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FAQs, Answers for Canada Study Permit for Int’l Students

The information you have gathered during your research will help you yo take a decision and whether to use an agency or to carry out the visa application by yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions for Canada Study Permit for International Students

There are various frequently asked questions for Canada study permit for international students. These questions help international candidates applying for Canada study permit to know the requirements and information needed for Canada study permit or when applying for a study permit. Below is a number of questions asked by international students who intend to study in Canada and the necessary answers to each question?

What is the first thing to do if I want to study in Canada?

The first thing to do if you want to study in Canada is to carry out a thorough research. This research will cover a lot of things including the name of institution you intend to study in, the program of your choice, the city you will live in, the scholarships available for you, the documents you need for visa application etc.

Thus, you must read articles and even watch videos as your sources of information. This will help you to get all the necessary information needed about Canada study permit and all the things mentioned earlier. The information you have gathered during your research will help you yo take a decision and whether to use an agency or to carry out the visa application by yourself. This process is known as DIY during VISA application process.

Your research will help you to know the advantages and disadvantages of using an agency for your visa application. If after your research and you decide to run it yourself, then you must choose a Designated Learning Institution you are going to enroll in.

Next, you need to prepare all of the requirements and even the costings that you will use in the application for your Canada study permit.

You can get the necessary information needed in Canada.ca.

What is the procedure to study in Canada?

The first step to take if you intend to study in Canada is to get admission into a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI) recognized by Canada authorities.

The second step is to apply for a study permit once you have received a letter of acceptance from your DLI. You can send in your applications either online or by mail using the email address of the institution. 

Your study permit will be given to you at a Canadian port of entry, that is the first place you land in Canada. It is issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

When your application has been approved, the Canada Visa Office in your country will then issue you a letter of approval which you will show Canadian authorities that your application for study permit has been approved.

You must travel to Canada within a specific time of getting your letter of approval.  Your study permit will last at least to the period of your studies in Canada.

What is a study permit?

A study permit is a document given for foreign students which will allow them to study in Canada. It offers the student the necessary security needed for the duration of his or her study.

How to apply for study permit?

here are four steps to follow while applying for a Canadian study permit, they are:

  1. Check your eligibility
  2. Prepare your application
  3. Submit your study permit application
  4. Receive your approved study permit

Which documents do I need for study permit?

International students applying for Canadian study permit will need the following documents when applying for study permit. They include:

  • Letter of Acceptance
  • Proof of Fund
  • Other Supporting Documents
What is the difference between a Study Permit and a Temporary Resident Visa?

A study permit is a document issued to international students which authorizes to study any course of their choice in Canada, while a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) only allows a foreigner to enter Canada. You may be require to use a TRV to enter Canada as an international student depending on your country of origin.

But even if you need a TRV to enter Canada as an international student, once you are issued a study permit, you will automatically get a TRV.

You may not need to submit a different application as an international student who requires a TRV, this also means that you do not have to pay an additional fee for your TRV. This also applies to all international students who need an Electronic Travel Authorization to enter Canada which permits them to enter Canada by air.

What is the difference between a Study Permit and a Temporary Resident Visa?

A study permit is a document issued to international students which authorizes to study any course of their choice in Canada, while a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) only allows a foreigner to enter Canada. You may be require to use a TRV to enter Canada as an international student depending on your country of origin.

But even if you need a TRV to enter Canada as an international student, once you are issued a study permit, you will automatically get a TRV.

You may not need to submit a different application as an international student who requires a TRV, this also means that you do not have to pay an additional fee for your TRV. This also applies to all international students who need an Electronic Travel Authorization to enter Canada which permits them to enter Canada by air. 

How do I extend my study permit in Canada?

On your study permit, there is an expiry date which tells you when you are no longer eligible to study in Canada.

This can be found in the top right corner of your study permit. You are eligible to study in Canada for the duration of the time in your study permit including extra 90 days. You are given the extra 90 days as an opportunity to prepare to leave Canada or to extend your stay in Canada.

You must apply for a study permit extension within 30 days before the expiration of your study permit, if you want to keep studying in Canada

You can apply online to extend your study permit extend your study permit. You may as well choose to apply on paper if either

you have a disability that makes it impossible to apply online or
there’s a problem with the online application

What is the document number of study permit?

A document number is the number that appears on official immigration documents like a study permits. It is usually printed in black ink as a letter, for instance, an “F” represents a study permits. It is followed by a series of numbers(e.g.F123456789)

How many years or programs are better to apply?

You can choose any program and the program you choose also determines the number of years you will study in Canada. You can go for one year program, or two Yeats program or even three years program depending on your course of study. One thing you need to know is that there is a work and study pathway in Canada which allows you to work in Canada if possible after your studies. For instance, if you enroll for a one-year program, then you will get a one-year post-graduation work permit.

What is a work permit?

A work permit is the official document that allows you to live and work in Canada as a foreigner. It can be in two forms: a temporary work permit or a permanent work permit.

A temporary work permit only allows you to live and work in Canada for a specific time, this means that once it expires you either renew it or you leave Canada within a specific time after it has expired.

What is a post-graduation work permit?

A post-graduation work permit is the work permit that allows a students who has graduated from a Canadian post-secondary institution to live and work in Canada in order to gain valuable Canadian work experience. What it means is that as a graduate of a Canadian Designated Learning Institution that you can live and work in Canada and thereby getting the needed Canadian work experience. This work you will do under a PGWP will help you to be a permanent resident in Canada.

Which program is better between Diploma and Post-Graduate Program if I already have a bachelor’s degree?

If you have already gotten your bachelor’s degree, then you will be advised to choose a post-graduate program. This is because most of the postgraduate programs that you can do is done within a year.

And If you decide to undertake two programs or to study for two years, then, it means that you will gain two certificates which you will not get if you undertake a diploma program. Although, some diploma programs can last for only one year most are two years programs.

What type of student application is a better: a regular stream or student direct stream(SDS)?

Regular stream is better because its a cheaper option than Student Direct Stream.

Secondly, when you apply for  regular stream, there is a Proof Of Fund to show the amount of money needed while on the other hand, SDS doesn’t have the proof of fund and you may not know how much needed for visa application. 

Also, you will not need IELTS for regular stream, but for SDS, you must have an academic IELTS in which you must score at least 6.0 total band score and at least 6.0 on each test including reading, writing, listening and speaking skills.

Regular-stream may take up to 90 days to process but  while the SDS may take only one month of processing time.

Is IELTS required if I study in Canada?

Yes, you may need IELTS or any other English or French proficiency test result for study permit but depends on the type of student application you are applying for.

International students applying for SDS must take the IELTS exam. But in regular-stream, it depends on your choice of  program and university.

Some universities that may not require IELTS though, it will also depend on your choice of program because while some programs may require IELTS, others may not.

You can contact your Designated Learning Institution or university directly to know if you need IELTS for the program you have chosen.

However, you must know that proof of language in English and French is an admission requirement and not a requirement for a Canadian Study Permit unless for students applying through the Student Partner Program. Therefore you must enquire from your university or college to the kind of proof of language proficiency test needed for the program of your choice.

How long does it take to get a Letter of Acceptance from a university in Canada?

The time that it takes to get a letter of acceptable depends solely on the university of your choice. While many universities and colleges will issue you a letter of acceptance within one week, others make take up to two weeks or even one month to issue you your LOA. You must always check to know all the details that are indicated in your LOA.

For instance, you may apply for two programs in a university or college but they may end up issuing you only one LOA of a one-year program. In this kind of situations, there are two options for you to choose from, it is either you reapply for the second program or you can decide to go on and study the program that you are issued a letter of acceptance to study.

If you decide to study the one year program that you received your LOA for, then you must indicate that while making your statement of purpose (SOP). A statement of purpose indicates the reason while you are entering Canada and you must provide correct details in your SOP. This is why you must check carefully to know the details of your LOA.

How long does Canada visa processing take?

Your Canada visa processing can take between two weeks and one month depending on the stream you choose. If you choose regular stream, it may take only 14 days but if you opt for SDS, then it may take up to one month to process.

But, this can vary depending on the embassy and certain situations. There may be delays if you fid not submit all the required documents and it will make the process to take a longer time.

Can I still apply for study permit if my parents will not sponsor me?

Yes. Even if your parents are not sponsoring you, you must still apply for study permit since it is the only authorization that you will have to study in Canada.

Is a study permit required for short courses?

No, you do not need a study permit for courses that will take you less than six months. However, once you are applying for a course that is more than six months, you must require a study permit to study in Canada.

But it is advisable to apply for a study permit even when you are applying for a course of less than six months. This is because you may decide to undertake another program after the one you have studied and if you do not have a study permit, it means that you may have to leave Canada in order to get a study permit but if you already have a study permit, all that you have to do is to renew it if it has expired.

To qualify for a permit for a short-term course or program in Canada you must enroll to study study at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI).

What happens next if a study permit application is refused?

In a situation where your application is rejected, then you must reapply for a new application.

How much is the Proof of Funds (POF)?

International students applying for the SDS do not need proof of funds but you must provide a GIC. GIC means Guaranteed Insurance Certificate in which you need to pay for the one year of your tuition fee once. You must also open a bank account with a Canadian financial institution or bank with a minimum of CAD $10,000.

For international students applying for a regular stream, all  you need is to have at least CAD $10,000 as your proof of Funds.

This table shows minimum funds required to support yourself as a student and family members who come with you to Canada:

Number of people All provinces except Quebec
Single student Tuition plus $10,000 for a 12-month period (or $833 per month)
For one accompanying family member add: $4,000 for a 12-month period (or $333 per month)
For each additional family member, add: $3,000 for a 12-month period per dependent child of any age (or $255 per month)

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.

Number of people Total amount required
One person under age 18 $6,377
One person age 18 or older $12,750
Two persons age 18 or older $18,702
One person over age 18 and one under age 18 $17,137
Two persons over age 18 and one under age 18 $20,950
Two persons over age 18 and two under age 18 $22,611

Do I need proof of fund for my spouse or common law partner?

Yes, you will also need a proof of fund for your spouse, common law partner or dependent child. For your spouse, you must add CAD $4,000. For your dependent child you must add another CAD $3,000. Hence, for a family of three, the proof of fund needed is CAD $17,000.

How much do Canadian universities cost?

The cost of attending universities in Canada depends on the university and also on program of your choice. Some universities collect more tuition fee than other and some programs also cost more that others but generally the tuition fees at Canadian universities cost less than other countries. Canadian universities are ranked among the top universities in the world but still they charge less fee than most universities in other countries.

On average for international students, it can cost about

CA$ 20,000 to CA$ 30,000 per year for undergraduate program

for a graduate program in Canada is CA$ 17,744 per year

Post graduate diploma starts from CA$ 8,000 per year

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Are there scholarships available for me to study in Canada?

Yes. There are various scholarships for international students in Canada.

Here are top scholarship for international students in Canada

What is biometric identification and do I need it for a study permit?

International students from certain countries may require biometrics (fingerprints and photographs) for Canada visa application purposes.

Is it possible to work during studies?

Yes, you can work as an international student while studying in Canada. If you want to work while studying in Canada then you must have a valid study permit and be enrolled as a full-time student at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). If you meet these requirements, then you may be allowed to work for up to 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions and full time during scheduled breaks.

International students who wish to work “off-campus” must be authorized for off-campus work by a visa officer. International students enrolled in a full-time academic, professional or vocational training program at a Canadian designated learning institution may qualify to work “off-campus” without a work permit. However, it should be printed on the study permit that you are authorized to work off-campus.

Once your eligibility expires, you must stop working on the day that you no longer meet the eligibility requirements. But if you are enrolled in an English as a Second Language (ESL) or French as a Second Language (FSL) program, you are exempted from this rule because you do not need authorization to work in Canada.

Can I stay in Canada after my graduation?

Yes you can remain in Canada even after your studies. This is made possible through many programs set up by Canadian immigration policy which offers international students many ways to live and work in the Canada after graduation.

You can choose to remain in Canada under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP). This allows the individual who has studied full-time at a participating Designated Learning Institution (DLI) may be eligible to apply for a PGWP.

Is it possible to submit an application without all the required documents, and update the application later?

A study permit application should be complete upon submission. A visa officer may make a decision based on the documents submitted with the initial application without giving the applicant a chance to submit the missing document

Is it possible to come to Canada for a pre-study visit?

Yes, a potential international student can explore Canada as a visitor before studies begin. Individuals should verify whether they need a Temporary Resident Visas (TRV) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to enter Canada.