If you want to come to Canada and study as a foreign student, first you must obtain a study permit. If so, you may be wondering what documents and permits are required for your stay. Researching the different types of visas and permits for international students can be daunting. Fortunately, this guide is here to help make your journey simpler. We will explore the basics of Canadian study permits and discuss how you can apply for them. We will also provide some tips that will help make the process smoother and easier.
What is a Canadian Study Permit?
A Canadian study permit is an official document issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that allows foreign nationals to study in Canada for a specified period of time. To be eligible, applicants must meet certain requirements, such as having been accepted into a designated learning institution and demonstrating that they have enough financial resources to support themselves during their studies in Canada.
Once issued, a study permit is typically valid for the duration of the applicant’s studies, up to a maximum of four years. After completing their studies, foreign students may be eligible to apply for a work permit under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program, which would allow them to gain valuable work experience in Canada.
What is a Designated Learning Institution?
A DLI (Designated Learning Institution) is an educational institution that has received approval from the Canadian government to admit foreign nationals into their programs of study. In Canada, all public schools are DLIs and can accept foreign students. It is essential to consult the Canadian government’s list of DLIs before applying since not all post-secondary educational institutions are DLIs.
For how long is a study permit valid?
A study permit is valid for the duration of the student’s program of study at the time of application, however, should the program length change or if a student switches to a longer program, they must apply for an extension. When studies are complete, their permit will become invalid 90 days afterward regardless of what is stated on it. Before expiration, foreign nationals must leave Canada or submit an application to stay. Many students then apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit which allows them to remain in Canada and work if approved.
In order to obtain a Canadian study permit, you must have a valid acceptance letter issued by a DLI in Canada. You must also meet the following requirements:
1. Have a valid passport
2. Demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to meet the following requirements:
- You must pay the DLI’s student fees for your first year of study.
- Assist the student and accompanying family members with all expenses during the first year of their stay in Canada.
- Provide transportation to and from Canada for the student and accompanying family member(s).
- The funds should be in liquid form, under the name of the principal applicant, spouse, family member, or close friend.
3. Most of the time, a visa officer will request that the student and accompanying family members undergo a medical examination after receiving an application.
4. Police clearance certificates may be requested after a visa officer receives an application for a study permit to ensure the applicant is not a security risk.
Studying in Canada without a Study Permit
Foreign nationals can study in Canada without a study permit in several situations.
It is possible for a person to complete a study program of 6 months or less if they possess a legal status to enter Canada, usually through a tourist visa or visitor visa. Students must, however, apply for an extension to their stay in Canada if the course is part of a longer program or if they intend to complete the program within 6 months.
In addition, minor children in Canada who are refugees or refugee claimants, or whose parents are refugees or refugee claimants, do not require a study permit. Additionally, minor children can attend preschool, primary school, or secondary school without a study permit if their parents have legal authorization to work or study in Canada.
Can I work in Canada while I’m studying?
It is not necessary to apply for a work permit separately if you hold a study permit to work part-time. If you wish to find part-time work, you must also have a valid Social Security Number (SIN). When you no longer attend the full-time course or your study permit expires, your right to work ceases.
Can my family come with me?
A full-time student can accompany his/her spouse and children to Canada. The spouse can study or work if he/she obtains a study permit or spousal open work permit. If children attend preschool, primary school, or secondary school without a study permit, they must apply for a study permit if they intend to attend a post-secondary educational institution.
When a visa officer assesses a study permit application, they will consider whether or not the applicant demonstrates that they intend to leave Canada when their permit expires. The officer will refuse the study permit if he or she does not believe this requirement has been met. When applying with a spouse and children, the officer may conclude that the applicant intends to relocate permanently to Canada and will not be leaving Canada when the permit expires.
Can I apply for a study permit from inside Canada?
With the exception of those listed below, all foreign nationals must obtain a study permit before entering Canada:
- Children under the age of 18
- Students on exchange
- Having a valid six-month temporary resident permit
- A spouse or common-law partner residing in Canada who has applied for PR under the Family Class Sponsorship program
- Holder of a valid study permit seeking extension or family member of such a holder
- Members of accredited foreign representatives’ families/private staff
How can I stay in Canada after I finished my studies?
Foreign graduates from Canadian Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) may be eligible to apply for an open work permit through the Post-Graduate Work Permit program. It is important to ascertain whether the program you are currently studying will make you qualified to receive a Post-Graduate Work Permit. Obtaining Canadian experience in the labour force increases your chances of being selected for permanent residency purposes under the Express Entry – Canadian Experience Class program.
A high school student applying to university can apply for a program and a study permit for another level of education.