Study Permit Canada: The Complete Guide 2022

The Canadian government has a reputation for being one of the most welcoming in the world. It is well known that Canada offers immigrants from all over the world an opportunity to start their life anew and work towards their dreams. The country has been rated as one of the top destinations for immigration by many organizations. In this post, we will be discussing how you can apply for a study permit in Canada and what requirements you need to meet before doing so.

What is a Canada study permit? 

A study permit allows international students to live and work in Canada while completing their studies. 

This type of visa is issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) on the basis of an offer letter or a certificate of acceptance from your educational institution, which you must provide as part of your application for student immigration. 

The applicants are required to show that they have enough money to pay for tuition fees, living expenses during the course duration, etc., otherwise, they may be denied entry into the country.

Canada Study Permit Processing Time 

When applying for this visa, it takes around 90 days before one can enter the country after submitting all documents at the CIC office abroad. 

After arriving at any Canadian port of entry, you will need to apply for a student permit within 30 days of your arrival. If international students fail to do so then they can be deported from Canada and banned from returning again.

Exceptions of Study Permit Processing Time 

Conditional acceptance: 

If your school requires that you take an English or French as a second language course before accepting you into the main program, then your study permit will be valid for those courses. 

The length of time these classes last depends on how long it takes to finish them- usually about one year but sometimes less if there are intensive weekly sessions. Once accepted in Canada, you must apply to extend this stay once more afterward.

Delayed course completion: 

If you do not complete your courses before the expiration date on your permit, you may seek an extension as a student.

Early course completion: 

If you complete your studies early, the validity of your permission will expire 90 days after completion, regardless of the date stated on it.

Canada Study Permit Requirements

In order to be eligible for a study permit in Canada, you must meet the following requirements: 

  • You must be a legal resident of your country of citizenship.
  • You must have been accepted by an approved Canadian educational institution.
  • You must demonstrate that you have enough money to cover your expenses, including tuition fees and living costs.
  • You must demonstrate that you have enough money for transportation to return to your country of citizenship when your studies are completed.
  • You must be in good health and not pose a risk to Canadian public health or safety. 
  • You must follow the law and respect Canadian social customs.

Canada Study Permit Requirements: 

Basic Requirement: 

An applicant must have sufficient funds to pay for tuition fees, living expenses during the course duration, etc. The exact figure varies depending on factors such as the cost of living in that particular city or province and how much time is left before starting classes at your institution. 

However, as a rule of thumb, it is recommended that one should show around C$20,000 (CAD) per year if all academic years are taken into account including the first term of the study abroad period.


If the applicant is in a position to pay for all his or her expenses throughout their stay in Canada, then they can submit documents such as bank statements and information about employment. 

However, students who are not able to demonstrate sufficient funds may face problems when applying for a Canadian study visa. 

Also, if the total course duration exceeds two years, one will have to prove that he/she has enough money for each semester before starting classes at your institution.

Canada Study Permit Document Checklist: 

  • A valid passport (with a minimum of six months validity) which shows the date on which you plan to leave Canada after completing your studies; also required is a photocopy of both sides along with evidence that you have applied for an extension if applicable. This usually results in more documents.
  • Official letter of acceptance from the school you are planning to study at; this must be issued by your institution on official letterhead and signed by a responsible authority like the head of the department or principal (if it is a high school). If you’re applying for an undergraduate program, then you will need to provide evidence that course duration does not exceed two years while a master’s degree can take three years.
  • Proof of funds: bank statement showing sufficient balance if applicable along with details about employment status (if any) during the entire period spent abroad. The amount required may vary depending upon how long one plans to stay in Canada after completing studies but as mentioned earlier it should be around C$20,000 per year on average.
  • Photocopies of previous passports along with entry stamp and exit visa if applicable. This is required to prove that you have already applied for a student permit in the past, which has been rejected or withdrawn due to some reason. In such cases, it may be mandatory to provide documents from the educational institutions as well before being approved for another study abroad period. 

Other documents might be required depending on your cases. If you are confused about this, visit this blog to get more information.

A step by step guide to apply for Canada Study Permit 

Step One

Before applying students must ensure that they meet eligibility criteria first. You need proof showing sufficient funds (if needed), necessary qualifications like degree, etc., should also possess a valid passport and other relevant travel documentation depending on your personal status i.e., whether single/married, etc. If any information remains unclear, contact the visa office in your region.

Step Two 

Once you have confirmed that all documents are correct and up to date, scan them onto a computer (preferably on a USB stick) along with digital photographs of yourself taken within the past six months (on white/light background). 

Also include an additional copy for reference purposes or if needed later during processing. Make sure that the application form is filled out completely. 

If any section remains incomplete then it may get rejected which usually leads to unnecessary delays thus resulting in a more expensive than normal case scenario. 

Step Three 

Submit these documents at the CIC office abroad. After arriving at any Canadian port of entry, you will need to apply for a student permit within 30 days of arrival. 

Once you have been approved for a study permit in Canada, it is valid for a period of one year and can be extended by the same amount as your course duration i.e., if the degree program takes four years then after the first year’s completion student will need to apply again.

Important Tips for Successfully Completing Your Application For A Canadian Student Visa

  • Submit your application early, as it can take several months to process. 
  • Be honest with all your answers. If you are caught lying on any part of the form, your application will be automatically rejected.  For more information, consult the CIC website.
  • Read over your application thoroughly before signing and submitting it. For more information, visit the CIC website.
  • If you need help completing your form or if you have any questions about the Canadian student visa program, consult an immigration lawyer. You can find a qualified lawyer through your country’s national bar association or by searching online.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Canadian Student Visa Program

Q: Can I work while I’m studying in Canada?

A: Yes, you can work on-campus at your educational institution without a work permit. You may also be able to work off-campus with a valid work permit. For more information, consult the CIC website.

Q: What is the difference between a study permit and a student visa?

A: A study permit is an official document issued by the Government of Canada to students showing their intent to study within the country. A student visa is a document that is stamped in your passport by a Canadian embassy or consulate, which shows that you have been accepted to study at a Canadian institution.

Q: My spouse wants to study in Canada, but our child is still living with family back home. Do I have to apply for a separate student visa for my spouse?

A: In order to support your application as a dependant, you must provide proof that you have enough money for both your and your spouse’s expenses, including tuition fees and living costs. You must also prove that you have enough money for transportation to return to your country of citizenship when your studies are completed. For more information, consult the CIC website.

As you can see, obtaining a study permit for Canada is not as difficult as some people may think. Just be sure to submit all of the required documentation and to follow the application instructions closely. With a little preparation and organization, you should have no trouble getting your study permit approved! Good luck!



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