What is required to study in Canada?

You typically need to fulfill several requirements to obtain a study permit (student visa) to study at a university in Canada. These requirements may vary slightly depending on your specific situation and the program you’re applying for, but here are the general steps and criteria:

  1. Letter of Acceptance: You must first be accepted by a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada. Once accepted, the institution will provide you with a letter of acceptance, which you’ll need to include in your study permit application.
  2. Provincial Attestation letter (PAL): Starting March 2024, you are requested to provide a Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) issued by the province where you study. This process takes place through the university/college. Once accepted by your educational institution, the institution will provide you with the Provincial Attestation Letter, which you’ll need to include in your study permit application.
  3. Financial Support: You need to prove that you have enough money to cover your tuition fees, living expenses, and return transportation for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada. The exact amount required can vary depending on the educational institution’s location and your program of study. However, you are expected to show $20,685 to cover living expenses for the first year. 
  4. Pay university tuition: Starting in 2024, most universities and colleges will require an advance tuition payment for either the first semester or the first year to provide you with an acceptance letter and the provincial attestation letter- required for your study application.
  5. Proof of English or French Proficiency: If your program of study is not in English or French, you must provide proof of language proficiency by taking a language test such as IELTS or TOEFL for English or TEF for French.
  6. Biometrics: Depending on your country of origin, you may need to provide biometric information (fingerprints and photograph) as part of your application.
  7. Other Supporting Documents: You may be required to provide additional documents such as a valid passport, proof of ties to your home country, and a statement of purpose explaining why you want to study in Canada.

If you intend to study English or French Language in a Canadian institution and the program is less than six months, you DO NOT need a study visa

It’s important to carefully review the specific requirements and procedures outlined by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for study permit applications, as some significant changes took place in early 2024. Changes affecting getting a Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) for undergraduate studies and accompanying family members with you while studying. 

Finally, it’s advisable to apply for your study permit well in advance of your planned travel date to allow for processing time.

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