While this will most often depend on your country of residence and the number of applications submitted with the IRCC, on average, it takes around 3-11 weeks to apply and get a Canadian student visa. The processing time starts the day that the IRCC gets your complete application and ends the day they reach a decision.

However, with Canada being one of the most popular places to immigrate for students, the IRCC receives thousands of international student visa applications every year and this will surely dictate how long it takes to obtain your visa.

On the surface, the process of getting a Canadian student visa might seem very easy, but it is quite a challenge. Although a good number of students think obtaining a letter of acceptance is the most challenging part of the pre-study abroad process, it can be even more daunting to get a student visa approved.

With Canada being such a desirable study destination, so many students strive to pursue an education in this country and this can make it significantly harder to obtain a visa because of the high volume of applicants. Before applying for a Canadian student visa, you must have a fair idea of how long it can take to obtain the final approval.

Note that this makes your visa application journey way smoother and less bothersome. Just as it was noted above, it takes 3-11 weeks to process your application for a Canadian Student Visa, however, this is just an estimated time, especially since a good number of factors can influence the visa processing time significantly.

Factors That Can Influence How Long It Takes to Get a Canadian Student Visa

Just as was noted above, how long it will take to obtain a Canadian student visa will depend on factors that include;

  • Country of residence
  • Type of application you have submitted
  • Completion of application with the relevant information
  • Submission of supporting documents
  • Backlog the immigration department has to deal with
  • How quick you are to respond to any requests or queries sent by the authority
  • Applicants with previous criminal records can expect a delay

What Can You Do to Shorten the Time it Takes to Get a Canadian Student Visa?

Agreeably, waiting remains the most daunting part of applying for a Canadian student visa. Since the process is complicated, there are various reasons why your application might take time or even be denied. To avoid delay or denial, here are tips to help you;

  1. Show That You Can Financially Support Yourself

When you submit a Canadian student visa application, you are always expected to show that you have the adequate financial backing to pay for the trip to Canada, pay your tuition fees, and support yourself and any accompanying family members while you’re studying.

This is also referred to as “show money”. Most often, the government will request six months of bank statements that demonstrate that you have substantial show money. You might encounter delays or even have your application denied if the government believes you don’t have enough money to support yourself and your family in Canada.

  1. Review The School Documents Before You Submit

Normally, you will need to receive a letter of acceptance from a Canadian educational institution before you can start applying for your Canadian student visa. Have it in mind that the school that issues your letter of acceptance will have to be a registered Canadian educational institution.

Also, note that you will encounter delays if your documents are not clear and easy to read. Owing to that, ensure you review the school documents before you submit them. Take your time to ensure that all the documents are clear and easy to read, and provide any additional supporting documents that you can.

  1. Review Your Travel or Identity Documents

You can also experience delays with your application if you don’t have a complete record of your travel history, or if your identity documents are blurry. Also, note that this may cause the IRCC to refuse your study permit application.

Therefore, ensure you review the documents you intend to submit when you are applying for a Canadian student visa and be sure to include additional supporting evidence to cover blank periods in your traveling documents. If the problem is with your identity documents, review your application to make sure that they were clear and easy to read.

  1. Show That You Intend to Leave the Country After Your Studies

Your Canadian student visa is a temporary visa, and this entails that it has a validity period and expiration date. In your visa application, you are expected to show convincing evidence that you intend to leave the country when your student visa expires.

Truth be told, you are allowed to apply to extend your study permit or stay permanently as there are numerous programs available to help students stay and work in Canada after they must have graduated, or transition to permanent residence. However, to avoid delays with your application, the visa officer will need to trust that you will not stay in the country illegally when you are out of status.

  1. Consider Your Choice of Program

Your application can experience a delay if the visa officer doesn’t understand the logic and why you chose your program. Note that someone with a bachelor’s in engineering from the US and four years of experience working as a civil engineer who wants to study nursing, for instance, will have to be questioned.

Your application will experience delay or even be rejected if it doesn’t seem to align in any way with your educational background or employment. However, if the program you have chosen seems that way, owing to your past education or work experience, ensure you send in supporting documents to clearly explain why you want to study it.


Whether you’re looking to apply outside or inside of Canada, note that it will take around 3-11 weeks to get your Canadian student visa. However, note that this varies depending on your country and the time of year.

While Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) tend to note processing times on their website, have it in mind that these time frames are not always reliable. Just ensure you start your application on time and submit every necessary document to avoid any form of delay.