Student visa requirements for studying in Canada


Canada stands out as a leading destination for international students, known for its high-quality education, multicultural environment, and welcoming nature. If you’re considering pursuing your studies in Canada, obtaining a student visa, officially known as a Study Permit, is a crucial step. This post provides a comprehensive overview of the requirements and process to help you navigate your journey to studying in Canada.

Student visa requirements for studying in Canada

Eligibility Criteria for a Canadian Study Permit

Before applying, ensure you meet the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Acceptance by a Designated Learning Institution (DLI): You must have an acceptance letter from a school, college, university, or other educational institution designated by the Canadian government as eligible to host international students.
  2. Proof of Financial Support: You must demonstrate that you have enough money to support yourself during your studies. This includes tuition fees, living expenses for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada, and return transportation for yourself and any family members.
  3. Clear Background: Applicants must have no criminal record and may be required to provide a police clearance certificate as part of the application process.
  4. Health Check: You might need to undergo a medical exam to prove you’re in good health, especially if you plan to study for more than six months or have recently lived in certain countries.

Documents Required

To apply for a Study Permit, you will need the following documents:

  • Acceptance Letter: Your official acceptance letter from a DLI.
  • Proof of Identity: A valid passport or travel document that allows you to return to your country of origin. If you have a family member accompanying you, they will also need these documents.
  • Proof of Financial Support: Bank statements, a Canadian account in your name if money has been transferred, a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) from a participating Canadian financial institution, proof of a student or education loan from a bank, your bank statements for the past four months, or a letter from the person or institution providing you with money.
  • Letter of Explanation: This letter helps the visa officer understand why you want to study in Canada and assures them that you understand your responsibilities as a student.
  • Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ): Required if you plan to study in Quebec. You must apply for this certificate before you apply for a Study Permit.

The Application Process

You can apply for your Canadian Study Permit online or through a paper application from the Canadian visa office or consulate in your country. Here’s how you can apply:

  1. Prepare Your Documents: Gather all necessary documents. You might need to provide certified translations of documents that aren’t in English or French.
  2. Complete Your Application: Fill out the online or paper application form. Ensure that you answer all questions fully and accurately. Incomplete applications may be delayed or rejected.
  3. Pay the Fees: The application fee for a Study Permit is CAD 150, which you will need to pay at the time of application.
  4. Submit Biometrics: Depending on your nationality, you may need to provide biometrics (photo and fingerprints).
  5. Interview or Additional Documents: Depending on the specifics of your application, you might be called for an interview or asked to provide additional documents.

Processing Time and After Approval

The processing time for Study Permits can vary greatly depending on the applicant’s country of residence. It can range from a few weeks to a few months. You can check current processing times on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.

Once approved, you will receive a Port of Entry (POE) Letter of Introduction, while the actual Study Permit will be issued when you arrive in Canada. This permit outlines the conditions of your stay, your study program’s duration, and if you’re allowed to work in Canada during your studies.

How much bank balance is required for a Canada student visa?

The concept of a minimum bank balance for a Canadian student visa isn’t exactly how it works. Instead, you need to demonstrate access to sufficient funds to cover your living expenses for the duration of your studies.


Here’s the key information:

  • Minimum funds: Since January 1, 2024, you need CAD$20,635 per year to prove you can support yourself.
  • Additional costs: On top of that, you need to show you can cover your first year’s tuition and travel expenses.

So, the bank balance amount depends on your program length. It’s recommended to have enough funds for the entire study period, but the minimum requirement focuses on yearly living expenses.

What is the minimum funds required for student visa in Canada?

As of January 1, 2024, the minimum amount of funds you need to show for a student visa in Canada (excluding Quebec) is CAD$20,635. This is in addition to your first year’s tuition and travel costs.


Here’s a breakdown:

  • Minimum funds: CAD$20,635 per year (for living expenses)
  • Additional costs: First year tuition and travel expenses

Remember, this is the minimum requirement. It’s always a good idea to have some extra funds available to cover unexpected costs.


Applying for a Study Permit is a crucial step towards your educational journey in Canada. The process might seem daunting, but with careful planning and adherence to the requirements, you can ensure a smooth application process. Once in Canada, you’ll be able to enjoy the vibrant academic environment and multicultural society which makes studying in Canada a unique and enriching experience. Remember, the key to a successful application is attention to detail and thorough preparation. Good luck!


Who needs a study permit? Anyone except Canadian citizens or permanent residents who wish to pursue full-time academic studies at a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada requires a study permit.

What are the basic requirements for a study permit? You’ll generally need proof of acceptance from a DLI, proof of financial support to cover your living expenses in Canada, a valid passport, and meet medical and background check requirements.

What language tests are accepted? Canada accepts English tests like the IELTS or TOEFL and French tests like TEF. The minimum score requirement varies depending on the program you’re applying for.

What are the benefits of studying in Canada with a study permit? Besides getting a quality education, a study permit can give you the opportunity to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) after graduation, which can lead to permanent residency in Canada.

Can I work while studying in Canada? Yes, you can typically work part-time on campus or off-campus with a valid study permit and a Social Insurance Number (SIN).


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