How to Apply for University in Canada for International Students

Are you thinking of applying to study abroad? Have you considered the university application process for foreign students in Canada?

If yes, then you should know that studying in another country requires a lot of effort and preparation. We therefore will show you how to apply for university in Canada for international students and other vital things such as cost and requirements.

In addition to the academic requirements, you also need to consider other aspects such as visa processing, accommodation, living expenses, etc.

Canada has become one of the top destinations for international students. According to the Canadian Bureau of International Education (CBIE), over 2 million international students studied in Canada in 2017. This number is expected to increase to 3.2 million by 2023.

To successfully complete your studies in Canada, you need to prepare well before you arrive. There are several things you need to take into consideration, such as choosing the right program, selecting the right school, finding scholarships or grants, and preparing for the immigration process.

In addition to being one of the biggest and most diversified nations in the world, Canada also ranks among the top nations in the world for tertiary education. 

You won’t be shocked, then, to learn that it is a very sought-after location for international students and that the admissions process is very difficult. That being said, it is still feasible to be accepted into a prestigious undergraduate program at a university or a niche program, such as one of these top law schools in Canada, for instance. 

Everything you need to know about applying to and enrolling in Canadian universities will be covered in this article.

Canadian Study Permit Application Process

A Canadian study permit is a document that allows you to study at a school in Canada. You need a Canadian study permit in order to enroll in a program at a Canadian university. 

You can submit an application for a study visa in Canada after being granted admission to a Designated Learning Institution (DLI).

Verify your qualification:

Make sure that you are eligible for a study permit in Canada. 

You will require: 

  • a DLI acceptance letter, 
  • evidence of funding, and 
  • supporting documentation (varies depending on your country of citizenship and residence)

Get your application ready: 

If you are eligible, you can begin putting together your study permit application. Make sure you have all the paperwork needed for your nation. 

An immigration officer has the right to reject your application if you can’t demonstrate that you meet the conditions. 

Before submitting your application, it is a good idea to have a knowledgeable immigration representative check it.

Send in your application for a study permit: 

When submitting your application, you have two choices: 

  • Fill out and provide a paper application: The Visa Application Centre (VAC) designated to your nation will accept physical copies of your documents by mail.

Come to Canada if your study permit is approved! 

Before you reach a Canadian Port of Entry, you will not acquire your study permission for Canada (POE). The Canadian government will give you a Port of Entry Introduction Letter if your permit is accepted. 

When you arrive in Canada, you must provide this letter to an immigration authority in order to obtain a study permit.

Time Duration For The Application Of Student Permit 

Permits for study are processed at varying rates. Your nation of residency will affect how long it takes. 

The average wait time is two to four weeks, although some applicants may have to wait up to sixteen weeks. Processing times vary depending on how many applications are submitted. You may suffer delays if you submit your application close to the start of the Canadian academic year.

How to Apply for University in Canada for International Students

It’s not strange that you desire to study in a Canadian University, but it could seem like an impossibility when you have no idea where to begin. 

Things can appear much trickier because each university, and even each program, has its own norms and specifications. 

So, now you have the entire procedure broken down into doable phases.

Step 1: Make sure you comply with all regulations

Make sure to start planning at least a year in advance because applying to universities in Canada as an international student takes time. Check the prerequisites for different courses to determine what paperwork is required for each. 

Remember that the requirements for universities in one province may be very different from those in another.

For every university, you would require 

-a current passport 

-An English or French language requirement -Proof of your ability to finance your education

Step 2: Select a course and pick the University of your choose 

When applying to universities in Canada, you will select and submit an application for a certain major, however, unlike the UK, this is typically more flexible if you change your mind. 

As there are different fees for each program and university you apply to, you must ensure that the institution you apply to is on the designated learning institutes (DLI) list in order to be granted a student visa. You should also be certain that you want to attend the universities you choose.

Step 3: Take the English proficiency Test

Given that it is accepted by all Canadian colleges and institutions, IELTS is most likely your best option for an English language competence test. You could also take the TOEFL or Cambridge English: Advanced tests. 

You’ll probably require a French proficiency test if you want to attend school in a region of Canada that speaks French. The TEF exam is the most popular, although you can also take the DALF, DELF, or TCF exams. 

Check the website to see how much it will cost to bring in your country since fees for each start at about $100 CA and go up from there. 

To guarantee a date and timely receipt of your perfect test results, make your reservation this far in advance.

Step 4: Apply to the university of your choice 

The application procedure differs significantly from course to course and university to university, as we previously said. 

Contact the universities that interest you, and they will send you their own application packets that should walk you through the procedure. 

Each university may charge an application fee for each program that can range from about CA$100 (US$78) to CA$250 (US$195). 

Therefore, before submitting applications at random, make sure you are confident you would want to study there and that you match the requirements due to the hefty application costs.

Once your applications have been sent, all you can do is wait. 

Congratulations if you are approved; that’s the first significant obstacle out of the way. You will get an admission letter if you confirm your intention to enroll at your chosen university. 

Keep this letter carefully because you will need it in the future.

Step 5: Apply for your student permit 

You must pay the CA$150 (US$117) visa cost when applying for a visa in person or online at your local visa application center. 

You must offer the supporting documentation shown below: 

  • DLI University’s letter of acceptance 

  • current passport proof of ability to sustain oneself 

  • You will also require a “Certificat d’acceptation du Québec” (CAQ), which your university will send you, if you are studying in the province of Quebec.

You can be asked to present more proof, such as your fingerprints, which would set you back CA$83 (US$65), or an interview.

Step 6: Start planning your journey 

Was your study permit approved? Brilliant! Start making plans and pack your bag. 

Verify your visa’s start date again to make sure you enter the country on time; unpleasant surprises at immigration are not the best way to begin your new life in Canada.

Finally, it’s time to start planning your lodging and making travel arrangements, including booking flights, trains, boats, and other transportation. 

Have some fun considering and debating whether you might like to live in dorms or a house, and inquire with your university about any assistance and support it might offer. 

Additionally, you can finally mark a day in your calendar for the start of your Canadian exploration. 

Step 7: Get to Canada and begin your study

Keep all of your documentation easily available in your hand luggage so that you can give Canadian immigration officials anything they require to verify your identity and the reason you are in the country. 

Celebrate as soon as you are finished (and out of the way of immigration) by savoring the brief buzz of exhilaration. You succeed!!

Requirements For International Students To Study In Canada

Canada is a study place that more and more international students are choosing. 

Canada is one of the top five study abroad destinations in the world. Undergraduate, graduate and short-term studies are all available in Canada. 

If you wish to study in Canada or at one of their best universities, you must apply on time and submit all of your required materials. 

The GRE, IELTS, TOEFL, and other exams must be taken, among others, in order to be admitted to Canada. 

To apply to business programs like the MBA in Canada, prospective candidates must have a respectable GMAT score. 

In order to support your application and direct you through the admissions process, you’ll also need SOPs, LORs, and other papers.

Overview of the Admission requirements 

Every university in Canada has its own requirements for studying there for various majors. It might contain a number of documents that contain both academic qualifications and personal information. The standard paperwork that must be submitted is:

  • Certificate of completion of school leaving for bachelor’s degree program 
  • Certificate of Bachelor’s Degree (for Master’s Course) 
  • evidence of language proficiency 
  • SOP for Canada 
  • recommendation letter (if required) 
  • CV or resume (if needed) 
  • Scanned copy of passport
  • Additional merit certificates that apply

English Language Proficiency Requirements For International Students To Study In Canada

International students are frequently required to submit evidence of their English language skills when applying to Canadian colleges, therefore candidates must pass tests like the TOEFL, PTE, IELTS, and CAEL to provide valid results.

IELTS Score for Admission to Canada

One of the most popular and high-stakes English language exams in the world is the IELTS, which rates your level of English proficiency on a scale of 1 to 9 in four areas: speaking, writing, reading, and listening. 

The student can choose up to five colleges to receive their marks for free after passing this exam. The lowest IELTS score needed for a student to obtain a visa to study in Canada is 6.0, but most educational institutions require a score of 6.5.

CAEL (Canadian Academic English Language Assessment Test)

You can take the CAEL exam in the United States, India, Canada, China, United Arab Emirates, or the Philippines. Your skill in English is evaluated on this test in four areas: speaking, writing, reading, and listening. 

Within eight business days of finishing the test, students can view their results, which will be scored on a range of 10 to 90.

TOEFL score for Canada Admission 

All Canadian universities accept the TOEFL, and because the paper-based TOEFL is no longer offered, students can take the online version instead. 

The TOEFL is typically recognized via iBT for overseas students in Canada, and when the results are released, a student has two years to apply to the university of their choosing. 

Universities in Canada require an average TOEFL score of between 80 and 100.

PTE for Canadian Admission 

The reading, listening, speaking, and writing portions of the academic test are evaluated using a computer. 

Students should examine before taking this exam for higher studies before applying to Canadian universities. 

Additionally, a student who has completed three years of study in a school where English is the official language is exempt from having to take the PTE exam.

Cost of Study and Living In Canada

The good news is that tuition is reasonably priced in Canada. Australian, American, and British tuition rates are often higher than those in Canada. 

The average annual tuition for an undergraduate international student in Canada in the 2018–2019 academic year was $27,159 CAD. 

The cost of living is a significant consideration when choosing a destination for your study abroad program. Compared to other countries, Canada’s cost of living can be extremely reasonable.

Housing costs are often greater in big cities like Toronto and Vancouver than in smaller ones. 

The University of Toronto, which hosts almost 20,000 international students, calculates that a student’s monthly accommodation expenses in downtown Toronto will range from $1,080 to $2,982 CAD.

Let’s look at some Frequently Asked Questions About How to apply for university in Canada for international students:

What Qualifications Are Needed To Enroll In A Canadian University? 

The requirements for attending university are rather simple. In all situations, high school grades—typically grade 12; some schools also take grade 11 grades into account—are the primary factor in determining admittance. Most of the time, a high school average of at least 70% will do.

Who Would Sponsor Me For a Student Visa to Canada? 

dependent children who don’t have any other dependent children, common-law or romantic partner, or spouse. 

If you are 18 years of age or older, a Canadian citizen, a person who is recognized as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act, or a permanent resident of Canada, you may sponsor certain relatives.

Are Admissions to Canadian Universities Competitive? 

Due to the intense competition, it might be challenging to be accepted into Canadian universities at times. Some universities, though, might have incredibly high acceptance rates.

What Percentage is Needed for a Student Visa to Canada? 

For the humanities stream in class XII, a minimum percentage of 65% is necessary, and for the science/commerce stream in class XII, a minimum percentage of 70 to 80% is required. Students who received less than a 60% are eligible for the Foundations and Diploma programs.


If you are an international student who is interested in applying to a university in Canada, we can help. 

Our team of experts is ready and waiting to provide you with all of the information you need about how to apply and what to expect during the admissions process. Do you have suggestions about how to apply for university in Canada for international students, please leave a comment below.

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