Canada Study Permit – Complete Process Guide - Earthrelo
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  • April 8, 2021


Having ranked 3rd for best country for education in the 2020 US News ranking, lots of international students have made Canada their first choice to study overseas. When the decision has been made the next thing that comes to mind is the Canada study permit application.

Often, most students find this a tiring or overly long and bureaucratic process, but the plain truth is that no international student is permitted to move to Canada without, at least, obtaining a Canadian study permit.

This study permit gives you the opportunity of studying at one of the many Distance Learning Institutions (DLI). However, while the permit is our main focus in this Canada study permit guide, you must, however, note that you cannot get a study permit unless you have obtained admission into a Distance Learning Institution in Canada.

The usual time to start processing your study permit is in January, September, or May because most institutions begin their academic year. Nonetheless, you have to do everything early, if possible, a few months before the academic year begins because it usually takes three months to process your Canada study permit.

Canada Study Permits Requirements

To get yourself in Canada for study purposes, you must meet some laid down requirements. To be eligible to get your Canada study permit and, ultimately, study in the Great White North you must take note of the following requirements and try to have them before moving.

1. Letter of admittance into a Canadian Distance Learning Institute

The first thing you need before applying for a Canadian study permit is a letter of admittance into a Canadian institution. That is why it is often advisable to apply for any Canadian institution of your choice before you apply for study permit. Canada has a broad list of Distance Learning Institutions, ensure to check and pick one of the institutions. 

2. Proof of funds

The Canadian government would require that you have proof of funds to support yourself during your stay in the country. Currently, the proof of funds to study in Canada is C$10,000 ($7,946.75). However, if you decided to study in an institution located in Quebec, you would need C$11,000 ($8,741.15) every year of your stay in addition to your tuition. You can prove that you have sufficient funds to support yourself with proof of a student or education loan from a bank, proof of a Canadian bank account in your name that you have money transferred already, a letter from the individual or institution giving you money, a bank draft that can possibly be converted to the Canadian dollar, Guaranteed Investment Certificate from a Canadian financial institution, your bank statement of the last four months, and proof of cash paid within Canada if you have a scholarship. 

3. Assurance that you will leave once your permit expires

The Canadian government would require that you guarantee that you will leave the country as soon as your study permit expires. It should, however, be noted that once your Canada study permit expires, you must vacate the country or apply for other visa types to continue living in the country.

4. Be in good health

Before you can obtain your study permit to Canada, you must ascertain that you are in good health with medical records to back it up.

Canada Study Permits Requirements - Earthrelo
Canada Study Permits Requirements

Required Documents for Canada Study Permit

While paperwork is extremely boring and complicated, you need to know what documents you have to get ready to ease the application and processing of your permit.

1. A Valid Passport

Your passport must be valid and have a free page.

2. Visa Application Form

The visa application form can be found online on the Immigration and Citizenship website.

3. Two recent passport photographs

These photographs are meant for identification. Also, your name and date of birth should be written at the back of each passport photograph.

4. Police Report

This is used to ascertain if you have any criminal records to ensure that you don’t serve as a potential threat to Canada and its citizens.

5. Letter of explanation

The visa officer would need this letter to understand why you are applying for a study permit and if you know what duties or responsibilities are placed on you as an international student in the Great White North.

6. IELTS Test

Most universities in Canada would require an IELTS test result to gain admittance into the institution. For an undergraduate degree, you will need a minimum of 6.0 band to be considered by any institution for admission. If you are coming in for your postgraduate studies, however, you will need a minimum band of 6.0. However, 6.5 is ideal.

7. Birth Certificate

You may be asked to present your birth certificate at the embassy during the whole application and processing stage of your Canada study permit. So, ensure to get this ready before then.

8. Affidavit of support from sponsor

If you have someone willing to sponsor your education in Canada, you will need an affidavit to backup or clearly state their willingness to sponsor you.

9. Medical Records

If you are going to be studying in Canada for more than six months, you will need to undergo a medical exam or show your medical records. This is to ascertain if you have any chronic ailments.

10. Visa fee receipt

At the end of your Canada study permit application process, you will be given a visa fee receipt, and you will have to keep this receipt safely till your final departure for Canada.

Required Documents for Canada Study Permit - Earthrelo
Required Documents for Canada Study Permit

How to Apply for Canada Study Permit

The Canadian study permit can be applied within and outside Canada. The most important thing is to have all the necessary documents at hand before applying. The first step is to choose what means you would love to use in applying. If you decided to apply for the visa online, then all you need to do is to get the application form from the Canadian Immigration and Citizenship website. If you are applying online, you will need an authentic debit or credit card and a scanner. Here are the steps to apply for your Canada study permit online.

  • Obtain the application form and use the instruction guide in filling it out.
  • Get your answers ready for the online tools and state the exact date you will be studying and completing your study in Canada.
  • Pay your fees for the biometrics and processing.
  • Create your online account or log in to be able to submit and pay your fees. You can create an account here.

If you would like to apply outside of Canada on paper, here are the steps.

  • Get the application form and fill it out with the guidance of the instruction guide.
  • Complete your application and attach all required documents to it.
  • Pay for the application (application fee).
  • Submit your application.

Study Permit Exemption

The foreign nationals that are exempt from Canada’s study permit fall into the following required conditions.

Relatives and Members of the Private Staff of Accredited Foreign Representatives

Relatives and members of a private staff of accredited foreign representatives who are in the Great White North to carry out their official duties are permitted to come to Canada without a study permit. This is stipulated according to the R188(1)(a). To fully understand what this entails, check out the Immigration and Citizenship website.

Short Term Courses

Foreign nationals are permitted to come to Canada to study a course that is either in a six months duration or less without obtaining a study permit. This is according to R188(1)(c)

Minor Kids in Canada

According to A32(2), minor children are only permitted to study in Canada without a student visa if one of their parents is a permanent resident or a Canadian by origin or adoption. There are also other conditions, check here to learn more.

Registered Indians

Registered Indians according to the R118(1)(d) are exempted from applying for a Canadian study permit.

Members of the Armed Forces of a Nation Designated for the Purposes of the Visiting Force Act

A member of the armed forces of any nation that is known as a designated state for the Visiting Force Act doesn’t require a visa to study or undergo a training in Canada that exceeds six months. This person, however, is equally exempted from applying for a temporary resident visa, according to the R118(b)


Studying in Canada is virtually many international students’ dreams, but only a few make it a reality. This Canada study permit guide has provided you with everything you need to get your Canada study permit. So, ensure to get the required documents ready, and first and foremost, get admitted to a Canadian institution and everything will be fine. Good luck with it!


What is Canada’s study permit processing time?

To process your study permit to Canada usually takes three months. So, ensure to get all required documents ready before applying for the visa.

How do I know my visa is approved?

When your visa has been applied, you will either get it at the port of entry when you arrive in Canada or it will be mailed to you if you are presently in the Great White North.

What is the Canada study permit photo size?

The accepted size of your Canadian study permit photograph is 35mm x 45mm. Your face must be at the center, while the distance between the chin and the crown should be between 31mm and 36mm.

Is the  Canadian study permit free?

The Canada study permit is not free. It usually costs C$150 to apply for a Canadian study permit.

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