A Canadian Immigration Study Visa will be required for most students wishing to attend educational courses in Canada. There are a few exceptions on
Who Needs Study Permits
for Canada but in general most foreign students will require one. Please note that for anyone wishing to apply for a place at an institution in Quebec then seperate rules will apply that will be covered in the Quebec visa page.
Some exemptions are:
1. Students in short term programs or courses (six months or less) may not require a permit.
2. You won’t need a Study Permit if you are a minor child (under 18) already in Canada, and your parents are not “visitors” in Canada (legally entitled to be in Canada).
3. Should you be a family or staff member of a foreign representative to Canada accredited by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, you do not need a Permit to study.
Canada welcomes foreign students into its schools and universities with some financial assistance packages available for certain applicants. These range from Government and Non Government funded Scholarships and Bursaries through to working exchanges where you embark on a working program normally as a post graduate. Once you have successfully enrolled at your School your student advisor will be able to provide details of any applicable financing options you may qualify for.
The rules and regulations on education and schools differ from Province to Province. The school where you wish to study should be able to provide you with more information. Each Provincial page (accessed from homepage) has an educational section containing details and links to the establishments in that particular Province.
If you are from
you will also require a Temporary Resident visa in addition to your study permit - this will be processed by the immigration officer in conjunction with your Study Visa with no need for an extra application form.
There is a simple, 3 step procedure to follow to see if you are eligible to apply for a Canadian Immigration Study Visa but be warned that for many programs you will need to apply well in advance – up to 12 months – to secure a place in the program and obtain the necessary paperwork:
1. Work out exactly what you want to study and where you wish to study (which Province). Then, find an educational establishment that provides the program you wish to undertake and contact their student services department. Make sure they allow foreign students onto the program and also that you meet the entrance requirements – including any language testing.
The school you choose will provide all the necessary application forms you need to apply for the Course – (not the visa). Normal recommendations are to apply at least 6 months ahead of the start date for regular schooling up to and including high school. If you are applying for post secondary education (colleges and university) then allow at least 12 months. Complete the course enrollment application and submit it to the school following the instructions provided with the application.
2. Calculate the costs of the program along with health insurance, lodging, food, living costs and even how to get to Canada as these do mount up very quickly. Make sure you can afford to pay your course fees and have enough left to live on. The school you choose will be able to provide excellent local information for these costs – health care is not provided by the Canadian Government though regulations vary between Provinces. For detailed information on this very important subject go to our Canadian Healthcare page.
3. Once you have been accepted by the school and have received your letter of acceptance, you are able to apply for your Study Visa but will need other supporting documents:
A: Proof of Identity - A valid passport or travel document, which guarantees re-entry to the country that issued it. Citizens and permanent residents of the United States, St. Pierre and Miquelon, and Greenland do not need a passport, but do need proof of status and citizenship, such as a national identity card or an alien registration card. Two recent passport-size photos for you and each accompanying family member. The name and date of birth of the person should be written on the back of each photo. Please do be aware of the ongoing changes to the US travel requirements as the need for a passport may change.
B: Proof of Financial support – you need to be able to provide proof that you can support both yourself and any family members who may be accompanying you while you study in Canada. There are several types of evidence that is acceptable including proof of a Canadian bank account in your name if money has been transferred to Canada; your bank statements for the past four months; a bank draft in convertible currency; proof of payment of tuition and residence fees; proof of funding paid from within Canada if you have a scholarship or are in a Canadian-funded educational program.
**Important** If there are foreign-exchange control measures in your country, you must provide proof that the exchange control authorities will permit you to export funds for all of your expenses.
C: A letter of explanation – in order to assist the immigration officer in making the decision whether to grant the study permit it is essential that you submit a letter explaining why you require a study permit. This will ensure that your options are understood by the officer.
As the processing time can vary at different visa offices you should apply for your permit as soon as you receive your letter of acceptance from the educational institute.
are payable in Canadian dollars when the application is submitted.
Working As A Foreign Student
There are quite severe restrictions on overseas students working in Canada so be sure you are fully aware and stay on the right side of the law. A breach of the regulations may invalidate your visa and mean you have to leave Canada.
Full time students (15 hours instruction per week minimum) enrolled on a degree granting post secondary course are allowed to work ON CAMPUS on the university or college where they are registered for as long as the study permit is valid. No additional work permit is required for this employment and private contractors can provide the employment as long as it is an ON Campus business.
OFF CAMPUS employment is off limits for almost all foreign students though there are a few exceptions to the rule:
1. The employment is an integral and essential part of your studies (NOT medical interns or residents).
2. The employment is part of an approved research or training program
3. You have a valid study permit and have become temporarily destitute through reasons out of your control (or out of the control of the people you are dependant upon). You will have to provide proof that you can’t access the funds required for every day living and also that it is only a temporary problem.
4. If you are a full time student enrolled at certain post secondary institutes in either Manitoba, New Brunswick or certain regions of Quebec, you will be able to apply for OFF Campus work permits. The number of hours per week will most likely be limited but if you have applied to an institution in these places then your student advisor will be able to provide more information.
Once you complete your studies and you graduate from a Canadian post secondary institution then you may apply to stay in Canada and work for a maximum of 1 – 2 years in employment related to your qualification. The application process for this kind of visa is very time sensitive as you need to have applied within 90 days of receipt of your final marks and your study permit must still be valid when you submit the application. The length of this employment is limited by the length of your studies, the location of your studies and also the location of the employer.
If you are interested in pursuing an application for a Study Visa we are proud to recommend that you contact
and the experienced team at CanAm Immigration for a FREE, no obligation assessment of your eligibility.
Phil is a registered member of the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants
and the Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants (CAPIC). If you decide to hire any immigration professional you MUST ensure that they are registered and in good standing with CSIC. This can be done via the link above and is for YOUR protection.
If you wish to check application processing times please click the link to the CIC website. Once there, navigate through the options depending on where your application is being processed and the type of visa you are applying for.
Click Here For CIC Processing Times!!