International students require a Canada Study Permit (and accompanying student’s visa) in order to study in any of Canada’s Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs). Canada is the best and most desirable destination for many international students from all over the world. If you are interested in studying in Canada, you will need to be well informed about the Canada study permit and the processes. You may also be able to work part time in Canada while studying.
There are many steps involved with applying for a Canadian study permit and the processes vary from country to country. Our step-by-step instructions will guide you on how to apply for a Canadian study permit. It will inform you of the processing times, as well as other useful information necessary for a successful application.
What is Canada Study Permit?
Basically, a Canadian study permit is a document usually issued to international students who come to study in any designated learning institution in Canada. This document grants you legal authorization or permission to study in Canada.
In addition, when applying for a permit, you should be aware that there are certain conditions and requirements that must be met when submitting the application for a study permit. Hence, before applying you need to make sure all documents are ready and intact.
You should also know that your Canadian study permit is not a Canadian visa. A student visa authorizes you to come to study in Canada. While, on the other hand, a study permit gives you the authorization to stay in the Country. It also depends on your country of origin. If your country is included in the Visa Exempt Countries, you do not require a visa to enter Canada. A foreign student can also extend a study permit whenever it expires. You are given an extra 90 days to either apply for an extension or leave Canada.
Documents Requirements/ Rules for Canada Study Permit, 2023
To obtain a Canadian study permit, a prospective foreign student must:
For people wishing to immigrate to Canada to pursue their studies, there are several eligibility requirements. You must: to be eligible for a study permit.
- Make sure to assure the officer that you’ll be leaving Canada after your studies are finished.
- Have a letter of admission from a school (must be enrolled at a designated learning institution)
- Show that you have the funds necessary to cover your living expenses while you are in Canada, as well as the expenses of any accompanying family members.
- Be law-abiding and have no prior convictions.
- Not pose a threat to Canada’s security.
- Maintain good health (complete a medical examination, if required)
- Prove to an officer that you’ll be leaving Canada once your study permit expires.
Note: To prove your eligibility, you should provide the officer with any further documentation they ask for.
What You Must Do as a Student in Canada
While pursuing your studies in Canada, you must ensure that you:
- Make steady progress toward completing your program.
- Obey any conditions outlined in your study permit.
- You can only study in Canada if you satisfy the standards.
Based on your situation, your study permit can have restrictions such –
- If you’re able to work in Canada
- If you have the right to travel within Canada
- The exact date by which you need to leave Canada
- Where you can learn (a specific DLI listed on your permit)
- You must modify your DLI in your IRCC-protected account before enrolling in classes at a different DLI.
- Whether a medical test for immigration is necessary
Apply for a Study Permit from Outside Canada
No matter where you are staying, you can apply for a study permit from outside Canada. Although, the COVID-19 crisis has affected travel plans for most foreigners, including international students. Canada has put in place special measures to help students begin their studies outside Canada while travel restrictions are in place.
You may need to visit any Canadian visa office close to you to apply for a Canadian study permit. But first, you must get a letter of acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI).
The Canadian institution must issue the acceptance letter (e.g., college, university, etc.) on official letterhead, indicating the exact amount of tuition fees you need to pay, the expected starting and finishing dates, and the date by which you want to register.
Once you have your acceptance letter, you can complete and apply for a study permit.
Apply for a Study Permit from Within Canada
You can apply for a study permit from within Canada and do this when you arrive in Canada at the port of entry (POE). You can also apply as a visitor. It is, however, advisable to apply online as it is processed faster, and you get updates and information on the application status directly in your online account.
When you apply, you should submit the following documents:
- the acceptance letter issued to you by the DLI you will be attending.
- as many of the documents required for a complete application as possible.
- a letter of explanation for any missing documents due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you can not apply online because of issues relating to disability, you can apply on paper. The application processes for foreign students living abroad and those residing in Canada are generally the same.
You must schedule an appointment with the VAC after submitting your application and paying the fees for the Canadian study permit. When making your appointment, you will get the following:
- An email confirmation
- The letter of appointment
The primary purpose of your visit to the visa application center is to enroll your biometrics. Make sure you pay the biometric charge once you submit your application. By doing this, you may get a letter with instructions. When you visit VAC to provide your biometrics, bring the letter and your passport.
Ensure your hands are free of cracks, wounds, henna, or other decorations. You must pay the application fee at VAC to apply in person. Remember to edit your application to reflect changes to your address or phone number.
Factors affecting the processing time for Canada study visas
The Embassy or the visa-granting body will begin processing your application on the day they receive it. Following is a list of variables that affect how quickly student visas are processed:
- What kind of application have you submitted?
- application submission with accurate data
- Whether or not supporting documentation was submitted.
- Backlog in the immigration department
- How promptly do you respond to any inquiries or requests made by the authority?
- Candidates with prior criminal histories can anticipate a delay in the screening period.
- Ban or travel restriction put into effect at the time of your visa application (due to COVID)
- A change in political power may also affect how quickly visas are processed.
Extend Study Permit In Canada
Foreign students need to have a valid study permit to renew or extend a study permit. If, in case, your study permit expires before the completion of your studies (program), then you need to apply for a renewal of your study permit. Usually, you should apply at least 30 days before your current study permit expires. Candidates can lodge their applications via mail or online.
If, on the other hand, you have completed your study program, you may be eligible to apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP). You may check our resource page on applying for PGWP.
Some students may also change their status to a visitor if they no longer study or apply for PGWP. But take into account that there’s a timeframe for these processes, which is usually 90 days, after which you can no longer renew your status.
Obtaining a Work Permit After Study In Canada
If you plan to stay in Canada after your graduation, there are several programs that you can apply for. A post-graduation work permit (PGWP) will allow you to obtain valuable work experience in Canada, boosting your chances for a Canadian Experience Class (CEC) visa.
The PGWP can be issued for the length of your program of study for up to three years. For instance, if you completed a two-year master’s degree program, you could be eligible for a three-year work permit if you meet the conditions.
If you completed an eight-month certificate program, you may qualify for a Canadian work permit valid for no more than eight months.
The Canadian Experience Class visa allows international graduates to smoothly transition from temporary to permanent Canadian residence.
This is open to candidates who understand Canadian society and can contribute to economic growth. Knowledge of English or French, as well as qualifying work experience, is essential.
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A. You only apply for amendments if an error is made on your study permit, maybe a visa officer.
If, for instance, you were eligible to work when you entered Canada, but your permit did not state that you “may work”, you will need to correct or amend your permit before you can work in Canada. As quickly as possible, you have to apply for an amendment if you are eligible.