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Canada Study Permit

Canada is one of the go-to countries for quality education. It is among the top 5 countries with the best education in the world.

Suppose you are interested in studying in Canada. In that case, you need an in-depth knowledge of the application process, requirements, and relevant application package to get a study permit and visitor visa or eTA.

For more information about study permits, visas, electronic travel authority, or anything else regarding your visit to Canada, get in touch with one of our trusted legal experts on 0333 305 9375, or contact us online.

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    About Canadian Study Permit

    A Canadian study permit is a document that authorizes foreign nationals to study in Canada. However, the study permit only applies to learning institutions that have approval from the provincial or territorial government (depending on its location) to admit foreign nationals for study. Such learning institutions are called designated learning institutions.

    A study permit is not enough to enter Canada. Canada does not issue student visas; thus, foreign nationals must get a visitor visa or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). Getting either will enable foreign nationals to enter Canada, while a study permit will authenticate international students.

    Before applying for a visitor visa or eTA, be sure which applies to you. While a visitor visa is pertinent to persons from visa-required countries, eTA applies to persons from visa-exempt countries.

    Asides from applying for a study permit, foreign nationals can apply for a Student Direct Stream (SDS).

    Note that as of January 2024, the Canadian government have introduces some new rules regarding the Study Permit. This includes the new requirement to submit Provincial Attestation Letters (PAL) for most college- or undergraduate-level students, an introduction of a yearly cap on Study Permits being issued for 2024 and 2025, and the ability to bring spouses to Canada being restricted to only those on Master’s, Doctorate or professional programme students. Reach out to IAS on 0333 305 9375 for the latest advice and immediate help with your application today.

    Studying formula on whiteboard

    Differences between Canadian Study Permit and Student Direct Stream

    Student direct stream (SDS) is a means for persons wanting to study in Canada to process their study permit faster. However, not all international students can apply for SDS; it depends on their nationality and other eligibility requirements.

    SDS is an IRCC application program with a shorter processing time. Typically, the processing time for a study permit will take at least 12 weeks, while SDS processing is within 20 days, provided applicants provide all necessary documents and are eligible to enter Canada to study.

    SDC application is strictly online, thus making it stress-free and advantageous to persons who want to apply for a study. The paper application process is under the study permit application method. However, you can apply for a study permit online and on paper.

    Get more information on SDS here.

    Who can apply for a Study Permit?

    Eligibility to apply to study in Canada depends on nationality and other factors such as:

    • Enrolment in a designated learning institution
    • admissibility to Canada (no criminal record)
    • proof of financial capability to pay for tuition fees, living expenses and return transportation

    Check your eligibility to be sure you can apply to study in Canada.

    There are categories of people who do not need a study permit:

    • Minor children
    • Family or staff of foreign representative to Canada
    • Members of foreign armed forces in Canada
    • Persons with registered Indian status
    • Temporary resident or asylum seekers who want to study French language and cultural courses (Quebec)

    What are the Limits of the Canadian Study Permit

    • You may not be permitted to work in Canada
    • You may not be allowed to travel within Canada
    • It comes with a precise date you must leave Canada
    • You can only study in the DLI listed on your permit

    What are the Necessary Steps before Applying for a Canadian Student Permit?

    Ascertain your Eligibility to Study in Canada

    Before you search for DLI schools with ongoing admission, check the immigration program that is applicable to you. You need a visitor visa or eTA and a study permit to study in Canada; each has specific conditions. Thus, you need to be sure if you have the chance of getting considered for them.

    You can check the immigration program you are eligible for online. Make sure to fill in the accurate information; the data you provide will determine the answer you get. Some factors the Canadian embassy considers are:

    • age
    • education
    • family members
    • job offer
    • income
    • language proficiency
    • nationality
    • net worth
    • work experience

    Research on Designated Canadian Institutions

    Only applicants admitted into a designated institution can obtain study permits. Schools require approval from their provincial or territorial government to admit international students. Schools with approval are called DLIs.

    Before you apply for a study permit, you must enrol in one of the designated schools in Canada. An acceptance letter is the only proof of admission, which is part of the requirements for study application.

    If you are applying to primary or secondary schools in Canada, you need not check for designated schools, as all primary and secondary schools are designated. However, check for designation status if you are applying to a post-secondary school.

    The post-secondary schools in Canada are:

    Colleges – provide practical career training and trades such as certificate and diploma courses and Bachelor’s degrees in an applied field of study.

    Universities – provide academic and professional programs such as undergraduate and graduate programs.

    Language schools – English and french languages.

    How to apply to a Canadian designated learning institution

    Once you are sure of your choice of designated school, get in touch with the school online for information on the necessary documents and steps to take to get admission. You will be provided with information on the following:

    • Application requirement and cost
    • Health insurance
    • Tuition fees
    • Language tests
    • Rent cost and living expenses to live in Canada

    If you want to apply for primary or secondary education, start your application to the school six months ahead of time. For a post-secondary program, begin your application a year beforehand.

    You can easily apply online and follow up with their application status. Do not rush to fill out the application form. The application form instructions guide you on how to fill, complete, and submit the form. Please read the instructions thoroughly and ensure you understand them before answering any questions.

    Apply for a Visitor Visa

    A visitor visa or temporary resident visa will grant you entry into Canada. Immigration officers may deny entry to applicants with only a study permit. Confirm you are eligible for a visit visa or if an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is not what you need instead. However, you will need to check if you can travel to Canada before applying for a temporary resident visa due to travel restrictions.

    You can apply for a visitor visa online; only persons from visa-exempt countries with alien passports or other refugee travel documents do not have permission to apply online.

    Online applications will only require electronic copies of your records. You can create electronic copies of your documents with a scanner or camera. Have a valid credit card or debit card handy to pay the application fee of $100.

    Get more information here.

    A study permit will be issued along with your visa or eTA; you don’t need to wait before applying for your study permit. However, before you start applying, you need to know and prepare your application package.

    Get your Instruction Guide and Application Package for a Study Permit Online

    Thoroughly read the instruction guide to get all the details on eligibility, visa requirements, study permit requirements, all required documents, a suitable method to apply, and other relevant information.

    The Instruction Guide will help you know what you require for your application package and how to organize them. An application package depends on the applicant’s territory or country; visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website to get your local visa office instructions and application package.

    Get all the Documents Required Ready

    Visit the immigration Canada website for the document checklist of all the documents you need to process and complete your student permit application. Gathering documents can be time-consuming; ensure you have all your documents handy to prevent running out of time.

    The document you need to prepare are:

    1. An original or electronic copy of the acceptance letter into a DLI
    2. A Provincial Attestation Le0ter (PAL) for most applicants studying at college or undergraduate level
    3. Your travel document or valid passport
    4. Relevant documents that can verify your identity – valid passport, travel document, and two recent passport-size photos
    5. A valid proof of financial support through any of these means:
    • A Canadian bank account in your name
    • Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) issued to a participating Canadian financial institution.
    • A student or education bank loan
    • Your bank statements for four months
    • A bank draft that is cashable in Canadian dollars
    • Proof of paid tuition and housing fees
    • A letter from your sponsor (an individual or school)
    • Evidence of funding paid from within Canada – for applicants with scholarships or in a Canadian-funded educational program

    Get information on the minimum funds you need to have as a student

    Supporting documents that may be required:

    • A letter of explanation to convince the visa officer of your purpose of choosing to study in Canada and that you fully understand the obligations required of you as a student
    • A Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) for applicants who will be studying in Quebec for more than six months

    Ensure to read the local visa office instructions for other documents you need to apply for a study program. You can get an instruction guide from the visa office in your country.

    Our expert immigration lawyers can assist you with your Canada Study Permit application.

    How to Apply Online for Canadian Student Permit

    Applicants must use the online application method to avoid delay or problems processing applications submitted via mail or in person at a local visa application centre; due to the service disruption related to COVID-19. However, there is an exemption for people with disability, non-national residents, refugees, and stateless persons.

    How to Start your Application Online

    Have all necessary documents available

    Your application package covers the documents necessary for the application. Create electronic copies of all your documents. Also, ensure you have a valid credit card; you can also use a prepaid or debit card.

    Take the instruction guide seriously

    You need to read the instruction guide thoroughly before and during the application. The instruction guide is supposed to show you how to apply online and assist you in completing your application process.

    Provide accurate answers to all online forms

    All forms are designed to provide specific instructions and create a personalized document checklist for your study permit application. Always cross-check your answers before uploading your forms.

    Know all the fees that apply to your application processing

    There are charges applied to the study permit application, which you must pay to complete your application process. You will have to pay for the processing, biometrics, and other processes you may need to do. The processing fee depends on if you are travelling alone or including someone. Other processes include medical examination, language testing, VAC services, and police certificates (proof that you don’t have a criminal record).

    Go for your Biometrics

    It is crucial to have your biometrics in the system. You will need to visit the visa application centre in your region or country to submit your biometrics which is your photograph and fingerprint.

    Ensure you need to submit your biometrics before visiting the VAC. If you need to provide your biometrics, you will have to submit a study permit application in person while submitting your biometrics. Applicants must pay a biometrics fee to have their biometrics taken and prevent delay in application processing.

    Create or sign in to your online account

    You need an online account to:

    • apply online
    • pay required fees
    • submit your application form
    • follow up on your application status.

    What if you are Applying within Canada?

    There are specific requirements to apply for a study permit within Canada. Persons eligible to apply for a study permit inside Canada are:

    • Ukrainian nationals and family members
    • Persons with valid study or work permit
    • Persons with a spouse, common-law partner or parent a valid study or work permit
    • A minor child in primary or high school
    • An exchange student or visiting student
    • Persons who have completed a required short-term course or study program for acceptance into a designated school.
    • A Person with or whose spouse, common-law partner or dependent child has a valid temporary resident permit (TRP) or unenforceable removal order
    • Persons under sponsorship to immigrate and have applied for permanent residence
    • A common-law partner, dependent child, spouse of:
    • an accredited foreign representative
    • an athlete of a Canadian team
    • a clergy
    • a media personality
    • a military officer on duty in Canada

    You can also apply at the port of entry if you are a:

    • Ukrainian citizen or related to a Ukrainian citizen
    • U.S. citizen
    • U.S.permanent resident of the law-abiding immigrant admitted to the U.S. for permanent residence.
    • Greenland resident
    • Saint-Pierre and Miquelon resident

    Do you need a Work Permit to work after getting a Student Permit?

    You do not need a work permit to work as an international student if your student permit conditions allow it. Some study permits give conditions for full-time students to work without a work permit.

    Full-time students require a valid study permit and Social Insurance Number (SIN) to keep working. Only foreign nationals studying part-time in their final semester to finish the required coursework can work without a permit.

    You must apply for a work permit if you do not have the eligibility requirements to work on or off campus.

    Call us for further assistance with your Canadian immigration matter.

    How Can IAS Help?

    Applying for a student permit requires in-depth knowledge and understanding of the requirements of applying to study in Canada. As a foreign national, you will need guidance and assistance in accessing the document checklist and online application, filling out visa application forms, tracking processing times, and preparing other supporting documents to complete the application.

    IAS is well grounded in Canadian immigration laws with industry-led experts with years of experience in Canadian immigration and laws. We have the expertise and knowledge to assist in establishing your eligibility for study permits, SDS, visa, eTA, work permit, and other related needs.

    Call us on 0333 305 9375 for immediate help and assistance with your study permit. We’re available to help you in person, via the phone, or online.

    We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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