Canada Student Visa in 2024: Requirements, Cost, Application & Processing Time

Canada Student Visa, a favored destination for global students, requires a Study Permit for academic pursuits.

To attain this permit for a university, college, or other educational institution, you must first obtain a Temporary Resident Visa, processed through Visa Application Centers.

In this article, we’ll provide insights into Canada’s student visa requirements and necessary documents for your Study Permit.

Canada Student Visa

Are you aspiring to study in one of the world’s most diverse and welcoming countries? Canada might be your perfect destination.

With its world-class educational institutions, stunning natural landscapes, and vibrant cultural scene, Canada is a dream location for international students.

Canada Student Visa

However, to embark on your educational journey in Canada, you’ll need to secure a Canada Student Visa. You can apply online for a Canadian student visa.

Why Study in Canada?

Before getting into how to get a student visa, here are some reasons why Canada is a great choice for international students:

  • Quality Education: Canadian universities and colleges have high academic standards and are often ranked among the best in the world.
  • Diverse Culture: Canada is very multicultural. Studying here means you’ll meet people from all over the world and experience different cultures.
  • Safety and Quality of Life: Canada is one of the safest countries with a high quality of life, including good healthcare and social services.
  • Post-Study Work Opportunities: Canada has friendly immigration policies that can lead to permanent residency after you graduate.

Courses in Canada for Study

Canada is a great place for international students, offering various courses to match your interests and career goals. Here are some popular programs:

BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration)

Learn business skills in management, finance, marketing, and entrepreneurship in Canada’s strong and diverse economy.

MBA (Master of Business Administration)

Gain a prestigious qualification that opens doors to top corporate jobs. Canada’s MBAs are highly regarded globally.

Tech Degrees

Join Canada’s booming tech sector with degrees in fields like software development and artificial intelligence. High demand for tech skills means great career opportunities.

MS (Master of Science)

Specialize in your chosen field with access to cutting-edge research. Ideal for careers in engineering, environmental science, and more.

BCA (Bachelor of Computer Applications)

Dive into computer science with programs combining theory and hands-on experience. Perfect for careers in software development and cybersecurity.

MCA (Master of Computer Applications)

Become a skilled IT professional. Canada’s growing need for IT experts makes this degree valuable for careers in software engineering and network administration.

Hotel Management

Prepare for exciting roles in Canada’s thriving tourism and hospitality industry, from managing hotels to leading restaurants.

Also, know about the Canada Tourist Visa

What is a Canada Study Permit?

A Canada Study Permit is an official document that lets international students study at designated learning institutions (DLIs) in Canada for programs longer than six months.

Key Points:

  • Purpose: Allows foreign students to study legally in Canada.


  1. Have an acceptance letter from a DLI.
  2. Prove you have enough funds for tuition and living expenses.
  3. Have no criminal record.
  • Application: Apply online or through a Visa Application Center (VAC).
  • Biometrics and Interview: Depending on your country, you might need to give fingerprints and photos and attend an interview at a Canadian embassy or consulate.
  • Processing Time: Varies, so apply early.


  1. Actively pursue your studies.
  2. Inform the government if you change your address or school.
  3. Follow other terms on your permit.
  • Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP): After graduation, you can apply for a PGWP to work in Canada.

Why Canada Study Permit is Required for a Student Visa?

A Canada Study Permit is essential for international students enrolling in programs longer than six months in Canada.

While often called a “student visa,” the Study Permit itself does not allow entry into Canada. Instead, it grants legal permission to study once you’re in the country.

Key Points:

  • Study Permit: Authorizes you to study in Canada.
  • Entry Visas: Depending on your nationality, you might need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to enter Canada.
  • Purpose: The Study Permit is needed to engage in academic activities within Canada, whereas the TRV or eTA allows entry into the country.

In summary, to study in Canada, you’ll need a Study Permit for your educational activities and possibly a TRV or eTA for entering the country.

Eligibility Criteria to Get Canada Student Visa

To get a Canada Student Visa, also known as a Study Permit, you must meet several important criteria that demonstrate your readiness and commitment. Here’s what you need:

  • Vaccination Requirement: You must be fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine like AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD or Bharat Biotech Covaxin.
  • Acceptance by a DLI: You need an acceptance letter from a Designated Learning Institute (DLI) in Canada.
  • Financial Readiness: You must prove you have enough funds to cover tuition fees, living expenses, and return transportation for yourself and any accompanying family members.
  • Clean Criminal Record: You must have a clean criminal record, shown by a police verification certificate.
  • Good Health: You need to undergo a health checkup and obtain a certificate of good health.
  • Intent to Leave: You must convince the visa officer during your interview that you will leave Canada once your studies are complete.

Required Documents To Apply for a Student Visa

When applying for a Canada Student Visa, you need to gather several key documents:

  • Valid Passport: Ensure your passport is valid for your intended stay in Canada. For a two-year course, it should be valid for at least 2 years.
  • Proof of Acceptance: An official acceptance letter from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). If studying in Quebec, you’ll also need a Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ).
  • Proof of Funds: Show you have enough funds to cover tuition fees and living expenses, typically at least CAD 10,000 per year, plus return transportation.
  • Passport-Sized Photographs: Two photos meeting specific requirements.
  • Immigration Medical Examination (IME): Required if you’re from certain countries, including India, conducted by approved panel physicians.
  • English Language Proficiency Score: While not mandatory for the visa application, having TOEFL or IELTS scores is recommended as it is often required by the educational institution.
  • Statement of Purpose: A letter explaining your trip’s purpose and understanding of your responsibilities as a student (highly recommended).
  • Credit Card: For online applications, a credit card is needed to pay the CAD 150 application fee. You can use a parent’s credit card with their permission.

How to Apply for a Canadian Student Visa?

Obtaining a Canadian Student Visa is an essential step toward fulfilling your dream of studying in Canada. Here’s a clear and concise guide on how to apply for a Canada Student Visa:

Step 1: Check Processing Times

  • Visit the Canadian consulate website to check how long it will take to process your visa.
  • Processing usually takes about 6 weeks, plus time for biometrics.

Step 2: Choose How to Apply

  • There are three ways to apply for a Canadian Student Visa:

Online Application:

  • Ensure you have a scanner or camera for electronic copies of documents.
  • Visit the Government of Canada to Apply online.
  • You’ll need a valid credit card for payment.
  • Provide biometrics at the Visa Application Centre (VAC).
  • Submit passports and confirmation of form and fee payment at VFS offices.

Paper Application:

  • Download the application kit and follow the instructions carefully.
  • Suitable for people with disabilities or specific identity/travel documents.

Port of Entry:

  • Some individuals, like US citizens and Ukrainian nationals, can apply at the port of entry.

Step 3: Fill Out the VFS Consent Form

  • If using VFS services, complete and attach the VFS Consent Form to your application.

Step 4: Pay the Processing Fee

  • Pay the visa and VFS Global service fees when submitting your application.
  • The fee is non-refundable.
  • Pay separate fees if your spouse or children are applying for visas, work permits, or study permits.

Step 5: Submit Your Application

  • Visit the nearest VFS office.
  • Pay service charges and submit your complete application.
  • Receive a receipt with a tracking number to monitor your application online.

Step 6: Await Notification

  • If approved, you will be notified to send your passport.
  • Submit your passport and the request letter in person or via VFS.
  • Receive your Temporary Resident Visa and a Letter of Introduction.

Canada Student Visa Fees

Understanding the fees involved is crucial when applying for a Canada Student Visa. The fee for a Canada Student Visa is CAD 150.

Visa Fee Payment Methods

You have flexible options for paying the visa fee:

Online Payment:

  • Use a credit card to pay the visa processing fee online. This method is convenient and fast.

Offline Payment:

  • If applying through offline channels, like the High Commission of Canada, you can pay via a demand draft made out to the High Commission of Canada.

Cash Payment at VAC:

  • Visa Application Centres (VACs) accept cash payments. This option is available for those who prefer to pay in person with cash.


  • For each payment, you will receive a receipt.
  • Keep this receipt as it serves as proof of payment and is essential for your records.

How Long Does it Take to Process the Visa?

Understanding the processing time for a Canada Student Visa is crucial for planning your educational journey. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect:

Standard Processing Time

  • Duration: The typical processing time for a Canada Student Visa is around 6 weeks. This period includes the assessment, verification, and decision-making stages of your application.
  • Monitoring: You can track your application status through your MyCIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada) account, whether you apply online or on paper.

Student Direct Stream (SDS) Route

  • Expedited Processing: If you apply through the Student Direct Stream (SDS), the processing time is much faster.
  • Duration: After completing the biometrics process, the visa processing time is reduced to about 20 calendar days.

What to Do After Applying For a Canadian Student Visa?

After submitting your Canada Student Visa application, your journey to study in Canada continues. Here’s what to expect and the steps to follow:

Visa Application Processing

  • Review and Decision: Your application undergoes processing, where it is reviewed, and a decision is made.

Receiving the Canada Study Visa

  • Approval: If approved, you’ll receive your Canada Study Visa.
  • Delivery: You may receive it upon arrival at the port of entry or through email, depending on your situation.

Steps for Those Applying from Outside Canada

  • Letter of Introduction: Upon approval, you’ll get a Letter of Introduction, a crucial document needed to obtain your Canada Study Permit.
  • eTA or Visitor Visa: Depending on your nationality, you may also receive an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or a Visitor Visa (Temporary Resident Visa) for entry into Canada.

Documents for Presentation

When arriving in Canada, prepare to present various documents to the border services officer, including:

  • Passport
  • Letter of Introduction
  • Acceptance letter from your university or college
  • Reference letters (if requested)
  • eTA or Visitor Visa
  • Financial documents
  • Medical test reports

Demonstrating Ties and Commitment

  • Ties to Home Country: Show your ties to your home country to the immigration officer.
  • Commitment to Leaving: Demonstrate your commitment to leaving Canada after completing your studies.

Cost of Studying in Canada

Understanding the expenses involved in studying in Canada is vital for effective planning. Here’s a breakdown of the costs you may encounter:

Tuition Expenses

  • Undergraduate Programs: Typically range from 6,000 to 40,000 CAD per year for international students.
  • Graduate Programs: This may be higher, up to 35,000 CAD per year, depending on the program and institution.

Living Costs

  • Housing, Meals, Transportation: Budget for living expenses, which can vary based on the city or region.
  • Average Estimate: Anticipate needing between CAD 15,000 and 20,000 per year to cover living expenses, with variations based on lifestyle and location.

Can You Work With a Canadian Student Visa?

Studying in Canada not only enriches your academic journey but also provides opportunities for real-world experience through part-time work.

Work Allowance

  • Standard Allowance: Typically, international students can work up to 20 hours per week in a paid job.
  • University Recommendations: Some institutions may suggest a maximum of 12 hours per week, especially for students facing rigorous coursework.

Temporary Change

  • Current Policy: The Canadian government has temporarily lifted the 20-hour per week cap on part-time work for international students until December 2023.
  • Extended Opportunity: This change allows students to explore the Canadian job market, earn income, and enhance their study-abroad experience.

Top University List in Canada

Canada boasts a wide array of prestigious universities, each offering a unique blend of academic excellence, research opportunities, and a culturally enriching environment for students.

Here’s a list of some notable universities in Canada with brief introductions:

University of Toronto

Located in Ontario, the University of Toronto is renowned for its strong academic programs and world-class research facilities.

University of Toronto

It consistently ranks among the top universities globally and is a hub for innovation and diversity.

University of British Columbia (UBC)

UBC, situated in Vancouver and Kelowna, is known for its stunning campuses and exceptional research initiatives.

University of British Columbia (UBC)

It offers a diverse range of programs and fosters a vibrant, inclusive community.

McGill University

Based in Montreal, Quebec, McGill is celebrated for its rich history and commitment to research.

McGill University

It’s a bilingual institution with a strong focus on providing students with a well-rounded education.

University of Alberta

Located in Edmonton, Alberta, this university is recognized for its strong engineering and science programs.

University of Alberta

It emphasizes innovation and offers a supportive environment for students.

University of Waterloo

Waterloo, Ontario, is home to this university known for its co-op programs that integrate work experience with education.

University of Waterloo

It’s a tech-savvy institution with a reputation for producing industry-ready graduates.

Queen’s University

Nestled in Kingston, Ontario, Queen’s University is esteemed for its vibrant campus life and rigorous academic programs.

Queen's University

It’s a close-knit community that values student engagement and extracurricular activities.

University of Calgary

Situated in Alberta, the University of Calgary is renowned for its research contributions in diverse fields.

University of Calgary

It’s a dynamic institution that encourages student involvement in innovation and exploration.

University of Ottawa

As the largest bilingual university in the world, the University of Ottawa, in the nation’s capital, is known for its multicultural environment and academic diversity.

University of Ottawa

It offers a unique cultural and linguistic experience.

Dalhousie University

Located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Dalhousie University has a strong focus on research and innovation.

Dalhousie University

It’s also celebrated for its coastal location and opportunities for marine studies.

Simon Fraser University (SFU)

SFU, with campuses in Burnaby, Surrey, and Vancouver, British Columbia, is known for its strong ties to the local industry and a commitment to fostering entrepreneurship and creativity.

Simon Fraser University (SFU)

FAQs About Canadian Student Visa

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about Canadian Student visa for additional information.

What is a Canada Student Visa?

A Canada Student Visa, also known as a Study Permit, is a legal document that allows international students to study at Canadian educational institutions.

Do I need a Study Permit for short courses in Canada?

If your course or program in Canada is less than six months in duration, you generally do not need a Study Permit. However, it’s advisable to check the specific requirements.

How do I apply for a Canada Student Visa?

To apply for a Canada Student Visa, you need to provide an acceptance letter from a Designated Learning Institution, prove your financial capability, and satisfy health and security requirements. 

Can I work while studying in Canada?

Yes, international students can work part-time in Canada, typically up to 20 hours per week during the academic session and full-time during scheduled breaks.

Can I stay in Canada after completing my studies?

Yes, after completing your studies, you may be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), allowing you to work in Canada. This can be a stepping stone to permanent residency.

How long does it take to process a Canada Student Visa?

The processing time varies but is typically around 6 weeks. However, the duration may differ based on your home country and other factors.

Is there an age limit for applying for a Study Permit?

No, there is no age limit for applying for a Study Permit. Students of all ages are welcome to study in Canada.

Can I include my family in my Study Permit application?

Yes, you can include your spouse and dependent children in your Study Permit application, and they may be eligible for open work permits and study permits, respectively.

What should I do if my Canada Student Visa application is rejected?

If your application is rejected, you can appeal the decision, reapply, or explore other options. It’s essential to understand the reasons for rejection and take appropriate steps.

Can I change my program or institution in Canada on a Study Permit?

Yes, you can change your program or institution, but you need to inform the immigration authorities and update your Study Permit accordingly.

Last Words

In the journey of seeking knowledge and pursuing educational aspirations, the path to a foreign land for your studies can be both exciting and transformative.

The pursuit of a Canadian Student Visa is not just a bureaucratic process; it’s the gateway to a world of possibilities, cultural exchange, and personal growth.

Canada Student Visa in 2024: Requirements, Cost, Application & Processing Time

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