Canada Student Visa: Eligibility, fees, document checklist, processing time for study permit

Canada Student Visa RequirementsCanada is one of the most popular destinations for international students seeking top quality education.

For MBA students, there are several coveted names like the Rotman Business School at the University of Toronto, Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia, Smith School of Business at the Queens’s University, Richard Ivey School of Business at the Western University, among others. Here’s more on the best MBA programs in Canada.

Securing admission in these universities isn’t the only hurdle to cross. You’ll also need a student visa to enter and stay in the country for the duration of your course. Here’s all you need to know about the student visa requirements for Canadian universities.
 


How to get a Canada Student Visa

Eligibility, application requirements checklist, fees, processing time

 

Eligibility criteria

You need to apply for a Canadian study permit before entering the country. To be able to apply for this permit, you should have been accepted by a designated learning institute (DLI). You can check your institute’s name in the designated learning institutions list offered by the Canadian Government here.

The list only includes schools at the post-secondary level. On your application form, you will have to write the DLI number which you will get from the above link. There are some institutes that may not have a DLI number, but if you can find their name on this list, then it means they are eligible to take international students.

Remember, you can only start your application process for the study permit as soon as you get the letter of acceptance from your university. That’s number one in the Canadian student visa eligibility requirements list.

Next in line in the eligibility criteria, is the money/assets you have. You need to prove that you will be able to pay for your tuition fees, bear the living expenses of yourself and any accompanying members in the country, as well as return transportation costs from Canada.

As an aspiring foreign student in Canada, you will have to make the immigration officer understand that you will not stay back in the country after you finish your studies.

Apart from this, you will of course have to prove that you are hale and hearty and are not headed to their country with some disease. They may want you to undergo a medical examination if need be.

Last, but not the least, don’t have a criminal record of any kind so as to make them think you may be a threat to their land.

However, in case you are going to Canada to pursue a short term course or program which is of less than six months’ duration, you don’t need a study permit. It is also not required if you are a member of any foreign armed force, or you happen to be related to a foreign representative to Canada. People of Indian origin who have registered Indian status in Canada, are also exempt from the same.

Students who come from visa exempt nations are required to carry electronic travel authorization (eTA) which they can get by punching in some details on a form on the CIC website. This is only applicable for students travelling by air, and not by land or the sea. American citizens and valid Canadian visa holders need not have an eTA.
 

Documents Required for Canadian Student Visa Application

Here’s a checklist of the documents you’d need to apply for a Canadian study permit:

  1. Letter of acceptance from a Canadian educational institute with a valid DLI number. You will be required to attach the original letter.
  2. Valid proof of identity for every single person accompanying the family, including recent passport size photos, their name and date of birth.
  3. Proof of financial support according to which you must prove that you can support yourself and all your family members while in Canada. This would include your bank account details with a Canadian bank, bank account details for the past four months, proof of loan details secured from a financial institution as a student, among others.
  4. Letter of explanation, with details about why you are applying for a study permit, even though you may not need one. Having a study permit also gives you the freedom to work part time on campus as a full-time student. At the same time, if you wish to continue studying in Canada, you can apply to renew the permit while living in Canada. You don’t have to leave the country to get it renewed.

More details can be found here.

The above list may not be final. The visa office may require additional information like your medical examination and security information in the form of police certificates.
 

Fees for Canada Student Visa

As proof of financial support, you will need to prove that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and your family in Canada.

Applying for a study permit in Canada is stated to cost $CAN 150. Beyond this, the minimum amount you would need to study in Canada is $10,000 plus tuition fees for a 12-month period outside Quebec, and $11,000 plus tuition for the same period in Quebec, for a single student. This amount will increase with the addition of each additional family member.
 

Processing time for student visas

Processing time is the time taken by the CIC to take a decision about the application you filed. It will be counted from the day CIC receives an application to the final decision day.

There is no specific day or time mentioned when you check the processing time. The visa offices update processing time tool weekly on the whole, and only show the time which it took to process 80% of the applications.

All online applications can be viewed on your MyCIC account, which is where you also have to deposit your fee.

As for paper applications, you are again required to have a MyCIC account where you can receive in-depth and real-time information about your application status.

You will also receive online messages regarding your application. But there is no standard time to process an application. It just gives a general idea of how long a process takes.
 

Working as a student in Canada

One advantage of having a study permit as a full time student in Canada is that you are at liberty to work on campus. You don’t need a separate work permit for it. Ensure that your study permit has printed on it either of the following remarks:
 

  • May accept employment on the campus of the institution at which registered in full-time studies
  • May accept employment on or off campus if meeting eligibility criteria as per R186(f), (v) or (w). Must cease working if no longer meeting these criteria

 
Once you have this on your study permit, you can apply for a social insurance number (SIN) to work on-campus.

Your study permit, and being a full-time student at a DLI will also allow you to work off-campus for up to 20 hours a week during regular academic sessions, and full time during scheduled breaks. You would need SIN for this as well.

Some study programs are designed such that you need to have work experience, which can come only with a study permit. Post-graduation, you can apply for a work permit under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP). This will allow you to work for the length of the study program.

Read these other articles on Studying in Canada.

Disclaimer: We aren’t experts on this topic. We’ve collated this information from various websites to create this introductory article. Please refer to the official websites to get the latest and most credible information.


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4 Comments

  1. AliceAmbiguous says:

    Hi I have been going through your website for the last few days. Let me begin by complimenting you all for a sleek looking and relevant-content-rich interface. What a relief it offers to the mind and the eyes after going through tons of trash!

    Well, I am an MBA from MDI Gurgaon (was a tourism graduate before that), with about a 5 year work ex with one of the top global energy/oil & gas companies. My career has spanned sales, marketing, brands & comms and external relations’ verticals. now am travelling india, preparing for gmat and working part time virtually with my employer. I intend to write the gmat in the next 20 odd days. Am hovering around 750 currently and aiming for about a 770, honestly though it looks a bit tough. i have interests in sketching, reading, watching foreign (all languages) films. i have no volunteering/ngo experience.

    My main objectives to pursue an MBA abroad:
    1. Leave India (Preferably to get a job in new zealand or in europe)
    2. Change my industry – i am very happy with marketing but i want to be in an exciting space such as arts/advertising/fashion…
    3. Study at a great b school – the pedagogy and exposure possibilities are exciting
    And a scholarship for achieving the aforementioned is very very welcome.
    Net net i want a great life and i dont want to sacrifice my good years chasing money and hating what i do or where i live.

    Given the above i was wondering what geographies/schools will make more sense for me. US – land of opportunities but equally a land of workaholism. Europe more balanced in terms of work-life balance but without sufficient jobs for Indians (great brexit timing too!). Australia/NZ dont have great b schools. Canada is likewise i guess.

    i am writing to you now as i shall have to list 5 bschools in my gmat. Post that, I intend to knock again at your door through one of your services which i surely think i will come to need as i progress.

    Look forward to your response.

    Cheers
    For Now, Alice Ambiguous

  2. Sameer Kamat says:

    Hi Alice, I have to admit. It’s queries like these that send shudders down my spine. The list has several conflicting requirements that make it tough to put a tick mark on every single point.

    Canada would be the only country that doesn’t kick out its newly minted MBA grads. But then it doesn’t have the greatest bschools in the world, like US does. But then the US isn’t exactly the hub of fashion like Europe is. But then you have the economic issues to consider in that part of the world.

    The biggest challenge would be to achieve a great life after an MBA with a nice work-life balance, without having to worry about finances and loans.

    With a 50 – 80 lakh rupee loan to service, work life balance will become an issue since most post-MBA jobs that pay well would expect you to work hard to earn it.

    The only way to tackle that would be to start prioritising, and be willing to be flexible with some post-MBA aspects (if not sacrificing it altogether).

    Makes sense?

  3. AliceAmbiguous says:

    Thanks for responding Sameer. Agree with you that I need to prioritize. Here is a renewed shot at it:

    Priority number 1: Marketing/General leadership positions in industries of – fashion/retailing/art or advertising
    Given that l am not that keen on finance for sure, even consulting to a large extent (unless I get to do marketing consulting), is it even realistically possible to switch industries – I especially am at the opposite end of spectrums. I have seen placement reports of people getting into luxury/retailing and several names of relevant recruiters but is it because they have backgrounds from that industry or do people actually manage a switch with club activities/internships/projects/alumni network/subject electives etc? What’s your experience? Given this i think colleges located in newyork/paris/london will be better?

    Priority number 2: I don’t want to return to India for a good few years.
    Lets leave out the PR/settling criterion. Just an initial run and foothold would suffice. I will figure my way from there.
    Lets also put work-life balance on a backburner – I will handle the work pressure if I am doing what I love. I think I will welcome it. So the question is where can I get the kind of job am looking for.

    Priority number 3 – Ease of getting a scholarship (the profile, I cant change much at this stage anyway besides being able to put a spin on the story. Get as high a score as I can given the whole game of colleges baiting to attract a higher gmat score) I don’t want to be under loan pressure to be forced to compromise my first priority.

    3. Some constraints/realities I will have to live with
    I don’t think I will get through the top 3 US B-schools (generally too and esp with a scholarship – Harvard has luxury management but I doubt my chances gravely). So, for US it would be better if I aim at Columbia (NY location, ranking, scholarship possibility with low avg gmat score of 715 and luxury management electives), nyu stern (specialization in luxury marketing, location, scholarship possibility 720 avg but lower ranking on some sites), Kellogg (known for marketing, 1 year mba, but high avg gmat score 724 so reduced scholarship opportunities), Booth (high avg score 725, tougher for me to crack?), MIT/UCLA (rankings are fine, scholarship opportunities 715 avg scores, nothing specific to offer in my domain interests unless they too are great marketing schools?)

    For EU, am thinking INSEAD (may be i ll get through but i may not get the other things am looking for, though it is france if not paris and LV has some scholarship there. what’s your view?) & LBS (london, luxury marketing specialization, ranking, scholarship).

    Should i consider schools such as ESSEC which solely focus on fashion? – i think not because it will draw people with correct backgrounds and nationalities and i can hope to be average but not one of the leading candidates when it comes to post mba offers.

    With hopefully a better framework of my thoughts, could you now help me with the below questions kindly:
    1. Which aims/objectives make sense which should I lay low on
    2. Prioritize US v/s EU
    3. Within the list of schools what should be my pecking order? My analysis is all internet-info based which could be very different from an experienced view. Which have the reputation of marketing schools and not too heavily positioned as lets say tech/finance. Which are known to have looser purse strings for Indians. Whats the honest ranking for these few, ’cause even seemingly reliable sources such as forbes, FT, economist are deviously deviant)
    3. How am i doing on timing – most have deadlines in jan – is round 3 OK? I finish gmat in November, December I prepare full throttle and apply, Jan interviews?

    Look forward to your views Sameer. Thanks a ton. Your response helped me structure my thoughts better. :)

    Cheers
    Alice Ambiguous

  4. Sameer Kamat says:

    Being the same city/country where your target companies operate and recruit is a good strategy. However, most will give a preference for MBA grads who’ve already got an exposure to that field.

    In fact, experience may trump (sorry!) qualifications. I know someone who went to Manchester Business School (nowhere in the league of programs you are thinking of) and got into a top fashion brand. She had prior experience in the same industry.

    One candidate who got into Columbia with a full scholarship had a very strong profile (IIT + female + very high GMAT + strong extra curriculars + top brand in finance).

    Sharing these examples to help you measure yourself on a similar yardstick.

    There are many other topics where I (or any other consultant) can’t provide a quick answer, since they are related to your personal ambitions and risk threshold. We’d be able to help you put your best foot forward, after you decide which direction you want to head in.

    And on that point, it’s already late to be having these discussions. Later application rounds are tougher than earlier ones. Read this: http://www.mbacrystalball.com/blog/2016/07/06/admission-chances-round-1-vs-round-2-deadlines/

    There’s a lot of ground for you to cover, since the GMAT is also pending. And from what I’ve seen in the last 2 comments, I suspect that you’d probably have a challenge tackling word counts as well :-)

    So, start working on those aspects along with your GMAT prep.

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