Steps to Obtain an International Student Visa
Get accepted to study at a college, university, or language school in Canada. So this means beginning by filling out an application. Please keep in mind that each education institution has separate admission requirements.
Students must meet the educational institution's admission requirements and pay a non-refundable application fee (ranging from $40 to $350). Generally, student applications will be reviewed within three months. If the educational institution accepts the application, then the student receives a Letter of Offer from the Canadian college or university. Upon receipt of this Letter of Offer or invoice, students are required to pay in full for their first semester. As soon as the educational institution receives the first semester funds, students will receive a confirmation that the funds were received and the Letter of Acceptance that is required in order to complete a Visa (and Study Permit) application. At this point, students can apply for a Visa. The Letter of Acceptance should be attached to the Visa application along with other required documents. Students will apply for a Visa at the nearest Canadian Embassy in their region.
Please note: The Visa is a document that authorizes students to enter into Canada, while the Study Permit enables students to study in Canada. Most international students are not allowed to work in Canada unless they obtain a Work Permit. Students from Visa exempt countries need apply to their regional Canadian Embassy for a Study Permit only. This is required prior to arrival in Canada.
Students who are enrolled to study in Canada for less than six months, but who are planning to apply to another Canadian program following their initial course of study, need to apply for a Study Permit (Student Visa) rather than a Temporary Resident Visa. For example, if a student is enrolled in an English language course in Canada and she intends to apply for Canadian college or university admission following her language course, she needs to obtain a study permit prior to leaving for Canada. To change a visitor Visa status to a student Visa, the student must apply from their own country. While trips back and forth can be quite expensive, student Visas can be extended in Canada based on college or university admission.
Before applying for a Visa at their home country's Canadian Embassy, students need to answer the following simple questions:
- Who is going?
- Where is that person going?
- When are they going?
- When do they intend to come back?
- What is the purpose of their time in Canada (what is the reason you need a Visa)?
Based on the answers to these questions, students can determine what type of Visa is required and how the trip to Canada must be arranged.
Please note: It is important that ALL students have thoroughly prepared the documents listed below. The absence of any documentation will delay the review process and can lead to the refusal of a Visa and may mean missing the programs start dates or not going to Canada at all!
To obtain a Study Permit or Temporary Resident Visa in Canada, students must submit the following documents to the Canadian Embassy:
- The completed application form for a Student or Temporary Resident Visa (Note: it must be in type-written form, not hand written);
- Copy of Letter of Acceptance/Lettre d'acceptation from a Canadian college or university;
- Non-refundable study permit or temporary resident Visa fee to be paid to the Receiver General for Canada in the form of a money order or a cheque. You can also pay it at an accredited organization (see application for list of accredited organizations) and attach the receipt to your application package;
- If under the age of 18 (in some provinces, 19) provide a Guardianship Letter from the school or homestay parents as well as a notarized Parental Consent form;
- Two photos that meet the requirements described in the application package;
- Bank statement proving sufficient funds for tuition and living expenses; and
- Study Plan or Statement of Purpose.
Also, in your application package:
- Students should prove that they have enough funds to pay for their studies, transportation, living expenses and for any family members planning to accompany them to Canada.
- Students must be law-abiding citizens with a clean criminal record check that confirms to Canadian officials they are not a security risk. Students may have to provide a police certificate.
- Students must be in good health and willing to complete a medical examination if necessary.
- Students must prove to an immigration officer that they will leave Canada at the end of their authorized stay.
- Students need to provide a study plan with any additional required support documents.
International students who intend to stay in Canada longer than six months will likely be required to undergo a medical examination as part of their Visa process. The Canadian Embassy will inform the student if a medical exam is necessary. The medical examination will typically add four weeks to the Temporary Resident or Student Visa application process. The average processing times for study permits are six to eight weeks including the medical exam.
Most applicants can go through a medical exam at any accredited office of the Organization of International Migration in the CIS countries. Please visit this link if you are a citizen of any of the CIS countries. For information about Visas for Turkish citizens, please visit here.
The Embassy of Canada in Moscow, Russia
The Embassy covers the countries of Russia, Armenia, and Uzbekistan, and also provides Visa services to residents of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
(Note: Citizens or residents of Belarus may apply to the Visa Section of the Embassy of Canada in Moscow, Russia or in Warsaw, Poland.)
Address, telephone, fax, website:
23 Starokonyushenny Pereulok Moscow 119002 Russia (near the Old Arbat street, Metro: Kropotkinskaya) Tel.: + 7 (495) 925-6000 Fax.: + 7 (495) 925-6025 Website: http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/russia-russie
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for information about applications for visiting, studying, or working temporarily in Canada.
The Embassy of Canada in Ankara, Turkey
The Embassy of Canada in Ankara is pleased to offer these services to the citizens of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkmenistan.
Address, telephone, fax, email:
Cinnah Caddesi no: 58 06690, Cankaya Ankara, Turkey Tel.: +90 (312) 409 27 00 Fax.: +90 (312) 409 27 14 E-mail: email@example.com Website: http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/turkey-turquie/offices-bureaux/contact_visa_contacter.aspx
Please check the following documents prior to leaving for Canada:
- Passport expiry dates
- Visas (check if all dates are correct)
- Air tickets and transfers
- Copies of Letter of Acceptance and other documents confirming admission and where student will be staying upon arrival to Canada
- Insurance cards, if any
- Extra copies of your passport and Visa
- If you are under 18, copies of parental consent must be signed by both parents, notarized and translated into English, you must also have a copy of your birth certificate.
Students are advised to check their luggage weight and make sure they are not exceeding the airline's advertised limits. It is also recommended that students make sure that the amount of cash, goods, and products they carry comply with the customs regulations of the country of arrival. Due to heightened airport security, passengers are not permitted to bring sharp objects or liquids that are more than 50 mL on board. This includes items such as lotions, perfume, and water. Please be advised that airport security regulations are strict and no exceptions are allowed.
Customs Regulations of Canada
The import and export of foreign and local currency is unrestricted. Upon crossing the border, cash amounts of $10,000 CAD or more must be declared. The following food products and dangerous items are prohibited entry into Canada:
- Perishable products
- Certain types of medication
- Items for resale
- Unpreserved meat and dairy products
- Plants and seeds
- Silver coins worth more than $5.