Canada is the second largest country in the world after Russia. However, its population is only about one fifth of Russia’s.

Nearly 90% of Canadians live within 200km of the border with the United States, which means that Canada contains vast expanses of wilderness to the north.

The relationship to its powerful neighbor is a defining factor for Canada.  The US and Canada have the world’s largest trading relationship.                                                         


The North American Free Trade Agreement, involving Canada, the US and Mexico, has brought a trade boom for Canada. But thorny issues abound. American moves which impact on Canadian exports, in the form of tariffs on Canadian timber and increased subsidies for US farmers, have created particular tension.

Canada is also worried about pollution from US factories near the border, and about the possible impact on the environment of the exploitation of oil deposits in Alaska.

Canada pursues a foreign policy that is distinct from that of the US. The country has committed troops to the American-led war on terror, but does not back the US trade embargo on Cuba. Canada did not send troops to join the US-led war in Iraq.

After the 11 September 2001 attacks in the US, the challenge of securing the 9,000-km Canada-US border from possible terrorist infiltration prompted both countries to look at ways of sharing information.


Immigration has helped to make Canada one of the world’s richest nations. Challenges related to discrimination and integration are gaining increasing attention. Many recent newcomers hail from Asia. Canada’s indigenous peoples make up less than two per cent of the population. The way in which provincial governments share land and natural resources with native groups is an ongoing issue.

Separatist aspirations in the predominantly French-speaking province of Quebec are a major domestic issue. A referendum in 1995 saw advocates of an independent Quebec only narrowly defeated. Subsequent opinion polls indicated a fall in support for independence and the pro-independence Party Quebecois was defeated in 2003’s provincial election.

The concept of nationhood for Quebec resurfaced in late 2006, when parliament agreed that the Quebecois should be considered a “nation” within a united Canada. The move was largely symbolic, having no constitutional or legal grounding.

Canada has been asserting its sovereignty in the Arctic with growing vigor and has become embroiled in territorial spats with the US and Denmark. At stake is the possible bounty from previously-untapped reserves of oil and gas.


  • FACTS :
  • Full name: Canada
  • Population: 3 million (UN, 2011)
  • Capital: Ottawa
  • Largest city: Toronto
  • Area: 9 million sq km (3.8 million sq miles)
  • Major languages: English, French (both official)
  • Major religion: Christianity
  • Life expectancy: 79 years (men), 83 years (women) (UN)
  • Monetary unit: 1 Canadian dollar = 100 cents
  • Main exports: Machinery and equipment, automotive products, metals and plastics, forestry products, agricultural and fishing products, energy products
  • GNI per capita: US $43,270 (World Bank, 2010)
  • Internet domain: .ca
  • International dialing code: +1

Climate: Central Canada and northern Canada experiences subarctic and Arctic climates, much of them arid. Those areas are not heavily populated due to the severe climate, where it drops below −20 °C (−4 °F) on most winter days and has a very brief summer season.


Over 200,000 international students choose to pursue their education in Canada each year. If you are looking for a world-class education in an English-speaking nation with a high standard of living, look no further than Canada.

Canada has 12 universities ranked in the Times Higher Education Supplement Top 200. This strong education system (along with its economy and quality of life) earned Canada a designation by the UN as one of the best places in the world to live.

Canada utilizes the same three-fold degree system as the United States:


Bachelors degree


Masters degree


Doctorate degree



Canada graduates nearly five thousand doctoral candidates a year in a wide variety of fields. Recently, the Canadian government has expressed a desire to expand the entire doctoral program to educate a larger number of students each year; this is a prime opportunity for international students interested in studying in Canada.

What is Canadian Student Life Like ?

The Great Outdoors

Natural resources are major draw for students looking to study in Canada.  Whether you love hiking , skiing, waterskiing, rock climbing or just enjoying a beautiful evenings sunset , Canada has some of the most pristine natural areas in the world.

Culture and Sports

But it’s not all back to nature.  Canadian universities and cities are complete with cultural events and an active nightlife for the international students.  Canada has over two thousands historical and cultural sites and attractions for you to enjoy – ranging from Aboriginal festivals to the latest in avant-garde art.  If you’d like more excitement than inspiration, you can’t beat a Canadian home hockey game for the raw energy and passion.

What Does A Canadian Education Cost?

Cost of Canadian Education

Many international students looking to study in Canada quickly discover that Canadian universities offer a solid return on your educational investment.  These outstanding schools are generally lower in tuition fees than many other English – Speaking countries while undergraduate course fees will depend on your program of study most international students fees start a CAN$15,000 per year. Of course, academic and athletic scholarships are available for international students who want to study in Canada.

Cost of Living

Canada’s general cost of living is less expensive than in most European countries.. The Canadian government estimates that average university student living expenses (room, board, entertainment) range from CAN$400 to 800 per month.

Other Financial Resources

The Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) has a very informative website that provides estimated costs for international students studying at particular Canadian universities. You should certainly research the specific costs of your preferred schools before making a decision to study in Canada.


Canada International Student Insurance

International Student Health Insurance for Canada

Home to the world renowned Niagara Falls and with over 30% of the country covered in forests, the landscape alone is enough make Canada a desirable destination for international students. According to the Canadian Bureau for International Education these individuals comprise 8% of the post-secondary student population and have helped create over 80,000 jobs in recent years.

In 2017, there are hundreds of thousands of international students studying in Canada. This is part of a government strategy to reshape Canadian demographics by bringing in more well-educated skilled workers to the Canadian university system.

The United Nations consistently ranks Canada as one of the best places in the world to live. Many international students are drawn to Canada because the quality of education and living standards in Canada are among the best in the world. In addition, the cost of living and tuition fees are generally lower in Canada than in the United States or the United Kingdom, making Canada the preferred destination for international students.

Healthcare in Canada

Canada is known throughout the world for its government-funded national healthcare system. This system is meant to provide healthcare that is universally available to permanent residents, is without income barriers, has comprehensive coverage, it portable within Canada and elsewhere, and is administered publicly.

Whether or not public health services are offered to international students is at the discretion of each province. Provinces and territories that offer health coverage to international students are:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Northwest Territories
  • Saskatchewan

Students in provinces that do not offer health coverage to international students are generally required to purchase private health insurance. To assist international students in Canada, we offer two excellent insurance options. The Student Secure provides full-time students and their families with health insurance coverage that can be kept through the duration of study. On the other hand, Atlas Travel is designed to provide coverage for less than 1 year, making it a great option for short-term study abroad programs, or as a more affordable choice for families, since you don’t have to be a student to qualify.

Choosing an international student insurance plan can be daunting when attempting to find a plan that meets both school and country visa requirements, so it’s important to weigh your options before purchasing. If you have questions about our plans or would like to discuss specific insurance requirements, feel free to contact us.

Please review both plans below and contact our customer service team if you need assistance:


Atlas Travel

Student Secure

Policy Maximum

$50,000 to $2 Million

$200,000 to $500,000 max


$0 up to $5,000

$25 up to $100


$ USD priced

$ USD priced


Starting at $0.79/ day

Starting at $0.95/ day


Canada Visa Requirements

As an international student, there are various Canada student visa requirements that you will need to meet in order to live, study, and work in Canada. In most cases, you will need to be issued a student visa, or “study permit.” This is issued by the Canadian government upon your arrival in Canada to attend school.

Do I Need a Canadian Student Visa?

Generally speaking, all international students who study in Canada are required to have a student visa. There are, however, a few exceptions. For example, if you will be enrolled in a short-term educational course that lasts six months or less; or if you are a member of the armed forces of another country living in Canada according to the terms of the Visiting Foreign Forces Act, you will generally not need a Canadian student visa. You may or may not need a student visa if you are a staff member or family member of someone who is a foreign representative to Canada who has been accredited by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. You may be required to have a temporary resident visa to Canada (depending on where you live or your citizenship) in addition to a student visa.

Application Process for a Canadian Student Visa

Check the processing time.

Find out how long it takes to process a standard study permit application at a specific office so that you will know how far in advance to apply. Remember that this is not a guarantee; you should apply well in advance to be safe.

Next, you can either:

Apply online.

You must have access to a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents for uploading and have a valid credit card for payment. If you apply online, this is the final step in the application process.

Apply on paper.

To do this, first download the application kit and read the instruction guide. This will provide you with information about student visas and instructions to help you complete your application.

1.     Pay the processing fee.

Refer to the fee schedule for the cost to apply for a student visa and how to pay.

This processing fee is non-refundable in all cases. If you do not submit the correct fee, your application will be considered incomplete and will be returned to you.

2.     Submit your application and supporting documents.

Submit your application package (this includes forms, fees, and supporting documents) according to the guidelines for submitting an application.

Studying in Quebec

If you are planning on studying in Quebec, a Certificate of Acceptance (CAQ) will be required before applying for a Canadian student visa. When you submit your visa application, you should include either:

  • Your Certificate of Acceptance (CAQ), or
  • The approval letter sent by the Quebec government before the CAQ is issued. This letter contains your CAQ number.

Please remember that your application cannot be finalized until a copy of your CAQ or the approval letter has been received.

Healthcare in Canada

As with every country, it is important that international students planning on studying in Canada familiarize themselves with the health care system in Canada. Many international students will find that the Canadian health care system functions quite differently from that of their home country.


During an illness or an accident, you don’t want to be confused about how to access medical services. The smart international student plans ahead!

As a member of the British Commonwealth, Canada has excellent public health and sanitation. Visitors and international students are expected to maintain a full set of vaccinations.

Government-funded, National Health Care System

Canada has a government-funded, national health care system based on the Canadian Health Act. The principles of this law are to provide a health service that is universally available to permanent residents, is without income barriers, has comprehensive coverage, is portable within Canada and elsewhere, and is administered publicly.

Medical treatment in Canada is government-controlled and rationed. The health care system is comprised of a set of publically-funded health care plans, each administered on a province or territory basis. Under these plans, citizens are issued a health care card that allows them access to free basic and preventive health care. Each province and territory must provide its residents with prepaid cover for all necessary medical services such as financing, planning, providing medical care, hospital care, public health care, and dispensing prescriptions. However, there are many services, such as dental treatment, optometric services, prescription drugs, hearing aids, and home care which may or may not be covered by the health care card, depending on province or territory. As such, most Canadian citizens also purchase some level of private insurance to supplement the public health care system.

Waiting Times

Another major issue in Canadian hospitals is patient waiting times among patients to see specialists, undergo elective surgery, or get diagnostic tests.  According to the Fraser Institute, waiting times have increased from 13.1 week in 1990 to 17.9 weeks in 2004.  The severity of this problem is indicated by crowded emergency rooms.

In 2004, the federal government and the provinces came to CS41 billion 10 – year agreement intended to improve Canada’s health care system. A major part of this agreement is an attempt to reduce waiting times, in fact, a “wait Times Reduction Fund” has been drafted in order to allow provinces to hire more health care professionals, increase their capacity, clear backlogs, and increase ambulatory and community care programs. The provinces are prepared to set targets for acceptable wait times times and plan to establish a common set of criteria gauge wait times plan to establish a common set of criteria gauge wait times across Canada .

Survey Says?

Overall, Canadians report that they are generally satisfied with the quality of health care in their country! In 2002-2003, a Joint Canada/United States Survey of Health by Statistics Canada and the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention found that 87% of Canadians are “somewhat” to “very satisfied” with their healthcare services.


Health Insurance in Canada

No one intends to become ill while traveling or studying abroad, but the wise traveler plans ahead. It is best to completely understand the health care system of whatever country you’re in; Canada’s health care system is no exception.

All international students who study in Canada are required to have health insurance. Medical coverage available to international students varies from province to province, in provinces in which international students are not covered under provincial health care plans, you will have to make arrangements for private health insurance coverage.

Provincial Health Care

The provincial health care system in Canada covers basic and preventive medical services, as well as emergency care. As an international student with a valid study visa, you should be eligible for a provincial health care card so that you may access these services.

Applying for and Using Your Insurance Card

  • You can get an application form at a doctor’s office, a hospital, pharmacy, or online.
  • You will need identification when applying for a card. Acceptable ID includes birth certificate, passport, confirmation of permanent residence (IMM 5292), or permanent resident card.
  • For Medicare treatment of any kind, you need to show your health insurance card.
  • You must present it at a hospital or clinic when you or someone in your family requires treatment.
  • Remember: you must not share your health insurance card with anyone else. Your card is for your use only, and you could lose the benefits it provides if you let other people use it. You could also face criminal charges and be removed from Canada.
  • If you lose the card, you might have to pay a fee to replace it.

However, there are many medical services that are not covered by the Canadian provincial health care system. These services include dental care, vision care, prescription medications, and some diagnostic testing services.

Additionally, some services such as hospitalization are only partially covered by the provincial health care system. Without additional medical insurance, even a brief hospital stay can cost you thousands of dollars. Some hospitals refuse to admit new patients without proof of private health insurance coverage in Canada.

Private Health Insurance

The medical care offered by you province or territory might not be covered in other provinces and territories.  For this reason, you may require private health insurance if you plan to travel.

Private health insurance is also available for services that may not be covered under your province or territory’s health insurance plan. These services generally include prescription drugs, dental costs, private hospital rooms, ambulance services, and prescription glasses.  Some provinces plans also exclude arguably “marginal” operations such as IVF treatment.

Table of contents

Document checklist – study permit

How to Obtain a Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GIC)

Acceptable financial Institutions in India 

As an international student studying in Canada, it is advisable that you purchase private health insurance before your trip. To make sure you are covered in all cases.


Student Checklist under SDS

Study Direct Stream  

 The Study Direct Stream (SDS) provides a streamlined study application process for students with strong English or French language abilities who will enter into their program of study at a designated learning institution. The list of can be found here.

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 As Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will assess your study permit application based on the documents you submit, make sure you submit all the required documents with your application and processing fee.  If any document is in a foreign language, an English or French translation is required.  

 How do I qualify for SDS? 

 To qualify, you must: – have been accepted by a designated learning institution; – demonstrate the required English or French language abilities; – provide evidence of sufficient financial support for the duration of your studies; – provide evidence that you have had a medical examination before submitting your application 

 To benefit from the facilitative qualities of the SDS program, it is strongly recommended that applicants apply on-line.

 Further details are in the required documents section below.

 General information:

Applicants who are seeking entry solely for English preparatory courses and who do not have a conditional acceptance to a college or university in Canada are not eligible for this program. However, you may still apply under the Study Direct Stream if your Letter of Acceptance (LOA) or conditional LOA requires you to complete preparatory courses before commencement of your academic program, and you meet all other requirements. 

 Am I guaranteed a study permit if I choose to apply through SDS? 

 No. The SDS provides a streamlined application process and faster processing times but you must still meet all the requirements for a study permit. 

 How long will it take for your SDS application to be processed?

 For SDS study permit applications, the processing time will be 45 days or less. 

 What happens to my GIC if my study permit application is refused? 

 You will be able to apply directly to the bank that issued your Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) for a full refund of your GIC.  

 Can I still apply for a study permit even though I do not qualify to apply under the SDS?

Yes. You can still apply for a study permit and will it be processed within the current 60 day service standard.

We strongly recommend that you submit your application at least three months ahead of your proposed date of travel. Applications received after 1 April for May entry, after 1 August for September entry, and after 1 December for January entry may not be processed in time for the start of the class and may be refused.

Apply online

Save time and get case updates online!

No courier fees or mail delivery time – we get your application instantly.

Avoid processing delays. Incomplete applications are returned to you. Applying online helps ensure your application is complete before you submit it.

 If we need to ask for more documents, you can quickly submit them online.

Get updates on the status of your application directly in your online account


All documents in a foreign language must accompanied by an English or French translation (this checklist should be used in conjunction with IMM5483 Document Checklist for a Study Permit)

Completed “Application for a Study Permit” (IMM 1294). If your spouse or common-law partner and/or children will accompany you, they need to complete their own application using the appropriate application form.

 Family Information Form [IMM 5707], fully completed, dated and signed. You must answer every question. If not applicable, write N/A.

 Your valid passport. There must be one completely blank page other than the last page available in the passport. If possible, your passport should be valid for the duration of proposed study.

 Two (2) photos. All photos must meet the requirements of the Photo specifications appendix. On the back of one photo in each set, write the name and date of birth of the person appearing in the photo.

The correct processing fee in the acceptable format (refer to the Fee schedule. Fee is nonrefundable. If you need to give your biometrics, the $85 CAD biometric fee covers the VAC service charge.

A copy of the medical examination form given to you by the Panel Physician. Find a panel physician in your territory.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS all documents in a foreign language must be accompanied by an English or French translation (this checklist should be used in conjunction with IMM5483 Document Checklist for a Study Permit)

If someone has assisted you in completing this application: “Use of representative form” (IMM5476)

Custodianship declaration from your parent(s) and from the custodian in Canada if you are under 18 years of age. 

A copy of a valid Letter of Acceptance from the Admissions/Registrar’s Office of one of the Designated Learning Institutions in Canada. 

 Submit evidence of your English and French language abilities: 

A valid IELTS test result (issued within the last two years) showing an overall band of 6.0 with no individual band lower than 6.0 or A valid TEF test result (issued within the last two years) with a minimum score of B2 (NCLC 7) for each ability (at least 310 for expression orale, 249 for comprehension de l’oral, 207 for comprehension de l’écrit, and 310 for expression cerate)  OR  A Canadian High School diploma from a recognized Canadian-curriculum high school outside of Canada  

If you are intending to study in Québec: Evidence of a valid Certificate acceptation du Québec (CAQ) 

A copy of your most recent secondary or post-secondary degree, diploma or certificate, and most recent transcripts.

 Evidence of the purchase of a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) from a participating financial institution in the amount of $10,000 

Copy of receipts showing payment of tuition fees for the entire first year.

If applicable, scholarships/other funding: Original letter containing details of the funding you are to receive during each year of your proposed course of study.


 According to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada guidelines, you will require approximately $10,000 CAD per year, not including tuition fees, to cover your living expenses. This requirement is fulfilled through the purchase of a participating GIC, and evidence that you have paid your tuition fees.

 At present, Scotiabank, ICICI Bank Canada and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) are the only participating Canadian financial institutions. Please visit their websites to learn more about the GIC and to download the GIC Application form.

Acceptable financial Institutions in India 


This checklist should be used in conjunction with the IMM 5483 Document Checklist for a Study Permit Any document not in English or French must be accompanied by a certified translation. Failure to submit all required documentation may result in refusal or delay processing. False statements or submission of fraudulent documents will result in refusal. You may be required to attend an interview.  A medical exam is required for study program exceeding 6 months. Study permit applicants can undergo up-front medical examinations, per instructions below.  We strongly recommend that you submit your application at least three months ahead of your proposed date of travel. Applications that are received after 01 April for May entry, after 01 August for September entry and after 01 December for January entry will not normally be processed in time for the start of classes and may be refused.  When submitting your completed and signed application form, be sure to include the barcode page.  Accompanying spouse and children of all ages must submit their own application forms.

Apply online

Save time and get case updates online!

No courier fees or mail delivery time – we get your application instantly.

 Avoid processing delays. Incomplete applications are returned to you. Applying online helps ensure your application is complete before you submit it.

 If we need to ask for more documents, you can quickly submit them online.

Get updates on the status of your application directly in your online account

You must submit the following :

Checklist – Attach this checklist as a cover sheet to your application.

Original, valid passport, and a photocopy of the biodata (photo) page. Include all cancelled or expired passports, if applicable. The Passport should be valid for the duration of proposed study, as the validity of the study permit cannot exceed the validity of the passport.

Study permit Questionnaires

Two photographs meeting the photograph specifications for yourself and each family member requesting a visa. The Photographs should have your name printed on the back, be dated and taken in the past 6 months.

Letter of Acceptance from your educational Institution in Canada stating the following :


Unconditional admission ;

Course title;

Duration of study ;

Level of study;


Start date (multiple start dates, if applicable) and latest date of admission.



The  following documents are STRONGLY recommended

Test results taken within the last 24 months to demonstrate ability in language of proposed study

Photocopy of the most recent diploma or leaving certificate, and most recent mark sheets (for entire program; consolidated mark sheets are NOT acceptable

Other educational certificates diplomas or degrees (including all mark sheets)

Preferred Option for Proof of Funds: Evidence of purchase of a special Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) from a participating Canadian financial institution, in the amount of $10,000 CAD to cover living expenses for your first year in Canada and evidence of payment for your tuition

In the alternative, you can fulfill the financial requirement by submitting a copy of the receipt for your tuition fee) AND a copy of an Educational Loan from an Indian Chartered Bank equivalent to $10 000 CAD

Income Tax Returns for you and your parents for the past two years

Scholarships or any financial assistance or award from a government or other funding agency must be presented on official letter stating the full amount of the award, its duration and any governing conditions

Reference letter from the individuals providing you financial assistance for your program. The letter must indicate their occupation and relationship to you, the number of dependents they have and their full contact details. You should also provide a letter from the employer of the individuals providing you financial assistance for your program, clearly indicating employer contact details and full street address of business location

If applicable, you must also submit :

If you have answered “yes” to any of the background information questions on the application form, provide a completed and signed Schedule 1 form (Application for Temporary Resident Visa – IMM 5257B) and include it with your application.

Proof of employment – letter from your current or past employer and pay slips (last 3 months). Employment letter dated within 2 months of the application indicating occupation, job description, position, salary, allowances, years of employment, and authorized leave dates.

Previous passports showing travel history.

Birth Certificates for each accompanying dependent child.

Minor children must submit the following documents :

Minors travelling alone or a person other than their parents or legal guardians should have a letter of authorization signed by both parents and legal guardians. It should also include the name of the adult who will be responsible for the children in Canada. Minors travelling with only one parent or legal guardian should have a letter of authorization from the non-accompanying parent or guardian. A copy of the page of the passport or other government-issued identification document showing the name, photo and signature of each non-accompanying parent should be submitted with the application.  These documents should be available for presentation at the Canadian Port of Entry.

Declaration: All documents checked are included. I attest to the truthfulness of the documents and information included in this application. Misrepresentation of any material fact will lead to my being refused and being found inadmissible to Canada for a period of 5 years.

Applicant Name:________________________                                                                                                                                         Signature: _______________________________