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Student visa to Canada
Mahesh Ramani

Mahesh Ramani is a senior content editor for the Hotcourses India- an IDP company.


30 Jun 2021 8.3K Book icon 4 mins Share

How to get a Canadian student visa or a Canadian Study Permit

Are you looking to study in a Canadian university? Learn about the visa application procedure, the requirements, the cost involved and more.

30 Jun 2021 8.3K Book icon 4 mins Share
Student visa to Canada

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 student visa to Canada. The current developments in Canada allow increasing number of permanent residents in the country. If you are interested in studying in universities in Canada, you can reach out to our counsellors for professional guidance.

About the student visa to Canada

For an international student to study in Canada, they need to get a ‘Study Permit’. Canadian Study Permits are issued only after a student has been granted admission in a Canadian university or college. If the course is less than six months in duration, then a study permit is not required.

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 should be submitted. 

To be eligible to apply for a student visa to Canada, students must have been enrolled in a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada. To start with your application, you should have a letter of acceptance from a DLI and also a valid passport. Students should also prove through bank records that they have the required funds to complete their studies in Canada.

Applying for the Canadian study permit

Students can apply online to Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). IMM 1294 is the form that you have to fill while applying for a study permit.

For online application, you should:

  • create an IRCC secure account called the MyCIC account’ on the Canadian Immigration Website
  • sign in to your account
  • submit scanned copies of all the required documents.
  • Pay the fee with a credit card.

You should have access to a scanner or a camera for scanning and creating electronic copies of your documents. Applying online is recommended as it is a quicker and more secure option. 

Alternatively, you submit the completed application package with fees at the nearest Visa Application Centre or the VAC. However, remember that the application form should be filled in electronically before printing. Hand-written forms will not be accepted.

Note that the study permit is not a visa. You’ll need a visitor’s visa or an electronic travel authorisation. This is automatically issued along with your study visa.

List of Documents

When applying for the study permit, you 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)

Application Fee

Study permit applications costs CAD 150 which is approximately 8380 rupees. Once you submit your application, pay the biometrics fee too. It is CAD 85 which is approximately 4750 rupees.

Appointment at VAC

Once you apply for the Canadian study permit and pay the fees, you have to book an appointment with the VAC. You will receive the following for scheduling your appointment:

  • a confirmation email
  • the appointment letter

The visit to the visa application centre is mainly for enrolling your biometrics. Once you submit your application, make sure you pay the biometric fee too. This will ensure that you receive a letter with instructions on what to do next. Carry this letter as well as your passport when you visit VAC to give your biometrics.

Make sure your hands do not have any cuts, cracks or henna or other designs. Wear bright colours.

If you had opted to submit the application in person, you’ll have to pay the application fee at VAC.

Canadian study permit processing time

The time taken to process the study permit varies from country to country. In India, the study permit is usually processed within 3 - 7 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.

You can also opt for the Student Direct Stream which is a fast-track process. Most of the SDS applications gets processed in 20 calendar days.

Flying to Canada

Canadian student visa or the student permit is needed for international students to study in 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.

While in Canada, you should leave Canada after completing your studies. You should adhere to the conditions listed in your permit. You will also be expected to stop your studies if you do not meet the requirements at any point.

Visit ‘Travel requirements and restrictions for international students’ for the latest information regarding COVID-19 and travels to Canada.

Have more questions?

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. You can always reach out to our counsellors too, for questions about applying to universities 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.


New Delhi

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
C413-C416, 4TH Floor,
Elante Office Complex Plot Phase 1
No. 178 – 178 A,
Industrial Area Phase 1
Chandigarh 160 002,
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

Editor's note: This article was originally published in January 2016. We have included up-to-date information and made it comprehensive.

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