CANADA STUDY PERMIT

STUDY IN CANADA

Home to some of the best schools in the world.

The number of international students studying in Canada is over 450,000, a figure that is constantly growing. Many of these students are choosing Canada over other developed countries because of certain advantages that studying in Canada can bring.

Individuals who study in Canada receive a top-quality and internationally-respected education, preparing them for professional pursuits in Canada or abroad, but you need a study permit in order to study in Canada.

Yet, the cost of tuition and living fees in Canada are generally lower than in other developed countries.

What options are available for studying in Canada?

You would like to learn about the ways you can study in Canada.

There are a few ways to come to Canada as a student. For example, you can study in Canada under a Canada Study Permit. It is also possible in some cases to study in Canada without a study permit. While you are here studying, it is also possible to work while studying in Canada. However, the first step is to find a Canadian school that you would like to attend and a study program that matches your goals and ambitions. Our partners at School Match can assist you. Once you have learned more, you can contact us to learn more about obtaining a study permit for Canada.

You have not yet found the right school or have not yet been accepted.

Your first step is to find a Canadian school that interests you. No matter your educational goals, Canada has the perfect educational institution for you. Once you find that school, it’s time to apply for admission. Only then will you be able to obtain your Canada Study Permit. Once you have found a few schools in which you are interested, check out our page on applying for admission. Once you have received a letter of admission from a designated educational institution, you can then contact us to learn more about how to begin studying in Canada.

You have been accepted to a Canadian educational institution.

Once you have been accepted, it’s time to apply for a Canada Study Permit. Please contact us to get more information about how we can help you obtain your study permit. You can also explore ways to study in Canada without a study permit to see if any of those options are available to you. Before you come to Canada, we also recommend that you learn about working while studying in Canada.

You are currently studying in Canada and would like to stay here after your studies are complete.

After completing your Canadian studies, Canada has provided ways to encourage you stay, gain work experience, or otherwise contribute to Canada’s economy and culture. For example, you may be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit. You may also be eligible for permanent immigration through the Canadian Experience Class or the Quebec Experience Class. Please contact us for Canadian immigration to learn more about your options for remaining in Canada permanently after your studies.

You would like to work while studying.

It may be possible for you to work while studying in Canada.

You would like to explore Canadian schools.

Studying in Canada

  • Canada Study Permit: The standard way to study in Canada is with a Canadian study permit. Learn more about obtaining a Canadian study permit.
  • Study without a Study Permit: Under certain circumstances, you can study in Canada without a study permit. Learn more about studying in Canada without a study permit.
  • Work While Studying in Canada: For those who need additional funds while studying in Canada, it may be possible to work at the same time. Learn more about working while studying in Canada.

Work after studying in Canada

One of the major advantages of making the decision to study in Canada is that graduates have access to a Post-Graduation Work Permit on completion of their studies in Canada. Post-Graduation Work Permits allow certain individuals who have studied in Canada to stay and work under an open work permit for up to three years, allowing them to enter the Canadian workforce and gain valuable Canadian work experience that may help them to immigrate permanently.

Transitioning to permanent resident status

Canada wants international students who complete their studies in Canada to form a large portion of the next generation of permanent residents. The following programs give international students this opportunity:

Canadian Experience Class

This program allows those with Canadian study or work experience to immigrate permanently to Canada.

Provincial Nominee Program

Canada’s provinces have specific programs that allow graduates to immigrate permanently.

Quebec Experience Class (PEQ)

This program allows those with Quebec study or work experience to immigrate permanently to Quebec as permanent residents of Canada.

CANADA STUDY PERMIT REQUIREMENTS

The number of international students in Canada is over 450,000, a figure that is constantly growing.

A Study Permit is a document issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that allows a foreign national to study in Canada for a limited time.

​Most international students require a Study Permit to study in Canada. To learn more about studying in Canada without a study permit.

Eligibility criteria

In order to be eligible to submit an application for a Canadian study permit, a prospective student must: 

  • Obtain a Letter of Acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution in order to submit an application for a study permit; 
  • Prove that he or she has sufficient financial support to cover the first year of tuition, as well as living expenses and return transportation to his or her home country;
  • Obtain a Certificat d’acceptation du Quebec (Quebec Acceptance Certificate, or CAQ) if he or she wishes to study in Montreal or elsewhere in the Province of Quebec;
  • Have clean record. Applicants with a criminal background, or who pose a risk to Canadian security, may be refused. IRCC may request an applicant to supply a Police Clearance Certificate
  • Be in good health. IRCC may request an applicant to complete a medical examination; and,
  • Satisfy the immigration officer that he or she will leave Canada at the end of the stay authorized by the study permit.

The applicant may also be required to submit the following documents: 

  • Passport for the applicant and every family member included on the application;
  • Two passport photos for the applicant and each family member included on the application, with the full name and date of birth written on the back;
  • Photocopy of marriage certificate, if applicable; and,
  • Any further documents required by specific visa offices.

Accompanying family members

An applicant for a Canadian study permit may include his or her family members on the application, so that they may accompany the applicant to Canada. An accompanying spouse may be able to obtain an open work permit, and minor children may be able to study at Canadian elementary and secondary schools..

Applying for a study permit

Once a prospective student meets the eligibility criteria and has the correct documents, he or she may apply for a study permit. This can be done online or by paper. A paper application must be submitted to a visa processing office outside of Canada. 

It is important to apply for a study permit immediately upon receiving the Letter of Acceptance. Study permit processing times vary, and applicants may see delays during busy times — particularly during the summer months.

Financial support

Applicants for a Canadian study permit are required to prove they have enough money to cover the first year of tuition fees. They also need to have the financial resources to support themselves, and any accompanying family members, each year. The following table show the amounts that a student is required to possess (all amounts in Canadian dollars):

In Quebec, the financial requirements for prospective students are different. In addition to tuition fees, a prospective international student is required to show that he or she has the following funds, dependent on his or her situation.

Financial resources may be proven with a combination of the following: 

  • Canadian bank account statements in the applicant’s name, if money has been transferred to Canada;
  • Proof of a student or educational loan from a financial institution;
  • The applicant’s bank statements from the past four months;
  • A bank draft in convertible currency;
  • Proof of payment of tuition and accommodation fees;
  • A letter from the person or institution providing you with money; and/or,
  • Proof of a scholarship or funding paid from within Canada.

Family or friends of the applicant may submit letters confirming that they will support the applicant during his or her studies.

If an application is approved

If an application is approved, the prospective student will receive:

  • A letter of introduction confirming the approval. This letter is not the study permit. The prospective student will need to present the Letter of Introduction to the immigration official when arriving in Canada. The immigration official may then issue the study permit to the student.
  • An Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) if he or she is from a country whose citizens need an eTA. In such cases, the eTA is indicated on the Letter of Introduction.
    • As the eTA is linked to the applicant’s passport, the applicant must travel with the passport used in the study permit application.
  •  A Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), if he or she is from a country whose citizens need a TRV.
    • The TRV will be in the passport. The holder must enter Canada before the expiry date on the TRV.
    • The TRV will also indicate if the holder can enter Canada only once (a single-entry visa) or multiple times (a multiple-entry visa). Since 2014, all applicants are automatically considered for multiple-entry TRVs.
    • An individual submitting an application for a study permit does not have to submit a separate application for a TRV.  If the application is approved, the TRV will be issued along with the Letter of Introduction.

Study permit renewal

After obtaining a study permit, students may need to renew or change the study permit during the course of their studies in Canada..

If a student at a post-secondary institution wishes to change institution, study program, or level of study he or she does not need to apply for a new study permit. However, he or she is required to update IRCC upon changing institutions. For example, a student may move from Bachelor level to Master’s level, or from Geography to Philosophy, or from a college to a university, without applying for a new study permit. He or she does not need to apply for a change to the condition of the study permit. A student may study in Canada as long as the study permit is valid.

However, an international student moving from elementary school to high school, or from high school to a post-secondary institution, is required to apply for a change in the conditions of the study permit. The application must be submitted to the IRCC Case Processing Centre in Vegreville, Alberta.

After graduation, many students choose to stay in Canada to live and work

Study permits expire 90 days after graduation, regardless of the date printed on the study permit itself. It is extremely important that international graduates update their status with IRCC within 90 days of graduation, or they risk losing status in Canada.

Many graduates are eligible to apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP). This permits the holder to work for any employer anywhere in Canada for up to three years after graduation. Work experience gained on a PGWP may help facilitate an application for Canadian Permanent Residency, especially through programs such as the Canadian Experience Class and certain Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).

If an international graduate does not apply for a PGWP, he or she may do the following to maintain legal status in Canada:

​Apply to change status to a visitor;

  • Apply for another study permit to continue a different study program. For example, a graduate may wish to continue on to a Master’s degree program after graduating with a Bachelor degree; or,
  • Leave Canada.

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