Applying for a Canadian study permit allows individuals to include their family members in the application, enabling them to accompany the applicant to Canada. A spouse accompanying the applicant can potentially obtain an open work permit, granting them the ability to work for any Canadian employer. Minor children can also study at Canadian elementary and secondary schools.
Most international students typically require a study permit, except for programs lasting six months or less. Additionally, some individuals, including minors, may be exempt from the study permit requirement.
How to Obtain a Study Permit: It’s crucial to apply for a study permit promptly upon receiving the acceptance letter. Processing times vary, and delays can occur, especially during busy periods, such as the summer.
To check estimated study permit processing times by country, refer to the official resources.
Eligibility requirements for a Canadian study permit include:
- Acceptance Letter: Obtain an acceptance letter from a designated learning institution.
- Financial Support: Prove sufficient financial support to cover tuition, living expenses, and return transportation for the first year.
- Quebec Acceptance Certificate: If studying in Quebec, obtain a Certificat d’acceptation du Quebec (CAQ).
- Clean Record: Ensure a clean criminal record.
- Good Health: Be in good health, possibly requiring a medical examination.
- Intent to Leave: Convince the immigration officer of your intention to leave Canada when your study permit expires.
Additional supporting documents may include passports, photos, marriage certificates (if applicable), and other specific requirements of the visa office.
Fast-Track Option: Student Direct Stream (SDS): For expedited processing, eligible individuals in specific countries can use the Student Direct Stream (SDS). Processing standards for SDS applications are typically 20 calendar days. To be eligible, applicants must meet various requirements, including a GIC (Guaranteed Investment Certificate) and language test results.
Financial Support: Applicants must prove they have the necessary financial resources to cover tuition, living expenses, and support accompanying family members.
If an Application Is Approved: Approved applicants receive a Letter of Introduction (LOI) and may need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) depending on their home country.
Study Permit Renewal: Students may need to renew or modify their study permits during their studies. Changing institutions or programs usually doesn’t require a new study permit. However, changing from elementary to high school or high school to post-secondary studies may necessitate a change in permit conditions.
Options After Graduation: Study permits expire 90 days after graduation, so graduates must update their status within this timeframe to avoid losing legal status in Canada. Many graduates can apply for a Post-graduation Work Permit (PGWP), allowing them to work for any employer in Canada for up to three years after graduation. This work experience can be valuable for future immigration applications, including the Canadian Experience Class and Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). Graduates who don’t apply for a PGWP can consider changing status to a visitor, obtaining another work permit, applying for a new study permit, or leaving Canada.
These measures provide opportunities for international students to study in Canada while considering their options for employment and future immigration.