Canada Student Visa- All About The Application Process

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Canada student visa – With 14,000 study permits issued in 2013, Canada has witnessed a four-fold increase in the number of Indian students travelling to the country in the last four years.  Also, the over 30,000 Indians currently studying in Canada cements the country’s position as one of the most popular destinations for Indian students studying abroad. 

Did you know that as a student travelling to study in Canada, you require a special study permit issued by the Government of the country?

Here, we have decoded the Canada student visa application process through a series of questions and steps.

Read below to get a comprehensive understanding of the Canada student visa process and how to apply for a student visa:


Q: What do you need?
You need a study permit to pursue education in Canada.


Q: What is a study permit?
A study permit is the official document granted by the Government of Canada that gives you permission to study in Canada. It also gives you the right to remain in Canada for the duration of the permit – one to 4 years.


Q: When should you apply for student permit?
It can take up to 60 business days or 3 months to processes a study permit application.


Q: What makes to eligible to apply for a study permit to Canada?
Yes, you need to fulfill some important criteria before applying for a study permit to Canada. Let us find out what makes you eligible:

  • Acceptance by a designated learning institution in Canada is mandatory.
  • You must prove that you have enough money to pay for your tuition fees, living expenses and return transportation.
  • You should not have any criminal background
  • You should be willing to complete a medical examination, if necessary.
  • An assurance that you will leave Canada at the end of the study period is necessary.
  • The course duration should be more than 6 months. You need not apply for a study permit if the duration of your course is less than 6 months .

Q: How to get started with the application process?
A: First step:
Designated learning institution

  • The first step to take before applying for a study permit is to get your letter of acceptance from the designated learning institution in Canada.

Q: What is a Designated learning institution?
Designated learning institutions (DLIs) are those educational institutions in Canada, which have been designated to receive international students. According to the Canadian government’s policy every individual who wants to apply for a study permit has to get letter of acceptance from his institute, which in his/her case would be a Designated learning institution.

One of the most important aspects of a letter of acceptance is the DLI number allotted to every designated institute that the applicant has to fill in the permit form.



Second step- Select application mode

There are two modes of applying for a study permit to Canada- Online and Offline.


  1. Online: You can apply for the study permit online. Of course, you need to create electronic copies of your documents for uploading and have a valid credit card for payment.

Follow the steps below to apply online:

  • Determine your eligibility

You will be asked to determine your eligibility to study in Canada through a series of questions.


  • Arrange the documents listed on your personal document checklist

Q: What is a personal document checklist?

A personal document checklist is a list of forms and documents you need to complete and send with your application for a study permit. The Checklist is based off the answers you give in an online questionnaire.


Get your personal checklist code

A personal checklist code is a unique code assigned to your personal document checklist. You need to enter this code to begin an online application for a study permit.
You can get your personal checklist code if you have completed the online immigration eligibility questionnaire.



Once you have your personal checklist code you can apply online by opening a MyCIC account.

You will be required to do the following things after you have opened the MyCIC account:

  • enter your personal checklist code,
  • upload your application form(s),
  • upload the documents on your personal document checklist,
  • pay your fees, and
  • submit your application to CIC.
  • You can apply online by using either Sign in Partner or GCkey

You can use the Sign in Partneronly if you use one of the financial partners mentioned.

However, if you do not use any of the partners mentioned you can apply through the GCkey


Q: What is a GCKey?

A GCKey consists of a username and password that allows you to access the Government of Canada’s online services.

  1. Paper application: There are three major steps to follow if you are applying online.
  • Get your application package: You can get your application package from theCanadian Visa application CentreThe application package consists of the application forms and guide books to fill up the form.\
  • You can also download your application package online:
  • In addition, Canadian government has set up biometric centres for applicants to give their fingerprints and photographs.
  • Get your documents ready

Q: What are the required supporting documents?

A: There are mainly four documents one needs to arrange:

  1. Proof of acceptance: You need to have a letter of acceptance from the University/institute you are going to join.
  2. Proof of identity: Identity includes a passport and passport size photographs of the applicant.
  3. Proof of financial support: You are required to prove your financial stability to the Canadian authorities. This may include bank statement, loan statements, proof of payment of tuition fee etc.
  4. Letter of explanation: You can apply for a student permit even if you do not want one right away. In that case, you have to include a letter in your application package that explains why you are applying.
  • Payment of application fees

You are required to pay a fee for a study permit, which can be in the form of processing fee. However, the fee is not refunded even if your application is not accepted.

Currently, the fee for a study permit is $150.


In addition, you also need to pay your VAC services fee if you apply through a Visa Application Centre.

  • Submit your application

The last step in the paper application process is to submit the form. Submit your application form at the visa office.


Third step:  Track your application


After the authorities receive the application (online or offline). It generally takes 3 weeks for the study permits to be processed in India.

After you have applied for the student permit, the visa office will review your application call you for an interview.



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