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In order to study in Canada longer than 6 months, you need to obtain a Canadian study permit, which serves as a Canadian student visa for the duration of your stay.
Canadian study permit
Most foreign nationals must apply for a study permit. A study permit, once issued, allows a foreign national to study in Canada at an approved institute for the duration of the specified course or program. In some cases, you do not require a study permit to go to school in Canada:
- If the course or program you intend to study is less than 6 months in duration.
- If you are a family member or staff of a foreign representative to Canada.
- If you are a member of a foreign armed force. However, you will still need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to Canada.
You can apply for a Canadian study permit either online or through a paper application, which can be obtained from the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website.
1. You must first obtain a standardized letter of acceptance from a recognized higher education provider.
2. The next stage is to get a Canadian student visa application package, either from the CIC website (http://www.cic.gc.ca) or by contacting your local visa office, or the Canadian embassy or consulate in your home country.
3. In order to get your application package, you’ll need to answer a few questions about yourself on the CIC website. These questions will determine whether you are eligible to apply online for a Canadian student permit, and what documents you’ll need to provide. If you are found eligible, you will receive a personal checklist code, valid for 60 days, which you will need in order to submit your application online. Make sure to print out the page containing your code for future reference. The page will also include an application guide, an estimated tuition fee amount, a list of documents you will need to submit with your application, and guidelines for your next steps.
4. When you are ready to apply, create a MyCIC account, where you will enter your personal checklist code. You will then receive your personal document checklist which allows you to upload and send your documents to CIC.
5. Once you have your documents and application form ready and have paid your fees, you can submit your completed application to CIC.
6. Some applicants may have to attend an interview at their local visa office.
7. When your application is approved, you’ll receive a letter of introduction, while students from countries that require an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) and/or a temporary residence visa will be issued these if required. The eTA will be linked to your passport. It is important that you travel with the passport you used when you applied for your study permit. The eTA will be valid for five years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.
8. Present these along with your passport, proof of your finances and your letter of acceptance (and any other documents that you’ve been advised to take) to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) in Canada, who will then issue your Canadian study permit and allow you access into Canada. The required documents for the student visa in Canada include:
- Completed application form;
- The original letter of acceptance from the university;
- A valid passport/travel document, which also allows you to return to your home country. If you live in the U.S.A., this is not necessary;
- Two recent passport-size photographs, with specifications of name and date of birth on the back;
- Proof of financial support during your studies that represent: tuition fee + 833 CAD/month (for all provinces, except Quebec) or tuition fee + 917 CAD/month (Quebec);
- A letter of explanation;
- If you intend to study in Quebec, you will also need a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec, English and French translations for your document, a statement from the translator, and a certified copy of the original documents;
- Proof that you paid the study permit fee (150 CAD).
Processing times vary. It depends on the type of application you submit, and where it is processed. Paper applications typically take about twice as long as online applications. It’s always recommended to check the processing times well in advance: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/times/temp.asp
Once you have a Canadian study permit, you can apply to renew it from within Canada if you decide to continue your studies.
You can work on or off-campus for up to 20 hours during university semesters and full-time during breaks such as the winter or summer holidays, without the need for a work permit. To qualify, you must have a valid study permit and be a full-time student. You will also need a Social Insurance Number (SIN) from Service Canada to work in Canada or to receive benefits and services from government programs. Your study permit will become invalid 90 days after you have completed your study program, so you’ll need to acquire a post-graduation work permit if you want to stay in Canada after your studies and seek work. This is valid for three years.
A Canadian student visa may be refused if the visa officer suspects that the applicant’s purpose in going to Canada was misrepresented - if a course of study was not the real reason an individual was applying. Even more probable, the proof of funds provided may be insufficient for the expected expenses of tuition, food, rent, etc, or may not be clearly adequate for a claimed course of studies.
- University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
- Fairleigh Dickinson University - Silberman College of Business
- Olds College of Agriculture & Technology
- Booth University College - Winnipeg
- Osgoode Professional Development
- King's University College
- Kensley College
- Fleming College Toronto
- Brock University Faculty of Education
- International Business University