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Student Visa Requirements for Canada

The student visa requirement for Canada is as important as applying to Canadian schools. After submitting an application for graduate studies in Canada, it is important to begin planning about your studies and making travel arrangements. A study permit is required to be eligible to study in Canada as an international student. A study permit is an authorization document  issued to foreign nationals that grants the eligibility to study in Canada. Generally, study permits are required for programs of study that are more than six months in duration. The study permit allows you to study while in Canada, however, it does not allow you to enter Canada. As a result, you will be issued with either a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

Although the study permit and Visa are two distinct documents, both a required for study in Canada and entry into Canada respectively. The former allows you to study while in the country, whereas the latter is required to travel to the country. There are no separate applications required for both documents. In fact, once an application for a student visa to Canada is submitted, the requirements for a study permit are also reviewed. In this post, the Student Visa Requirements for Canada will be discussed.

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Student Visa Requirements for Canada

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Beside the documents from the application package that need to be completed, there are other required documents that you need to make available for your application. A major requirement for the student visa is to have enough funds to support your stay during your studies. This includes funding from the institution, external scholarships if applicable, savings or sponsors such as parents or relatives.

Here is a list of additional documents you will need to complete your study permit application to Canada: 

  • Proof of financial support
  • Admission letter from a Designated Learning Institution
  • Police Report/Police Clearance Certificate 
  • Study Plan
  • Medical examination report form
  • Two passport-sized photos 
  • Valid Travel Document or Passport. 

Explaining the Student Visa Requirements for Canada

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In this section, I will briefly expound on some of the documents listed above. It is important to get these documents for the application. Therefore, it is significant that you begin gathering the documents early– START EARLY!! 

Proof of Financial Support

This document demonstrates that you are capable of supporting yourself financially during your studies. As a result, you need to provide your sources of financial support, be it a funding from the institution, an external funding or government scholarship from your country or territory, support such as your savings or support from parents or other relatives. If the financial support is from an individual such as parents or other relatives, the following documents are required: 

  • A bank statement showing availability of sufficient funds for the past 4 months prior to applying
  • A letter of explanation – this explains the source of funds, the amount they will be supporting with and why they want to support your studies.
  • A scanned copy of government-issued ID of the sponsor

For students applying to stay outside Quebec, you will need to provide proof of funds up to CAN$10,000 per year (excluding tuition fees). If you are intending to reside in Quebec for your program, you will need to provide proof of funds up to CAN$13,134 per year (excluding tuition fees). 

If your studies is funded by an external organization such as government from your home country, you must submit the letter confirming the award. This letter must state the amount of funds available for your studies and the duration of the award.

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Study Plan or Letter of Explanation

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The study plan talks about your interests, aspirations and experiences, and explains your future plans and goals. In short, it is an opportunity for you to make a claim to the visa officer that you have a clear future plan, and you understand how the study in Canada can help you achieve those plans. In this one-page essay, you need to discuss who you are, and your interests as a person. It explains why you chose Canada as a study destination, and discusses your responsibility as an international student. That is, explain why you will return to your country or territory after your studies. It is important to give tangible reasons why you would return to your country once you complete your studies.  

Two passport-sized photos

You need to provide two photos that meet the visa application photograph requirements. If you are submitting an application to a Canadian Visa Application Centre, you must write your name and date of birth at the back of the two photos. It is important to print the photograph requirements when going to take the photos, in case they are not familiar with these requirements. 

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Student Visa Requirements for Canada

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Once admitted into a Canadian school with funding and scholarships, it is important to obtain a student permit (and TRV or eTA) to travel to the country and begin your study. This process is as important as the other processes discussed in previous articles, and as a result, you need to approach this with utmost care. Put in the efforts to make this process work, but do not give up if your application is rejected by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) because you can reapply for a student visa or appeal the decision if you feel your application was wrongly rejected.



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