Many students from across the globe will venture to study in Canada. However, in order to study in Canada, depending on the length of your intended schooling, you require a study visa or Study Permit in order to do so. Further, depending on your country of origin, a visitor visa or Temporary Resident Visa may also be required.
For the most part, those who wish to study in Canada will require a study permit. However, there are a few exemptions where you do not require a Study Permit to go to school in Canada. These exemptions are:
- If you are a family member or staff member of the four representatives to Canada accredited by foreign affairs and international trade Canada
- If you remember, all foreign armed forces under the Visiting Forces Act
- If your study program is less than 6 months
If you fall under the above categories, you may not be required to obtain a Study Permit prior to beginning education in Canada. If you do not meet the above criteria, you most likely be required to obtain a Study Permit prior to your intended education in Canada.
In order to obtain a study visa or Study Permit in Canada, you must:
- Have you been accepted by school, college, university or other educational institution in Canada
- Prove that you have enough money to pay for your tuition fees, living expenses and return transportation for yourself and any other family members who came with you to Canada.
- Have no criminal record and not be a risk to security in Canada; you may be required to provide a police certificate.
- Satisfy an immigration officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your temporary stay.
Can I work while I am on a study visa or study permit?
Though Study Permit may authorize you to study in Canada, it does not allow you to enter the labour market. However, there are some programs, like the off-campus work permits, that will allow you to obtain employment based on your study permit. To qualify for this, you must be a full-time student enrolled at a participating publicly funded post-secondary educational institution or a program at an eligible privately funded institution. This off-campus work permit authorizes you to work up to 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions as well as full-time during scheduled breaks.
What happens when my Study Permit expires but I still have school?
If you wish to continue studying in Canada after the validity of your study permit, you’ll need to submit an application to change conditions or extend your stay as a student. You’ll need to provide similar documentation as you did with your first application for a study permit. Documents such as a letter from the institution demonstrating your continued enrollment, as well as funds available for the following school year, will be required. When submitting an application to continue your studies, you should always consider processing times and makes you submit an application well in advance to allow processing times and have a Study Permit in time for the following school year.