How to Apply for Canada Student Visa?

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canada student visa

Canada Student Visa: Canada is widely regarded as a premier destination for pursuing higher education, captivating numerous students worldwide every year. Also according to the latest updates Canadian authorities will now also accept TOEFL and PTE for SDS entry in Canada. Also, students applying through IELTS Academic will only have to score an overall 6.0 band. The 6.0 band requirements in every section of the test are now debarred.


Canada presents various compelling factors that make it an attractive choice for studying such as cost-effective education, thriving research opportunities, immigration prospects, vibrant campus life, safe and healthy communities and plenty of work and internship opportunities. But whether it is for studies or work one needs a Canadian visa to do so. 

In this blog, we will give you all the information regarding the Canada student visa which helps students to pursue education in Canada along with the requirements, eligibility criteria and how to apply for it. 

Also Read: Canada Student Permit Guide 2023

Why to Study in Canada?

In 2023 there were 319,130 Indian students enrolled in Canadian Institutions out of the total 753000 international students in Canada. So, what attracts such a massive number of students towards Canadian education? Let’s explore;

  • World-class institutions, study programs, faculty and research opportunities.
  • Unparallelled student experience and campus life.
  • Wide career and job opportunities.
  • Opportunities of part-time work, internships and scholarships.
  • Specialised sectors in IT, Management, Artificial Intelligence and many more.
  • The ensured facility of post-study work permit.
  • Interaction with diverse cultures and lifestyles to become a global citizen.

What is a Canada Student Visa?

A Canadian student visa is a document issued by the visa consulate. It ensures the permission to enter into Canada. A student cannot enter Canada without the Canadian student visa. Candian student visa is different from a study permit. A Canada study permit is a document that judges your intent of moving to Canada and permits the student to stay in Canada for the period of their studies.

Canada Student Visa Application Pathways

To acquire a Canadian study visa for Indian citizens, individuals must undergo the application process through Citizen and Immigration Canada (CIC), which serves as the primary authority responsible for issuing student permits to international students.

There are two available methods to apply for a student permit or study visa in Canada:

1. Conventional Study Permit Application Process: This involves following the regular procedure for applying for a study permit in Canada.

2. Student Direct Stream: This is an alternative pathway specifically designed for Indian students. It offers a streamlined application process for faster visa processing.

Canada Student Visa Requirements

The eligibility criteria for the Canada students visa are as follows:

  1. You should have been accepted by a designated learning institute (DLI).
  2. You would need to prove that you have a clean background and no criminal record. The candidates also need to produce a police verification certificate.
  3. Aspirants need to undergo a health checkup and produce a medical certificate that they are in good health.
  4. Also at the time of the visa interview, aspirants need to convince the visa officer that they will leave Canada once they complete their studies.
  5. Students should not have more than 10 backlogs in class 12th or graduation.
  6. Also, they should take special care of the gap years. If there is any gap year it should be valid and justified through documents.
  7. Aspirants need to produce proof of funds to pay for their tuition fees, living expenses, and also for family members who accompany them to Canada. 

Minimum Balance Requirement for Canadian Student Visa

To get a Canada student visa one needs to maintain a certain amount of balance in their bank accounts before their visa application. A proof of deposit of these funds is attached in the visa application form for verification. Here is a detailed list of funds required for each visa type.

Visa TypeMinimum Funds Required
Student ApplicantCAD 10,000
Family Member (Primary)CAD 4,000
Family Member (Additional)CAD 3,000

Minimum amount in bank for staying in Quebec is different form that of staying in the rest of Canada. Here are the details of the same:

Visa TypeMinimum Funds Required
Student below 18 years CAD 6,569
Student above 18 yearsCAD 13,134
2 People above 18 yearsCAD 19,264
2 People above 18 years
+ 1 below 18 years
CAD 21,579
2 People above 18 years
+ 2 below 18 years
CAD 23,290

Also Read: Canada Visa Types for Temporary & Permanent Residency

How to Apply for Canada Student Visa 

The processing time for a Canada visa is 9 weeks if applying from outside Canada and 4 weeks if applying from within Canada. It is recommended to visit the Canadian consulate website for precise information on visa processing time and to track the application status.

To apply, there are two methods available:

  1. Online Application: For online applications, you will need access to a scanner or camera to create e-copies of your documents for uploading, as well as a valid credit card for payment. Additionally, you will be required to provide finger scans at the regional Visa Application Centre (VAC). However, for online applications, you will still need to visit the VFS offices to submit your passports, along with the confirmation of the form and fee payment. The specific documents required at the VAC may vary.
  1. Paper Application or Offline Application: Download the application kit and carefully read the instruction guide, which contains important information and guidance on study permits. Follow the instructions and use the provided document checklist. 

Note: Applying on paper is only allowed under two conditions (a) If you have a disability preventing online application, (b) If you possess an identity or travel document for non-national residents, refugees, or stateless persons.

  1. Payment of Processing Fee: Please note that visa fees must be paid in addition to the VFS global service charges. It can be paid through VFS in person or by mail. The processing fee is non-refundable in all cases. 

Application Fee for Student Visa in Canada 

A service fee has to be paid during the Visa application. Students must pay around CAD 150 ~ INR 9K for the Canadian Visa. However, the students must note that this visa application fee is non-refundable. Also, it does not guarantee visa application approval.

Also Read: Canada Student Visa IELTS Band Requirements 2023

Documents Required for Student Visa

To obtain a student visa for Canada, the student needs their college offer letter. If you are targeting the September intake, it is advisable to initiate the visa process around June. The following documents are required to apply for a Canada student visa:

1. Valid Passport:

A valid passport is essential for submitting a Study Permit application. The Canadian High Commission requires the passport to have a validity that covers the intended duration of stay in Canada. For example, if you plan to commence studies in September 2022 for a two-year program, your passport should be valid until at least September 2024.

2. Proof of Acceptance issued by a Designated Learning Institution:

You will need an acceptance letter from the university or institute you plan to attend. A Designated Learning Institution is a recognized university approved by the Immigration Department.

3. Proof of Sufficient Funds:

During the study permit application, you must demonstrate that you have adequate funds. Current requirements state that you need to prove your ability to cover tuition fees and living expenses. Canadian Immigration expects students to have at least CAD 10,000 (INR 6.6L) for each year of their stay. Additionally, you must show proof of funds for return travel. 

The Following Documents can Serve as Evidence of Financial Capacity

Canadian bank accountGuaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) from a participating Canadian financial institution
Student loan or education loanBank statements from the past four months
Bank draft (convertible to Canadian dollars)Proof of paid tuition and housing fees
Letter of financial support from a person or institutionProof of funding from within Canada (applicable for scholarships or Canadian-funded educational programs)

4. Immigration Medical Examination (IME):

International students from India applying for Canadian immigration are required to undergo a mandatory Immigration Medical Examination conducted by approved doctors. Students must schedule an appointment and visit the designated doctors for the medical examination, preferably a week prior to commencing their visa application. 

5. English Language Proficiency Exam Score:

Although not mandatory during the initial application, it is highly recommended that you have taken an English Language Proficiency Exam such as TOEFL or IELTS and obtained your test score before commencing the visa application process. 

Documents for SDS and Non-SDS Entry

There is a slight difference between the documents required for the Canada student visa through SDS and Non-SDS pathways. The students can note the following list to tally.

SDS Application Non-SDS Application 
Language Proficiency Test Results Certificate Language Proficiency Test Result Certificate 
Passport Passport 
Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) 
Educational Certificates Financial Documents 
Digital Pictures Statement of Purpose (SOP) 
Statement of Purpose (SOP) Digital Pictures 
Medical Examination Educational Documents
Medical Examination 
Tuition Fee (for six months DLI) 

Canada Student Visa Processing Time

Ctizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) department usually takes around 6 weeks to process a visa application. For the SDS entry route in Canada, students get the decision of the authority within 20 calendar days. In case of any delays in the decision, the students can check their application status at the MyCIC account created at the time of registration.

Also Read: Canada Student Visa IELTS Band Requirements

If your application is approved, you will receive a notification from the Government of Canada requesting your passport. You can submit the passport and the passport request letter in person or through VFS. Once processed, you will be issued a Temporary Resident Visa and a Letter of Introduction.


What are the important documents that a student needs to have in order to apply for a student visa?

To obtain a student visa for Canada, the student needs all their essential documents. This includes an offer letter, valid passport, proof of funds, English language proficiency exam scores and immigration medical examination certificates. 

What is the processing time for a Canada student visa?

The processing time for a Canada visa is 9 weeks if applying from outside Canada. It is 4 weeks if applying from within Canada. It is recommended to visit the Canadian consulate website for precise information on visa processing time. Candidates also have to keep track of the application status.

How can I apply for a Canada student visa in online mode?

For online applications, you will need access to a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents. These have to be uploaded, along with a valid credit card for payment. Additionally, you will be required to provide finger scans at the regional Visa Application Centre (VAC).

What is the full form of DLI? 

The full form of DLI is Designated Learning Institute. 

For avoiding any last-minute delays and getting guidance on how to proceed with the visa, application process, speak to Leverage Edu’s experts today. Our visa experts will not only help you to understand the visa requirement but also prepare you for the Visa interview. All you have to do is book a 30-minute free counselling session at our toll-free number 1800-572-000 or by email at [email protected].

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