This long-form article includes the following topics:

  1. How to get admission to a Canadian university as an international student?
  2. University Admission Application Checklist
  3. How to get a study permit as an international student?
  4. What is a study permit?
  5. Study Permit Application Checklist
  6. Study Visa


How to get admission to a Canadian university as an international student?

Since university admission is not an immigration matter, therefore, a lot of immigration consultants and lawyers cannot help you get admission to colleges/ universities. However, once you get admission, immigration lawyers and consultants can help you get a visa, apply for PGWP after studying, and with your PR application.

Since I also have experience in college/university admissions, therefore I will provide you with fundamental information on how to get admission to Canadian universities.

University Admission Application Checklist

In order to get admission to a Canadian university, you will need to prepare the following documents well before you apply.

  • Degree or diploma: 1 to 2 years before applying
  • Official transcript: 1 to 2 years before applying
  • Entrance Test (G.R.E, G.M.A.T etc.): 6 months to 1 year before applying
  • Notarization and translation of documents if needed: 2 months to 3 months before applying
  • Statement of purpose: 1 month to 3 months before applying
  • What is your story (introduction, the program you are applying for, etc.)? 1 paragraph
  • What inspires you? 1 paragraph
  • Major achievements: 1 paragraph
  • Why do you want to study at this university? 1 paragraph
  • What do you hope to achieve? 1 paragraph

Submit your application as soon as the school begins accepting the application. Follow the intake schedule of the school, and never wait until the last day of the application window.

How to get a study permit as an international student?

Please remember, before thinking about a study permit, you first need to get admission to your preferred school or university, only then you are eligible to apply for a study permit.

What is a study permit?

A study permit means a written authorization to engage in academic, professional, vocational, or other education or training activities in Canada, which is issued by an officer to a foreign national.

Here is the study permit process from the very first step:

  • Prepare all documents necessary for university admission,
  • Apply to a particular program or programs. Please note I always encourage students to apply to several universities and apply to several departments, not only one. Once you get admission offers, then you can select one and reject the rest.
  • Receive a pre-offer letter,
  • Pay the tuition fee and receive a final offer letter (also called a Letter of Admission)
  • Apply Online for a study permit application.
  • Receive a letter of introduction/visa acceptance letter from IRCC
  • Submit your passport for a visa,
  • Submit a copy of your visa to your school,
  • Make travel arrangements to Canada (airline tickets, accommodation, etc)
  • Submit your proofs of admission, and support documents at the port of entry (Canada border)
  • Receive your study permit (plus a work permit in case of co-op) at the border.
  • Update your school or university with your arrival.
  • Attend school or university as per your academic calendar that the school will share with you.

Study Permit Application Checklist

You will need the following documents to apply for a study permit.

Submit the following Application Forms:

  1. Application for Study Permit Made Outside of Canada (IMM 1294).
  2. Family Information Form (IMM 5707)
  3. Use of a Representative (IMM 5476) (if you have a representative)

Submit the following Visa Office Requirements (the office where you are applying from), let us assume that we are applying from Australia, in this case, you will need the following documents that are required by the Sydney visa office:

  1. Schedule 1 Form (Application for Temporary Resident Visa – IMM 5257)
  2. Proof of immigration status in Australia
  3. Letter of Admission from the university
  4. One page Study Plan (please do not prepare 2 pages, try to compress every important point into 1 page)
  5. Transcript of the last educational program
  6. Certificate/Degree of last educational program
  7. Police Certificate from the previous country of residence (if needed)
  8. Police Certificate from current country of residence
  9. Following is a list of Support documents that you need to submit along with your application:
  10. Study Permit application fee (pay online).
  11. A scanned version of the information page of the applicant’s valid passport.
  12. Digital Photo (not older than 6 months)

You need the following document as Proof of financial support:

  1. Bank Account 1: List of Transactions from the last 6 months, also show the balance in CAD.
  2. Bank Account 2 (if any): Bank statement for the last 6 months
  3. Guaranteed Investment Certificate (G.I.C) if you are applying under the Student Direct Stream.
  4. Show the following financials in tables and submit them with your submissions/cover letter:
    1. Educational Expenses
    1. Living Expenses
    1. Savings
    1. Savings minus all expenses (remaining savings by the end of the educational program)
  5. Letter of employment from your current employer(s).
  6. And finally a career plan (1 page)

Study Visa

Once you submit your study permit application to the Canadian government and is approved, you will receive a passport request letter from IRCC instructing you to take your passport to the visa application center designated for your country of residence. You will only have 30 days to comply with the request. Therefore, your passport must be ready and valid for the duration of the expected length of study in Canada to get a visa. IRCC will issue you a multiple entry visa valid for the duration of your study in Canada. However, if the visa expires before you complete your studies, you can apply for an extension. A visa is only good for entry and exit purposes, your study permit is actually the main document that allows you to stay in Canada until the expiry date.

 Please note, at this stage, you will get a stamped visa on your passport, and your study permit and work permit would be issued when you arrive at the port of entry in Canada.

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