The Full-Proof Downloadable Guide for Canada Student Visa

As a Canada student visa consultant in Vadodara, often aspiring students like you, ask us about the documents that they need to submit to process the visa. To speed up your process of visa application we wish to share details about the process to apply for student visa, in Canada and also let you know about the documentation that is needed.

To move to Canada for studies you a study permit. IRCC issues a study permit. IRCC lists certain institutions for international students which are regarded as ‘Designated Learning Institutes’. Mostly schools for all grades are categorised as ‘designated learning institutes.’ According to the Canadian government to speed up the student visa process they have introduced a new scheme called ‘student direct stream.’ Hereafter we have referred it to as the SDS scheme.

As the best Canada study visa consultants, we wish to guide you toward both – a regular study permit and a study permit under the SDS scheme.

Why Apply for a Canadian Study Permit under the SDS Scheme?

You must have heard that visa processing takes time. Sure, it does but if you fulfill all the eligibility requirements and complete the biometrics related to it then under the SDS scheme you can get a study permit in just 20 days. We are not exaggerating!

But if you wish to travel to Canada for studies then you require an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization) along with the study permit.

You can apply for a study permit under the SDS route or regular route. We have discussed both in greater detail.

What is the Procedure to Apply for a Student Visa, in Canada under the SDS Scheme?

As an international student, to apply for a student visa, in Canada, you need to apply to the designated Learning Institute where you wish to get admitted. The fee to apply for a study permit under the SDS scheme is $150. Most schools/colleges/universities are listed as DLIs, still, you can search for a list of approved DLIs on the official Canadian government website. Later on, you can view the respective website and decide whether to apply or not.

If you fulfill the requirements of the DLI then it issues you a letter of acceptance. Once you submit this letter to IRCC, it issues you a study permit along with the eTA to travel to Canada.

Although the procedure looks simple, as a Canada student visa consultant, we have observed that students are not ready with proper documentation or not eligible for a particular DLI. If you come to us, we can discuss and speed up the process.

You must meet the following criteria if you wish to apply under the SDS scheme:


IELTS is the language proficiency test that you need to pass if you wish to study abroad. The main point to be noted here is that you should aim for Band 6 in each module of the IELTS exam.

Payment Proof

You need to submit proof of the payment of tuition fees for the first year.


Letter of Acceptance from a Canadian designated learning institution. If the letter of Acceptance from DLI is conditional then it can be a reason for denial of a study permit.

Every post-secondary institution and school has a unique DLI number. However, in the following cases, students are not expected to obtain a letter of acceptance from DLI nor is it needed to be quoted in the IRCC application.

  • All primary and secondary schools are considered to be DLIs and hence no separate DLI is required. This is especially applicable if you are planning to accompany kids with you to Canada and want them to study in Canada.
  • Some institutions in Quebec do not have unique DLI. In that case, you need to file CAQ.
  • Any family member of a foreign national who has a valid study permit before he enters Canada. In such cases, the family member can obtain an open study permit.

As the best Canada study visa consultants, students often ask us what would be the effects if the DLI loses its status of being qualified as a designated learning institution?

Well, there are two scenarios here:

First Scenario: If the institution loses its DLI status after an application is made but before the study permit is issued:

  • The application will be rejected
  • You can withdraw the application
  • Submit LOA from another DLI

Second Scenario: If the institution loses its DLI status after the study permit is issued.

  • Transfer himself to another DLI
  • Continue with the existing institution. But in that case study permit cannot be renewed after expiration.

Educational Transcripts:

Educational transcripts should consist of the following documents.

  • Birth and Leaving Certificate: The supporting documents should be in English or French language. If they are in a language other than English then you need to follow the undermentioned steps:
  • Send it in English or French translation
  • Submit an affidavit from the person who did the translation.
  • Submit a certified photocopy of the original document. It can be done by a notary or a Commissioner of Oaths
  • Passport
  • Passport size photographs: You need to submit two passport size photographs as per the below-mentioned guidelines.
  • Latest digital photograph
  • The photo should not be greater than six months old
  • It must bear your name and date on the backside
  • A photo can be black & white or coloured
  • The background of the photograph should be solid, plain white or light-coloured.
  • The size dimensions of the photo should be 35 × 45 mm
  • Your face must be clearly visible in the photo
  • 10th & 12th Marksheet, Credit & Trial Certificates
  • Marksheets and Transcripts of Degrees or Diplomas
  • Work Experience Letter if required
  • IELTS/PTE certificate
  • Statement of Purpose

Proof of Guaranteed Investment Certificate:

Although you submit the proof of the fees paid for the first year, the Canadian government requires proof that you will be able to bear the living expenses at least for one year.

That’s the reason it requires proof of Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC). However, when you try to obtain GIC from any bank you should note the following points:

  1. The bank that gives you GIC must give a confirmation document that proves that you have bought the GIC. The document can be any of the following:
    – A GIC certificate
    – A letter of attestation
    – An Investment Directions Confirmation
    – An Investment Balance Confirmation
  2. The financial institution should hold the investment in your account till you reach Canada.
  3. After you reach Canada:
  • Releases an initial lump sum
  • Releases balance money in monthly installments over 10 to 12 months.

The following financial institutions offer GICs that satisfy the above criteria:

  • Bank of Beijing
  • Bank of China
  • Bank of Montreal (BMO)
  • Bank of Xian Co. Ltd.
  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
  • China Everbright Bank
  • Habib Canadian Bank
  • HSBC Bank of Canada
  • ICICI Bank
  • Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
  • RBC Royal Bank
  • SBI Canada Bank
  • Scotiabank
  • Simplii Financial
  • TD Canada Trust

How should you apply for GIC?

  1. Register online with the authorized bank and apply for a secured email
  2. Ask for the GIC form from the secure email.
  3. Submit the GIC application
  4. Add funds to your account and obtain a certificate from the bank.
  5. Apply for a study permit
  6. On arrival in Canada, you’ll need to approach the bank and get the amount credited to your savings account. C$2000 is credited to your account and the balance of C$8000 is deposited in your GIC account for one year.

Police Certificate:

To prove that there is no criminal case pending against you, you need to provide a police certificate from the local police station near you.

You can obtain a Police Clearance Certificate from

  • a Local District Police Station
  • Passport Office
  • Indian Embassy or Consulate
  • BLS International Center

It is important to note in this regard that:

  • You need a police certificate and not just a Character Certificate. Character Certificates are not accepted as police clearance certificates. At Edge International as a Canada student visa consultant, we often find some students confused about the same.
  • If your police clearance certificate mentions any limitations regarding the jurisdiction or time then they can cause your visa to be rejected by feeling visa processing authorities.
  • Police clearance certificates follow different formats. The formats depend on the purpose for which it is issued, the issuing authority, and other factors. As an aspiring candidate, always mention the purpose for which you need the police clearance certificate.

Medical Certificate:

As a Canada student visa consultant, we always guide our students to obtain a medical certificate. You need to visit a panel physician suggested by the government of Canada.

When you visit the physician for a medical checkup, you should carry the following things with you:

  • Government-issued Identity Document that carries your Photograph and Signature.
  • Any Prior Medical Reports
  • A List of your Current Prescriptions
  • The Medical Report Form (IMM 1017E)
  • Four Current/Recent Photographs

The doctor or medical clinic staff conduct medical checks such as:

  • Your Weight
  • Your Height
  • Checking Your Eyes And Ears
  • Checking Your Blood Pressure
  • Feeling Your Pulse Rate
  • Listening to your Heart and Lungs for Abnormalities
  • Feeling Your Abdomen
  • Check How the Movement of Your Limbs

If needed they will guide you for further medical tests like X-rays, blood tests, etc. After the test, the doctors provide you with the document that your medical exam has been done. You need to present it as a document when you apply for a student visa, in Canada.

Purpose of Visit Letter:

This is the most important document that states why you choose Canada as a destination for your studies. It also declares that you will at all times abide by the laws of the country. We are discussing this in detail because it is of utmost importance.

According to Section 16 (1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, “A person who makes an application must answer truthfully all questions put to them for examination and must produce a visa and all relevant evidence and documents that the officer reasonably requires.

As the best Canada study visa consultants, we usually ask our applicants to take the time while preparing the purpose of the visit letter. Because many times, study visa gets rejected due to the inferior ‘purpose of visit letter.’

The visa officer has to be assured about the purpose of the study. If he feels that you are trying to move to Canada for a job under the guise of a study permit, your visa will be rejected. Even the best Canada study visa consultants fail in this regard.

To avoid rejections you should provide all information truthfully and provide all the evidence and documents that have been asked for.

This brings us to the end of one topic for applying under the SDS scheme. Now let us turn our discussion to the Non-SDS scheme.

You Might Be Confused about Why a Non-SDS Scheme is Required?

If you don’t have the funds to get a GIC certificate for C$10000 (approx 7 lakh rupees), you can opt to get a study permit under the non-SDS scheme. It is not compulsory to submit GIC for a non-SDS scheme.

How to Apply for Study Visa, Canada under the Non-SDS Scheme/Regular Route?

Almost all documentation part for non-SDS application is the same. But you need to submit a letter of acceptance from a non-SDS institution.

We have already explained the documentation in greater detail earlier. However in brief they are as under:

  • Proof of Acceptance
  • Proof of Identity
  • Proof of Financial Support
  • Letter of Acceptance
  • a Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ)

Different Modes to Apply for a Student Visa, Canada:

All applicants have to compulsorily apply for a student visa, Canada through online mode only. The only exception to this is:

  • In the case of disability.
  • In case you hold an identity or travel document for non-national residents, refugees, or stateless persons.

Before you apply online you should be fully prepared with the documents that are needed and the fees. Then you can create the student profile and apply online.

You must have a scanner to make electronic copies of the documents. You need to visit the VFS office personally to make payment of fees and submit your passport.


If you wish to apply offline then you need to download the application form and submit it to the authorities after filling it. For biometry, you need to visit a visa application center.

You’ll need to fill out the VFS Consent form and file it with the application form along with the required fees. Once you apply to VFS, you get a receipt that can be used to track the progress of your application.

What is the Canada Student Visa Fees?

  • When you apply for a student visa, in Canada, you need to pay a fee of CAD 150. In rupee terms, it keeps fluctuating because of the exchange rate.
  • If you are applying for the study visa online then you need to pay through a credit card.
  • If you are opting for offline then you should be using a demand draft drawn in favour of the High Commission of Canada or by cash at VAC.
  • Apart from the above fee, students need to pay a fee of CAD 85 for biometrics.

What is the Processing Time for the Canada Student Visa?

It depends on the fact whether you have filled the application under the SDS scheme or the normal scheme. SDS scheme is processed faster.

Application status can be viewed online at the CIC website.

Renewal of Study Permit

If your study permit expires before the completion of your studies then to stay in Canada, you need to renew the study permit. This can be done online or through the mail but at least 30 days before the current permit expires.

Can Dependents Accompany you on a Study Visa?

Dependents can accompany you on a study visa and even work in Canada if you are going there for a full-time course.

Spouses can work if their stay is going to be for more than a year.

Reasons for Refusal of Canada Study Permit & Remedies to Resolve it:

Letter of Acceptance:

If you have a conditional letter of acceptance or it fails to meet the admission requirements of an institution then the study permit can be rejected.

To avoid this, when you apply for a student visa, in Canada, you need to attach proper documents. For students who wish to study in Quebec, they need an approval letter from MIFI before applying for a study permit.

Wrong Choice of the Program:

If you have chosen a  field of study which is new and does not correlate to your earlier studies or job then the chances of rejection increase. This is because the visa officer feels that you are moving to Canada on the pretext of a study permit.

To avoid rejections, you can attach a letter of explanation explaining your position.

Inadequate Travel History Documents:

As a Canada student visa consultant we have not marked this type of rejection for Indian students. Still, you must be aware of it as one of the reasons for rejection.

Visa officers may particularly reject visas of candidates from developing or underdeveloped countries under this clause. To avoid this you can always order GCMS notes from IRCC.

Lack of Sufficient Funds:

Insufficiency of funds to finance your studies can be a major reason for the rejection of a study permit. As a precautionary measure, you should always be able to show that you have more funds than what is needed to finance your education.

Intent to Return to India:

If you intend to settle in Canada after you complete your studies in Canada, then you should specify this intent in your application form.

This clarifies your position and the visa officer knows your intentions. You should always mention such facts in your statement.

Low Employability Chances in Home Country:

If you are currently unemployed in India and later apply for a student visa, in Canada, then that is a clear indication to the visa office that you intend to settle in Canada. A study permit is not the genuine reason. In such cases study, permits can be rejected.

Frequently Asked Questions About Canada Study Permit

As a Canada student visa consultant, we have tried to simplify the process of application for you. However certain students have some questions. We are trying them in this section.

In case we have missed some questions or you want to know something more, you can surely leave a comment and we’ll answer it or you can drop it down at our office.

To apply for a Student Visa, in Canada is a Study Permit needed in All Cases?

No. There are some cases where you are allowed to apply even though you don’t have a study permit.  In the following cases, you do not require a study permit.

  • Courses of a Short Duration of 6 Months or Less
  • Family Members of Foreign Representatives
  • Foreign Armed Forces
  • Registered Indians
  • Foreign Minors
Is a Canadian Student Visa Easy to Get?

Just getting an acceptance letter from a DLI does not guarantee that you’ll get a study permit. According to IRCC, 39% of study permit applications are rejected.

Statistics for Canadian Student Visa Rejection Rate
Applicant Type Percentage of Applications Rejected
Universities 43 %
Colleges 43 %
Bachelors 54 %
Masters 32 %
Doctorate 12 %
Overall/Average 39 %
What is the Validity Period for a Canadian Student Visa?

The validity period equates to the duration of the course that you have enrolled for. However, you get 90 days\’ credit to renew the study permit or to prepare for your departure.

What is the Age Limit for a Canada Student Visa?

Canada has no fixed age limit to apply for a study visa, Canada. But it has set eligibility requirements that you need to follow. Chances of rejection are high if the visa officer feels that you are opting for a study permit just to reach Canada.

Does a Student Need a Separate Study Permit in Addition to the Student Visa in Canada?

Yes. Because a study permit does not make you eligible for travel to Canada. It is not a travel visa. To visit Canada for studies you need an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization).

Can a Student Bring a Spouse and Children Together with Him on a Student Visa?

Yes, the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada) allows that. We have already discussed it earlier, so not emphasizing it again.

Does Everyone Require a Passport to Travel to Canada for Studying?

Yes! All foreign nationals compulsorily need a passport unless they belong to visa-exempt countries.

If a particular person belongs to a visa-exempt country then he needs to submit a valid travel document like eTA. This is needed only if they travel by air, not otherwise.

The eTA is a document that is linked to the passport and valid for 5 years or until the course ends; whichever is earlier.

Does a Student Need a Study Visa for Short Term Courses in Canada?

This depends on the fact whether you are applying for a course that is of 6 months or a course that is a prerequisite for another course. In the latter case, you need a study permit.

What if the Study Permit Expires before finishing the Course?

In that case, you need to apply for an extension of time. Failure to do so amounts to default in complying with the provisions of law and will force you to leave Canada.

Can a Student Study in Canada without English Proficiency Tests or IELTS?

IELTS is an English language proficiency test that is required if you wish to go abroad for studies and you belong to a non-English speaking country. However, you can go to Canada to study without clearing IELTS if:

  • You have passed any other English language test like the TOEFL.
  • You have studied in an English medium school for four or more years.
  • You are a citizen of an English speaking country.
  • You have attended a universities’ language program for a semester.

We have tried to explain every minute detail that is necessary to obtain a Canada student visa. We also mentioned factors that can lead to the refusal of visas.

In short, the main requirements for a Canadian student visa include

  • An acceptance letter from a DLI.
  • Proof of funds that proves that you will be able to bear the cost of living.
  • A police clearance certificate to prove that you don’t have any criminal history.
  • A Medical Examination Certificate (IME) to prove that you are in good health.
  • You must prove your ties to your home country which proves that you intend to leave Canada after your education.
  • A report that shows a negative Covid-19 test result for air travel to Canada.

In case of any doubts regarding your Canada student visa application, you can connect with one of our visa experts at Edge International. We’ll be happy to help you.

Our consultants can guide you through each stage of the process. We can help you with documentation, SOPs, applications, and also IELTS preparation. You can always come to our office or call us to clarify your doubts. For your reference here’s a list of Canadian Embassy and Consulates:

Canadian Embassy And Consulates Addresses
  1. High Commission of Canada, New Delhi

7/8 Shantipath, Chanakyapuri,

New Delhi – 110021, India.

  1. Consulate General of Canada

World Trade Center, 22nd Floor

26/1, Dr. Rajkumar Road,

Malleshwaram West, Yeshwantpur,

Bengaluru – 560055, India.

  1. Consulate General of Canada

SCO# 54-56, Sector 17 A,

Chandigarh – 160017, India.

  1. Consulate General of Canada

Indiabulls Finance Center

21st Floor, Tower 2, Senapati Bapat Marg,

Elphinstone Road (West),

Mumbai – 400013, India.

VFS Center Addresses –
  1. New Delhi

VFS Global Services Pvt. Ltd.

Shivaji Stadium Metro Station, Mezzanine Level,

Baba Kharak Singh Marg, Connaught Place,

New Delhi – 110001, India.

  1. Chennai

Canada Visa Application Center

VFS Global Services Pvt. Ltd.

Fagun Towers, Second Floor, No 74,

Ethiraj Salai, Egmore,

Chennai – 600008, India.

  1. Mumbai

Canada Visa Application Center

VFS Global Services Pvt. Ltd.

Trade Centre 5th Floor, Bandra Kurla Complex,

Bandra (East),

Mumbai – 400051, India.

  1. Kolkata

Canada Visa Application Center

VFS Global Services Pvt. Ltd.

Rene Tower, Building No. 1842, Rajdanga Main Road,

Rajdanga, Near Geetanjali Stadium,

Kolkata – 700107, India.

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