Getting a student visa to study in Canada can initially seem overwhelming, but it’s not as complicated as it might seem at first glance.
Once you’ve decided that attending school in Canada is right for you, the next step will be to figure out how to get your student visa application accepted by the Canadian Embassy or Consulate in your home country.
The process isn’t always easy, and there are many steps involved in getting your application reviewed and approved, but it can be done with the correct information and guidance.
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Once you know what to expect and how the process works, you’ll find it much easier to navigate this important step in your international education goals.
Here are some helpful tips to make the Canada student visa process easier and less stressful.
Canada Student Visa Eligibility
Canada offers more types of student visas than any other country.
There are multiple visas for study permit extensions, meaning studying in Canada can last up to ten years.
However, if you want a study permit extension and live outside of Quebec (the only Canadian province that doesn’t offer study permit extensions), you’ll need to go through the same rigorous process as someone applying for their first student visa.
Most international students in Canada will need a work permit while studying and after graduating to remain in the country long-term.
This can be done either through an offer of employment or through an employer willing to take on an intern with plans to become a full-time employee at some point.
Applying for a Study Permit
You can apply for a study permit when you arrive in Canada if you have been issued a visa by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
You should have all the documents to apply for your study permit at a Canadian port of entry.
These will include your passport, proof of acceptance from your educational institution, confirmation of funds, and proof of adequate medical insurance.
Once these requirements are met and processed, IRCC will process your application and stamp it into your passport while allowing access into the country.
Step-by-Step Canada Process for Student Visa
Step 1: Collect the Necessary Documents
The first step in applying for a student visa to Canada is gathering all of your necessary documents.
The Canadian government has a list of requirements and guidelines for determining eligibility outlined on its website.
It’s best to take care of this before applying because it will ensure that you meet all requirements.
Requirements can change over time, so you must review the website before starting your application.
Step 2: Contact Canadian Embassies in Your Country
For residents of countries with no Canadian Embassy or where the Canadian Embassy is closed, you will need to contact other visa-granting countries in your region and apply for a Study Visa through their embassy in your country.
For example, if you are living in Uganda and want to study in Canada, you must request a Study Visa from one of these Embassies: American.
Step 3: Fill Out Your Application Forms
The online application form is the first step of your application process.
Once completed, ensure you have a biometric stamp on each form page.
This helps prove that you physically came into an embassy or consulate to submit it and prevent fraud.
Step 4: Submit Your Application to Caips, Along With All Supporting Documents
It’s a good idea to apply for your Visa at least three months before your planned start date.
This will give you enough time for the application process.
Applications submitted less than three months from their program start date are not guaranteed an answer in time, which could result in having to delay or cancel studies altogether.
The final step is to submit all supporting documents (i.e., signed contract, official university acceptance letter) along with your completed CAIPS student visa application form and payment of service fees.
Step 5: After Submission, You Will Receive an Email From Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)
The CIC will give you a list of things they want you to do and the information they need from you to process your application.
Once you have sent them all of the required information, they will decide if your application is valid or not.
Step 6: Book an Appointment at a Designated Application Center Near You
Upon receiving your study permit, make an appointment at a designated application center near you.
The appointed date must be before the expiration of your student visa.
If you have not booked your flight, it is recommended that you do so well in advance.
There are also plenty of scholarships and bursaries available for international students.
Step 7: Attend Your Appointment at the Application Center With All Required Documents and Payment Information (If Applicable)
When you are ready to book your appointment, print out a copy of your confirmation email and fill in all the necessary fields.
It is best to have a pen, water, a small snack, and some reading material with you to stay as relaxed as possible.
If your study permit expires during your course length, consider that it could take up to four weeks for CIC (Canadian Immigration) to process and send back your new study permit before starting classes.
Step 8: Confirmation of Acceptance of Your Application by CIC
Lastly, you will get an email from IRCC (CIC) about whether your application has been accepted. If it is, then you’re done.
If it’s not, don’t be sad a little bit, but all is not lost. You still have one more chance to submit another application.
Applying for a Student Permit Visa Through Student Direct Stream
Getting a student permit visa for Canada requires a study permit and a temporary resident visa.
The process can be confusing and require lots of research. Still, many resources available from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will help you find out precisely what documents are needed.
To start, your school must send an Offer of Acceptance of Studies (OAS).
Depending on your country of residence, an application fee is associated, ranging from $150 to $400.
After OAS is submitted, students complete their application form on IRCC’s website, which can take up to 15 days to process.
The Canada process for a student visa is straightforward, and you’ll need a lot of things to fill out.
Your passport will be inspected, you’ll be asked what your plans are, and sometimes there’s an interview.
All in all, it should only take about 15 minutes to go through the process.
Here are some additional requirements that may cause delays:
If you’re from certain countries with a higher-than-average rate of HIV or tuberculosis,
If you have more than one passport with citizenship from different countries, your health check shows that your immune system is weakened because of certain chronic diseases.