Student Visa Canada: What You Need to Study in Canada

When you choose to study abroad in Canada, a student visa is typically required. A student visa allows a foreign student to enter Canada as a student. On arrival, a study permit is issued to the student to study full-time at a recognized institution in Canada. In order to be eligible, the student must be enrolled in a program listed under IRCC’s Designated Learning Institution (DLI) list. The student must apply for a visa before his or her travels and must have all documents gathered prior to applying.

It’s important to note, depending on where you travel from, your requirements may be slightly different. In addition, guidelines and requirements keep on changing from time to time. For these reasons, we suggest you stay up to date. You can do this with ApplyBoard’s visa consultant services.

We know this process may seem overwhelming however ApplyBoard is here to offer support with every step. On that note, let’s see what types of documents are needed to obtain a Canadian student visa!

Quick Note: A study permit is not a visa. You must obtain a temporary resident visa or electronic travel authorization (eTA).

Looking to study in Toronto or Vancouver? Learn more about Yorkville University

☑ Document 1: Letter of acceptance (LOA)

If you still have to choose your program and school, it’s time to do it. Once you have selected your program, your school must send you an official letter of acceptance. You must include the original copy with your student visa application.

Students who will study in Québec must also apply for Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (Certificate of Acceptance to Québec, CAQ). Most temporary foreign workers and students who intend to reside in the province of Québec require a CAQ.

☑ Document 2: Proof of identity

You must submit a valid passport or travel document, as well as two recent passport-size photos. Please include your name and date of birth on the back of both photos submitted. Also note you should have a minimum of one (1) blank page in your passport.

If you have family members travelling to Canada with you, each member is also required to submit the above documents. These documents must allow you and your family to return to your home country.

☑ Document 3: Purpose of visit

This is your opportunity to state why you wish you come to Canada; to enhance your education. You may require certain information within this step such as your past education, experience, career plans and progression, and finally a language proficiency test. Accepted language tests are: IELTS and TOEFL.

☑ Document 4: Proof of financial support

You must prove you have the financial capacity to afford your international studies in Canada. You can prove your funds with:

  • Letter of support from parents, other family members or your school
  • Bank statements for the past four months
  • Balance certificates
  • Proof of set Canadian bank account in your name
  • Documentation of a student loan (including bank loan or school scholarship)
  • Proof of tuition and housing payments
  • Source of income of the sponsor

☑ Document 5: Letter of explanation

The intention for this letter is for the receiver to understand your purpose or study plan. In fact, it’s an opportunity to explain why it is you want to study in Canada and what makes you a great candidate. It’s important to acknowledge the responsibilities as an international student as well. If you have a gap in your studies, low grades or have chosen a different program than your previous area of education, this is the document through which you can explain and give rationale to the visa officer.

☑ Document 6: Travel history

You must share both yours and your parents travel history outside your country of residence.

☑ Document 7: Ties to home country

Though not a document, it is a section in the study permit application. Here, you must show your economical and emotional incentive to return to your home country after completion of studies.

☑ Personal Documents

Additional documents are dependent entirely on the requirements of your country. Some countries are exempt from certain documents, however you may have to provide the following:

  • Biometrics
  • Police Clearance
  • Detailed Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Birth Certificate
  • Marriage Certificate (if applicable)

Important Note: All documents submitted for a Canadian study permit must be translated in English.

Information sourced from the Government of Canada.

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If you have inquiries regarding your particular situation, reach out to ApplyBoard’s Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant at hari@applyboard.com.

Adrianna Dyczkowsky, Public Relations Specialist at ApplyBoard