Before you apply for a Canadian study permit, you need that all-important document: the Letter of Acceptance. To obtain this, you need to apply to a Canadian university or college.
The first step is finding an institution and program that interests you.
It is important to note at this stage that any post-secondary college or university hosting international students in Canada must be a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). Find out more about DLIs, including a list of institutions, on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.
Once you know where you want to apply, it’s time to get your documents in order. Most universities and colleges will require a copy of your high school transcript. You may need to also provide an educational credential assessment to show that your transcript is equivalent to the level of a Canadian high school diploma, and if your transcript is not in English or French you should expect to be asked for an official translation. Check your intended institution’s website for the requirements for educational credential assessment, as this can vary by institution and program.
Further requirements and conditions for application can vary extensively between institutions, so be prepared to do your research and consult each institution’s website. All the information you’ll need will be clearly presented online, but you can also reach out in person to the admissions department of your intended Canadian university or college – they’ll be happy to help you.
Further documents such as letters of recommendation, portfolios, personal essays, and other supporting documents may also be requested, depending on the program or institution. As always, it’s best to consult your intended institution directly for the full requirements.
If you’re applying to a post-graduate program such as a Master’s-level or PhD program, requirements will be different, but you can expect to be asked for university-level transcripts or career experience that make you eligible for the program. However, it is advised to contact the Canadian university you wish to study in advance for their specific post-graduate program requirements
Proof of language
As an international student, you will also need to show proficiency in English (or French, depending on the institution). Generally, this means you need to supply results of a recognized language test such as the TOEFL or IELTS – required results and recognized testing bodies will vary by institution. Students from some countries are exempt from this requirement, but the exemptions and conditions can also vary by institution and program, so you’ll need to check with your intended institution. Generally, if you’ve studied in English and the recognized language of school-level education in your country is English, you may be exempt from the requirement to provide a language test.