visa application process for canada

your access to canada

6 steps to apply for canada student visa

Once you have applied to a Canadian university and have got your acceptance letter, you can apply for the Canada student Visa!

step 1

apply for a study permit

Once you have received your admission from a Designated Learning Institutions (DLI), you will need to apply for a study permit.

If you are a foreign national a study permit will be required for you to formally enter Canada to study. Study permits allow international students to study at Designated Learning Institutions (DLI). A study permit will normally be valid for the entire length of your studies, plus an extra 90 days, which allows individuals to prepare a permit extension or leave Canada.

step 2

who can apply

You can study in Canada if you:

are enrolled at a designated learning institution (DLI)
prove you have enough money to pay for your:
    • tuition fees
    • living expenses for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada and
    • return transportation for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada
obey the law, have no criminal record and get a police certificate (if required)
are in good health and get a medical exam (if required)
prove to an officer that you will leave Canada when your study permit expires


gather the right documents

Your school must send you a letter of acceptance. Include the original or electronic copy of your letter with your study permit application.

Valid passport or travel document

Online applicants: Upload a copy of the information page of your passport when you apply online. If you are approved, you will be asked to send in your original passport.
Citizens of the United States have some options on the identification documents they can carry.

Two recent passport-size photos:       
The name and date of birth of the person should be written on the back of each photo.

You must prove that you can support yourself, and the family members who come with you, while you are in Canada. You can prove your funds with:
  •   proof of a Canadian bank account in your name, if you’ve transferred money to Canada
  •   Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) from a participating Canadian financial institution
  •   proof of a student or education loan from a bank
  •   your bank statements for the past 4 months
  •   a bank draft that can be converted to Canadian dollars
  •   proof you paid tuition and housing fees
  •   a letter from the person or school giving you money or
  •   proof of funding paid from within Canada, if you have a scholarship or are in a Canadian-funded educational program
A letter of explanation:
This letter helps the visa officer to understand you and your goals. It explains
  •   why you want to study in Canada and
  •   that you understand your responsibilities as a student

If the minor requires a custodian, you must include the Custodianship Declaration form with your application. It has 2 pages that must be notarized (certified by a notary) and then included with your study permit application.

The custodian in Canada must sign the first page, and the parents or legal guardians of the minor child in the child’s home country must sign the second page.

Minimum funds needed to support yourself as a student (and family members who come with you):


step 4

how to apply

Applying online is strongly recommended.

step 5

after you apply

You will need to provide biometric information. Your application will be checked to make sure you have all the necessary documents. If it is incomplete, it will be returned unprocessed.

You may also be asked to go to an interview with Canada officials in your country or send in more information. You may also need to get a medical exam (if required) or a police certificate (if required)

step 6

prepare for arrival

When you arrive in Canada, you’ll meet a border services officer. The officer will ask to see your passport or travel documents, ask you a few questions and make sure you meet the requirements to enter Canada. You may have to prove that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay.

Your school or training facility may need you to prove you entered Canada. If you need proof of entry, make sure a border services officer stamps your passport before you leave Canadian customs. You may also be able to use a Primary Inspection Kiosk to stamp your passport.

When you meet the border services officer, you may have to show:
  •   a valid passport or travel document
  •   the letter of introduction the visa office sent you when they approved your study permit This letter has your permit reference number, which is used to issue your study permit
  •   a copy of a valid letter of acceptance from your school
  •   proof that you have enough money to support yourself during your stay in Canada
  •   letters of reference or any other documents the visa office told you to bring and
  •   either a valid Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or visitor visa (temporary resident visa) If you have a valid eTA, it will be linked to the passport you used to apply for your study permit.

Carry these items and all other valuable papers, cash and traveller’s cheques with you at all times. Do not put them in your checked luggage. You may not be allowed into Canada if any of your documents are missing or if any of the information on your application or letters of reference is incorrect

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