Once you are accepted by a university in Canada, the next step that you need to take is to apply for your visa. A Canada student visa is colloquially referred to as a study permit.
If you wish to study in Canada for a period of six months or more, you will require a Canadian study permit for the duration of your stay in Canada. Students who have enrolled in full-time programs registered in accredited universities are eligible to work on campus on a part-time basis. You will also be allowed to renew your S1 visa or apply for a permanent Visa if you wish to continue your studies and stay in Canada.
How to Apply for Canada Student Visa:
You can apply for the Canadian study permit through an online application or by manually submitting the application form which can be acquired from the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website. It is always good to check about the required processing time in advance. In order to apply online, you would require a credit/debit card and soft copies of your certificates and documents. Check with the nearest Canadian Embassy or Consulate in your country for details about the required documents.
Working in Canada with a Student visa
You can work in Canada either on campus or off campus with the help of your student S1 visa. A valid Canadian study permit will help you become eligible for 20 hours of part-time work during the semesters and full-time work during the holiday period. In order to qualify for work, you will also need to be a full-time student and you should have joined an accredited institution at the post-secondary level or should be doing an academic, vocational or professional training program that provides you with a diploma or certificate at the end of the course (6-month duration).
In addition, you need to have a Social Insurance Number (SIN) from Service Canada to work in Canada and to reap other benefits.
Remember that your student visa is valid only for 90 days after your course ends. Hence, if you wish to stay back and work in Canada, you will have to apply for a post-graduation work permit. This permit has a validity of 3 years.
Who needs a Canadian student visa?
An international student wishing to pursue a course that lasts for more than 6 months would require a Canadian student visa or Canada Student Visa or study permit. Students who wish to pursue a short duration course for less than 6 months would not require the study permit. However, it is advisable to obtain a study permit as it will allow you to stay in Canada for the duration of your course if you wish to continue your studies there.
Applying for a Canada Student Visa
The following steps are involved in the visa application process:
- You can only apply for your Canadian student visa once you receive an offer letter or letter of acceptance from an accredited higher education institution. This certificate can be obtained through an online application or by requesting the university for a paper form. Check with your university for more details on the same.
- You will now need to acquire the visa application package from the CIC website or from the local visa office or from the Canadian Embassy or Consulate in your country.
- You will have to answer a few questions about yourself on the CIC website in order to determine whether you are eligible to apply online for the study permit.
- If you are eligible to apply for the visa, you will receive a personal checklist code which is valid for 60 days. You will require this code to submit your online application form. Be sure to take a print out of the page containing this code. You will also receive a guide stating the required documents and detailed instructions.
- Once you have completed the above steps, you will need to create a MyCIC account where you have to enter the personal checklist code. Once this is done, you will receive your personal document checklist which allows you to upload and submit your documents using a printer or scanner.
- Once your documents have been uploaded, the form has been filled and fees have been paid, you can submit the application to CIC.
- You might also be required to attend an interview at the local visa office.
When to apply?
It is a good idea to apply for your Canadian study permit or Canada Student Visa as soon as you receive the letter of acceptance from your Canadian university. Visa processing times vary from country to country and it is best to prepare ahead of time to avoid unnecessary problems.
Required Documents for Student Visa
- Completed and duly signed application form
- The original letter of acceptance or offer letter from a Canadian university
- A valid passport/travel document which also allows you to return to your country of origin. This is not required if you reside in the USA.
- Two recent passport-size photographs with your name and date of birth mentioned at the back.
- Proof of adequate financial support during your stay in Canada (Tuition fee along with 833 CAD per month for all provinces, except Quebec) or tuition fee along with 917 CAD per month for Quebec
- Visa payment receipt (150 CAD)
Visa Language Requirements
If you are enrolling in a course taught in French, you will need to prove your proficiency in the language with respect to reading, listening, speaking and writing. In case you have enrolled in a course taught in English, you will also have to prove your proficiency in English. Kindly check the CIC website for specific details regarding the test scores that you need to submit.