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A Student Visa for Canada

Canada is a popular destination for international students seeking high-quality education, diverse cultural experiences, and numerous post-graduation opportunities. To study in Canada, most international students need to obtain a student visa, officially known as a study permit. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the process.

Understanding the Study Permit

A study permit is a document issued by the Canadian government that allows foreign nationals to study at designated learning institutions (DLIs) in Canada. It’s important to note that a study permit is not a visa; you may also need a visitor visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTA) to enter Canada.

Eligibility Requirements

To apply for a study permit, you must:

Have a Letter of Acceptance (LOA)

Obtain a letter of acceptance from a DLI in Canada.

Proof of Financial Support

Show that you have enough funds to cover your tuition fees, living expenses, and return transportation.

No Criminal

Provide a police certificate if required.

Good Health

Complete a medical exam if needed.

Ties to Home

Convince the immigration officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your studies.

Applying for a Study Permit

Gather Necessary Documents

You will need the following documents to apply for a study permit:

·        Valid passport or travel document
·        Letter of acceptance from a DLI
·        Proof of financial support
·        Passport-sized photographs
·        Letter of explanation

Certificate d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) if you plan to study in Quebec

Apply Online or on Paper

You can apply for a study permit online through the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website, or on paper. The online application process is generally faster and more convenient.

Pay the Application Fee

The application fee for a study permit is CAD 150. You may also need to pay a biometric fee if biometrics are required.

Provide Biometrics

Depending on your country of origin, you may need to provide biometrics (fingerprints and a photo) at a designated visa application center.

Attend an Interview (if required)

In some cases, you may be asked to attend an interview at the Canadian embassy or consulate.

Processing Time

The processing time for a study permit varies by country. It is recommended to apply at least four to six months before your intended start date.

After Receiving Your Study Permit

Once your study permit is approved, you will receive a port of entry (POE) letter of introduction. You must present this letter along with your visa (if required) when you arrive in Canada. The study permit will be issued to you at the port of entry.

Working While Studying

As an international student, you are allowed to work part-time (up to 20 hours per week) during regular academic sessions and full-time during scheduled breaks without a separate work permit. This provides an excellent opportunity to gain Canadian work experience and earn extra money.

Post-Graduation Opportunities

Upon completing your studies, you may be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), allowing you to work in Canada for up to three years. This experience can be valuable if you plan to apply for permanent residency through programs like the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) or Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

Start early. It takes months to receive your study permit

The Canadian government says it may take up to 13 weeks for your study permit application to be processed. So, make sure to account for the waiting time and start your application process four to six months before your departure!

The processing time for your visa depends on many things. Such factors are the type of application submitted (online or on paper), if you sent all the required documents, how easily it is for them to verify your information, or how long it takes you to answer any requests on on their side.

If you don’t want to risk a long waiting period, you can apply through the Student Direct Stream (SDS), which is processed within 20 calendar days. You are eligible for this stream if you are from one of the following countries:

Antigua and Barbuda

Costa Rica






Saint Vincent and the Grenadines






Trinidad and Tobago

Prove your of English proficiency 

You are not required to provide proof of your English skills while applying for a study permit through the regular stream. However, Canadian universities will require you to prove your proficiency in English. If you have previously obtained a degree from an English-speaking country, you may be exempt from this condition.

If you come from a non-English-speaking country, you must submit a certificate from an accepted language proficiency test. Each university and programme requires different minimum scores depending on the test, so check your programme page before deciding which test to take.

IELTS Academic


PTE Academic

Cambridge C1 Advanced


Embarking on a journey to study in Canada is an exciting adventure filled with opportunities. Obtaining a student visa for Canada is a multi-step process that requires careful preparation and adherence to the guidelines set by the Canadian government. By following this guide, you can enhance your chances of securing a study permit and embark on an enriching educational journey in Canada. For more detailed information and personalized assistance, feel free to contact our team at Trivup.

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