Study Permit Processing Time for International Students Studying in Canada

January 11, 2024

Our findings show that many international students choose to study in Canada because of the many advantages that it has to offer. The country has a wide array of world-class educational institutions that provide nothing short of excellence in their courses and programs.

A study permit is one of the most crucial documents that international students need before and during their stay in Canada. Based on our first-hand experience, the processing times for study permits have a tendency to fluctuate at any given period due to global trends, immigration workload, and more.

Gain an in-depth understanding of study permits by reading this article because it breaks down and shares valuable insights into the components that dictate processing time, helping your application process go as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

This guide functions as a complete reference for inquiries regarding study permit processing time for international students. It will provide a detailed overview and comprehensive examination of the following topics:

  • What is a study permit?
  • What is the study permit processing time in Canada?
  • Factors influencing study permit processing time
  • How to check your study permit processing time.

Ready to start learning about all the factors that affect study permit processing time in Canada? Let’s get into it!

What Is a Study Permit?

A study permit is a document provided by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, or IRCC, that allows international students to temporarily stay and study at designated learning institutes (DLI) in Canada. Apart from a few special circumstances, it is a strict requirement if you plan to take a program or course for longer than six months.

You may also need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to enter Canada depending on your country of citizenship. When applying for a study permit, you need an acceptance letter from a university, college, or school that is considered a DLI in Canada. To be eligible, you must also provide proof of the following:

  • Sufficient funds for tuition fees, transportation, daily living expenses, and other costs while in Canada
  • You are in good medical condition
  • You have no criminal record

To maintain your student status, international students with a study permit need to meet all of the following requirements:

  • Always be enrolled at a designated learning institute (DLI)
  • Actively pursue and finish your study program
  • Follow the conditions indicated on your study permit
  • Leave Canada once your study permit expires (unless you apply for a study permit extension or a post-graduation work permit)
  • Stop studying if you no longer meet these conditions.

Study permits are automatically invalid exactly 90 days after you have completed your program or on the expiration date listed on the permit. If you plan to further pursue studies beyond the conditions indicated on your initial permit, applying for a study permit extension in Canada is critical to ensure that you avoid any repercussions.

Differences between Study Permit and Student Visa

What is the main difference between a study permit and a visa? A visa allows you to enter Canada, while a study permit allows you to stay and study in Canada.

A visa is a conditional authorization to enter the country that is not issued by the Government of Canada, which means that a border service officer can deny you entry. A study permit, on the other hand, contains details about your purpose of stay and grants you authority to study in the country.

If you are planning to bring your spouse with you to Canada, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) offers international students the option to apply for a visitor visa or a spousal work permit. You need to submit their application online when you apply for a study permit.

What Is the Study Permit Processing Time in Canada?

Our research indicates that the current average time for processing study permits in Canada is estimated to be around eleven weeks, however this can vary depending on the IRCC. This may seem like a lengthy duration, but it’s a great improvement from previous years.

Through our practical knowledge, we highly recommend that you apply for a study permit immediately once you receive your letter of acceptance from a DLI in Canada. Depending on the country that you are applying from, the typical timeframe for the entire process can take up to three months.

What Makes BorderPass Best For You?

If you are looking for study permit application services, BorderPass offers end-to-end support from initial study permits and post-graduate work permits to permanent residency.

Some of the most common challenges that international students have to deal with include processing delays, gathering documentation, English proficiency, navigating IRCC requirements, and more.

With BorderPass, you are assured of transparency, expertise, convenience, affordability, and a future-focused approach. The market average success rate for visa applications is at around 55%, while BorderPass has a proven track record of over 90%.

BorderPass is dedicated to providing first-rate guidance for international students in the Canadian immigration process. You can expect easy access to details and reminders on the BorderPass online platform and upcoming mobile app.

Factors Influencing Study Permit Processing Time

The study permit processing times listed by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada are calculated on a historical basis. This simply means that the estimated period for processing is based on how long it took 80% of applications in the past. An individual’s study permit processing time varies depending on these central factors:

Application Volume

The estimated study permit processing time is affected by how many applications are currently being processed. The greater the number of applications and processing backlog generally means the period takes longer than usually estimated.

Completeness of the Application

The processing time of your application is influenced by the forms and requirements you submit. It is shortened by having clear and complete requirements that fulfill the entire checklist given to you.

Verification of Documents

Your country of citizenship and how easy it is to verify your documents and information can significantly affect how long it will take to process your study permit.

Medical Examination

You may be required to submit a medical exam to study in Canada if you will be in the country for more than six months and are from a country that requires a Canadian visa. It’s crucial to give yourself enough time for this to speed up your application process.

Security Screening

Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) and Canadian Security Intelligence Services (CSIS) conduct background checks and advise IRCC on whether applicants are a threat to national security.

Interview Requirements

You may also be asked to send more information or go to an interview with Canadian visa officials in your country. It is vital for you to account for these in your processing timeline.

Processing Capacity of Visa Offices

How well international visa offices communicate with Canadian visa authorities and how streamlined their processing systems are can dictate how long your study permit will be processed.

External Events and Situations

It is a good measure to consult the Immigration Canada website, in the event that there are any changes to the law or other considerations that you need to plan for before entering Canada.

Response Times from Applicants

An individual’s study permit processing time is extended by slow response rates from the applicants themselves. To avoid this, be sure to stay on top of notifications regarding your application.

Biometrics Appointment

Lastly, you may need to submit your biometrics (photograph and fingerprints) when applying for a study permit. If required, you will have to physically go to the visa application center (VAC) nearest to you.

How to Check Your Study Permit Processing Time

Let’s take a look at the steps on how you can check the status of your application and study permit processing time:

Access the Official Immigration Website

The first step is to visit the ‘Check processing times’ page on the Canada Immigration and Citizenship site. Note that the information on this page is updated on a daily basis.

Select ‘Temporary Residence’ and Follow the Steps

The next step is to click on the dropdown bar and select ‘Temporary Residence,’ you will then need to indicate you are applying for a study permit, and which country you are applying from.Then click ‘Get processing time’ and follow the succeeding steps.

Checking Application Status Through Online Accounts

To check the current status of your application, log into your BorderPass account or keep an eye on your email inbox for regular email updates on your application status.

Contacting the Visa Application Center or Helpdesk

For inquiries and concerns, you can contact the visa application center or IRCC directly. You can also refer to the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada Help Centre.

Key Takeaways

Study permit processing time is determined by a multitude of factors. These can include overall application volume, processing capacity of visa offices, response time of applicants, and more.

It is typical for each individual applicant to have a different experience with processing times. As per our expertise, it’s always best to submit your application and comply with the requirements as early as possible to ensure that applying for your study permit is fast and efficient.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Do Certain Application Processing Times Fluctuate While Others Do Not?

It is hard to define a maximum time or minimum time for your application’s processing because there are several factors that need to be considered. These can generally include immigration backlogs, security screenings, verification of documents, and many more.

Can I Speed Up My Study Permit Processing Time?

The best you can do to speed up your study permit processing time is to apply immediately, submit background check and medical exam documentation as early as possible, and make sure you submit complete forms and requirements.

What Countries Do International Students Typically Come From?

International students in Canada typically come from countries such as India, Malaysia, Italy, Bangladesh, Norway, China, Philippines, Nigeria, and many more.

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