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Canadian study permit for Indian students: Your ultimate guide for 2022

Canadian study permit
Data from the Canadian Bureau for International Education notes 34% of Canada's foreign students come from India. Source: Hector Retamal/AFP

To all Indian students out there — have you dreamt of enjoying the sweet taste of maple syrup from the land of liquid gold itself? A Canadian study permit will get you there. Canada has long been a popular study abroad destination for Indian students.

In August, Immigration Canada said that although the US population is almost nine times the size of Canada’s, there are more international students from India with Canadian study permits than there are with American study permits.

Trends indicate a growing preference for Canada for several reasons. It will be driven by recent immigration measures, such as the introduction of the open work permit in the interim of Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) approval. On top of that, online students who are unable to travel to Canada can still complete their degree entirely online, and qualify for the PGWP.

If your interest is piqued, here’s a one-stop guide on how Indian students can get a Canadian study permit for 2022:

What is a Canadian study permit?

The Canadian study permit is a document that allows foreign nationals to study at designated learning institutions (DLIs) in Canada. Most foreign nationals will need this document to study in the country. 

Your study permit is not a visa that grants you automatic entry into Canada. You may also need a visitor visa or an electronic travel authorisation (eTA).

Once approved, the processing time of a study permit varies from country to country, so be sure to check application processing times for an estimate.

Do note that you may need to give biometrics with your application. This processing time doesn’t include the time you need to give biometrics.

The fee for the study permit is 150 Canadian dollars.

Am I eligible to apply?

You can study in Canada if you:

  • Are enrolled at a designated learning institution (DLI)
    • If you’re coming from outside Canada to study as an international student, your DLI must be on the list of DLIs with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan.
  • Prove you have enough money to pay for:
    • Your tuition fees
    • Living expenses for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada 
    • Return transportation for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada
  • Obey the law, have no criminal record and get a police certificate (if required)
  • Are in good health and get a medical exam (if required) 
  • Prove to an officer that you will leave Canada when your study permit expires

For short-term studies, if you qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller, you don’t need a study permit to come to Canada to study for six months or less. However, getting a study permit when you don’t need one has its benefits.

If you don’t qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller, you must get a study permit and attend a DLI with a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by its province or territory.

They don’t request or look at your COVID-19 vaccination status when they process your application. A border services officer will make the final decision about whether you qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller upon arrival in Canada. 

The Canadian study permit is a document that allows foreign nationals to study at designated learning institutions (DLIs) in Canada. Source: Karim Sahib / AFP

What documents would I need for a Canadian study permit?

You’ll need these documents to apply for a study permit:

  • Proof of acceptance
  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of financial support

You may also need

  • A letter of explanation
  • A certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ)
  • A custodian declaration (minors only)
  • Other documents (expect to be contacted if this is required)

How do I apply?

After getting all your documents sorted, the next step is to get your application going.

Step 1: Make sure you have what you need

To apply online, you’ll need:

  • A scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents
  • A valid credit or debit card

If applying on paper, you’ll have to visit a visa application centre in India to submit your documents. Click here for the details.

Step 2: Read the instruction guide

Even if you apply online, you should read the instruction guide before you complete your application. The guide will explain how to complete each field on the form.

Step 3: Prepare your answers for the online tool

Before you can upload your forms, you must answer some questions. They’ll use your answers to create a personalised document checklist for you.

Step 4: Know the fees you have to pay

In most cases, your fees will include:

  • Processing fees for you and anyone you include on your application
  • Biometrics

They’ll ask you to pay your fees at the end of your application.

Third-party fees

Depending on your situation, you may need to pay third parties for:

You won’t pay these fees in your online account. You’ll pay them directly to the third party.

Biometrics fee

In most cases, you should pay a biometrics fee when you submit your application. Otherwise you may experience delays. The biometrics fee covers the cost of collecting fingerprints and a digital photo. Find out if you need to give your biometrics.

How long would I need to wait?

Different applications have different times. To check the duration of how long the process might take, check here.

To keep in track with your application process status, check here.

Is there a faster way to get my Canadian study permit?

Some international students can apply for an expedited Canada study permit through the Student Direct Stream (SDS) programme, a new initiative launched to increase efficiency in processing study permit applications. Indian students are eligible for the SDS programme. 

Canada aims to process all SDS applications within 20 calendar days, so it’s worth checking the programme out if you’re eligible. You can read more about applying for the SDS programme here.

For more details about the Canadian study permit, click here.

We hope this guide on how to get your Canadian study permit was helpful and that you have a wonderful time studying in Canada.