If you are a non-Canadian living in Canada and want to apply for a student visa or "student permit," there a few steps need to be taken in order to make your study well spent. Depending on the nation you are from, a passport may not be required. For example, if you are an American citizen you do not need to have a passport to apply for a student visa. Additionally, if you will be studying in Canada for less than six months a student permit is not required.

Gathering Materials

Decide which school you want to attend while studying in Canada. After applying and being accepted, make a copy of your letter of acceptance.

Make certain that you have a valid ID such as a national ID card and other items prior to making application for a student permit or passport.

Make certain that you have recent passport photos.

Applying for the Student Permit

Have a valid passport if you are not an American citizen or are from other countries not required to hold passports for student permit application. Show proof of identity if you are an American citizen through a national ID card or alien registration card. If members of your family are going to be staying with you while you study, proof of their identity through the above means needs to be provided as well.

Send the original letter of acceptance from the school you plan to attend in Canada with your application.

Provide two recent passport photos of yourself with your name and date of birth written on the back of each picture. Do the same for each family member that may be traveling with you.

Show proof of financial support. This may be done in a variety of ways, according to Immigration and Citizenship Canada. You may provide bank account statements for the last four months, proof of a Canadian bank account in your name into which you have moved funds, a bank draft in currency that is convertible, show proof that tuition and accommodation fees are already paid, a letter from the institution or person giving you support, or proof of funding from within the country through a scholarship or Canadian-funded academic program.

Write a letter to go with your student permit application if you are not required to have a permit but still find one advantageous. This may be the case if you desire to work part time at the school you are studying at, for instance, according to the Immigration and Citizenship Canada.

Go to the doctor so that you can have medical clearance, if needed.

Download a permit application by going to the Immigration and Citizenship Canada website (see Resources).

Creating the Application and Submission

Fill out the application online. It is in English and French. Questions include inquires on your citizenship and medical history, as well as the medical history of whomever may be traveling with you.

Submit your application online and wait for a response. As of late February 2009, the wait time for student permit applications was a little over a month.

Know that applications will be returned if they are incomplete. If complete, the application will be reviewed to see if an interview is necessary. Following approval, a letter of introduction informing you of approval will be send to you. Show this letter at your point of entry prior to entering Canada. If you are from a nation for which Canada requires a visa, then a temporary resident card will be included in your passport. It contains information such as when the document expires and how often you may enter Canada.

Note that an application may be refused for a number of reasons. These include lack of sufficient proof that you intend to study in Canada, lack of proof that you intend to leave after studying, lack of sufficient proof that you can fully pay for your studies and failure of a medical examination.