How to Apply for a Study Visa in Canada in 2023

“Canadian universities are renowned for their exceptional facilities, robust infrastructure, high educational standards, and advanced curricula, making them a top choice for students from around the world seeking to further their academic pursuits. Studying in Canada not only positively impacts your career but can also be a significant step towards achieving permanent residency. If you’re wondering how to navigate the process of obtaining a study visa for Canada, this article is here to guide you through it. We will walk you through the steps of applying for a study visa in Canada and provide other relevant information.

Before we delve into the details, let’s start by understanding what a Canadian Study Visa entails.

What is a Canadian Study Visa?
A Canadian study visa is the gateway to pursuing your education in Canada. It, along with your study permit, allows you to begin your educational journey in Canada. A study permit is an official document issued by immigration authorities that authorizes you to study in Canada. With this visa, you can study at institutions known as Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs). DLIs are schools or universities approved by the government to admit international students. With a study visa, you also have the opportunity to work and earn income while you are studying or after you graduate.

To maintain your study permit as an international student, you must:
– Be enrolled in a DLI.
– Comply with the conditions of your study permit.
– Engage in work that is related to your studies.
– Cease your studies if you do not meet the specified conditions.
– Depart from Canada when your study permit expires.

How to Determine Your Eligibility for a Canadian Study Visa
You are eligible to apply for a study visa if:
1. A DLI has offered you admission. To demonstrate this, you should provide an acceptance letter, which will include:”

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“What Documents Are Required for a Canadian Student Visa Application?

To apply for a Canadian student visa, you’ll need to prepare a set of important documents. These documents are essential for your application process:

1. **A Valid International Passport**
– Your international passport must be valid throughout your entire intended stay in Canada. For instance, if you plan to study in Canada for three years starting in February 2023, your passport should remain valid through February 2026.

2. **Acceptance Letter**
– An acceptance letter from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada is a crucial part of your application. If you intend to study in Quebec, you may need a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) or a letter of confirmation from the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI). It’s important to note that a CAQ is typically issued for a maximum period of 49 months.

3. **Proof of Financial Ability**
– You must demonstrate your financial capacity when applying for your study permit. You need to show that you have sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses, as per current requirements. The Canadian Immigration authorities typically require a minimum of CAD 10,000 for each year of your stay. Furthermore, you must also prove that you have the means for a return trip.
– It’s important to note that when you submit your application, you should provide evidence of your tuition payments and your ability to afford the required cost of living (CAD 10,000).
– If you plan to study in Quebec, you should have a minimum of CAD 11,000 available for each year of your intended stay.

4. **Passport Photographs**

These documents are vital to your Canadian student visa application, so ensure they are prepared and organized for the process.”

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If you chose to submit your application offline, you would require two passport-sized photos that meet the requirements. You must obtain a digital copy of the photo, which should be at most 4MB, for an online application. Other prerequisites include a consistent neutral face expression, and a plain background with no head covering except your religion makes it mandatory. The image should also be recent, that is not more than 6 months.

5. Language Proficiency Exam Score

It is advisable to get your language proficiency results ready at this time. You would need to submit your results to confirm that you have been offered admission by a Canadian university.

6. Statement of Purpose

You would be asked to write an essay when applying for a Canadian study permit indicating why you are visiting Canada and why you have selected the particular university. This may be optional but we encourage you to include it.

During the online application, you may need to fill out some forms and print them. Also, your interviewer may request additional documents during your interview. These documents may include:

  • Transcripts or certificates from schools you have attended.
  • Your desire to depart from Canada once you complete your studies.
  • How you will intend to cater for your educational, living, and travel costs.

How do you Apply for a Canadian Study Visa?

The following steps would guide you in your application process.


1. Confirm processing times

The process of applying for a visa could take about a month. It is advisable to confirm availability on the website of the Canadian embassy and learn the general processing time for student visas. Please be aware that the estimated time is only an estimate and not a promise.

2. Apply

You would need to start your application process online or in person. To start your online application, you need a scanner or camera to scan your papers into an electronic format for uploading, as well as a working credit card to cover the application fee. At the local Visa Application Center(VAC), a finger scan will still be required from you (VAC). Keep in mind that if you submitted an online application, you would also need to visit the Visa Facilitation Office (VFS) to submit your passports and the receipt for your fee payment. The only difference between the processes would be the paperwork you need to provide to the VAC.

If you want to apply physically, all you need to do is read the instructions and get the application kit. Important details about study permits are provided in the instruction manual, along with instructions on how to complete your application. Use the document checklist and thoroughly read the instruction manual.

3. Fill and attach the VFS Consent Form

Attach the VFS Consent Form filled out in full to your application. This form is required if you want VFS services to support your visa filing.

4. Pay the required fee for processing

Bear in mind that in addition to the VFS Global service fees, visa fees must also be paid when applying via the VFS, whether in person or by mail. The processing charge is never refundable so be cautious when making payment. Also, note that you will be required to pay the necessary processing fees for your children, and/or dependents, spouse or common-law partner, if you are applying for temporary residence visas, work permits, or study permits on their behalf.

5. Submit your documents and application

Submit all the documents listed above with your application at the VFS office closest to you. After you have made payment for services, you would be given a receipt. This receipt would be useful to check the status of your application online because it has a special ID number. If your application is successful, you will receive a notification(a letter) from the Canadian government asking for your passport. Both the passport and the letter of request can be delivered in person or via VFS. A letter of introduction, as well as a temporary resident visa, would also be given to you.

How much does the Canadian Student Visa Cost?

For the Canadian Student Visa, it is expedient that you pay all application fees for yourself and any family members or dependents applying as part of the application procedure. You can either apply for the study visa online or offline. If you are applying online, you cannot submit an application without paying for the service, and if you submit an application on paper without paying the money, it will not be processed.

You can pay online via your credit card or physically through a demand draft if you pay at the High Commission of Canada or by cash via the VAC.

The following is the breakdown of the fees of the Canadian Student Visa:

Study permit (including applications for extensions) — CAD150


Biometrics fee (per person) — $85

Biometrics feed for a family which may consist of 2 or more applicants

Maximum total fee for families that are applying together at the same time — $170

Bear in mind that the visa fee does not include VAC service charges. You would be obliged to pay any additional service fees that pertain to your area and you would be given a receipt. It is important that you keep the receipt properly as it may be useful in future.

How long is the Study Visa in Canada Valid?

Your study visa is only valid for the duration of your course of studying in addition to 90 days. You can use these 90 days to get ready to leave Canada or to submit an application to prolong the duration of your study visa. Therefore, you will need to extend your study permit if you do not finish your program within the term that it is valid. You will only get an extra 90 days if you complete the your studies before the study permit ends, after which you must vacate Canada.

You must produce documentation from your institution, such as a letter, email, or other document announcing your graduation, or a copy of your diploma, certificate or degree, diploma, as confirmation that you have finished your program.

How long is the Processing Time for the Canada Student Visa?

There is no specific time for your Canadian study visa to be processed as this is dependent on different factors. However, the CIC would start processing your application as soon as you file it until the final day. You can also view your application status through your MyCIC account.

Can you Work while on a Study Visa in Canada?

Your ability to work while on a student visa in Canada is subject to several requirements. These requirements are put in place to prevent illegal employees from simply applying for Canadian student status without registering in classes or pursuing their academics. Students may, nonetheless, work in the following situations:

  • Work on campus if they are pursuing a full-time program
  • Do internships as stipulated in their program curriculum.
  • Work off campus if it is for less than 20 hours weekly and your study permit allows it.


Many international students dream of studying in Canada. However, if you do not know how to go about the application process of getting a student visa then you may end up being frustrated. This is why we came up with this article and we have just taken you through the process of getting your Canadian study permit with a focus on the general requirements, documents you need, processing time, costs of getting a student visa etc. We hope this post has made your Canadian journey easier.