How to apply for a Canadian student visa?

The student visa is a document that the government issues that allow immigrants to study at an institution in Canada. It is essential to apply for this visa before coming to Canada and to have all the required documents prepared.

1. Gather required documents

Before starting the study permit process, you need to apply to a Canadian post-secondary institution and get the following documents:

  • Letter of acceptance from a designated learning institution (DLI)
  • Valid passport
  • Proof of financial support (to demonstrate you can support yourself and any family members that come with you)

Make sure to review the document checklist that the Canadian Government provides to have an idea of every document you need. Remember to apply for a study permit from outside Canada and it needs to be approved before coming to Canada.

2. Prepare your application 

There are two ways of doing the application, online or in-person by going to a visa application center in your country.

In order to find out the forms and documents that you need to submit, you need to create an IRCC account on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship in Canada (IRCC) website and answer the questionnaire in order to generate the correct forms that you need for the study permit. In case you need help to fill the forms, you can read the instruction guide that will walk you through it.

3. Complete and submit the application 

One of the most important forms that you need to fill out for the study permit application is the ‘Application For Study Permit Made Outside Canada (IMM1294) form’. Make sure to carefully review the form to ensure that all information is correct prior to submission.

The IMM1294 and document checklist forms can be opened automatically through most PDF viewers, however, we recommend using Adobe Acrobat Reader DC.

The Canadian student visa processing times might vary from to person, and right now it might take around 11 weeks. Keep checking the government website regularly to see the updated waiting time.

4. Pay the fees and be ready for biometrics and/or medical exams

Every application has fees, therefore the costs are the following:

Application CAN
Study permit (including extensions) $150.00
Biometrics (if applicable) $85.00


If it is your first time applying for a study permit, you may need to give your biometrics (fingerprints and photograph) along with the application. In case you have to provide biometrics, you will need to go in person to the Visa Application Center (VAC) of your country.

Medical exams

In some cases, it is required to complete a medical exam depending on the country you are coming from, the type of job you are planning to perform within Canada or if you are applying for a parent and grandparent super visa. To know if you need to complete one and for more detailed information, please go to the medical exam for visitors, students and workers section on the Canadian government website.

5. After submitting the application 

Check regularly the status of your IRCC account to see how the process is going with your application. In some cases, the processing center will ask you to send more information. Also, make sure you check the processing times for your study permit prior to submission, so you are aware of how much time it can take.

After your study permit is approved, you will be issued a Letter of Introduction (referred to as LOI). You will need to present the LOI to the Canada Border Services Officer when you arrive in Canada. For more information, please refer to the Canadian Government website to find anything else related to the study permit application. Also, if you need further help or have any questions, feel free to contact Acsenda School of Management.


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