Certificate of Acceptance of Quebec (CAQ) and Study Permit For Canada

    Updated on: 27 Sep 2022


    Canada is one of the best countries in the world for higher education. It is no doubt then that it is also the most favored country for Indian students to pursue their education. Favorable immigration laws, longer post-study work permit, work in the favor of the students, making Canada an obvious choice for the students. 

    The process to study in Canada, or for that matter, any country, starts with researching the colleges and universities, coursing through the programs offered, and meeting the general admission requirements. Admission to a Canadian university requires students to complete 13 years of schooling to get into an undergraduate degree program. Some institutions also accept 12 years of schooling, as a result, the duration of the degree is extended by a year. A degree earned outside of Canada is evaluated by the higher learning institutions or the regional admission service at the college level. Apart from this, the students also need to have sufficient language skills to complete the program. 

    Once a student has obtained admission to a Canadian university, they need to get appropriate study permits to study in Canada. The type of permit depends on the region - for Quebec, students need a CAQ and the general Study Permit, and for the rest, students only need the general Study Permit. 

    Let’s find out more about each of these permits - 

    What is CAQ? 

    Students who have received admission to an institution in Quebec need to obtain -

    • A CAQ, issued by the Government of Quebec
    • A Study Permit, issued by the Government of Canada. 


    Students must be enrolled in a Designated Learning Institute (DLI). If the institute is not on this list, students will not be able to study in Canada. Some of the universities in Quebec for which students need a CAQ are McGill University, Concordia University, University of Montreal, Laval University, HEC Montreal, Bishop’s University, and the University of Sherbrooke. 

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    What are the steps to be followed after securing admission to an institution in Quebec? 

    After securing admission to an institution in Quebec, three steps must be followed - 

    1. Fulfilling the requirements to stay in Quebec as a foreign student. 
    2. Applying for a temporary selection for studies in Quebec, ie, applying for CAQ. 
    3. Applying for a Study Permit from the Government of Canada. 

    There are certain requirements to be fulfilled before you can apply for your CAQ, which includes getting the Minister’s consent to study in Quebec. There are some prerequisites to get approval. They are as follows - 

    1. Pay the fee required to process the application. 
    2. Be admitted to an institution in Quebec
    3. Agree to comply with all the conditions for issuing the Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) for studies, including - 
      • Receiving instruction for the level of study for which the Minister’s consent was granted, 
      • Making studies the principal activity, and maintaining health and hospitalization insurance for the duration of the stay. 
    4. Have the financial capacity to cover - 
      • Tuition fees, 
      • Transportation cost (to and fro the country of residence), 
      • Settling-in expenses for the first year - C$500, 
      • Living expenses for the duration of the stay
      • Health and hospitalization insurance cost. 


    For the year 2021, the living expenses for a student who is age 18 and above are $13,134. The documents to be submitted for the same can be found here

    How to apply for the CAQ? 

    To apply for the CAQ, you can submit an online application or print the PDF of the form and mail it. Steps to complete the online CAQ application are as follows - 

    1. To fill the CAQ online, you need a computer, working email address, and a credit card to pay the fees. Visa, MasterCard, and American Express cards are accepted. 
    2. Complete the CAQ application in full. It is important to fill the application in full as you won’t be able to save an incomplete application. You can visit the FAQ section for general questions. 
    3. Create your consultation profile online and save the application. 
    4. Pay the application fee. 
    5. Print the checklist and additional forms that complement your application. 
    6. Sign the forms or have them signed, as applicable. 
    7. Send them to the following address - 
      • Service aux étudiants étrangers
      • Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion 
      • 285, rue Notre-Dame Ouest, 4e étage 
      • Montreal (Quebec) H2Y 1T8
      • CANADA

    Your application will not be reviewed or processed until these documents have been received. Therefore, students should send these documents without any delay. 

    Before you start filling out the application make sure you have all the required documents you would need to fill the form. If the form is left incomplete for more than 30 consecutive minutes, the session terminates without saving any data. You should have your passport, complete contact information of the educational institution, information about the program, and a credit card.


    What are the documents required for the application of CAQ? 

    You need the following supporting documents along with your CAQ application - 

    1. Payment of the fees. 
    2. Pages of your passport containing your identity and personal information and passport expiration date. 
    3. Letter of admission from the registrar of the institution where admission is secured. 

    Students must keep the originals with them safely, as they can be asked anytime during the application review process. On successful acceptance of the application, you will receive a copy of the CAQ for studies. A conditional agreement will also be dispatched to the Canadian Visa Office indicated on your application. This office will validate your financial capacity to study in Quebec. 

    What are the CAQ fees? 

    The CAQ fee is C$117. It is over and above the fee for the Study Permit issued by the Government of Canada. This fee is not refundable in case of refusal or rejection and cannot be adjusted against any other fees. 

    What is the CAQ processing time? 

    Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the time taken to process the application is 20 days. The applications are processed according to the date of receipt. It can take up to three weeks to receive confirmation of receipt of documents. In any case, DO NOT contact the ministry for the confirmation of receiving the documents or request priority processing. 

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    What is the validity of the CAQ? 

    The CAQ is valid for the duration of your study program or the level of your study for up to a maximum of 49 months. If you meet the prerequisites, a CAQ will be issued in your name. If your application is rejected, you can submit a request for administrative review. 

    To extend your stay in Quebec, you can either renew your authorization to study in Quebec or hold a temporary job. 

    After the CAQ, you need to apply for a Study Permit from the Government of Canada. Let’s read about the process in detail - 

    What is a Study Permit? 

    A study permit is issued to foreign nationals who want to study in Designated Learning Institutions (DLI) in Canada. This Study Permit is not a visa, and students need to apply for the Canadian Student visa separately. You can get your Study Permit faster through the Student Direct Stream. The process for the same is covered in this blog - Your Go-To-Guide for Canada's Study Direct Stream Visa. 

    What is the fee for the Study Permit? 

    The fee for the Study Permit is CAN$150. 

    What is the validity of the Study Permit? 

    The Study Permit is valid for the length of your study program plus 90 days. These 90 days give you the time to either leave Canada or apply to extend your stay.

    • If you are taking prerequisite courses before the institution accepts you to the main program, the Study Permit will be valid for the length of the prerequisite courses plus 1 year. Once you get admitted to the main program, apply to extend your stay as a student. 
    • If your Study Permit expires before the end of your studies, you need to apply to extend your stay as a student. Otherwise, you will need to leave Canada. 
    • If your studies finish before the expiration of your Study Permit, the permit will be valid for another 90 days, as is the norm, no matter the date printed on your Study Permit. 

    Who can apply for the Study Permit? 

    The eligibility criteria for the Canada Study Permit is as follows - 

    1. Students must be enrolled at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). 
    2. Students must prove they have the funds to pay for their tuition fees, living expenses, and transportation expenses. 
    3. Students must obey the law and have no criminal record. 
    4. Students must be healthy and get a medical exam done. 
    5. Students must prove to an officer that they will Canada when the Study Permit expires. 
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    What are the documents required for the Canada Study Permit? 

    The following documents are required to apply for a Study Permit - 

    1. Proof of Acceptance from the university/college. Original or an electronic copy must be attached with the application. 
    2. Proof of identity - a valid passport and two recent passport-size photographs. 
    3. Proof of Financial support. The minimum funds required for a student are CAN$10,000. In addition to this, the amount required per month is CAN$833. The amount does not include the tuition fee and is for students studying outside Quebec. 

    How to apply for the permit? 

    You can apply for the permit online. To apply for the permit, you need scanned copies of the documents and a valid debit or credit card to pay the fees. Follow these general guidelines - 

    1. Make sure you have all the required documents to fill the application. Read the instruction guide before you start filling the form. Read about it here.
    2. You should know the fee you need to pay. It will include the processing fee and biometrics. *Note - Due to the pandemic, you do not need to give your biometric. It is a temporary measure. 
    3. Create an online account to fill the form. 

    What happens after you have applied for the permit? 

    Before you are issued the permit, there are a few additional steps you need to complete. They are as follows - 

    1. In most cases, students need to give the biometrics, which includes fingerprints and a digital photo. Students need to pay the fee for the same. Because of the pandemic, the deadline to submit biometrics has been extended. 
    2. The application is processed. You may have to go to an interview or send more information. It includes a medical exam and a police certificate. 
    3. Once your application is approved, you will get your Study Permit at the port of entry when you arrive in Canada. 
    4. You will receive a port of entry letter of introduction that states you are allowed to study in Canada. This letter is not your permit. This letter needs to be shown to a border services officer when you arrive. 


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    What happens if your application is rejected? 

    If your application for a study permit is rejected, you will receive a letter explaining the reason. If you have any questions regarding the refusal, you can contact the visa office that sent you the letter. 

    As mentioned, students need to show proof of funds to get a study permit as well as a student visa. Get in touch with GyanDhan to ensure you have the required funds to study in Canada. Check your loan eligibility here and start your hassle-free education loan process. 

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