Study Permits for Indians for post-secondary study as international students in Canada


Category - Study-abroad series – Canada

Canada provides excellent career options for post-secondary education. Indian students planning to go to Canada for post-secondary (that is college) education for more than 6 months require a study permit. A study permit is not a Visa. Students shall additionally require a temporary visitor visa or eTA (electronic travel authorization)

The process of getting a study permit for Canada consists of 3 steps 

  1. Identification of program and institution – To get a study permit, the institution should be DLI (Designated Learning Institute). Further, not all DLIs offer programs that allow post-graduation work permits. 

Respicite Tip: 

Please take the Psychometric Test for Career from Respicite to finalize the preferred career option and required post-secondary program to achieve the same. Our career counselling can provide a comprehensive plan for study within India as well as study abroad.

  1. Get a letter of acceptance from the institution – Make sure that you apply at least one year in advance for a post-secondary program. Contact the target institution. The institution shall provide information about the cost of application, tuition fees, health insurance, rent & cost of living as well as language test requirements. Please note that the Government of Canada does not provide medical costs to foreign students. If the school accepts you as a student, it shall send a letter of acceptance. This shall be required to apply for a study permit. 
  2. Apply for study permit - A study permit is issued to foreign nationals to study at a designated learning institution (DLI). Most foreign nationals need a study permit to study in Canada. The following documents shall be required
    1. Letter of acceptance by a DLI
    2. PAL – Provisional attestation letter
    3. Proof of identity – Valid Passport
    4. Proof of financial support - For most students, proof of financial support is a bank statement of the last 4 months or proof of student or education loan from a bank. For a single person, the typical fund requirement is around twenty thousand Canadian dollars per year (except for Quebec) excluding tuition fees. 

There might be additional documents depending on the location & institution. Please complete your biometric registration as soon as you apply. Processing time is twelve weeks excluding biometric registration time. If approved, you shall get a letter of introduction that says that you are allowed to study in Canada. You’ll get your study permit at the port of entry when you arrive in Canada. You need to bring this letter with you and show it to a border services officer when you arrive in Canada.

Direct Study Stream (DSD) – Indians can apply for DSD to get a study permit within 20 days. They shall need the following documents 

  1. Letter of acceptance, PAL & GIC
  2. Medical certificate & Police certificate, if required
  3. Proof of tuition fees paid for 1st year
  4. Most recent secondary or post-secondary school transcripts and minimum score in English qualifying exam
  5. Other, application specific documents

Respicite Tip:

International institutions hugely value academic performance in school. Take a psychometric assessment for good student habits. Understand the improvement areas in your study habits. 


Every country has different rules and processes for international students. Please understand both of these very clearly to avoid application or visa rejections.