How to Apply for a Canada Student Permit: My Timeline, Process, and Costs
In this blog post, you will find:
- 4 things that you need to decide and complete before applying for a study permit
- My experience applying for a study permit in 3 parts:
- Documents I prepared before I submitted my application for a student permit
- How much does it cost to apply for a student permit
- My Student Permit Application Timeline: DIY Method + Purely Sponsored (single applicant)
4 things that you need to decide and complete before applying for a study permit
According to the official website of the Government of Canada, a study permit is a document they issue that allows foreign nationals to study at designated learning institutions (DLIs) in Canada. However, this document will not permit you to enter and stay in Canada alone. For that, you will need a visa. But before you get that visa, you must first apply for a study permit and be approved. The two documents (study permit and visa) will give you the right to stay in Canada as an international student for a specific time.
Before applying for a study permit, there are 4 things that you need to decide and complete.
- Decide on where you want to study, which school, and what program you want to learn. Then you need to secure your slot in the program and school by getting the Letter of Acceptance.
- Complete all the documents needed for your application. The list can be found in the GCKey (more on this below).
- Choose which stream – Student Direct Stream (SDS) or Regular Stream. Regardless of your choice, your application will go through a visa officer who will decide whether or not to approve your student permit application.
Check the Government of Canada’s Website to learn more about:
- Choose which method – DIY or Legal Consultant/Agency
If you choose DIY or Do it Yourself, the only fee you need to pay is the application fees, but you need to put extra effort into researching the process and gathering all the documents you need to apply for a student permit.
If you choose a legal consultant or agency, there will be an additional professional fee, but you will surely have guidance on the step-by-step process you need to take. When you choose this method, please be very careful that the consultant or agency you go for is legitimate, as there are a lot of cases where people are scammed.
It is up to you to weigh the pros and cons of each method and choose which one you think would best fit your situation.
My experience applying for a study permit in 3 parts:
To help you better understand the process of applying for a student permit, I would like to share my journey on how I applied for one. Few things to note about my application:
- I opted to do the DIY Method and Regular stream.
- Single applicant – I don’t have a spouse, common-law partner, or dependent.
- I’m in my early 20s.
- Purely sponsored by a relative living abroad (not in Canada).
Part 1: Documents I prepared before I submitted my application for a student permit
Although the Government of Canada’s website has a list of documents needed for both streams, I decided to create a GCKey account and see what exact documents I need to provide as it varies per application.
I highly encourage you to do this as there will be a series of questions you need to answer that will determine the documents you need to submit. Below are the documents I need to provide as a single applicant, no spouse or common-law partner, and no dependent. There is also a 4MB size limit.
Part 2: How much does it cost to apply for a student permit
- Biometrics – $85
- Permit Fee – $150
- Medical Fee – ₱11,550.00
- IELTS Exam – ₱11,650.00 (required only in SDS Stream)
Part 3: My Student Permit Application Timeline: DIY Method + Purely Sponsored (single applicant)
- Created a GCKey account to check what are the documents I needed to submit and listed them down for my reference. Then, I slowly started to gather and scan the documents.
- Set an appointment at St. Luke’s Medical Extension – Ermita for my upfront medical.
September 14, 2021
- I did my upfront medical and paid the fee of ₱11,650.00 in their clinic.
September 23, 2021
- Went to NBI to get my clearance.
September 29, 2021
- Lodged my student permit application and paid the student permit and biometrics fee. The application won’t go through until you pay the fees.
- Received a submission confirmation from IRCC.
September 30, 2021
- Received Biometrics Collection Letter from IRCC.
- Scheduled a biometrics appointment at VFS Global Makati.
October 3, 201
- Did my Biometrics
- “Biometrics Completed” reflected on my GCKey account.
October 5, 2021
- I emailed St. Luke’s to inquire about the status of my medical exam.
October 7, 2021
- St. Luke’s replied that my medical examination results had been forwarded to the IRCC via the eMedical system. They also sent me an updated e-medical sheet. No results were given to me online as per their policy. There is a fee of Php 210 should you opt to get a copy, but it can only be given to you personally (so you need to go to their clinic physically).
- I sent the updated E-med via the webform to IRCC.
October 12, 2021
- “Medical Passed” reflected on my GCKey account.
November 2, 2021
- Sent a follow-up via webform and email.
November 13, 2021
- Sent another follow-up via the Manila Office Webform.
November 14, 2021
- “Reviewing Eligibility” reflected on my GCKey account.
November 18, 2021
- Application Approved.
In summary, it took me 1 month and 21 days to get a result from the day I submitted my application. But it took me 2 to 3 months to gather all documents needed for the application.