Proof of Funds: Minimum Amount to Study in Canada in 2021

Are you interested in studying in Canada but aren’t sure what to budget for? Thousands of students make their way to Canada every year to study further or to start afresh and get an international qualification to help jump-start their careers.

Getting accepted to a college or university is one of the first steps before applying for a Canada study visa. But perhaps a more important step to take is to find out exactly how much you will need to save before deciding on which educational institution you would like to enroll at.

To study in Canada, there are a number of requirements that you will need to meet before you can apply for your study permit. These include:

  • Being enrolled at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI);
  • Having a clear criminal record;
  • Being in good health;
  • Having proof that you are going to leave Canada once you finish your study program; and
  • Having proof of funds or that you have enough money to support yourself during your stay in Canada.

Why do I need funds to study in Canada?

Although you can work while you’re completing your studies in Canada, you will only be able to work on a part-time basis for 20 hours per week, without a work permit. This is why you’ll need to have enough money to support yourself while you are studying in Canada.

How Much Proof of Funds Do I Need to Study in Canada?

female student working on laptop  | Study in Canada

When apply for your study visa, you will need to provide documents showing that you have enough money to pay for your:

  • tuitions fees;
  • living expenses (for you and your family, if they are coming with you to Canada);
  • return flight for you and your family members that will be coming with you.

Tuition Fees

Your tuition fees will vary from institution to institution and province to province. On average you can expect to pay around $20,000 per year.

Living Expenses

As an international student in Canada, it is advised to budget for about $10,000 per year for living expenses. But as you can see below, it is always better to have a little extra to cover those unforeseen costs and other student expenses, so that you can enjoy your student life in Canada to the fullest.


Average Living Expenses for International Students in Canada 2021
ExpensesAmount/Year($CAD)
Health Insurance$400
Textbooks$840
On-Campus Rent$7,200
Mobile Phone(basic package)$360
Public Transit Pass$480
Groceries/Food$3,600
Entertainment$960
Car Insurance$1,500
Car Fuel$2,400
Total Expense$17,940

Return Flights

The cost of your return flight will of course depends on your home country, the airline you’ll be flying with as well as how far in advance you book your flight.

The minimum proof of funds required for anyone studying outside of Quebec, excluding tuition, are:

Minimum Funds to Support Yourself as a Student in Canada
Persons coming to Canada Amount of funds required per year (doesn’t include tuition)Amount of funds required per month (additional to the tuition)
You (the student)CAN$10,000 CAN$833
First family memberCAN$4,000CAN$333
Every additional accompanying family member CAN$3,000 CAN$255

What is Accepted as Proof of Funds?

To prove that you have enough funds to cover yourself and your loved ones while you’re studying in Canada you can provide any of the following types of documents:

  • proof of a Canadian bank account in your name, if you've transferred money to Canada;
  • Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) from a participating Canadian financial institution
  • proof of a student or education loan from a bank
  • your bank statements for the past 4 months
  • a bank draft that can be converted to Canadian dollars
  • proof you paid tuition and housing fees
  • a letter from the person or school giving you money, or
  • proof of funding paid from within Canada, if you have a scholarship or are in a Canadian-funded educational program

What Documents Are Required for a Canada Study Visa?

student working on laptop | study in Canada

To apply for a Canada student visa you will need the following documents:

  • proof of acceptance (letter from your place of study)
  • proof of identity (valid passport or travel document and two recent passport-sized photos); and
  • proof of financial support

You may also need:

  • a letter of explanation
  • a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ)
  • a custodian declaration (minors only)
  • any other documents requested

How to Apply for a Canada Study Permit

male student holding Canada passport | study in Canada

The study permit application can be completed in three very easy steps.

Step 1: Gather your documents

The first step to a successful application is to be ready. And to be ready means to have as many of your necessary documents at hand so that you don’t end up delaying the application process. You will have up to 30 days to submit any requested documents so it's always best to start collecting them before you apply.

Step 2: Complete your application

If you are applying for your student visa from outside Canada it is best to do so online. This will make the application process a lot quicker and easier. The processing time for student visas is usually around 11 weeks. If, however, you are from one of the following countries, you may qualify to apply through the Student Direct Stream (SDS) and have your visa process in as little as 20 calendar days!.

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Brazil
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • India
  • Morocco
  • Pakistan
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Senegal
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Vietnam

Be sure to read your country-specific instruction guide before starting the application process. At least one in four student visa applications are rejected, one of the reasons being that the application was incomplete or completed incorrectly.

Step 3: Pay your application fee and submit your application

Once you’ve completed your application form you’ll need to pay your application and biometrics fees. Your biometrics consists of your digital fingerprints and a digital photo. Once you have submitted your biometrics they will be valid for up to 10 years./p>

You will also need to have a credit or debit card to complete the payment online.

What’s Next?

Studying in Canada can change your life. Not only can it boost your career but your chances to stay and work in Canada and eventually gain enough Canadian work experience to eventually apply for Canadian permanent residency. The first step to changing your life for the better through is to find out if you qualify for a Canada student visa before applying to your dream university or college.

Need help finding out if you qualify to study in Canada in 2021?

We work with a team of Canadian immigration and visa professionals or Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) who will be able to guide and support you every step of the way. And if you aren't sure about your application to your chosen educational institution, our resident student advisor can help you write your motivation letter and choose the university or college which will best suit your needs.