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However, there are several requirements and considerations that any applicant for a study permit must satisfy, and any mistakes could result in a refusal and potentially delaying your future.
Requirements for Study Permit in Canada
To qualify for a study permit, you will have to meet the following requirements according to Immigration Canada:
- Obtain and provide your letter of acceptance from the designated learning institution (DLI) that you have been accepted into.
- Convince the immigration officer that you will in fact exit Canada upon the conclusion of your studies
- Valid passport – ensuring that it is valid throughout the duration of your stay
- Evidence the fact that you are financially capable of paying your tuition fees, covering your room and board expenses, as well as your day to day living expenses for the entirety of your stay
- Not be inadmissible under criminality grounds pursuant to IRCC provisions
- Not pose a risk to the safety and security of Canada or its civilians
- Not be inadmissible under medical grounds (you may have to undergo a medical examination)
Essential Documents Required:
Letter of Acceptance
You must provide valid identification with a picture (ex. passport) for yourself and any family member who will be accompanying you to Canada.
Immigration officers will verify if you possess the required funds to cover your first-year tuition and living expenses for yourself and any accompanying family members. As such, you must at least provide bank statements (preferably from a Canadian bank account), and/or proof of student loan details.
Study Permit Conditions
While on a study permit in Canada, it is important that you understand the conditions of your study permit. Failure to satisfy your study permit conditions can result in losing your status as a status and may force you to exit Canada.
All study permits have the following conditions:
- Maintain enrollment (full time or part time) at your Designated Learning Institution
- Demonstrate that you are successfully passing your courses and making all efforts to successfully complete your program
- All study permit holders must not take a leave of absence longer than 150 days
- Inform Immigration Canada if you are changing post-secondary schools
- If you fail to meet any of your conditions as a study permit holder, you must immediately stop attending school
- You must exit Canada at the time your study expires
Study permits may have additional conditions depending on your situation. These additional conditions are usually stated on your study permit and can include:
- Travel restrictions within Canada
- Whether you are authorized to work as a student on-campus or off-campus
- Whether you can work pursuant to your program of study such as co-ops and/or internships
- The specific school or level of study you may be enrolled in
Whether you must attend any medical appointments
- The specific date you must stop attending school
How does Immigration Canada know you are complying with your study permit conditions?
If there are any suspicions that you are not complying with your study permit conditions, Immigration Canada may conduct unannounced checks, including requesting documents from your school confirming that you are still enrolled in your specific study program.
Therefore, it is vital that you understand the specific conditions imposed on your study permit.
Can I work while studying in Canada?
Many international students decide to remain in Canada during the holidays.
So long as students maintain a valid study permit and are enrolled as full-time students, they are eligible to work part-time, for up to 20 hours per week during the semester and on a full-time basis during scheduled breaks (ex. summer break, winter holiday). A valid Social Insurance Number (SIN) is also required.
Upon completion of their studies, students may also be eligible to apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit, which allows students to work in Canada for up to 3 years, depending on the length of the study program.
Important: once your study permit has expired and/or you are no longer attending full-time classes, you can no longer continue working.
Can I study in Canada without a Study Permit?
Yes, but only in specific situations.
Program Length: The length of the study program must be 6 months or less
Parents with Minor Children
Parents(s) with valid legal status to either work or study inside Canada are eligible to enroll their minor children in pre-school, primary school or secondary school without obtaining a study permit.
Refugees and Refugee Claimants
If you are a minor child and are inside Canada as a refugee or refugee claimant, you are exempt from obtaining a study permit inside Canada. This exception also applies if you are a minor child and your parents are inside Canada as refugees or refugee claimants.
Have a Question?
How We Can Help
At VisaPath, our representatives are highly trained and experienced with study permit applications.
We have overseen many successful study permit applications and can guide you through each step of the process to ensure you compile a strong and convincing application, giving you the best possible chances of success.
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Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to study in Canada?
The amount varies from institution, program, and living arrangements. Studying in Canada can be a quite an expensive investment. Some programs are more expensive than others, for example college programs tend to be less expensive than university programs. For a study permit application to be strong you have to prove you can support yourself financially while studying in Canada.
What is the processing time for a study permit?
Processing time for a study permit varies from visa centre; depending on your country of citizenship you can typically expect a decision within two to four months, sometimes longer. This is the estimate processing time it could take the government of Canada to process most applications. Processing time begins when Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has received your application to the day you receive the final decision. It is important to avoid any delays by making sure the application is complete and with all the required documentation. If you submit the application incomplete, then your application will either get sent back to you or come with a refusal letter.
Is it possible to work while you are studying?
When you receive a study permit you are eligible to work on-campus and off-campus, but there are restrictions that you must comply with. An international student is only permitted to work on-campus and off campus for up to 20 hours a week and must be a full time student.
Some programs required you to complete a co-op term, you must apply for a student co-op work permit which official permits you to work in Canada and your school is the official employer.