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Canadian Study Permit: A Comprehensive Guide on How to Apply.

Need a Canadian Study Permit? As an international student, pursuing your education in Canada can open up a world of opportunities. To study in Canada, you will need to obtain a Study Permit, which serves as your student visa. This guide will walk you through the process of applying for a Canada student visa, providing you with all the necessary information and steps to make your application a success.

Understanding the Canadian Study Permit

A Study Permit is a document that allows international students to study at a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada. It is important to note that a Study Permit alone does not grant you entry into Canada. You may also be required to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to enter the country. Additionally, a Study Permit may provide you with the opportunity to work part-time while you study, typically up to 20 hours per week.

Canadian Study Permit Process

Applying for a Canadian Study Permit involves several steps. Familiarize yourself with the process outlined below to ensure a smooth and successful application:

  1. Obtain an Admission Letter: Before applying for a Study Permit, you must first receive an acceptance letter from a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada. Research and choose a program that aligns with your academic goals and meets the requirements for international students.
  2. Online Application or Paper Application: You have the option to apply for a Study Permit online through the official Canadian government website or download an application package and submit it by mail. Make sure to carefully fill out the application form, providing accurate and complete information.
  3. Pay the Application Fee: There is a non-refundable application fee of C$150 for a Study Permit. Ensure you pay the fee and keep the receipt as proof of payment.
  4. Medical Check-up: Undergo a medical examination conducted by a panel physician registered in your country. The medical exam is necessary to ensure that you meet the health requirements set by the Canadian government.
  5. Await Decision: After submitting your application, you will need to wait for a decision from the Canadian immigration authorities. The processing time for a Study Permit can vary, but it typically takes up to 90 days. It is recommended to submit your application as soon as you receive your acceptance letter to allow ample time for processing.

Student Direct Stream (SDS)

Residents of certain countries may have the option to apply through the Student Direct Stream (SDS), which allows for faster processing of Study Permits. If you are a legal resident of one of the following countries, you may be eligible for the SDS:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Brazil
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • India
  • Morocco
  • Pakistan
  • the Philippines
  • Senegal
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Vietnam

Applying through the SDS typically results in a faster processing time, usually within 20 days. However, it is important to review the specific requirements and guidelines for the SDS before applying.

Canadian Visas for Student Dependents

If you have a spouse or child under 18 who needs to accompany you to Canada during your studies, they may be eligible to apply for a visa as well. Spouses may apply for an Open Work Permit, which allows them to work in Canada for the same duration as your study program. Children can enter Canada as visitors, provided they can provide proof of their study program and study permit.

To apply for a Canadian visa for your dependents, you will need to gather the required documents. Financial stability is an important factor in the visa application process, as you must demonstrate that you can support yourself and your dependents throughout your studies. Here are the documents typically required for a Canadian Study Permit application:

  • Admission letter from a designated learning institution (DLI)
  • Results from a medical exam and police check
  • Two passport-sized photos of yourself
  • Proof of financial support for your studies

Additionally, you may be required to provide your biometrics at an approved Visa Application Center in your country.

How Long Does the Visa Process Take?

The processing time for a Canadian Study Permit can vary, but it generally takes up to 90 days. To ensure a smooth transition, it is advisable to submit your application as soon as you receive your acceptance letter. By doing so, you allow sufficient time for the immigration authorities to review and process your application.

If you are applying through the Student Direct Stream (SDS), you may benefit from a faster processing time, typically within 20 days. However, it is important to note that these processing times are approximate and can vary based on individual circumstances and the volume of applications being processed.

What to Do If Your Canada Study Permit Is Declined

While studying in Canada is a dream for many international students, it is not uncommon for study permit applications to be rejected. To increase your chances of success, it is crucial to address common reasons for rejection and ensure your application is comprehensive and meets all requirements. Here are some common reasons for study permit rejections and how to address them:

  1. Inadequate Financial Funds: Meeting the minimum financial threshold is essential, but it is advisable to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to support yourself for the entire duration of your studies.
  2. Unsuitable Letter of Acceptance: Ensure that your acceptance letter comes from a registered Canadian DLI. Verify that it includes all the necessary information and meets the requirements set by the Canadian immigration authorities.
  3. Missing Documents: Double-check that you have attached all required documents, including language test scores and travel documents. Incomplete applications can lead to rejections.
  4. Lack of Plans to Return Home: As a temporary visa, a study permit requires you to prove your intention to return to your home country after completing your studies. Provide compelling evidence that you have strong ties to your home country and a plan for your future.

If your study permit application is rejected, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will provide a refusal letter explaining the reasons for the rejection. You have the option to reapply for a study permit at any time, but it is crucial to address the issues outlined in the refusal letter in your subsequent application. If you believe your initial application was wrongly rejected, you can also consider launching an appeal.


Applying for a Canadian Study Permit is a significant step towards pursuing your education in one of the world’s top study destinations. By following the outlined steps and ensuring that your application is comprehensive and meets all requirements, you can increase your chances of obtaining a Study Permit. Remember to submit your application well in advance, gather all necessary documents, and address any potential issues that may lead to a rejection. Good luck with your application, and enjoy your educational journey in Canada!

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