Yes. You can apply for a Canadian student visa from another country as long as you are legally admitted to the country you are currently applying from.
Once you have obtained a letter of acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) and are a legal resident in the country you intend to apply from, CIC wouldn’t even bother with where you are currently living and working, even if it is different from the country noted on your passport.
You are permitted to apply at your nearest visa application center (VAC). Note that the VAC will help ensure that your application is complete and that all necessary documentation are included. Also, note that you will be asked during your application why you are not applying from your country of citizenship.
Just show proof that you are a legal resident of the country you are applying from and everything will be just fine. If you are a citizen of certain countries or territories that do not require a visa but an eTA to travel to Canada, it might even play in your favor.
But just as with any other international student applying for a Canadian student visa, you must first obtain a letter of acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). DLIs are schools or universities approved by the provincial or territorial government to enroll international students.
To verify that a university or educational institution is a DLI, visit the Government of Canada website to find and select the province or territory of the school. It will show a list of all institutions that are DLIs. Also, depending on your nationality, you might be expected to show up at a Visa Application Centre in the country you are applying from to submit your biometrics.
Have it in mind that the biometrics fee is $85 CAD. This fee is in addition to the regular Canadian student visa application fee ($150 CAD). Note that some countries are exempt from this biometrics requirement, therefore their citizens won’t be expected to visit an application center at all.
Also note that you might be invited for an interview depending on your individual situation. Local visa application centers in the country you are applying from may charge a small fee for their services. Once you apply for your Canadian student visa, note that the processing may take up to 90 days, but will most often depend on certain situations.
You can use the Student Direct Stream to get the study permit faster. In general, application fees start at 150 CAD and the processing time is usually around 20 calendar days.
Requirements to Apply for a Canadian Student Visa from Another Country
Same as with anyone coming into Canada, there are certain eligibility criteria you are expected to meet and documents you have to submit when applying for a Canadian student visa from another country. They include;
- A valid acceptance letter from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI)
- Be at least 18 years old to apply as the main student visa applicant and your children who are under 18 years old cannot apply alone. If you have a child who has to attend primary or secondary school, you are expected to apply on their behalf.
- Have a clean criminal history and submit court and police documents to prove it.
- Complete and sign a Visa Application Center (VAC) Consent Form.
- Submit copies of your current immigration status in another country or in Canada.
- Prove that your stay in Canada is temporary and that you intend to return to your home country once your studies are over.
- A valid passport and your travel history
- A Declaration Letter from you to the Government of Canada explaining why they should offer you a visa and study permit.
- Two photos that meet the Canada Photo Requirements.
- Medical examinations.
- Your employment or education status through a resume or diplomas.
- Proof that you can cover the expenses of studying in Canada (tuition and living costs)
- If you are going to study in Quebec, then you will have to submit a Certificatd’acceptation du Quebec (CAQ) which is presented by the Quebec government. You will get the instructions from your school on how to apply for a CAQ.
- If a minor is going to Canada to study and has a custodian that is not a parent of the minor, then you also need to present a Custodian Declaration Form duly signed by the parents or legal guardians of the child.
- If you are applying for the first time, then a document number on the study permit that is called a Unique Client Identifier (UCI) is not required for you. If you have applied for a study permit before, you will have to write your study permit document number and this can be found in any letters that have been sent to you by the Canadian Government.
- If your family members (spouse or common-law partner and minor children) are also accompanying you, you will also have the application forms ready for them and apply together as a family.
How to Apply for a Canadian Student Visa from Another Country
The process of applying for a Canadian student visa from another country is the same regardless of your nationality or country of residency. You will be expected to follow these basic steps explained below to apply for a Canadian student visa:
Table of Contents
Apply to a Canadian University and Get Your Acceptance Letter
To start applying for a Canadian student visa, you first have to gain admission to study in a Canadian institution. A Letter of Acceptance from your Designated Learning Institution (DLI) is a very crucial document for your Canadian student visa application. This one-page document will have to meet IRCC’s requirement for a Letter of Acceptance and should be from a Designated Learning Institution.
Check Your Eligibility
With your acceptance letter in hand, you’ll be ready to apply for your study permit. If you are from a country that does not require a visa to enter Canada, you will be expected to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) and a study permit. Just make sure you understand the sort of visa you need and ensure you meet the eligibility requirements for a Canadian student visa. Nonetheless, you will need:
- An acceptance letter from a DLI
- Proof of financial support
- Have a clean criminal history and submit court documents to prove it.
- You must fill out and sign a Visa Application Center (VAC) Consent Form.
- You must submit copies of your current immigration status in another country or in Canada.
- Prove that your stay in Canada is temporary and that you will return to your home country once your studies are over.
Prepare Your Application
Start by gathering all the documents you need to apply for a Canadian student visa. If you don’t meet the requirements, an immigration officer may reject your application. Therefore, it is very important you seek the expertise of a qualified immigration representative who can help review your application before you submit it.
Submit Your Visa Application
When it comes to submitting your Canadian student visa application, note that you have two options:
- Submit an electronic application: You will be expected to create an account on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website. You can submit an application electronically using scanned or electronic copies of your documents.
- Submit a paper-based application: Gather hard copies of your documents and mail them to the Visa Application Centre (VAC) assigned to your country.
After submitting your visa application, you now have to wait for your application to be processed and a decision reached. Note that you won’t receive your Canadian study permit until you arrive at a Canadian Port of Entry (POE).
However, once your visa application is approved, the Canadian government will mail you a Port of Entry Introduction Letter. You will have to show this letter to the immigration office once you arrive in Canada to get your study permit.