Once you have decided to study in Canada and apply for a study permit, the next step involves gathering the documents.

What are the minimum documentary requirements to apply for a study permit?

Before you can apply for a study permit, you must be able to provide:

  1. proof of acceptance;
  2. proof of identity; and
  3. proof of financial support.

Proof/Letter of Acceptance (LOA)

You must be able to establish acceptance to a course or program of study by showing officers an original (or electronic copy) of your LOA from a DLI. When you submit your study permit application, you should include the original or electronic copy of the LOA.

In case of conditional acceptance, meaning the DLI requires completion of a prerequisite courses before admission to a program of study, the DLI may issue a conditional LOA. If this is the case, you will only be issued a study permit for the length of those courses plus 1 year. Upon completion of the prerequisite courses and acceptance into your main program, you must apply for a new student permit to extend your stay as a student.

Proof of Identity

You and each family member coming with you to Canada must have a valid passport or travel document. Before applying, check the validity of your passport. You must note that you cannot be issued a study permit past the expiry date of your passport. However, if you get a new passport after you arrive in Canada, you can apply to extend your stay.

You will also need two recent passport-size photos with your name and date of birth written on the back of each photo. However, if you need to give biometric fingerprints and photo, you do not need to include paper photos with your application.

Proof of financial support

You must demonstrate to the IRCC officer that you have sufficient funds for the duration of your studies if the program is less than a year, or at least for the first year of your studies if the duration of your studies is more than a year. In addition to that, you must also show sufficient funds to support yourself and family members who come with you.

The table below shows the minimum funds needed to support yourself as a student (and family members who come with you):

Outside Quebec*
Persons coming to CanadaAmount of funds required per year (excluding tuition)Amount of funds required per month (additional to the tuition)
You (the student)CAN$10,000CAN$833
First family memberCAN$4,000CAN$333
Every additional accompanying family memberCAN$3,000CAN$255

*If you want to come to Quebec, you can check the minimum required funds here.


If your tuition fee for the first year of a 2-year program is CAN $15,000 and you and your spouse want to come to a province outside Quebec, you must prove you have at least CAN $29,000.

Letter of Explanation

While this might not be required, you should include this if you decide to apply for a study permit as this will help the visa officer understand you and your goals. In this letter, you should explain why you want to study in Canada and that you understand your responsibilities as a student.

These are just the minimum documentary requirements to get you started. Depending on your country or region, you might have to submit other local requirements. You can check the visa office instructions for your country here.

Making an application may seem straight forward but missing a detail or making a mistake may prove costly and that’s why we are happy to help. Contact us at or by phone at 403-648-3121 to get started.

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