A Complete Guide to Your Canada Student Visa

From fast-track systems to post-graduation work regulations, here’s all you need to know about visas and permits in Canada.


Unlike its neighbour, Canada’s student visa regulations are much less stringent, and there are systems in place beneficial to Indian students. For all of you travelling to Canada to pursue a course longer that 6 months, a study permit is your entry pass to the country. Keep in mind that a study permit is not a visa, however once you’re study permit is approved, a visa is issued to you alongside.

The first thing you will need for your permit is a letter of acceptance from a DLI or Designated Learning Institution in the country. It might sound complicated at get go, but a little bit of research proves otherwise. All primary and secondary schools in Canada are DLIs. For students looking into post-secondary education, there’s a list of institutions that qualify available on the official government website. Once you have your acceptance letter, there are a few other important documents to gather together to complete your application—proof of financial means to cover your tuition, living expenses and return tickets for you and any accompanying family, medical exam reports, and a police clearance certificate that you can apply for at the passport office. The application fees for a Canadian study permit is CAD150/Rs8,120*.

As an Indian student, one of the benefits available to you is the Student Direct Stream (SDS), introduced last year by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). As part of the changes introduced under SDS, aspirants from India, Pakistan, China, Vietnam and Philippines who can supply sufficient financial resources and language skills to succeed academically will benefit from faster processing times—as less as 20 days.

You should know that a valid study permit is issued to you only after you enter Canada. Once your application is approved here in India, you will be issued a letter of introduction along with a temporary resident visa. Keep these documents safe and handy to be checked by immigration officials at the time of arrival, who will then issue the permit.

Your student permit allows you to stay in Canada for the duration of your course (make sure to double check the conditions under which you might have to renew your permit during your course), work for 20 hours per week during term and full time during breaks, and apply for your partner/spouse or dependent children to accompany you. Your common-law partner or spouse may be eligible for an open work permit.

All those wishing to stay back in Canada after your studies to chase a job of your choice, look into the Post-Graduation Work Permit. You might be eligible for a PGWP of up to 3 years, depending on the DLI they graduated from (check the list) and the duration of your course. An added benefit of the PGWP? Skilled local work experience can add to your points to qualify for permanent residence in Canada through the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program. The work permits cost CAD255/Rs13,800* and take between 99-120 days to process, so make sure you apply well in time.

*Based on conversion rate at the time of publication.


Image countesy: Sharon VanderKaay/ Flickr

Posted in Canada on Sep 19, 2019