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How to Apply for Canada Study Permit

So, you are considering  attending college or university in Canada. Next question would be how to apply for Canada Study Permit. As Non-Canadian citizen or Canadian permanent resident, Canada Study Permit (Canada Student Visa) is required to study in Canada.

Unlike US student visa, student have to submit the application for Study permit to Canada High Council and they will process the Canada Study permit visa application.

Here is a quick overview of various steps you have to complete to get Canada Study permit

  • Select College or Universities to Apply
  • Get Admission from Canadian University or College
  • Verify Canada Visa Eligibility
  • Apply for Canada Study Permits
  • Provide Additional Info or Visa Interview (if required)
  • Canada Study Permit Visa Decision

Select College or Universities to Apply

You must have been accepted by a school, college, university or other educational institution in Canada. application process to Canadian Universities to greater extent is similar to US Universities. Refer to University admissions site to learn more about the programs offered.

Then follow the instruction, submit application and once you get accepted into University, then you can apply for Canada Study Permit.

Verify Canada Visa Eligibility

Before you apply for Canada Study Permit, check if you satisfy the following requirements, in order to get Canada Study Permits

  • You must prove that 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.
  •     You must be a law-abiding citizen with no criminal record and not be a risk to the security of Canada. You may have to provide a police certificate.
  •     You must be in good health and willing to complete a medical examination, if necessary.
  •     You must satisfy an immigration officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your authorized stay.

Apply for Canada Study Permits

Determine how long it will take Canada High Council to process and approve the application for Canada Study Permit in your country.

Processing times varies between countries. Here is a sample list of processing times for few countries

Visa Office ProcessingTimes
Bangkok – Thailand 5
Beijing – China 4
Chandigarh – India 3
Colombo – Sri Lanka 4
Dhaka – Bangladesh 5
Ho Chi Minh – Vietnam 10
Hong Kong – China 7
Islamabad – Pakistan 10
Jakarta – Indonesia 4
Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia 6
Manila – Philippines 12
New Delhi – India 4

In India – Canada Study permit application can be submitted at local VFS Global Service centers.

Once you have collected and completed all required documents for Canada Study Permit, you can either mail the package or submit the application in person.

After the visa office receives your application, it might request more information or documents. These may include the following:

  • Medical information:    In most cases, you will need a medical examination. A visa officer will send you instructions if you need a medical examination. This may add more than three months to the processing time of your application. Find more information about medical examinations.
  • Security information:     If you want to study in Canada, you and any family members who come to Canada with you, and who are 18 years of age and over, may have to provide police certificates. Find more information about the security checks.

Canada Study Permit – Decision

If your application is approved, you will receive the following:

  • A letter of introduction will be sent to you confirming the approval. This letter is not your study permit. Bring the letter of introduction with you to show to immigration officials at the point of entry when you arrive in Canada.
  • A temporary resident visa (TRV) will be issued if you are from a designated country for which Canada requires a visa. (You can find a list of designated countries in the Related Links section at the bottom of this page.) The TRV will be in your passport. The expiry date on this visa indicates the date by which you must enter Canada. You must enter Canada before your TRV expires. The TRV will also indicate if you can enter Canada only once (a single-entry visa) or if you can enter Canada multiple times (a multiple-entry visa).

If your application is not approved

If your application is not approved, the visa office will send you a letter explaining why your application has been refused. An application might be refused for several reasons:

  •     You have not shown proof that you have enough money to support yourself while studying in Canada.
  •     You have not passed the medical examination if one was required.
  •     You have not satisfied the visa officer that your primary intention in Canada is to study.
  •     You have not satisfied the visa officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your period of study.

Thats it folks. If you follow the procedure and apply on time, you should be able to get visa for Canada.

Process to get study permit is not as difficult, when compared to US Student F1 Visa.


  1. Imonin Oamen Psalm on July 3, 2016 at 8:43 AM

    pls,I need a school that will accept me in Canada with my higher national diploma certificate for a program before going for postgraduate. this school should be affordable and accept GRE or no score.
    am by name Imonin Oamen from Nigeria

  2. bismark on December 1, 2015 at 3:54 PM

    pls ve u receive ur student permit now cos am also waiting for mine.

  3. rahul on November 14, 2015 at 6:27 AM

    Sir please reply
    I was selected by mitt under technical drafting program for march 2016 but unfortunately visa ambessy rejected my visa due to less marks in maths please advice me what can I do

    • Raghuram Sukumar on November 14, 2015 at 8:16 AM

      Improve your scores and apply again.

  4. emerns on November 9, 2015 at 10:57 AM

    Please how many processing time ledt after medical examination in Ghana.

  5. emerns on November 9, 2015 at 10:54 AM

    Please i have gone for medical exams at Akai house clinic on the 29th of october 2015 but i have had nothin of wether the appropriate authorities have had the result of the exams bcos No approval message yet and is getting toward my course commencement.

  6. prince on July 23, 2014 at 10:01 PM

    I am a permanent resident of Philippines and applying for a student visa in Alberta, Canada. I already have complete requirements and ready for submission to CIC. I learned that the processing time in New Delhi India is only 3 weeks compared to our country which is 12 weeks. Is it possible for me to go to New Delhi and submit my application there? I have not gone to India, if ever, this will be my first time to go there.

  7. Satya on March 28, 2013 at 7:46 AM

    Hi I am from Nepal finished my master of geography and currently studying in Australia since four and half years ,studied diploma of business and last year completed one year master degree in planning ,now i am enrolled again in master of GIS and remote sensing for a year degree ,I am too much frustrated of education here ,I didn’t get what i needed to live my life ,just a certificate nothing ,I am average student working and studying ,not academic sound, looked for PHD as aspiration ..though got offer here in uni through research degree but self funding which cost 80k and also I spent huge money on education about 70k ..I am not getting hope of applying skill or residency here to get quality study as in Canada or US.. I know I can be overqualified as someone suggested me not to show the master docs for applying in Canada to get study permit …what should I do sir? Plz help me

  8. Taran on March 9, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    As per the study permit guidelines its strongly recommended to have a IELTS score. My question is that Can I apply for Canadian Study visa with TOEFL score?

    Please advise.

    • HSB Counselor on March 10, 2013 at 6:39 AM

      Hi Taran, Both TOEFL and IELTS score are acceptable as a proof on English Proficiency. Thus you can use your TOEFL scores too while you apply for Canadian visa.
      Take Care!

  9. Manas on February 20, 2013 at 4:18 AM


    I have been accepted to a university in Canada for Fall 2013 session and I am about to apply for my study permit. However, I have the following questions, answers to which would be a great help.
    1. If I apply online, how do I submit my passport, as I would need a TRV too?
    2. I would like to show my wife’s bank statements as a proof of funds. Do I need to attach a letter from her to authorise the same?

  10. Ahmad Munir on September 2, 2012 at 1:07 AM


    I have received my offer letter from Seneca College and my class will start in January,2013, sir could you please let me know 3 months is enough for my visa process, and on the other hand i have $50000 in my account to specific for my education in Canada with it has been in my account since 1.5 years, would it be enough to get visa easily.

    Please reply i am waiting for you nice comments.
    Ahmad Munir

  11. Ahmad Munir on September 2, 2012 at 1:03 AM

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    My name is Ahmad Munir i am from Afghanistan i have received admission offer letter and my class will start January,07,2013, and I have plan to apply for student permit at the end of September, from Pakistan Islamabad, could you please let me know sir, is it sufficient time for my visa process and also if I apply my visa from another accouters, other than Pakistan would it be possible.

    Best Regards and thanks in advance.

    How long it would

  12. Rohit p on April 11, 2012 at 6:04 AM


    great article.
    I have an offer of admission from a college in canada and my classes start on 29th of august 2012.
    Is it true that i can only apply for a visa 3 months prior to the commencement of my classes? Some people have told me that i should apply somethime in june but some say that I should apply as soon as i get my offer letter? what should i do?

  13. rajesh on April 5, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    hello,i am a indian,i have finished my masters in uk than i wanna go to canada to get PR,

    so how can i go there and how can i get pr in canada.

    plz help me

  14. Md Shahadat Hossain on March 8, 2012 at 8:22 AM

    I am form Bangladesh,Dhaka.I have done completed my Graduation in Computer Science(4years). Now I am studding M.Sc in Computer Science in Canada. please help me and give me some good university address.

    email:[email protected]

    • venkata on April 5, 2012 at 10:17 AM

      Hi u can try in Univ of Manitoba computer science. and see engineering ssection ok. Fees are less and if u get funding from prof it will be good?

  15. Rahul sinha on March 4, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    Sir i have completed my degree and diploma in pharmacy from india.
    now i want to apply for diploma course in pharmacy technician from canada.
    now is there any problem in visa granting as i am going from degree to diploma course.

    • venkata on April 5, 2012 at 10:18 AM

      there won’t be any problem in getting visa if u have money to support urself. which college are u enrolled.

  16. Sheajad on December 20, 2011 at 9:59 AM

    1)For Canada if u have loan sanction than u can get visa more easily other wise it may take time.
    Why required loan, cause i have heard from Canada consulars that if one have loan than they will easily provide visa. This loan requirement is also written in Canada visa check list form. U have to show at least 80 or 85% loan sanction of tuition fee of 1 year (for 1 or 2 or 3 yr course u only require to show one year loan) (please check whether 80 or 85% require) . ur Ielts score shud be good i mean 6 band, if possible than appear for once again (if u got 6 than) for Ielts and try to get 6.5 or more.

    2) ur course shud mach ur academics they can see that too. ( i heard one person is rejected due to not matching his course and academics)

    3) apply on time as possible as , their rule is to apply 45 days earlier of ur course starting date( still i suggest to check vfs Canada site, cause many programs start on 30 Jan , but still they say to apply before 31 or 30 December, so they may give date of submission. Even many might be sending one or two day late (than their application submission date) still they might get visa…still prevent is more better) ( one student applied earlier still reason got late apply so rejected)

    4 ) if u r doing from consular than find, select, check its accreditation , is city expensive etc by urself and then select university otherwise u have to change university after reaching Canada.
    i suggests if u ask a student who is studying in Canada then it will be good proper info about city and university, and u will know whether that city will meet ur criteria or which one is better (u ask Canada student cause they might have good experience)

    They might verify ur documents whether it is true and see their criteria and then they will send Visa

    I hope this will help

    Thanks and best wishes for ur success.

    • amulyav on March 6, 2013 at 8:58 AM

      hello, i am going to apply for a study permit in canada. i hae paid 1 year fees and have enough money to show as living expenses.. As per the comment above, if we have enough money why should we go for a loan.?? will the VO reject only because we dont have a loan..??

  17. AB on October 13, 2011 at 10:27 AM

    Warmest of gratitude and thanks HSB for incorporating CollegeWeekLive services into this very famous blog of yours.Believe me I just found what I was looking for a long time,a PhD program in Canada with concentration into Information Systems/Security.

    However,I am a bit confuse into some points.The PhD is of 3 years and CAD$7,200 is the tuition fee/year.From the Canada immigration website I came to know that a single student would need to show CAD$10,000 for 12 months stay as living expenses.My questions are,

    1. Would I need to show CAD$17,200 (=tuition fee CAD $7200 + CAD$10,000) in my account or CAD$51,600 (=CAD $17,200*3) ?

    2. If it’s CAD $17,200 will I get a visa for 1 year and have to renew for another 2 times,showing the same CAD$17,200 each time?

    3. What is the time I need to show the money in my account? I know that financial particulars can be met by showing bank statement for previous 4-6 months,but does that mean I have to hold the money into my account for 4-6 months? (like in UK one had to hold money for continuous 30 days in account to apply for a student visa)

    Kindest of Regards,

    • venkata on April 5, 2012 at 10:21 AM

      Dont worry about the money to show. Generally, If you show the support for 1 year it would be sufficient. NOrmally PhD students get funding wchih u can pay your expenses, live and pay fees. If u have funding i.e monthly stipend, u just show 10000$ to 12000$ and u will get visa.

      The officers will know that, if u get 3 yr phd, 1st year u will show and u will get part time job which pays ur fees.

  18. Vijay Sankar V on August 19, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    Dear HSB,

    Although the process is not as much difficult as US, some says that the VO and High Council are very strict than the US. I mean you have to be academically very bright. Please advise. (I ask you because it will help not-so-bright above average students like me 🙂 )

  19. anjan on August 19, 2011 at 12:41 PM

    no gre , toefl 96 2011 pass out with 66%…i got rejected twice for usa for f1 visa in 3 months … now im planning to do masters in canada through ielts bcz ielts is required for canada ..
    now my question is can get the canada study permit as got rejected twice for usa is this going to effect my canada study permit in the council while verification ..
    im confused plese help me ..

  20. shailendra on August 18, 2011 at 9:12 AM

    How many years do i get a VISA? is it for 5 yrs……..

  21. Sayed Ahmad Jalil on August 15, 2011 at 12:09 AM

    Dear Sir/Madam:

    I am Jalil from Afghanistan, I want to get student permit for Canada , what should I do.

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