Canada Student Visa: Bank Balance and Processing Time

student visa processing time canada

Last Updated On : February 21 , 2024

Embarking on a study in Canada can be incredibly enriching, opening doors to academic excellence, diverse experiences, and career opportunities. However, understanding the Canadian student visa requirements, particularly the minimum bank balance and processing time is crucial before you pack your bags.

What is a Canada Student Visa?

If you are an international student aiming to study in Canada for over six months, you will need a Study Permit, also known as a Canada Student Visa. This official document grants you permission to reside in Canada and attend a designated learning institution (DLI) for your chosen program. 

Who Needs One?

You generally need a student visa if you plan to study in Canada for more than six months or want to work off-campus while studying. Some exceptions are based on specific programs or situations, so contacting the RCIC for further details is best.

Canada Student Visa: Minimum Bank Balance

As of February 2024, the minimum bank balance requirement for a Study Visa Canada is CAD 20,635. This increased significantly from the previous CAD 10,000 and is in addition to your tuition fees.
What it covers:

Living expenses: This includes costs like accommodation, food, transportation, utilities, and other essential needs.
Partial tuition fees: While not the full amount, it demonstrates your ability to contribute to your education.
Return travel: It ensures you have enough funds to return to your home country after completing your studies.
Calculating the required amount:

Program duration: Longer programs require more funds.
Location: Costs vary depending on the city (e.g., Toronto is more expensive than smaller towns).
Lifestyle: Factor in your spending habits and expected expenses.
Here's a formula to estimate your required amount:

Required amount = (Program duration in months x Monthly living expenses) + Partial tuition fees + Return travel costs

Student Visa Canada Processing Time

A Canada student visa's official "standard" processing time is 7-9 weeks. However, reality often paints a different picture. As of February 2024, expect between 10-16 weeks, with some outliers experiencing even longer waits.

Factors Affecting Processing:

Application complexity: Complete, error-free applications with all supporting documents get processed faster. Incomplete or complex applications requiring additional scrutiny take longer.

Seasonality: Applications submitted during peak seasons (e.g., September) experience longer waits due to higher volume. Submitting early is key!

Optimizing Your Chances for a Swift Decision:

Submit early: Don't wait until the last minute. Start your application well in advance (ideally 3-6 months before your study start date).

Be thorough: Ensure your application is complete, error-free, and includes all required documents. Double-check everything!

Follow instructions: Double-check the application instructions and make sure you follow them all closely.

Respond promptly: If requested, respond to communication from IRCC quickly to avoid delays.

Consider Student Direct Stream (SDS): If eligible, this faster processing option can result in a decision within 20 business days. However, it has stricter eligibility criteria.


In conclusion, obtaining a Canada student visa requires careful planning and preparation, including demonstrating a sufficient bank balance and understanding the processing time involved. By familiarizing yourself with the requirements and following the steps outlined by the Canadian immigration authorities, you can confidently and excitedly embark on your journey to Study Visa Canada.

For more information and personalized assistance with your Canada student visa application, consider contacting reputable immigration consultants who can guide you through the process and help you achieve your academic goals in Canada.