Canada is one of the top study destinations in the world. Prestigious universities, welcoming people and policies, and diversity in terms of culture are what attract several Indian students every year. In fact, as of 2022, over 1.83 lakh Indian students are pursuing higher education in Canada. Canada has seen a tremendous rise in Indian student intake over the past few years.
To study in Canada, besides an impeccable academic record, students also require a Canadian student visa. Obtaining the visa is not difficult but it does require all the important documents in place along with all eligibility criteria fulfilled.
So, read on to know what all Indian students need to do to get a student visa for Canada.
Steps to apply for a Canadian visa for Indian students
- Seek admission to a Canadian college or university
This is the first and most crucial step to initiate your further studies in Canada. You can apply for a student visa only after you get approval or an offer of admission from a recognized college or university. Myriad universities/colleges offer graduate and undergraduate courses for international students.
- Pay the fee at your choice of college
Once you receive the offer letter from your choice of college, the next step is to pay the first fee installment. The fee can be paid through various digital means. Once your payment is received and processed, the university offers a receipt. Keep this receipt record safe as it is required for visa application.
- Get the medical examination done
The next step is to go through all required medical tests from a lab recognized by the Canadian government. The reports of the medical examinations go directly to the Canadian immigration authorities. However, you need to submit the receipt of the medical exam at the time of visa application.
- Apply for a student visa
The next step is to apply for the visa with a duly filled form and all necessary documents. You will receive a notification from the Canadian government to submit your passport once the visa is approved. After that, you receive the letter of introduction and temporary resident visa.
Documents required for Canadian student visa
The application for a Canada student visa should be submitted once you get the acceptance letter from your college choice. Here are the critical documents to have in place before proceeding with the application:
- A valid passport
As per the rules of the Canadian High Commission, the passport should have a validity that covers the entire duration of your intended stay in the country.
- Letter of acceptance from a recognized Designated Learning Institution (DLI)
A letter of acceptance from the university you are seeking admission to is mandatory for the visa application. The university must also be recognized by the immigration department of Canada.
- Proof of funds
You also need to show proof of funds that can cover your tuition fee as well as living expenses for the entire duration of your stay. As a standard, the Canadian government requires a student to have at least CAD 10,000 for every year of stay.
- Medical Examination receipt
The receipt of the Immigration Medical Exam must also be submitted with the application. It works as proof that you are medically fit to study in Canada.
- Passport size photographs
You must have at least two passport-sized photographs if you are applying for a student visa offline. For online visa applications, the size of your passport photo should not exceed 4MB.
- Statement of Purpose (SOP)
A Statement of Purpose is an essay that entails your purpose of studying in Canada. A well-written SOP is key to increasing your chances of getting your visa approved.
- A valid score on English proficiency tests like TOEFL, IELTS, etc.
While the requirements for test scores may vary from university to university, an IELTS score of 6.0 overall is considered to be a minimum criterion, while those appearing for TOEFL should try to achieve a minimum score of 75.
Processing time of Canadian student visa
The standard processing time for a Canadian student visa is 12 weeks but that may vary depending on your application. The duration may be longer during the peak application season or if there is an error in your application. It is hence always better to apply much in advance so that there is enough time to get the visa. It also allows you to have more time to arrange the necessary paperwork and funds. Good luck!