Most Canadian universities and educational institutions have their own admission criteria. Therefore, international students are advised to start their application in advance. Majority of Canadian universities and colleges follow semester pattern. The academic year is divided in two semesters: The fall semester (September-December) and the winter semester (January-May). In some colleges, there is a summer semester that starts in May. University deadline for the fall semester generally begins from middle of December and ends in March, though it varies per university. Certain institutes offer January admissions. The registration deadline for these colleges is between September and November.

It’s always better to start your application process at least 15 to 18 months ahead of the date of admission. Once you choose the institution of your choice and obtain the details of application procedure and eligibility criteria, you can apply for admission. After getting an acceptance letter from the institution of your choice, you have to apply for a student authorization at the Canadian embassy or consulate of your home country.

Canadian Student Visa
All international students are required to get Student Authorization (student visa) before leaving for Canada for studies. International students must meet the conditions of the Canadian Immigration regulations as well. Usually, it takes at least two months to process a student visa.

Student Visa Procedure
In order to get a student visa, you need to submit a finished application form to the immigration officer of the Canadian Embassy and High Commission nearest you. There are certain documents that you may need to submit along with your student visa application.

Necessary Documents

  1. Completed student visa application form
  2. Completed questionnaire form for post graduate students and researchers
  3. Letter of acceptance from Canadian Institute you are going to join
  4. If you are going to study in province of Quebec institute, you must also have the Certificate of Acceptance from the province of Quebec
  5. TOEFL/IELTS scores
  6. Valid passport
  7. Bank Draft for visa processing fees
  8. Proof of funds

Once you have submitted the completed application form along with above documents, an immigration officer at Canadian embassy/ consulate/ high commission may ask for an interview.

Medical Report
Canadian high commission official may also ask for medical examination report, particularly if you are applying for a study programme over six months duration.
Once you go through all of these processes, your Student Authorization will be issued.

Eligibility for Admissions
Undergraduate Programmes:
Application Requirements: For undergraduate courses you require following documents:

  1. Secondary School Certificates
  2. Higher Secondary Certificates
  3. English Language Proficiency Tests
  4. Letters of Recommendation
  5. Statement of Purpose

Eligibility: The education system is different in different provinces of Canada. Depending on the province, secondary school education could be up to Grade 11, 12 or 13. The eligibility criterion for colleges also differs in different provinces of Canada. While most Canadian universities require a minimum of 12 years of formal secondary education for admission to undergraduate courses, Ontario and Quebec universities require a minimum of 13 years of formal education.
However, a lot depends on your academic records. If your academic records are very impressive, most of colleges would consider your application even if you don’t fulfill eligibility criteria. Though there are no standardized entrance tests for all the Canadian universities & colleges, individual institutes are free to set their own admission standards. There are some general criteria that majority of them follow:

  • 70% and above in 12th Grade
  • TOEFL: Paper based: 580-600, computer based: min of 237-250 or IELTS – 6.0 (Not less than 5.5 in Each Band)]
  • Portfolio of Creative Works (If any)
  • Maths in 12th grade (Except fine arts)

Graduate Courses
Application Requirements: For Graduate Programmes you may have to furnish following documents.

  1. All Academic Certificates
  2. English Language Tests
  3. Work Experience Details
  4. Letters of Recommendation
  5. Statement of Purpose (SOP)

Eligibility: Most colleges require 16 years of formal education and Four Year Degree Programme comparable to a Canadian Honours degree for Master’s degree programmes. For Doctorate programmes, you have to have a Master’s degree in the subject. There are some general criteria that majority of them follow:

  1. 70% Minimum in 4 year bachelor’s degree course.
  2. 2-3 Years full time work experience.
  3. GMAT score – 1200 to 1500 minimum.
  4. TOEFL: Paper based: 580-600, computer based: min of 237-250 or IELTS – 6.5 (Not less than 6.0 in Each Band)]
  5. Portfolio of Creative Works (If any)
  6. Canadian universities and colleges may or may not accept professional programmes such as CA, ICWA, and part time diploma programmes. Similarly courses offered by independent and private institutions are most unlikely to be accepted. Most of the business schools in Canada don’t accept one-year education of a two-year degree course such as M Tech., M Sc., M A. etc. These are the important aspects that overseas students need to understand when applying for Canadian universities