How to Get Student Visa for Canada in 2019 - 2020

Student Visa in Canada

With visa rules getting stricter in countries like US, there is a surge in students opting for Canada as their study destination. A report by Statista clearly shows how the number of students applying for Canada Student Visa has been increasing for some years now.

Canada Student Visa Report

If you are also planning to study in Canada, two of your most common queries will be,

1. What are the requirements for Canada Student Permit?

2. How to apply for Canada Student Permit?

While this Canada Student Visa Guide contains each and every detail of all that is required to get it, we also wanted to ensure that it helps even those who have no idea about what a Canada Student Permit is. So we thought to start with the very basic and then go into further details.

1. What is a Canada student permit?

Canada student permit

A Canada student permit is a document issued by IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) for the international students in Canada. To study in Canada, you will require a student permit, which serves as a student visa. The student permit is issued for the duration of the period student will need to complete the program. If your program is of six months or lesser, the student permit is not required.

2. Till What Time Can You Stay in Canada With Student Permit?

  • Your student permit will expire after 90 days of the completion of your program. As soon as you receive a transcript or an official letter suggesting that you have cleared your academic program, the student permit will remain valid only for 90 days after that.

  • If you want to expand your stay in Canada, you will have to maintain a valid status either in form of work permit, or a visitor’s visa to stay in Canada legally.

Therefore, there are two options to stay in Canada after you have completed your studies:

Visitor’s Visa:

  • If you want to stay temporarily in Canada after you have completed your studies, you can apply for a Visitor Record. The application can be submitted either online or by paper. Once again, the application should be submitted within 90 days of the completion of your study program.
  • Keep in mind that you cannot apply for a post-graduation work permit once you have switched to the Visitor Record. Any new Canada student visa application (or work) must be made from outside of Canada thereafter. For that, one can apply at Canadian Consulates in Los Angeles (for study permits), Canadian Consulate in New York (For work permit), or in a visa office that serves your country of citizenship (for both work and study permits).

Work Permit Canada:

Work Permit Canada

  • After completion of your program, you can apply for Post-Graduation Work Permit. The duration of your Post-Graduate Work Permit cannot be longer than your studies in Canada.

Official length of your Program

Eligible Work Permit Period

Less than 8 Months

Not Eligible for Work Permit

Less than 2 Years but more than 8 Months

Same length as the length of Program

2 Years or more

3 Years

3. From Where Can You Apply For Canada Student Visa?

To apply for Canada visa for study, or any kind of application that is temporary resident type (visitor, study and Canada work visa) for Indian students, VFS (Visa Facilitation Services) Global is in charge of CVAC. CVAC stands for Canada Visa Application Centre. CVAC is exclusive service provider for Government of Canada. It deals with collection of application, return passports in decision envelopes, and scheduling interviews on behalf of Canada Visa Office. You can fill out Canada visa Application online for Study Permit Canada on VFS Global’s official website.

VFS Application fees for Indian Students: $CAN 150, roughly converted, that is 7890 INR.

Indian Students do not need to give their biometrics (fingerprints and Photograph) as of now. However, the rules of requirement of biometrics can change after 31 December 2018.

VFS Centres Across India:

State / UT

City

CVAC Timings

Passport Collection

Delhi

New Delhi

08:00AM - 05:00PM

08:00AM - 04:00PM

Chandigarh

Chandigarh

07:00AM - 05:00PM

08:30AM - 09:30AM,

04:30PM - 05:30PM

Punjab

Jalandhar

07:00AM - 05:00PM

08:00AM - 09:00AM,

05:00PM - 06:00PM

Tamil Nadu

Chennai

09:00AM - 05:00PM

02:00PM - 04:00PM

Karnataka

Bengaluru

09:00AM - 05:00PM

02:00PM - 04:00PM

AP / Telangana

Hyderabad

09:00AM - 05:00PM

02:00PM - 04:00PM

Maharashtra

Mumbai

09:00AM - 05:00PM

02:00PM - 04:00PM

Pune

Gujarat

Ahmedabad

09:00AM - 05:00PM

02:00PM - 04:00PM

West Bengal

Kolkata

09:00AM - 05:00PM

02:00PM - 04:00PM

4. In which cases do you not need a study permit to study in Canada

In some exceptional cases, you will not be required to apply for Study Permit Canada. Some of them are:

Short-Term Studies:

If your program is of less than six-months and you are not part of any other program longer than that, and you will complete all your studies in the time that is defined for short-term program then you do not need a study permit.

Foreign Representatives:

If you are a family member or staff member of Foreign Representative to Canada, which is accredited by Global Affairs Canada (GAC), you might not need to have a student permit.

Foreign Armed Forces:

You will not be required a student permit, if you are a member of foreign armed forces on official duties in Canada.

Registered Indians:

Registered Indians, also known as Status Indians from another country, are eligible to study in Canada without student permit.

5.  How to Apply for Canada Student Permit? – The Process

Now, Let’s dive into the process of Canada Student Visa Application Process. Few things should be checked off your list before you start the process and some conditions that you must follow while applying for Study Permit in Canada. Moreover, there will be some necessary documents, funds and Medical testing required. Make sure you go through the list step-by-step over the whole application process, so you do not miss anything.

Before you Apply for a Student Permit:

Before applying for a student permit in Canada, you must have a letter of acceptance from a Designated Learning Institute. Provincial or territorial governments approve the schools to host international students, and these institutions are called DLI. You will have to provide your DLI number at the time of your application. A DLI number starts with an “O”. You are not required to have DLI # if applying for Primary or Secondary school. Primary and Secondary Schools are not included in the list as they are automatically designated.

You can find the list of Designated Learning Institutes on the official website of Canada Immigration and Citizenship.

Conditions that must be met before applying for Student Permit

  • You should meet the Canada Visa requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.
  • You must have been accepted for an academic program in any school, college, universities in Canada
  • You should not have any criminal record, and should not be a risk to security of Canada. You might have to provide a police certificate.
  • You must be in good health and willing to complete a medical examination if needed.
  • You must prove that you have enough money to pay for your expenses such as tuition fees, living expenses for yourself and any family member who come with you in Canada, and for return transportation to your home country including you and any family member who has come with you.

How to Apply for Student visa?

You can Apply Online or On Paper

To apply online, you need to create an account on official Canada Immigration and Citizenship (CIC) website, under immigration tab. Make digital copies of your documents with help of a camera and scanner, and you will also need a valid credit / debit card. On-Paper application is done offline, and it will take longer time to process.

Student Direct Stream for Student Visa:

Student Direct Stream, or abbreviated just as SDS, is a replacement of the older SPP program. While the SPP program was linked with college, the SDS is liked with student directly. Scotia Bank backs the process, as it will be providing a GIC of 10000 CAD to deserving students for the first year living expenses of Canada. The most significant change in the admission process is the minimum requirement of IELTS band, that is overall 6.5, with no less than 6 band in each module The SDS program is available to apply for the students of China, India, Vietnam and the Philippines. Here is how you should follow the application process.

Canada study visa processing time for your application keeps changing according to the country you are applying from, and it keeps updating weekly. You can check the latest processing time for Study Permit Application on official website of Canada Immigration and Citizenship, under the “immigration” tab.

Documents Tequired to Apply for Student Permit

Documents required to apply for student permit

1. Letter of Acceptance: A letter from the institute you have been accepted in.

2. Proof of Identity:

  • A Valid Passport, which must allow you to return to your home country.
  • Two recent Passport size photographs with Name and Date of Birth written on the back.

3. Proof of fees payment:

Proof that the fees for the first year of study are paid

Proof that you have graduated from:

  • Canadian Curriculum High School OR
  • Have at least a score of 6.5 bands for IELTS OR
  • Have at least a score of 7 for Niveaux de Compétence Linguistique Canadiens (Test d’évaluation de français)=

4. Proof of Financial Support:

  • If you have transferred money to Canada, proof of your Canadian Bank Account in you name.
  • GIC (Guaranteed Investment Certificate) from Canadian Financial Institute
  • Student / Education Loan
  • Bank Statement for last four months
  • A draft that can be converted to Canadian Dollars
  • Proof of tuition and housing fees paid

Minimum Funds Needed:

Person Coming to Canada Location Amount required per year additional to tuition Amount required per month additional to tuition
You (Student) Outside Quebec $10,000 $833
Inside Quebec $11,000 $917
First Family Member Outside Quebec $4,000 $333
Inside Quebec $5,100 $425
First Family Member (under 18 Years) Inside Quebec $3,800 $317
Every accompanying additional Family Member Outside Quebec $3,000 $255
Inside Quebec $5,125 $427
Every accompanying additional Family Member (Under 18 Years) Inside Quebec $1,903 $159

5. Medical Requirements:

If you have lived for six or more than six months in a row in any country or territory that is listed for medical examination on the CIC (Canada Immigration and Citizenship) website, or you have lived in the listed countries for six or more months in the year immediately before the date of your program, then the medical examination is required.

Your family member may need a medical examination, if the family member is going to stay in Canada for more than six months, the same rules of medical examination requirement applies to them, too.

There are two ways to get a medical examination for immigration:

1. On the Instructions given after Submitting the Application:
  • You can wait for the instruction given to you after submitting the application. You must go for the medical exam within 30 days after that. If not, the application may be rejected.

2. Upfront Medical Exam
  • You can get your medical exam done before you submit your application. This is called upfront exam. You can go the panel physician listed on the Canadian Website under Immigration Tab, and choose a Panel Physician in your nearby location.

  • When Upfront medical results are submitted, you have an advantage that the application will be processed faster. However, it does not affect the outcome of the application. You must submit the proof for upfront examination with your application. Otherwise, the process may delay.

6 . Letter of Explanation: The letter of Explanation should convey your goals to visa officer:

  • The reasons you have to Study in Canada
  • That you understand your responsibilities as a student.

7. Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ):

  • To study in Quebec, you will need to have CAQ, and your institute can guide you through the process of acquiring it.

  • If you got approved but do not have CAQ, you can apply for student permit with approval of Ministère de l'Immigration, de la Diversité et de l'Inclusion (MIDI)

8. Declaration of Custodian:

If a custodian is required for minor in Canada, you should fill a “Custodian Declaration Form”. It is a two-page form where the custodian signs on the first page, and parents or legal guardians sign on the second page.

Forms Required

Once you have all the documents, you need to fill up the following forms.

Here are the Canada visa forms that are required for the different purposes:

1. Application For Study Permit Made Outside of Canada

IMM 1294

2. Family Information

IMM 5645 or IMM 5707

3. Document Checklist

IMM 5483

4. If Applicable, Statutory Declaration of Common law Union

IMM 5409

5. If Applicable, Custodianship Declaration - Custodian for Minors Studying in Canada

IMM 5646

6. If Applicable, Use of a Representative

IMM 5476

7. If Applicable, Authority to release personal information to a designated individual

IMM 5475

6. Pay the Fees

  1. To pay the fees for your Study Permit in Canada, go to the official CIC website. Under the Immigration Tab,  and click on “My Application”
  2. On the next page, you will see the option “Pay Your Fees”. Click there.
  3. On the next page, in drop-down menus, select your country, Temporary residence and Study Permit respectively.
  4. Choose how you want to pay. You can pay online for both Online and On-Paper application. There is also a third option to pay at Visa Application Centre (VAC) in your country.
  5. You can pay the fees with a valid Credit or Debit Card, and will receive a refund on the same in case of refund. Once the application process starts, the application fees are non-refundable.

You will get a receipt for the payment of your fees on your email account. Include that in your application if you are applying on-paper.

7. What To Do After You Apply

Provide your Fingerprints and Photos (Biometrics):

  • For Indian students, they do not have to provide fingerprints or photographs if they are applying before 31 December 2018.
  • After that, for online applicants, the process for biometrics will be sent to their account message box on the website.
  • For the applications that were made by e-mail, the process of when and how will be sent to their e-mail ID.

The Processing of Application:

If you qualify for the Student Direct Stream (SDS), the student visa process takes place much faster. If you are not eligible for SDS program, then the application will get through a slower processing channel.

  • The Application is checked by Immigration department to see if you have all the necessary documents or not. If there a document is missing, the application will be returned without processing.
  • There might also be a need to: attend an interview with immigration officials of Canada in your county, or will be asked to send more information.
  • If you change your number, address, or any other contact information, the department should be informed and updated.

8. Once the Permit is Approved or Refused:

If Approved:

  • If you have been approved for a student permit, you will receive a POE letter from the department of IRCC. (Immigrations, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada that manages citizenship and immigration Canada), you will receive a Canada visitor visa (Temporary Resident Visa) to enter Canada.
  • A Port of Entry letter, abbreviated as POE is also called correspondent letter or Letter of Introduction.
  • This letter is not your study permit, you will have to show this letter to the officials at the port of entry when you reach Canada to get the study permit.

If Refused:

You will receive a letter explaining why the application was rejected, the reasons might include:

  • Not enough funds were shown by you that can support your expenses in Canada.
  • You did not clear the Medical Examination.
  • You failed to convince the visa officer the reasons for you choosing Canada to study.
  • You failed to convince the visa officer that you would leave Canada after completion of your study.

You can contact the visa office that sent you your refusal letter if you have any queries regarding your rejection.

9. Conditions on Study Permit

What are the conditions in student permit?

The first condition one has to follow when you hold a study permit is to remain enrolled in a DLI. Failing to do that, or not maintaining timely progress towards the completion of the study program you have chosen. The DLI you have enrolled in will send your academic enrolment report continuously to the immigration department.

Additionally, an officer can impose, change or cancel the conditions on the Study Permit, which may include:

  • The study program you have chosen.
  • The institution you are going to attend.
  • The location of your study.
  • Time and Duration of the studies.
  • Schedule and place of your medical examination.
  • Schedule and place of reporting for your presentation of evidence of compliance for applicable conditions.
  • Prohibition on Employment Engagement.
  • The period of your stay in Canada. 

9. Can you Also Work While Studying in Canada?

  • As of June 2014, Students do not require a separate Canadian work visa for off-campus or on-campus work in Canada.
  • While studying, a student can study and work in Canada for 20 hours a week during the ongoing academic session, and can work full time during the breaks. Additionally, they do not have to wait for six months, as it was the case before. They can start working as soon as they reach Canada and have a student permit.

10. How to Extend Your Study Permit

On the top right corner of your permit, the expiry date of your permit is given. The length of your study is decided by,

  1. Your Program + 90 extra days
  2. If you were conditionally accepted, Pre-requisite Course + 90 days
  3. If your passport expires before the completion of study, then passport minus 30 days.

The extra 90 days gives you time to extend your permit or to prepare to leave Canada.

When to Extend Your Study Permit?

  • You need to extend your study permit before 30 days of the expiry date. If you apply before the date of expiry, you can stay in Canada under same status until you get the decision.
  • You need to extend your study permit if you plan to travel outside the country, and the expiry dates falls while you will be travelling.
  • If your studies are completed before the date written on the permit, the permit will expire 90 days after you have finished your program, regardless of the date written. Therefore, if you want to keep studying further, you should apply for extension before 30 days of expiration.
  • If your program takes longer amount of time than you expected, you should apply to extend the study permit before 30 days of expiration.
  • If your study permit expires and you have not applied to extend it, you will be asked to leave Canada.

How to Extend:

First, make sure the program you have applied is on DLI (Designated Learning Institutes) list.

  1. You can apply online in Canada Immigration and Citizenship website by creating an account for the restoration of your study permit.

  2. You can apply offline (IMM 5553) for your student permit restoration on paper, too. For that, the local visa office instruction change from country to country. Check on CIC (Canada Immigration and Citizenship) website to check the instructions.

11. What To Do if Your Study Permit Expires?

If the expiry date of your study permit has passed before you applied for extension, or a work permit / visitor’s visa, then you have lost your status. In some cases, the permit can be restored. You will have to apply online of offline (IMM 5553) for restoration.

  • You should submit restoration application within 90 days of losing your status.

  • You should meet all the Canada student visa requirements of staying.
  • You should meet all the conditions listed in your permit.
  • If a family member has lost the status, each must apply, and pay restoration fees to get the permit restored.

On your application for restoration, clearly explain how you lost your status. You can stay in Canada during the time restoration application is under process. However, you cannot study since you have lost your status.

Restoration Fees:

Restoration Charges:

$CAN 200

Study Permit:

$CAN 150

Conclusion

Canada is one of the best study destination for International students to study and pave their careers to a bright future. The first step to that would be applying for the Study Permit and start your journey there. It may look like an intimidating process, but once you understand it thoroughly, it is not complex at all. We Hope this Study Permit guide helps you in doing that.

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