SOP for Canada: How to Write SOP for Visa & Universities Guide

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With over 5,30,000 international students, Canada is one of the most popular study destinations around the world. Students wanting to study in Canada must know that they have to submit a Statement of Purpose (SOP) to enrol into a university as well as to apply for a student visa.

An SOP for Canada must contain all the necessary points to justify that a student is a right fit for that particular university and course. As a result, writing an SOP can be a complicated task if one is not aware of the essential details to add. Keep reading to know the importance of SOP for Canadian visa and universities. The following sections also contain SOP samples and a few pointers to remember while drafting this letter.

sop for canada

SOP for Canadian Student Visa

Aspirants must note that Canadian visa officers do not call every other applicant to the interview. The majority of visa applications are accepted or rejected depending upon the Statement of Purpose. A well-structured SOP for Canada visa must address all crucial questions efficiently. Regarding this, one should remember to frame a proper introduction, which intrigues the visa officer to read further.While writing an SOP, make sure to answer these questions:

  • Why do you want to pursue higher education in Canada?
  • Why do you want to study at this particular Canadian university?
  • Which is your preferred programme, and why?
  • Whether you have a gap year or not.
  • Do you plan on returning to your home country?

Along with these questions, students must also address the following elements:

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SOP for Canada: How to Write SOP for Visa & Universities Guide
  • What is the source of funding?
  • Are you aware of the responsibilities of an international student?

All applicants must create a strong visa SOP for Canada, highlighting career goals, financial availability, and future expectations. 

SOP for Canadian Universities

SOP for Canadian universities is written in a more personal way. It is worth noting that although each university’s approach to evaluating an SOP varies, there are a few elements that most universities in Canada review:

  • Academic scores
  • Work experience
  • Community work and volunteering

Applicants must also remember to stick to the word count while writing an SOP for Canada.

Also Read:Canada Post Study Work permit for Indian Students

Difference between SOP for Visa & SOP for Universities

Aspirants are required to write an SOP for both study visas and universities. SOP for Canada study visa is different from university application in the following ways:

  • SOP for a study visa explains a candidate’s reasons to study in the country. It includes post-study plans, reasons for selecting a particular course and university, among other things.
  • SOP for universities must provide an in-detail discussion beyond the already mentioned points in the visa SOP. It should be unique and contain on-the-point experiences.
  • Universities in Canada ask for three short essays or a short video to justify an application. 

Candidates must cater to the programme curriculum while writing an SOP. The SOP is the only medium through which Canadian universities learn about a student’s dreams and aspirations. Applicants must know that an ill-structured, unattractive or uninspired SOP could result in application rejection from the university. Consequently, a well-written SOP for Canada is one of the most crucial things that can boost one’s chances of receiving a Canadian visa. 

Steps to Craft Your SOP

In order to write a proper SOP, an applicant needs to be fluent with the know-how of what the visa officer or the university expects. Regarding this, comprehensive planning is necessary. Candidates need to plan out the different sections that they would add in this letter. Once the planning is done, one can follow these steps to craft an eye-catching SOP for Canada:


The introduction must contain a gist of all the crucial achievements in an impressive way. Since the introduction is the first thing a reader sees, this section must stand out among the rest. 

Formulating reasons

In the next section, one should explain their intent to study in a particular institution and course. Here, a student should highlight the goals and explain how they are ideal to pursue education in Canada.


The conclusion should be impactful. It must highlight the capabilities of an individual. Most importantly, an applicant should try to keep the entire essay powerful so that the reader does not lose interest by the end. 


After writing the SOP, make sure to go through the entire piece. In this step, an applicant should proofread and make changes wherever necessary. Further, to write an engaging SOP, one can refer to a sample SOP for Canada student visa available online. 

Things to Remember SOP for Canada

Here are a few pointers that one should keep in mind before crafting an SOP:

  • Divide the piece into paragraphs. Ensure that the paragraphs contain different information and is well divided.
  • Do not exceed the given word limit.
  • Write in a formal approach.
  • Make sure that the SOP is unique and stands out.
  • Try to provide an optimistic approach towards any failure or hardships.
  • Be precise with the information. There is no need to stretch the sentences.
  • Plan the structure in advance and proofread to make all necessary changes.
sop for canada


A convincing and engaging SOP for Canada should contain an introspection of all your skills and experiences. It must not be monotonous and lengthy. Applicants must remember to write in a consistent flow, which is interesting to read.

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Frequently asked questions

Is an SOP mandatory to present before the visa officers?

Yes, the SOP is a vital document that all aspiring students must produce before the visa officers. 

I want to pursue PhD in Canada. Do I need to submit an SOP?

Yes, PhD students must submit an SOP, which should highlight previous research projects and more. 

Should I include my IELTS score in the SOP?

Yes, it is advisable that you mention the score of English language proficiency test in your SOP.

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Saket Kohli

An International Higher Ed professional with 7+ years of experience studying, working, and living across three geographies, currently on a mission to share his journey as an International Student.

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