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Steps to get a Student Visa and settle as an international Student in Canada

Are you thinking about moving to Canada to study?

If so, you will need a study permit before you can pursue your education as an international student. A study permit is a document issued to foreign nationals by the Canadian government, allowing them to study at Designated Learning Institutions.

Here’s a list of the steps you will need to take to obtain your study permit and prepare for your move to Canada.

Step 1: Choose and enrol in a Designated Learning Institution (DLI)

Before you can apply for a study permit, you will need to decide where you want to go to school. Provinces and territories designate different schools to enrol international students. These schools are known as Designated Learning Institutions (DLI). All primary and secondary schools in Canada are DLIs.

Once you have selected a program and school of interest, it’s time to apply. Your application must include a letter of acceptance from a DLI.

Step 2: Ensure you meet the eligibility requirements

In addition to an acceptance letter from a DLI, there are several other eligibility requirements you will need to meet to apply for a study permit. These include:

  • Proof of funds. You will need to provide proof you have enough money to pay for your tuition fees and living expenses (for you and any family members), as well as return expenses for yourself and any family members.

  • No criminal record. You may be required to prove you have no criminal record. You may be required to get a police certificate.

  • Good health. You may be required to get a medical exam to prove you are in good health.

  • Proof you will leave after permit expires. Finally, you will have to prove to an officer you will leave after your study permit expires.

Step 3: Get your documents in order

To apply for a study permit, you will need to provide the following documents:

  • Proof of acceptance. This is a letter of acceptance from your school. You can provide the original acceptance letter or an electronic copy.

  • Proof of identity. You and any family member travelling to Canada will need to provide a valid passport or travel document and two recent passport-sized photos.

  • Proof of financial support. You can use the following documents to provide proof of funds:

  • Canadian bank account in your name, if you’ve transferred money to Canada. The Scotia bank provides banking support to international students.

  • Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) from a participating Canadian financial institution.

  • Student or education loan from a bank.

  • Bank statements for the past four months.

  • Bank draft that can be converted to Canadian dollars.

  • Proof of paid tuition and housing fees.

  • Letter from the person or school giving you money.

  • Funding paid from within Canada, if you have a scholarship or are in a Canadian-funded educational program.

  • Letter of explanation. Explains why you want to study in Canada and that you understand your responsibilities as a student.

  • Certificate acceptation du Quebec (CAQ). If you want to study in Quebec for longer than six months you must include the CAQ document issued by the Government du Quebec. You can contact your DLI for details on how to apply for the CAQ.

  • Other documents. Other requirements may apply based on your country or region. You can check with the visa office for further instructions.

Step 4: Apply for Study Permit

You can complete your application for a study permit online or using a paper copy. Depending on where you apply (outside Canada, inside Canada or at a port of entry), there are different instructions on how to proceed. Instructions are on the Government of Canada website.

To complete the application process, fill out the online or paper application, provide all documentation and pay your fees. Fees include application processing costs and a biometric fee. Biometrics includes your fingerprints and a digital photograph. Other fees may apply for a police certificate or medical exam based on your specific application.

You will get your study permit/visa upon approval of your application.

Step 5: Arrive in Canada

Once you’ve arrived in Canada, you want to set up some of your necessities so you can feel prepare and comfortable before the school year starts.

  • Find a place to live.

  • Set up a mobile plan.

  • Find a job. If you are interested in working part-time while you attend school, there are opportunities on and off campus.

  • Open a bank account. To ensure you are financially set up, you may want to open a bank account.

For any further information, please contact us.


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