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How to Apply for a Canadian Student Visa?

Are you looking to study in a Canadian University? This article gives you detailed information on how you can secure a student visa to study in Canada.

Mahesh Ramani

To be eligible to apply for the study visa, students must have been offered a place to study at a designated learning institution in Canada.

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Every year, Canada welcomes over 20,000 international students from around the world. These students choose from a variety of programmes offered by leading Canadian universities. With a sizeable number of institutions offering programmes in French as well as English, access to work-permits and residency options; Canada is an attractive study abroad destination. This article will offer information on Canadian embassies in India and examine the rules and requirements associated with the process of applying for a Canadian student visa.

A New Government:

In October 2015, the Liberal Party of Canada toppled the Conservative Party in the elections and Justin Trudeau, son of former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, became the new Prime Minister of the country.  The Liberal platform includes a number of proposals that would likely increase the overall number of new permanent residents in Canada. This is definitely good news for international students who are looking to study in Canada and then aim to get a work permit and citizenship in Canada.

A Bit of Canada in India:

In India, Canada is represented by the High Commission of Canada in New Delhi. Canada also has Consulates General in Bengaluru, Chandigarh and Mumbai; and trade offices in Ahmedabad, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata.

The High Commission of Canada,
7/8 Shantipath, Chanakyapuri
New Delhi 110 021,
Telephone: 91 (11) 4178-2000

Consulate General of Canada
World Trade Center, 22nd Floor
26/1, Dr. Rajkumar Road
Malleshwaram West
Bengaluru - 560055
Telephone: +91 80 4924 7000

Consulate General of Canada
SCO# 54-56, Sector 17 A
Chandigarh 160 017,
Telephone: 91 (172) 505-0300

Canadian Trade Office
Suite 205, Hotel Park Hyatt
39 Velachery Road, Near Raj Bhavan
Chennai 600 032,
Telephone: +91 44 7100 0201

Getting a Study Permit:

For an international student to study in Canada, the student needs to get a ‘Study Permit’. Canadian Study Permits are issued only after a student has been granted confirmed admission in a Canadian university or college. If the course is less than six months in duration, then a study permit is not required. Let us look at the visa rules in more detail.

Step 1-2-3:
Step 1-2-3 is a tool devised to help prospective students gauge their level of learning and apply for a programme at a Canadian institution. The first step allows students to select a school and programme, the next step allows students to get an estimate of the costs and the final step gives students information on the documents that have to be submitted.  To be eligible to apply for the study permit, students must have been offered a place to study at a designated learning institution in Canada. Students should prove through bank records that they have the required funds to complete their studies in Canada.


Students can either apply online by submitting scanned copies of all requisite documents and paying the processing fee with a credit card or submit the completed application package with fees at the nearest Visa Application Centre - VAC. Students may be asked to complete a medical test and submit a medical report for the study permit to be granted. Currently the processing fee for granting a study permit is 150 Canadian Dollars. Prospective students should furnish their details and create a ‘MyCIC account’ on the Canadian Immigration Website and then complete the online application process. Applying online is recommended as it is a quicker and more secure option. 

List of Documents:

When applying for the study permit, students should keep the following documents ready:

  • Copy of passport
  • Colour photograph as per specifications
  • Offer letter from Canadian institution
  • Copy of invoice of fees paid to the Canadian institution
  • Notarised copies of all academic transcripts and IELTS scores
  • Proof of financial ability of self/parents/sponsor
  • Statement of educational loan from bank (if applicable)


The time taken to process the study permit varies from country to country. In India, the study permit is usually processed within 3 weeks of receipt of the application package. Students will receive a notification about the status of their application and further instructions on contacting the college/university and when they can fly to Canada.


Filling up forms can be a bit perplexing at times and inadvertently one may make errors. Prospective students are advised to visit the Help Centre online resource for any queries about visa rules and visa requirements before applying online. Once students go through the FAQs, it will be easier to complete and submit the form.

Flying to Canada:

Once the student receives the study permit, the student should coordinate with the institution for clarity on when to reach the institution, the date of the student orientation event and date of commencement of classes and plan the travel accordingly.

We hope that you found this article useful and now have a basic idea of the visa rules and the steps to follow when applying for a Canadian study permit/student visa. If you have studied in Canada, please share your student life experiences in the ‘Comments’ section below.

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Applying for a student visa?

Neha Jain Neha Jain,
Study abroad expert.
Our advisors can help you file your visa application and conduct mock interviews to boost your confidence. Request a call back or call us now on 1800 103 2581 / 1800 103 9634 (toll-free) for guidance.