From Pakistan to Canada: Understanding the Visa Process for International Education

Studying in Canada can be a great opportunity for international students, including those from Pakistan. The process for obtaining a Canadian study visa can seem daunting, but with proper planning and understanding of the requirements, it becomes more manageable. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you understand the visa process for international education in Canada

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Research Canadian Institutions

 Begin by researching Canadian universities or colleges that offer the programs you are interested in. Ensure the institution is designated by the Canadian government to host international students. Visit their websites and explore admission requirements, tuition fees, and available scholarships.

Obtain Admission

Once you have chosen a program and institution, apply for admission. Follow their application process and submit all required documents, such as transcripts, letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, and language proficiency test scores (e.g., IELTS or TOEFL).

Receive an Acceptance Letter

If your application is successful, you will receive an acceptance letter from the Canadian institution. This letter is essential for your visa application, so keep it safe.

Check Visa Eligibility

 Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria to apply for a Canadian study visa. The requirements may include a valid passport, proof of sufficient funds to cover tuition fees and living expenses, a clean criminal record, and a medical exam.

Apply for a Study Permit

The study permit is the official document that allows you to study in Canada. Apply online through the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website or through the VAC (Visa Application Center) in your country.

Pay the Application Fee

There is a non-refundable fee for processing your study permit application. Check the current fee on the IRCC website and pay it as required.

Submit Biometrics

In some cases, you may need to provide biometrics (fingerprints and photo). Check if this applies to you and follow the guidelines on the IRCC website.

Attend an Interview

In some cases, you might be required to attend an interview at your local Canadian consulate or embassy.

Wait for a Decision

The processing time for study permits varies depending on your country of residence. It’s best to apply well in advance, as processing times can be lengthy during peak seasons.

Receive Your Study Permit

If your application is approved, you will receive a Port of Entry (POE) Letter of Introduction and a study permit. The POE letter will allow you to travel to Canada, and the study permit will be given to you upon arrival at the Canadian border.

Plan Your Arrival

Plan your travel and accommodation in Canada before your departure. Make sure to arrange for transportation from the airport to your accommodation.

Study and Enjoy

Once you arrive in Canada, focus on your studies, adapt to the new environment, and make the most of your international education experience.

Normally, you need to give biometrics. If your local visa application centre is not open due to COVID-19, there are temporary measures in place for biometrics.

How we process your application

We’ll check your application to make sure you have all the documents you need.

If it’s incomplete, we’ll return your application without processing it.

If we approve your application, we’ll ask you to send us your passport.

Send us your passport (if we approve your application)

To get your visa, follow the instructions we’ll send to you.

Prepare for your travel to and arrival in Canada

You may need to bring with you documents you submitted with your visa application, or present additional documents to the border services officer on arrival in Canada.


Visa processes may change, so always refer to the official website of the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for the most up-to-date information and requirements. Good luck with your studies in Canada!

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