Start-up Visa Educational Requirements
Officers should expect to see proof of education in the form of transcripts and a letter of good standing, or certificate or diploma or degree. Officer should review the documentation provided by the applicant and determine if:
- at least one year of post secondary study has been completed. The requirement is met based on the standards that exist in the country of study. For example, a technical credit may be the equivalent to a high school diploma in Canada but in the country of study it is considered to be post-secondary.
- the applicant was in good standing while they were in attendance at the post secondary educational institution. Applicants are considered to be in good standing based on criteria established by the educational institution. For example, the institution could have a policy which states that a person is not in good standing if they have an unpaid debt such as tuition fees or if they have not returned books to the library.
It is not necessary for the applicant to obtain any diploma, degree or trade or apprenticeship credential as a result of having completed at least one year of post-secondary study.
Distance learning post-secondary institutions are eligible for consideration to meet the requirements.
Example 1. Michael has submitted proof that he was enrolled in an online training course to become a computer technical support assistant. After 18 months he quit the course because he could not pay the fees. He was also frustrated because the online course was not user-friendly. Although his transcript shows his grades and that he took courses from January 2008 until June 2009, the transcript also shows that he was on academic probation from October 2008. In this instance Michael has post-secondary education of at least one year; however, he was not in good standing during that one year period. The officer will determine that the applicant does not meet the requirement.
Example 2. Joanne provides evidence that she has a bachelor’s degree. The officer will determine that the applicant meets the requirement, as the likelihood of receiving a degree or diploma from the educational institution, if the student is not in good standing, is low.
Example 3. Karine provides evidence that she attended a vocational institution for 3 years and was in good standing in the first 2 years of the program. In the third year she did not complete the course of study. The officer will determine that the applicant meets the requirement.
Note: Incidence of fraud may be seen in this area. Verification checks should be conducted with issuing institutions, as necessary, to ensure that program integrity standards are respected.
Note: In some cases the transcript may indicate whether the student was in good standing or not during the period of attendance at the educational institution. In these cases the officer should not expect to see a separate letter from the institution.
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