Various universities from Canada are preferred by over 130,000 international students yearly. Offering a high-quality teaching system, Canada is very rich in possibilities and cultures. Research, scientific publications and international collaborations are three of the aspects that Canada and its universities focus on.

In order to study in Canada, you will need to obtain a Canadian study permit, which serves as a Canadian student visa for the period of your stay in Canada. There is no need for a Canadian study permit if your course or program duration lasts six months or less. Nonetheless, it may be a good idea to apply for a permit before you come to Canada anyway otherwise if you decide you want to continue your studies in another program, you’ll need to leave Canada to apply for a study permit through a visa office. Once you are in possession of a Canadian study permit, you can apply for renewal from within Canada if you decide to continue your studies. For full-time students registered at an accredited higher education institution, a study permit also allows you to work part-time on campus. You may also be able to work off-campus, work as a co-op or intern as part of your program, stay in Canada as a permanent resident or find work after you graduate.

How to Apply for a Canadian study permit?

You can apply for a Canadian study permit either online or through a paper application, which can be obtained from the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website. Paper applications typically take about twice as long, and it’s always recommended to check the processing times well in advance. Before you apply online, you’ll need a credit/debit card and the ability to create electronic copies of your supporting documents (i.e. using a scanner or camera). The visa office in your country will provide specific instructions about which documents you need to provide this can vary depending on your location. If you need assistance, you can visit your nearest visa application center (VAC) to get help.

The process involved for obtaining a Canadian Study Permit:

The following processes are involved in obtaining a Canadian student visa also known as study permit.

You must first obtain a standardized letter of acceptance from a recognized higher education provider. Students studying in Quebec must also apply for a certificate of acceptance, known as a CAQ, from the government of Quebec. You must acquire this before you are permitted to apply for a study permit.

The next stage is to get a Canadian student visa application package, either from the CIC or by contacting your local visa office, or the Canadian embassy or consulate in your home country. You may also need to obtain a temporary residence permit if you are from a designated country (find out if you need to get one here), but this will not complicate matters too much as it’ll be processed at the same time as your study permit application.

The following additional Canadian student visa requirements may also apply:

Applicants from certain countries will need to provide biometrics (photograph and fingerprints). Some applicants may also need to get a medical exam and/or police check before submitting their application. You will not be able to get a study permit if you have a criminal record you may be asked to provide a Police Clearance Certificate as an evidence. Unless you’re from the US or St. Pierre and Miquelon.

You will need to prove you have a valid passport which allows you to return to your country of origin after the completion of your course. Two passport-sized photograph are also required, with your name and date of birth written at the back.

Canadian student visa requirements also include proof of funds to support yourself. At present this is deemed to be C$10,000 (US$7,070) for every year of your stay (C$11,000/US$7,780 if you are applying to study in Quebec) on top of your tuition fees. You will also need to make sure you have enough money to pay for transportation to return home.

To prove you have this money, you can provide any of the following documents:

  • Bank statements,
  • Evidence of a Canadian account in your name if the money has been transferred,
  • A bank draft in a convertible currency,
  • Proof of payment of tuition and accommodation fees, a letter from a person or institution providing you with money, or proof of funding paid from within Canada if you have a scholarship or are undertaking a Canadian-funded program.

Find the right universities depending on the discipline you want to study

  • Master programs in environmental sciences in Canada
  • Master programs in psychology in Canada
  • Master programs in computer science in Canada
  • Master programs in photography and media in Canada
  • Master programs in accounting in Canada
  • MBA programs in Canada
  • Master programs in architecture in CanadaConsider some of the best universities in Canada
  • University of Toronto
  • University of British Columbia
  • York University
  • Simon Fraser University
  • McMaster University

Next steps after application

If and when your Canadian student visa application is approved, you’ll receive a letter of introduction, while students from countries which require an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) and/or a temporary residence visa will be issued if required. The eTA will be linked to your passport. It is important that you travel with the passport you used when you applied for your study permit. The eTA will be valid for five years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. Present these along with your passport, proof of your finances and your letter of acceptance and any other documents that you have been advised to take to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) in Canada, who will then issue your Canadian study permit and allow you access into Canada.

Working while you study in Canada

If you’d like to get a part-time job to help support yourself while studying in Canada, you can now qualify to work on or off-campus for up to 20 hours during university semesters and full-time during breaks such as the winter or summer holidays, without the need for a work permit.

To qualify, you must: Have a valid study permit, be a full-time student, be enrolled at a designated learning institution at post-secondary level or, in Quebec, a vocational program at secondary level, be studying in an academic, vocational or professional training program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate that is at least six months in duration. You will also need a Social Insurance Number (SIN) from Service Canada to work in Canada or to receive benefits and services from government programs. Your study permit will become invalid 90 days after you have completed your study program, so you’ll need to acquire a post-graduation work permit if you want to stay in Canada after your studies and seek work. This is valid for three years.



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