you completed your program and then your additional 90 days for preparation to leave Canada will begin.
Does the Canada Student Visa Allow you to Visit Your Home Country?
The Canadian school system has many breaks in between the school years during the summer and winter. Naturally, many foreign students want to travel to their home countries during these breaks.
International students may travel outside of their home countries while they are studying in Canada, but they must show identification when they return. They must present both their study permission and a valid visa or eTA. The student must have a valid visa or electronic travel authorization in addition to a valid study permit in order to enter Canada. Therefore, check to make sure your paperwork are genuine and in order before leaving Canada. Apply for extensions before your trip if they are not..
Can I Change Schools With a Canada Student Visa?
If the bearer of a student visa for Canada satisfies the visa’s requirements, they are permitted to switch schools while enrolled. In the following circumstances, you must inform the Canadian Government if you are changing schools:
- If you have finished primary school and want to start high school.
- If you finished high school and are starting post-secondary school.
- If you are a post-secondary student and you are changing schools. Post-secondary schools include:
- Community colleges, CEGEP, and institutes.
- Private universities, academies, career colleges, and training institutions.
- English as a Second Language (ESL) / French as a Secondary Language (FSL) or other language training courses.
- If you need to change any of the conditions that are stated in your study permit.
In these situations, you will have to change your study permit, so get a new one. You will have to go through the application process and get the study permit for the new school.
You do not need to notify the Canadian Government when changing schools in these situations:
- If you are changing schools in the same educational levels such as from one primary school to another.
- If you are changing study programs but remaining in the same institution.
- Your study program is 6 months or less.
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Can my Family Members Accompany me to Canada?
Your immediate family, so that when you go to Canada to study, your spouse or common-law partner and small children may travel with you. They will, however, need to apply for guest visas, which are different from study permits. You can submit the applications together in order to inform the Canadian Consulate that you are a family and desire to remain as such throughout your education.
Can I work while on a Student Visa?
In order to work while on their Canadian student visa, students must fulfill a number of requirements. These requirements are put in place to stop illegal employees from simply applying for student status without enrolling in classes or pursuing degrees. However, the following situations allow students to work:
- On-campus work if they are enrolled in a full-time program;
- Complete co-ops or internships if they are required from their program curriculum;
- Off-campus work if your study permit allows it and you work less than 20 hours per week;
Each of these options has additional requirements and conditions which depend on the individual student’s situation, so you must check with the Government of Canada and refer to our article on working while on a student visa in Canada for more details.
Can I Work After I Complete my studies?
Some students want to keep working in Canada after they finish their educational degrees. When you have a student visa, then it is easier to get a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP), the length of which depends on the length of your study program:
- You are ineligible for a PGWP if your studies program lasted fewer than 8 months;
- You can earn a PGWP for the same period as your studies program if it was between 8 months and 2 years;
- You can obtain a PGWP that is valid for three years if your studies program lasted two years or longer;
- You are eligible for a PGWP for up to three years if you were enrolled in and successfully completed several study programs.