Requirements to study in Canada

21 of Canada’s universities are included in the top 500 universities and 32 in the top 1,000. In 2018, Canada was home to 5,72,415 study holder permits. This is not at all surprising as Canada has always been top priority for students willing to study abroad as it offers some of the world’s best study programs and is home to some of the world’s leading research facilities and academic institutions. If you are also one of the many students whose plan is to study in Canada, then here is how you need to apply.

1. Understand the requirements

Successfully applying to a Canadian education institution requires an understanding of different requirements for the school and the courses they offer. Candidates also need to conduct careful analysis of the rules and regulations applicable to the study permit application process. Ideally, you should start applying at least a year in advance if you are really serious about wanting to study in Canada.

Common requirements for all universities and institutions include an updated passport, proficiency in either English or French along with proof of passing prescribed language tests with minimum grades/bands, and proof that you can finance your study as well as the cost of living in the country. Requirements may differ in different provinces, which is why this step must be performed in a careful and systematic manner.

2. Choose your course and institution

The first step towards choosing a suitable institution is to ascertain its status as a Designated Learning Institute. Only DLI’s can give admission to foreign students. You will be then required to finalize a specific major course of your interest when applying to study in Canada. The Canadian academic setup is flexible towards switching courses, although it is best to compare your options beforehand and choose a major that you are truly interested in pursuing.

3. Take the language proficiency test

In order to study as well as enter into Canada, every international student will have to prove proficiency in English or French. IELTS is the preferred test for proficiency in English, with some institutions also accepting the Cambridge English: Advanced or TOEFL exam score. For French, you can opt for DALF, DELF, or TCF, although the TEF exam is the most common option. Choose the test preferred by your desired institution, pat the fee and book your dates well in advance.

4. Apply to Universities

Now comes the most important step. It is time to contact your shortlisted universities, obtain their application packs, and submit them well in advance. Having the choice of applying to a dozen universities can surely be advantageous but you also need to consider the application fee of each university which varies from $100 to $250. Therefore, it is necessary to compare your options, identify your preferred course and institution, and select one or two alternatives as backups. Remember to fill your form carefully with every information backed up with documentary evidence. Once this is done, you have to wait for an acceptance letter.

5. Apply for a study permit

Now that you have received your acceptance letter, it is time to apply for the Canada study permit. You can apply online or visit your local visa application centre. Your application must be accompanied by the acceptance letter received in the previous step, your passport, and documentary proof that you have adequate finances to study in Canada.

6. Travel time

Once the application has been processed and an interview, if required, has been conducted, the immigration officer will decide upon your study permit application. If accepted, it is now time to start planning about other necessary things. It is better if you plan about all the necessities including your travel plans well in advance to avoid any complications later on. Your permit will have a start date, which is the date from which the permit comes into force. Keep in mind that you won’t be permitted to enter Canada before this date. So, make your travel plans accordingly keeping all the crucial aspects in mind.

7. Study time

The immigration officer will now validate your permit and all the other required documents at the port of the entry before allowing you to enter the country. This is the final step of the immigration formalities and once the officer checks everything and allows you to move forward, you can now focus on commencing your journey as an international student in Canada.