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How to get a study permit in Canada

Updated: Aug 17, 2023


This guide will help you out If you are reading this, it is probably because you have been thinking about studying in Canada for some time now and you are ready to take the next step. Good! However, we know that this step can be quite confusing... How do I start this whole process of studying in Canada? How do I know which city is for me? Or what school? And how on earth do I get a study permit? No worries, we’ve been there! And we have prepared this guide for you to be able to understand how this “getting a study visa” process looks like. So first things first! If you have not even picked which school you want to study at you might want to take a look at this article.


Understanding the Application Process

Getting a study visa, in Canada at least, relies entirely on the student already having picked a school, so that’s the first thing we need to do. Here’s how to start:


Set your expectation: what do I want to do? (example) 1. Study English/French (because studying a language does not apply to getting a work permit in Canada. 2. Study an academic program (that allows you to work part-time while you study).


Plan ahead: Getting a visa takes time. You need to go back and forth with a school to ask about their programs, prices, requirements, and so on. So you need to begin the application process well in advance to allow sufficient time for preparation and submission.


Research and choose the right program: Explore the wide range of study programs offered in Canada and find the one that aligns with your academic and personal goals!


Ensure the program is offered by a DLI institution: Make sure that your chosen institution is a recognized DLI (Designated Learning Institution). Only DLI institutions are authorized to accept international students.


Once you have done that, you are ready for the next step! Which is enrolling to the school you selected and preparing to apply for your visa (This is the moment you’ve been waiting for!).





Enrolling in a school + Paperwork

Remember that each school and each program has different eligibility requirements, so of course you need to make sure you are a good fit for the program you picked 😉. But if everything goes well, you will be able to apply for the study visa. Here are the documents you will need for this process:


  1. Valid Passport: Make sure your passport is valid for the duration of your intended stay in Canada.

  2. Letter of Acceptance (LOA): Obtain an acceptance letter from the Canadian institution you plan to study at.

  3. Proof of Financial Support: Demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to cover tuition fees, living expenses, and return transportation.

  4. Study Plan: Provide a statement explaining your study plans, educational background, and future goals.

  5. Proof of Language Proficiency: Depending on the program, you may need to provide proof of English or French language proficiency.

  6. Letter of Explanation: Include a letter explaining why you wish to study in Canada and how it aligns with your future aspirations. Make sure that the visa officer knows that you are a genuine student with a sincere intention to study in Canada and return to your home country after completion.

  7. Health and Security Requirements: Undergo a medical examination, if required, and submit any necessary security clearance documents.

Now, those are only the required paper… however, Thrivve wanted to go above and beyond and give you some extra tips!



5 tips for you to have a successful study permit application


  1. Be Organized: Keep track of all the required documents and maintain a checklist to ensure nothing is missed.

  2. Seek Assistance (Very important!): Consider consulting a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) who can provide guidance tailored to your specific situation. This not only helps you make your process easier, but it increases your chances of getting your visa approved significantly! If you are interested in getting that type of help we recommend VSWI Canada. They are an immigration corporation that has worked with some students in our community before and those thrivvers are super happy with their work 🙂.

  3. Submit Early: Submit your study visa application as soon as possible to allow for processing time. That way you’ll have a safe time cushion to be able to follow the plan you made despite any possible delays.

  4. Be Honest and Transparent: Provide accurate information and be truthful throughout the application process.

  5. Prepare for an Interview: In some cases, an interview may be required. Be prepared to answer questions about your study plans and intentions.


Obtaining a study visa in Canada may seem daunting, but with the right information and preparation, you can make the process waaaay smoother! And remember to be patient, as with this type of procedure nothing is ever written in stone. Best of luck, Thrivvers!

Oh! And one more thing, you might want to read this other article about terms you should know for studying in Canada 😉 It will surely be useful to you.





Disclaimer: This article provides general information and is not a substitute for professional advice. Immigration regulations may vary, and it's recommended to consult with a registered immigration consultant for personalized guidance.


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