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A Guide to Canada’s

Study Permit

Fulfill your dream of studying in Canada. Apply for Canada’s study permit with the help of ELAAR’s study visa experts. Check you eligibility now.


Canada is a leading destination for numerous international students. The country is home to many of the world’s top educational institutions. Prospective students who wish to study in this country legally need to obtain a Canada Student Visa.

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  • About Canadian Study Permit
  • How to Apply for Study Permit?
  • Step-By-Step Application Process
  • Eligibility, Fees and Document Requirements
  • Requirements While Studying in Canada
  • FAQs: Study Permit Canada

What is a Study Permit?

A Canada study permit is a special document issued to foreign students who wish to study at any designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada. Note that a study permit only allows students to study in Canada. A student who holds a study permit may require a separate visitor visa to enter Canada.

How to Apply for Your Canadian Student Visa?

Prospective students can apply for a Canadian Student Visa by following the steps below:


Select a Study Program and Apply to a University or College

Students must first determine the type of study program they wish to pursue. They can then research the various colleges and universities in Canada. Consider applying to various programs and/or designated learning institutions to improve your chances of receiving admission.


Receive Your Letter of Acceptance

If you receive admission into one of these designated learning institutions, you will receive a letter of acceptance. This letter is vital for the student visa application process.

After receiving your acceptance letter, you must gather additional documents and submit a student visa application.


Gather the Required Documents and Complete the Application Process

After receiving your acceptance letter, you must gather additional documents and submit a student visa application.

Step-By-Step Application Process for Student Visa

The application process for a Canada Study Permit is as follows:

Determine Your Eligibility

Prospective students must first determine if they are eligible for a Canadian study permit. This involves checking if they can meet the requirements mentioned above.

Check if you are eligible for Canada’s student visa online.

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Prepare the Study Permit Application

Students can then begin gathering the necessary documents for their application. These documents are described above.

The list of the required documents for Canada student visa.

If you are struggling with your visa process, feel free to contact us.

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Submit the Study Permit Application

Students can then fill out and submit a Study Permit application online or using a paper-based process. The online process can be completed at the IRCC website. Applications submitted via the paper-based process must be submitted to a Visa Application Center in their country.

Wait for a Decision and Come to Canada

If your study permit application is approved you can make your way to Canada. Note that you will receive your actual study permit at your port of entry into the country.

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Canada Study Permit Requirements

You must generally meet the following requirements to be eligible for a Canada study permit:


Be fully vaccinated

To qualify as a fully vaccinated traveler, you must meet Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) requirements. This includes receiving a minimum of two vaccine doses accepted for travel, a mix of travel accepted vaccines, or a minimum of one Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

You must also follow pre-entry requirements and testing. This includes uploading proof of your vaccination status online at ArriveCAN.


Have Enrolment at a Designated Learning Institution

You must possess a letter of acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution such as a Canadian College or University. This letter is typically provided after receiving enrolment to one of the aforementioned education institutions.


Prove You Possess Enough Funds

Prospective students must demonstrate they possess enough funds to manage their education and living expenses in Canada. This includes funds to cover:

  • Tuition fees
  • Their living expenses as well as living expenses for any family members accompanying them to Canada.
  • Their return ticket to their home country.
  • The living expenses alone amount to approximately CAN$10,000 per year. Living expenses for each family member is between CAN$3,000 and CAN$4,000. Tuition fees could be anywhere from CAN$11,000 to CAN$50,000 per year, depending on your program and chosen educational institution.
  • This proof of funds can be provided through different methods. This includes a bank statement, a Guaranteed Investment Certificate, or a letter from the individual funding your stay and education in Canada.


Follow the Law and Possess No Criminal Record

International students must be prepared to follow Canadian laws as they apply to them. They must also not possess a criminal record. Applicants are required to include a police clearance certificate with their application as proof.


Prove You are in Good Health

Applicants must be in good health at the time of applying for their student visa. They may be required to undergo a medical exam approved by IRCC as proof.


Demonstrate That You Intend to Leave Canada After Completing Your Studies

Applicants must also demonstrate to a Canadian visa officer that they intend to leave Canada once they complete their studies.

What Documents are Required for a Student Visa in Canada?

The primary documents required for the Canada Student Visa application include:


Proof of Acceptance

Also known as Letter of Acceptance, is a mandatory document that you’ll get from an institution (DLI). To obtain a Letter of Acceptance you have to submit an application to your desired DLI.


Proof of Identity

  • A valid passport
  • Two passport sized photos (name and D.O.B of the person written on the back of each photo)


A letter of explanation

A simple letter that helps the visa officer to understand:

  • Your study goals in Canada.
  • Your responsibilities as an international student.


Proof of Financial Support

  • Proof of a Canadian bank account in your name
  • Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC)
  • Proof of a education/ student loan from a bank
  • Recent bank statements (last 4 months)
  • Bank draft that can be converted to Canadian dollars
  • Proof of tuition and housing fees
  • Letter from the person or school giving you money, or
  • proof of money paid from within Canada (if you have a scholarship/ are in a Canadian-funded educational program)


A custodian declaration (For Minors)

A two-page document to be signed by both parents and the custodian (a responsible adult who will take care of the minor child in Canada). 


A certificat d'acceptation du Québec (for Quebec)

A mandatory document for the applicants studying in Quebec, Canada. It is required if you want to study for more than 6 months in Quebec. 

Requirements While Studying in Canada

Students must fulfil certain requirements while studying in Canada under a study permit.

  • Being enrolled at a qualifying Designated Learning Institution (DLI)
  • Being enrolled as either a full-time or part-time student if they are studying in Quebec.
  • Refraining from taking leaves exceeding 150 days in length from their program of study.

FAQS: Express Entry

How to study in Canada without a Student Visa?

Students who are already inside Canada can start a course of educational programs lasting less than 6 months without a study permit

How long will it take to process the Canadian study permit?

Study permit applications submitted from outside Canada are usually processed within 12 weeks. Note that obtaining and submitting biometrics may lengthen the application completion and processing times.

Minimum requirements for a Canadian Study Permit

International students must be enrolled at a qualifying designated learning institution and possess a minimum amount of money to cover their tuition and living expenses while studying in Canada.

Exactly how much money is needed to Study in Canada?

You will generally need enough funds to cover your living expenses and tuition for the duration of your study in Canada. This amounts to approximately CAN$10,000 per year for living expenses, and anywhere from CAN$11,000 to CAN$50,000 per year for tuition.

Can I study in Canada for free?

You cannot study for free as an international student in Canada.

What are Canadian Post-Secondary Schools?

Post-secondary schools include College and University.

Is IELTS compulsory to Study in Canada?

You may be able to study in Canada without completing an IELTS. Such situations include:

  • If you have given a different type of English proficiency exam such as TOEFL.
  • If you belong to an English-speaking country
  • If you have studied at an English-speaking school for 4 years.
  • If you have attended a language school for a full semester or one year.

Can I stay in Canada after graduation?

You must leave Canada after graduating. However, you can apply for a post-graduate work permit and work in the country until the permit expires. Many international students use the work experience gained during this period to apply for permanent residence through the Express Entry’s Canadian Experience Class.

Do I need the letter of intent for a Canada student visa?

A letter of intent also know as Statement of Purpose (SOP) or Letter of explanation (LOE), is usually required for a Canada Student Visa.

Can I change my college after Getting Study Visa?

You can switch to a different college after getting your study visa. However, you will need to inform IRCC regarding this change as soon as possible.

Can I Work While Studying in Canada?

You are legally permitted to work while studying in Canada only if it is stated on your study permit. Some study permits may state you can work only on-campus. Other study permits may allow you to work off-campus in addition to on-campus.

How we can help you choose an ideal Canadian University

Canada is home to dozens of world-class educational institutions. At Elaar Immigration, we can help you choose the perfect College or University for your higher education. Please contact us to learn more about pursuing higher education in Canada.

Do international students get free healthcare in Canada?

International students are usually automatically enrolled in a Foreign Health Insurance plan. These students are eligible for basic health coverage for free via the Medical Care Plan run by the province. This applies only for students who are enrolled in full-time studies for programs lasting 12 months or longer.

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