Follow these steps to study in Canada

Step 1: Know the Requirements

In order to apply to universities or colleges in Canada you need to understand the basic requirements and know what programs and courses they have to offer. It is good to have a brief idea of the study permit requirements. When choosing a university, make sure to check for its accreditation. Some common documents required are passport, language proficiency proof, any academic exam if needed, proof of sufficient funds or scholarship letter, Letters of recommendation and passport sized photographs. As requirements vary by state and universities, spend good amount of time in doing its research.

Step 2: Decide on the university/college and the program

Before anything else, ascertain the college is a Designated Learning Institution as only they can admit foreign students.Candidates need to choose a specific course or program of interest to pursue however you can switch to a different course later but it’s always advisable to do some prior research and decide what interests you the most.

For more helpful tips on deciding the university, check out this article Top 11 things to consider when choosing a foreign university.

Step 3: Give the Language Proficiency Exam

As an international student you will need to prove your proficiency for English or French language. For English, IELTS is widely accepted in Canada while some institutions also accept the TOEFL test score. For French, you can choose between DALF, DELF, TCF, or TEF exam. Decide the test, register and pay the fee and book your exam slot well in advance.

Step 4: Apply to Universities and/or Colleges

Shortlist the universities you are interested in. Usually students apply to about 7-10 universities with a few being backups. Each university has an application fee which is a few hundred dollars so be mindful of the colleges you are applying to. Fill in the application form diligently with all the required documents. Double check before submitting and then sit back until you hear from the university.

Step 5: Apply for the Canada Study Permit

After getting an acceptance letter from a university, it is now time to apply for the Canadian study permit. You can choose to apply online or visit your local visa application center. Be sure to add the necessary documents to your application including your passport, acceptance letter received from the university, proof of adequate funds for your education and stay in Canada.

If you wish to study in the province of Quebec, then along with the acceptance letter, a “Certificat d’acceptation du Québec” (CAQ) will be sent to you be the university which you should include in the study permit application.

Step 6: Travel

After your application is processed, the immigration officer might ask for an interview. Once you get the acceptance on your study permit application, you can start to plan you travel and book the flights. Notice the start date on your study permit before which you will not be allowed to enter Canada.

Step 7: Immigration

When you land at any airport in Canada, you will have to go through the port of entry checkpoint where the immigration officer will check your study permit and other documents and may ask any questions if needed before letting you enter Canada.

This is the final step and now you can focus on your dream of studying in an international University.

After Completion of your Studies in Canada

You can apply for Canada’s work permit after graduation which allows you to stay and work in Canada until its validity.If you wish to stay in Canada longer, you can also apply for permanent residency.You can also find some provincial immigration streams specifically for international students.


I hope this article cleared your confusion on how to approach the application process. Have you started applying for universities in Canada? What step are you in? Let me know in the comments below.

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