How To Apply For A Canadian Student Visa

canada student visa application

Sometime in the past decade, Canada became a highly sought after destination for both prospective immigrants and students. Their popularity skyrocketed due to the good quality of education,  their vibrant culture and the government’s welcoming policies geared towards students. The universities’ prioritization of research, international collaborations and scientific publications also keep them in demand. Every year,  Canadian universities accept over 130,000 international students into their schools. So how do you make sure you get a student visa also known as a study permit for Canada? Let’s find out. 

How To Apply For A Canada Student Visa 


Before you apply to a Canadian university, you must make sure that you meet the language requirement. Unless you come from an English-speaking country, Canadian universities will require proof of your proficiency in the English language. Acceptable tests include: 


Before you begin your visa application journey, you have to first apply and secure a spot at any Canadian university of choice. This choice is of course dependent on your needs and grades. For science courses, you can apply to the University of Toronto, for business school you can check any in our list and so on. Once you have produced the necessary information and satisfied their grade requirements, you will most likely be sent an acceptance letter. This will help in your next stage. 

Also read: Everything You Need to Know About Studying Law in Canada as a Nigerian Student


Before applying for the student permit, collate all the documents needed for the application. You will need 

  • Your filled-in student application form. 
  • The original copy of the acceptance letter. 
  • A valid passport or travel document. 
  • Two recent passport size photographs with your name and date of birth on the back. 
  • Proof of financial support for the selected programme. This is between 10,000-11000 CAD per year. 
  • A letter of intent. 
  • Proof of payment for the study visa application. (150 CAD)
  • If your school is in Québec, you will need a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec, English and French translations of your documents, statement from a translator and a certified copy of the original documents. 


After your acceptance letter from your university of choice has arrived, apply for a Canadian Student Visa online via the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website. You can either submit the required documents by post or online. You will be asked for the acceptance letter, show that you can afford your studies, present proof of no criminal record and a good bill of health. 

If you have a family member living or working in Canada, this permit will be processed in about two weeks. It will last for the duration of your studies and expire 90 days after. You can renew if your programmer is extended, you wish to continue your studies or you switch universities. If your study programme is less than six months you will not need a student visa. Instead, you will only need a regular visa. You can use the Canadian study permit tool to be certain.  


Depending on your country, you might be asked to show up at a visa application centre in your country to have your biometrics taken. The fee for this is 85 CAD and is exempt from the initial visa application fee which is 150 CAD. You may also be asked to an interview in your county’s Canadian embassy or application centre. They may charge a small fee.  


After fulfilling all the requirements, you wait for the permit to be processed. This takes about 90 days but usually faster depending on your country. This is also faster if you have family in Canada. 

If you do not have family there and wish to get your visa faster, use the student direct stream. Fees start at 150 CAD and it takes about 20 days to process. However, this is only available to students in China, Morocco, India, Pakistan, The Philippines, Vietnam and Senegal. 

This is a simple step by step process on how to get your Canadian student visa. Please note that this does not act as a regular visa. You will still need a travel visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization

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