Canada has become an increasingly popular destination for international students seeking higher education. For many, studying in Canada is not only an opportunity to receive a quality education, but also a path towards immigrating and starting a new life in a new country.
In recognition of the importance of a diverse student body, the Canadian government has made it a priority to create an inclusive and welcoming learning environment for international students. With a plethora of highly respected universities, colleges, technical schools, and institutions, Canada offers international students the opportunity to pursue a range of fields and receive a top-tier education.
Are you an international student looking to study in Canada? We have prepared a guide to help you complete your application to study in Canada. Here is a step-by-step guide for applying to study in Canada as an international student.
Application To Study In Canada
A study permit is required for international students planning to study in Canada. This 7-step guide would help you get started:
Step 1: Understanding the Requirements
The first step of any application to study in Canada is to understand the educational requirements of the different Canadian institutions and the courses they offer.
To help you, you would also need to know the different documents and regulations applicable to the study permit application process, as they sometimes vary across institutions. One of which is that to qualify for a study permit, you would need admission from a recognized Designated Learning Institution (DLI) within a period of approved study.
While academic requirements may vary amongst the different Canadian provinces, all universities and institutions require an updated passport, a proof of proficiency test in English or French, and finally, proof that you can finance your education and the cost of living in Canada.
The study permit application process may take a while, so you should start your application process at least a year earlier.
Step 2: Choosing A Course and Institution
Before choosing an institution for your studies, you must confirm its status as a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). A DLI is an educational institution approved by a provincial or territorial government to provide international students with education.
While all Canadian primary and secondary schools are designated learning institutions, only some higher institutions are listed. As such, if you plan to further your education, you must confirm that your school makes the list.
In some cases, an institution might lose its DLI status during the course of study, and in this case, international students may continue to study until their study permit expires. In other cases, they would be required to apply to a new DLI.
Once you confirm your institution is a DLI, you can go on to choose a major. You should note that the Canadian academic setup is flexible and allows switching courses. We advise taking time out to consider your options before making a decision.
Step 3: Take the Language Proficiency Test
To qualify for admission into a Canadian institution, every international student must prove proficiency in English or French. The IELTS is the required English proficiency test, although some institutions may accept Cambridge English: Advanced or TOEFL exam scores.
To prove your proficiency in French, you can choose between DALF, DELF, or TCF, although the TEF exam is the most common option.
Once you choose a test, pay the fee and book your test date long in advance. Before your test, you must brush up on your language skills to pass.
Step 4: Begin Applying to Schools
Once your test is done, and the documents required for your application to study in Canada are ready, you can begin shortlisting schools.
Contact your shortlisted universities for their application packs which you should fill out and submit before the close date. As a tip, give yourself some options, shortlisting at least 3 schools, the main one, and others as backups.
Usually, these schools may require an application fee between $100 – $250.
Fill in the application form accurately with the relevant documents. After this process, the wait time follows until your acceptance letter is sent. If you accept the university’s offer, you can move on to the next step.
Step 5: Applying for A Study Permit
Once you have your acceptance letter, you can apply for the Canada Study Permit. Visit the Canadian website to begin your application process. To aid your application, you’ll need your acceptance letter, passport, and documentary proof of funds to sponsor your education.
If your institution is located in the province of Quebec, you’ll also receive a “Certificat d’acceptation du Québec” (CAQ) alongside your application letter, which should be included in your study permit application.
The next step would be to receive an interview date.
Step 6: Preparation
Following your application and the interview, the immigration officer will decide on the status of your application to study in Canada. If accepted, you can begin planning to move to Canada.
Every study permit comes with a start date, which is the day you’ll be permitted to enter Canada. Anytime earlier, you would be denied entry.
Step 7: Apply online
If you’re applying for a study permit, you must apply online, whether you’re outside of Canada.
Step 8: Entering Canada
On entry, the immigration officer will verify your permit and other documents before allowing you to enter Canada. This is the final step in the study immigration process, and you can now begin your journey as a student in Canada.
What Happens After?
A great benefit of studying in Canada is that international graduates are often considered ideal permanent residents post-study.
As such, Canada’s Post-Graduation Work Permit allows students to begin working in the country after graduation. And the recent changes to its Express Entry selection system speed up the transition to permanent residency.
This guide would help you in your application to study in Canada as an international student.