Getting a Canada student visa to study in Canada is one of the most rewarding projects any individual with plans for the future can embark on, this is because Canada affords students a pathway that could help create a lot of favorable opportunities to work in the country and make one’s stay permanent by securing a permanent residency.
Related Articles: Canada visitor visa in 7 days
However, there are people on a study visa who do not plan to stay back in Canada after their studies, so a PR in Canada might not be an appealing prospect to this demographic. The country makes it possible for this class of international students to get proper work experience while studying in Canada.
Thus, putting them in good stead to get higher quality employment when they return to their home country. The beauty about working while in Canada is the fact that no work permit application or consent is required.
In this article, we will attempt to break down everything required to secure a Canada student visa in the fastest time possible, all supporting documents, required funds and certifications required to make studying in this country a reality.
Who Can Apply To Schools In Canada?
Canada student visa hopefuls who are interested in completing the credit requirements for different courses in designated learning institutions whether in person in the country or online from the applicant’s home country and have been seen to qualify for positions as foreign students after submitting the required documents.
What You Need To Know Before Choosing A School In Canada
Getting educated in a Canadian institution puts one in an advantageous position to apply for permanent residency if this is what’s sought by the international student. Studying in Canada also helps accelerate a citizenship application.
Even though these are both secondary considerations on the way to securing a Canada student visa, attending schools in Canada confers on students enormous benefits from numerous academic qualifications, language proficiency to padding up student’s resume’ by virtue of work experience.
It is recommended that potential foreign students looking to study in Canada, take research-based courses first, as these help them make the most out of their studies in the country.
Decisions made from the nature of courses pursued to province of study has a great impact on how international students are able to live and work in Canada after graduating from schools in the country. Particularly if they want to stay there permanently.
Choosing The Right School, College And University In Canada
For those interested in applying for a Canada student visa, it is important to be mindful that the educational system in the country is multi-faceted being characterized by different schools and institutions that offer courses in either English language or French.
Foreign nationals interested in selecting the right institutions to study in Canada are advised to search for the right school by visiting the Canadian government website, the ministry of education for their target province or the Canada bureau for international education.
There are simply infinite options in schools and institutions that can be attended by international students in Canada. There’s something for everyone from pupils looking to attend primary schools, students seeking secondary schools, post-secondary institutions, private career colleges all the way to language schools.
Primary And Secondary School
Even though the Canada student visa requirements for minors is a bit different from those required of adult student applicants, educational institutions that are Primary and secondary schools in Canada offer tutelage to students up to grade 12.
However, each province in the country has their preferential offering in terms of quality of education on show which can be found by accessing the online platforms of the ministry of education for each province.
Post-Secondary Institutions In Canada
Universities, colleges, vocational schools and Collège d’enseignement général et professionnel (CEGEP) all fall under post-secondary institutions and they all have their own individual unique set of rules when applicants are looking to apply to anyone of the above, they plan on attending.
It is worthy of note that each province and territory is in charge of designating institutions that can be attended by international students. These institutions designated can enroll foreign nationals traveling with Canada student visa to study in the country.
Private Career Colleges
Private schools and colleges are not regulated by the government of each province, it is however important that each tertiary institution applied to meets all requirements for provincial education as included in the list of designated learning institutions.
There are numerous institutions in Canada offering classes that teach English and French as a second language. Public schools offering language programs are regulated by the government of each province, this is not the case for all private institutions.
Documents Required To Get Accepted By A Designated Learning Institution In Canada
Different designated learning institutions across different provinces and territories in Canada have their unique document requirements for foreign nationals looking to study in the country, there is really no one size fits all when it comes to mandatory supporting documents to get accepted into schools in Canada.
There are however, a generic requirement for documents to submit when it comes to seeking to be admitted into institutions in Canada. These are;
- A filled application to a chosen institution
- A valid passport biodata page
- Comprehensive academic document; which includes certificates, transcripts and character attestation
- Evidence of English/French proficiency (IETS, TOEFL or PTE)
- Purpose statement or essay as per institution’s requirement
- Applicant’s resume’
- Certificate showing lawful union (if potential student is married or in a legal relationship)
- Proof of citizenship
- 2 to 3 letters of recommendation from previous school principal and teachers or program coordinator
- Letter from employer that confirms employment history
- Letter from guardian granting permission to travel for purpose of study
Upon submission of these documents, if the applicant is deemed qualified for the course being applied for, an offer letter will be sent out. It will have to be confirmed with a signature to signify interest on the part of the student.
Letter Of Acceptance
When an offer letter is received by the foreign student applicant and confirmed. The designated learning institution chosen will send an acceptance letter to the candidate. This will be submitted in addition to other supporting documents required to apply for a Canada student visa.
It is important that the acceptance letter be issued by a designated learning institution, particularly one that will be giving away a diploma, degree or whatever certification comes at the end of the beneficiary’s graduation.
The letter of acceptance has to convene detailed information about the student’s intended program of study as well as timeframe for each semester and courses that will be taken. Other mandatory information are the title of the institution, its location and type.
What To Do If A Conditional Offer Is Received From A Designated Learning Institution
If a foreign national who seeks to study in Canada is given a conditional offer by a designated learning institution, this usually means a couple of things which ranges from a lack of language proficiency testing to part payment made by way of tuition fees.
The conditional status of an offer will have to be rectified meaning, the conditions stated would have to be fulfilled and transformed into an unconditional offer before study permit can be applied for. If this isn’t done, a limited study permit would be approved, this will have to be renewed or extended when an offer becomes unconditional.
A limited study permit is still an admissible document in a quest to secure a Canada study visa.
How To Apply To Schools In Canada
The first step is narrowing down on the city one plans to study in, the next step is choosing the right school to apply to. Each institution comes with its unique set of requirements when applying. Whatever school an applicant decides on, early application is mandatory to meet the deadline for admission.
For primary and secondary schools, applications need to be submitted at least 6 months in advance. Universities and colleges require applications tendered a year in advance. It cannot be emphasized the need to familiarize oneself with the requirements to apply to the institution of choice.
In picking the right school, potential international students have to be mindful of certain factors such as the cost required such as tuition fees levied on students, health insurance cover, cost of accommodation to live in the city of choice as well as the language test requirement.
Potential students are going to have to fill an application form to the Canadian school of choice in accordance with laid down instructions set by the school. If a favorable decision is reached when an application is processed, a letter of acceptance is issued to the student. This document will be used to apply for a student permit and a Canada student visa thereafter.
Health Insurance For International Students
International students are required to take charge of all costs relating to healthcare and medical upkeep as the government of Canada will not take up the burden associated with this cost. Different provinces have different policies on health insurance for international students.
Foreign students will have to look up the policies in place for health cover per province to ensure that it is optimal to suit their needs. Also, individual schools have healthcare policies and guidelines for international students, so applicants will have to check with their respective selected schools to understand the fine prints.
Foreign Student Travel Exemptions And Restrictions
It is paramount that foreign students be eligible to travel to Canada to be able to qualify for a student visa to study in an educational institution or return to the country as an international student who had left and is looking to come back in.
Family members, parents and support persons for foreign students are not left out, they will also be required to be eligible to travel to Canada to be granted express permission to come in, in the form of a visa or electronic travel authorization.
Canada student visa applicants looking to come into Canada to study are required to be fully vaccinated, notable exceptions are minors under the age of 18. A valid study permit is also required or an introductory letter that shows that a student permit is going to be approved and is being processed.
Finally, foreign students are mandated to attend a designated learning institution. The border officials have the final decision on whether a foreign student applicant is allowed into the country.
Study Permit Canada
To attend an academic institution as an international student as well as be granted a student visa to come into Canada a study permit is needed. A study permit Canada application is usually done online irrespective of whether the applicant is currently outside the country or in it.
Applying For A Canada Study Permit
There are mandatory documents required to apply for a Canada study permit. Without this paper requirements, most study permits get denied. Supporting documents to be submitted are;
- Acceptance letter
- Evidence of applicant’s identity
- Evidence of financial support
Depending on the province in which the learning institution designated for study is located, an applicant might be required to submit;
- An explanatory letter
- A Quebec acceptance letter (CAQ)
- A minors’ declaration of custody
- Plus, other mandatory documents, which might be a document/documents required by the provincial government to make a decision.
There is an option for applicants to apply via a paper-based application particularly if the foreign student is disabled or unable to gain access to an online application.
International students with hopes of studying in Quebec, are required to provide a valid Quebec acceptance certificate (CAQ) or a guaranteed proof that one was applied for before arrival.
To secure a Canada student visa, a study permit has to be obtained. This is usually provisionally offered to the applicant by the chosen school of study. An acceptance letter has to be submitted with a copy of the study permit application. This could be a paper copy or an electronic one.
Mandatory Courses And Conditional Acceptance
If an applicant is conditionally accepted, this could mean that there is a mandatory course that must be taken to complete the application process. In many instances, this is usually an English or a French assessment to prove proficiency of use as a second language.
If this is the case, then all must be done by the applicant to convert the conditional acceptance to an unconditional one. This is paramount, as without this change before the start of a foreign student’s scheduled academic year, only courses in which an international student has been accepted for will be given a permit of study, plus an allowance of 1 extra year factored in.
As soon as the condition limiting an acceptance offer has been fulfilled and the foreign student has been accepted into his/her main program, a new application for a study permit will have to be submitted for an extension of stay in the designated learning institution as a student.
There is an exception to this rule, a family member of a foreign student who has a pre-approved study or work permit before entering Canada does not need an acceptance letter.
Evidence Of Identity
There are identity documents that are expected of both foreign nationals coming into Canada to study and their family members. They are expected to have a valid passport or an equivalent travel document. The biodata page of their passport has to be uploaded during an online application.
Upon approval of study permit, then an original passport has to be sent by the applicant for visa stamping. Citizens of the United States are given more leeway and have more options in terms of the travel documents they are allowed to carry while coming into Canada to study.
Permanent residents of the United States are mandated to travel with a green card, which must be valid or other documents that shows lawful permanent residency status in the U.S. A valid passport that shows the applicant’s country of origin must also be sent.
Finally, the potential foreign student is required to send 2 passport size photos that has the applicant’s name and date of birth written behind each photo.
Evidence Of Financial Support
To complete a study permit Canada application, a foreign national has to provide evidence of financial independence that shows that the applicant can look after his/her upkeep together with any accompanying family member while studying in an educational institution in any province in Canada.
There are key documents that can be provided for the express purpose of showing evidence of financial means while in Canada. These are the only documents that can be used to proof financial support or independence in a study permit application;
- If funds have been transferred to a Canadian bank account in the applicant’s name, then submitting information of that account in Canada which bears the applicant’s name is evidence enough
- Applicants that are actively investing through different Canadian financial institutions can show guaranteed investment certificates (GIC) as proof of their participation in these activities
- If a foreign student took out a loan to cover his/her cost of studying in Canada, then this can be submitted as evidence of financial support
- Bank statements can be submitted to show proof of financial support or independence, but this shouldn’t be older than 4 months
- A bank draft can be used to show evidence of financial support especially if it can be converted to Canadian dollars
- An application for a study permit can be accelerated if the applicant can show proof that tuition and housing fees were both paid in full, this in itself is evidence of financial independence
- If applicant is being sponsored by an individual or corporation, a letter from this person or corporate entity is proof enough of financial support
- Foreign nationals looking to study in Canada who are beneficiaries of scholarships or participants of Canadian funded educational program can use this as evidence of financial support
Cost Of Studying In Canada
There is a minimum amount of funds that is required to financially support a foreign student and his/her family member. This amount is to be covered in the proof of financial support. For international students studying outside Quebec;
|Expected persons coming to Canada||Yearly funds requirement (doesn’t include intuition)||Monthly funds requirement (on top of tuition)|
|First family member||CAD$4,000||CAD$333|
|Every additional accompanying family member||CAD$3,000||CAD$255|
This means that if an international student were to be accompanied by 2 family members, then the foreign student who is the primary applicant will need to show proof of financial support of at least CAD$17,000 to meet these criteria.
For foreign students looking to study in a designated learning institute in Quebec the picture is completely different as can be observed from the tabular representation below;
|Expected persons coming to Canada||Yearly funds requirement (doesn’t include intuition)||Monthly funds requirement (on top of tuition)|
|A single individual under the age of 18||CAD$6,569||CAD$547|
|A single individual age 18 or over||CAD$13,134||CAD$1,095|
|2 individuals age 18 or over||CAD$19,264||CAD$1,605|
|2 individuals age 18 or over and 1 individual under the age of 18||CAD$21,579||CAD$1,798|
|2 individuals age 18 or over and 2 individuals under the age of 18||CAD$23,290||CAD$1,941|
Note: If international students are from countries that use foreign exchange control, then it must be proven the applicant will have the amount necessary to fund all expenses.
An Explanatory Letter
Citizens of other countries who intend to apply for a Canada student visa to study in Canada are required to draft a letter that communicates their set goals in the country to the visa officer as well as showing that they understand their responsibilities as students in their chosen educational institution.
This letter is mandatory for processing a study permit. It is a key requirement even for foreign students who do not require a permit to study in the country.
Quebec Acceptance Letter
Government du Quebec is in charge of issuing a Quebec acceptance letter/certificate (CAQ) for international students who plan on studying in Canada for a period that exceeds 6 months. The applicant’s chosen school can help provide more information on how to apply for this document.
If an applicant is waiting to receive his/her CAQ even though it has been approved, then the international student can apply for a study permit with an approval letter from the ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI)
A foreign national does not need to receive a CAQ to apply for a study permit. However, international students looking to study in Canada for a period less than 6 months do not need a Quebec acceptance certificate to apply for a study permit.
Other Mandatory Documents
Depending on the country of the applicant, more documents might be requested. It is thus advisable to be up to date on the visa office instructions for the international student’s country.
If the foreign national looking to study in Canada is not applying for a study permit in his/her country, a proof of immigration status of the country being applied from might be required.
Sometimes a re-entry permit might be required by the country that issued a passport or travel document to the foreign student, if this is the case, then this condition has to be met before a Canada student visa can be applied for.
What Happens If More Documents Are Requested?
If more documents are requested from a foreign national looking to study in Canada particularly if a study permit or visa application is still being processed, then the applicant will receive a detailed message requesting this paperwork.
This request could be made months after a study permit application has been submitted. However, each foreign student has 30 days to honor this request from the date in which the applicant receives the notice of request.
It is thus important to reach out to the appropriate parties in a candidate’s home country to start collecting all documents as soon as possible and this must be done before international students looking to study in Canada get an email request for more documents as some of these credentials are harder to obtain and have to be processed early in other to meet the Canadian deadline.
Only documents from the country in which the applicant is currently residing in is being requested. The foreign national is not required to travel to another country for the purpose of procuring documents from his/her original country of origin.
It is recommended that all applicants check their prior email to see the checklist of documents to be submitted.
Timeline Extension For More Documents Requested
An extension to the timeline given for the submission of extra documents requested can only be made if it can be proven that submission of these documents by the applicant was somehow affected by the covid-19 pandemic and this alone made it almost impossible for the Canada student visa hopeful to send the requested documents in the period given.
Applying For A Canada Study Permit At The Point Of Entry
It is not advisable to apply for a Canada study permit at the point of entry, as there is no guarantee that an application will be approved. All applications for student permit should be submitted online before foreign nationals embark on their trip to Canada.
Only certain people can tender a study permit application at a Canadian point of entry. People who are;
- U.S citizens
- Lawful permanent residents of the U.S
- Residents of Greenland
- Residents of Saint Pierre and Miquelon
Applicants who fall under the above exceptions are required to have all supporting documents necessary to apply for their study permit at the port of entry. All decision-making capabilities of a student permit application lies with the border officer who is eligible to grant or denial permission for an applicant to enter Canada as a student.
Complying With Study Permit Terms And Conditions
Study permits can be revoked when their terms and conditions are violated. In other to minimize the chance of this happening all terms and conditions related to this permit has to be adhered to.
For instance, if an in-class line of courses for a student’s curriculum is moved to a virtual only format or even totally stopped due to unforeseen circumstances, the student is required to stay enrolled to the designated learning institution. He/she is also expected to take part in virtual classes if this is the new norm.
In doing the above, all terms and conditions of the study permit regarding logistic change and class attendance is going to be seen to have been met.
What Happens When A Study Permit Expires?
If a foreign student’s study permit expires before he/she gets a chance to extend it, then the status of student ceases to be recognized by the IRCC while in Canada. The student can do one of 2 things when this happens; leave Canada or apply for a restoration of status.
Applying For a Study Permit While On A Canada Visitor Visa
It is possible that a tourist to Canada could have a change of heart and choose to pursue an academic endeavor while in Canada. If this happens, the Canada visitor visa holder can apply for a study permit online if already in Canada.
However, when applying the applicant must follow all guidelines and instructions like one who is applying from outside Canada. The same processing time taken to analyze and make a decision on oversea application will be given to visitors in Canada who choose to apply for a study permit.
It is thus paramount to submit a study permit application on time, especially if the applicant is on a Canada visitor visa, so as to get a decision and visa extension as soon as possible. Canada visitor visa holders cannot become students in Canada till they receive a study permit.
Canada Study Permit Cost
After applying for a Canada study permit, applicants are required to pay an application fee of CAD$150 which is a key requirement without which an application will not be processed.
Foreign Students Looking To Study In Quebec
Quebec is a province in Canada that has one of the most straightforward study/work sequences for foreign students looking to study in the country. This territory has an agreement with the Canadian government such that international students are able to take advantage of immigration programs sponsored by this province to become permanent residents after their studies.
However, for this to be a reality, the foundation has to be laid down right. This means foreign students looking to study in the province of Quebec for a duration longer than 6 months stand to benefit more from the work/study incentives offered by the government of this territory.
These foreign students (those studying for 6 months and longer) are required to apply for a Quebec acceptance certificate (CAQ). An approved Quebec acceptance certificate will have to be shown when applying for Quebec study permit. This is mandatory.
There are situations in which the potential foreign student doesn’t have an approved Quebec acceptance certificate yet, but has applied for one. In this instance, this group of applicants are allowed to submit an approved letter from the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration which shows that a Quebec acceptance certificate will be received.
Change In Quebec Document Policy For Study Permit Application
The government of Quebec changed the policy on some official documents required for foreign students, in the past both the certificate of Quebec acceptance and the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration letter of approval had to be submitted in a study permit application.
This has since changed from December 31, 2021, only one of the above documents is required in a study permit application. Outside these 2 documents no other authorized government documentation will be accepted from applicants.
Quebec Study Permit Application Without A CAQ
If a certificate of Quebec acceptance (CAQ) is obtained after submitting a Quebec study permit, it is still possible to submit a CAQ by uploading it through the applicant’s online account by accessing the webform.
Note: Applicants who seek to study in Canada for a duration less than 6 months by attending designated learning institutes in Quebec, these candidates are not expected to submit a certificate of Quebec acceptance (CAQ).
Studying In Canada As A Minor
The age of majority which is the set age in which individuals in Canada are legally recognized as adults is decided by each province and territory within the country. Those under the age of majority are classed as minors.
Legal guardians or parents of minors have to show that they have put plans in place to ensure that international students under the age of 17 have optimum care and support while studying in Canada. Parents or guardians must either accompany minors to Canada or the services of a custodian could be sought.
Use Of Custodians As Support For Foreign Minors Studying In Canada
The use of responsible individuals who are required to be citizens of Canada or beneficiaries of programs that has conferred status of permanent residency on them to offer support or housing assistance to minors from other countries looking to study in Canada is mandated by the immigration refugee and citizenship Canada and supported by almost all provinces in the country.
Custodians are compulsory for minors younger than 17 years of age, but are optional for those 17 years and older. Unless instructed by an immigration official, this is usually done in special cases.
Do Minors Require A Study Permit To Attend A School In Canada?
Some minors do not require a study permit to attend schools in Canada, particularly if they are children of Canadian citizens or offspring of parents that are permanent residents in Canada. Children coming into the country but are accompanied by a citizen of Canada do not need a to apply for a study permit.
However, a child traveling with a parent on a visitor visa is required to apply for a study permit before attending a school in Canada. Minors traveling alone are not required to apply for a study permit, but are recommended to get one none the less.
Benefits Of A Study Permit To A Minor
Applying for a study permit when a minor doesn’t need one offers the child the opportunity to attend a higher educational institution without putting in an application for that. It also offers children the chance to get a co-op work permit while in secondary schools.
A study permit gives access to social services, which is available to some minors studying in select provinces.
Applying For A Study Permit As A Minor Outside Canada
A letter of acceptance is required from the education provider in which the child will be attending in Canada. This is specific for minors attending schools at the primary and secondary levels. Either one of the original hard copy or an electronic copy are accepted for submission.
There are other documents that are required to apply for a study permit, but this usually depends on the province in which the school is located. However, generic document requirements are;
- Acceptance letter
- Evidence of applicant’s identity
- Evidence of financial support
- An explanatory letter
- A Quebec acceptance letter (CAQ)
- A minors’ declaration of custody
- Plus, other mandatory documents, which might be a document/documents required by the provincial government to make a decision.
These documents are to be uploaded in an online application for a study permit, unless in a case of a disability, then a paper application can be used and original documents submitted.
Even though minors studying for a duration of 6 months in Canada do not need a study permit, they can still apply for one before entering Canada on a student visa. It is not recommended to submit an application for a student permit at the port of entry.
Note: Children who plan on enrolling in schools that will see them study for a duration higher than 6 months are mandated to apply for a study permit before traveling to Canada.
Applying For A Study Permit As A Minor In Canada
Children from foreign countries who are already in Canada can apply for study permits, to be eligible for social services in provinces that offer them.
These minors are mandated to get a letter of acceptance from the school they will be attending particularly if they are in Canada with a family member who applied for a study or work permit and got approved before entering Canada.
Primary school study permits are issued for a period of 1 year after which they expire and would need to be renewed.
Minors studying in grade 9 to 12 across all provinces and territories except Quebec are issued study permits that cover the full period in which they will be studying in a secondary school for. This is applicable to 9th to 11th graders in the province of Quebec. The study permit covers a maximum period of 4 years.
When Minors In Canada Are Exempted From Applying For A Study Permit
Minors already in Canada can study without a study permit, but certain factors will have to had been met before this can happen. This is possible;
- If they plan on attending a kindergarten, pre-school, primary or secondary school and have a parent who is either a permanent resident or a citizen of Canada
- If their parents are refugees or refugee claimants and this status also applied to them
- If they came to Canada as a visitor to participate in an academic program that is supposed to last for a period of less than 6 months
- If their intention is to study in a program that’ll last 6 months or less
- If the minor is in Canada alone or traveled to Canada as a visitor
- If the minor has parents or legal guardians that have been granted a study or work permit, this includes temporary resident study or work permits as well as business visitors
Children who are allowed to study in Canada without a study permit are required to have a valid visitor visa to be eligible.
Extending A Study Permit For Minors In Canada
Extending a study permit for a minor already in Canada is completely dependent on the availability of a letter of acceptance, as the duration of time in which a study permit will be extended to will be highlighted on the acceptance letter. Thus, without this document an extension might be almost impossible.
An application for study permit extension must be submitted 90 days before current one expires. Expiry date of a student permit is boldly stenciled on the document. Minors or their custodians must be conversant with this date to avoid penalties.
What Happens If A Minor’s Study Permit Expires While In Canada
For a minor staying in Canada to remain legitimate, he/she must maintain a valid status while in the country. This means their student permit must be renewed on time before it is scheduled to expire. For individuals below the age of 17 allowed to study in Canada without a study permit, a valid visitor visa or electronic travel authorization must be maintained at all times.
If by chance a minor’s study permit expires and he/she was unable to renew this document before invalidation, then a restoration of status has to be applied for in the ensuing 90 days. Minors are allowed to keep attending classes in their school while a study permit renewal is being processed.
Minors Of Parents Who Already Have A Canada Student Visa
Minors who are accompanying parents who have a valid study or work permit to Canada do not require a letter of acceptance from a school to apply for a study permit.
Medical Certification Requirement For Minors
Minors under the age of 18 do not need to be fully vaccinated to travel to Canada. Particularly if they plan to attend a post-secondary institution and have a covid-19 readiness plan. Also, provinces and territories in Canada that accept international students in primary and secondary levels do not require full vaccination.
Although a border official is still required to make the final decision as to whether a foreign student minor can enter the country at any time.
A Minor’s Declaration Of Custody
A custodian declaration form is required to be included with a study permit application, if it’s a case of a minor that has to be looked after by a custodian. The custodian declaration form is a 2-page document that has to be certified by a notary before submitted with a study permit application.
Each page must be signed by the right party. The minor’s Canadian custodian signs the first page and the parents or legal guardian in the international student’s home country is required to sign the second page.
Things To Know Before Canada Student Visa Application
Most foreign nationals interested in studying at any level in Canada across all provinces and territories in the country are required to meet the entry requirement put in place by the immigration refugee and citizenship Canada. This varies per country.
Before an application for a Canada study visa can be submitted, an applicant is required to apply for a program of study in an education institution and receives a letter of acceptance that confirms the foreign national has been accepted.
The target education provider applied to by a foreign national must be among the list of designed learning institutions authorized by the target province or territory the international student plans to study in. Anything contrary to this could lead to a denial of Canada study permit.
It is worth stating that a study permit to Canada is not a visa. Applicants preparing to come study in Canada would need either a valid visitor visa or an electronic travel authorization depending on their country of citizenship.
Canada Student Visa Eligibility
To be granted a Canada student visa, a foreign national is required to apply for and be approved for a Canada study permit, without this document foreign students will not be eligible to apply for a study visa to Canada.
Tourists to Canada are eligible to change their visa status by applying for and being granted a study permit which gives them the right to attend any designated learning institution of their choice even though the original intent was just to visit the country.
Requirement For A Canada Student Visa
To become a beneficiary of a visitor visa to come study in Canada, there are document requirements that are mandatory, falling short of any one of these documents could lead to your Canada student visa application being delayed or denied.
A study permit is a must for people looking to study in an educational institution in Canada. However, to study in Canada, all documents required to secure a visitor visa must be uploaded online or original paper documents tendered to the immigration refugee and citizenship Canada for a visa to be granted. Other documents required are;
- 2 Photographs
- A Valid passport
- Birth Certificate
- Letter of Invitation to Canada
- Marriage Certificate
- Electronic or paper copy of the ArriveCAN receipt
- Applicant’s travel history
- Travel itinerary while in Canada
- Proof of profession
- Account statement
- Identity document
- Applying with the help of a representative or IMM 5476
- Form authorizing IRCC to release personal information to an individual or a IMM 5475
- Form containing family information or IMM 5645
- Information on minors or dependents, travel companions under 18
- Self-addressed Envelope
- Proof of vaccination
How To Apply For A Canada Student Visa
To apply for a Canada student visa, applicants are required to have already applied for and received their study permit. They will consequently have to apply for a visitor visa to come into Canada. If the foreign student’s designated learning institution is located in Quebec, the visa application will have to be submitted with a Quebec certificate of acceptance (CAQ).
Unless the applicant is disabled or prompted by the high commission or embassy of Canada in his/her country, all Canada visitor visa application and documents uploaded has to be done online by first creating an account on the IRCC portal
Also, foreign nationals interested in studying in Canada are mandated to create an ArriveCAN account either on the app or website, in which covid-19 vaccination as well as travel history are to be uploaded to accelerate visa processing.
Biometric Capture For A Canada Student Visa
After completing an online Canada visitor visa application and uploading all mandatory documents, the foreign national is required to get a biometric capture done in the nearest visa application centre.
Care must be taken to make sure that biometric capture is done right and its infact devoid of mistakes as credential capture is done once every 10 years. This means that if there is to be an error, which leads to a deny of visa, this can only be corrected after a 10-year period.
There is a fee attached to a biometric capture.
Canada Student Visa Cost
After filling the online visa application form, each applicant is required to pay an application fee of CAD$100 per application and a round figure of CAD$500 for a family of 5 individuals. For a family package, all applications have to be submitted at the same time.
There’s also a fee of CAD$85 for a biometric capture per application. This has to be paid before credentials can be collected.
Canada Student Visa Application Processing
To process a Canada student visa application, there is a strong dependence on the terms stipulated on a study permit. This is one of the reasons why this document has to be obtained. It is that important. The program of study as well as the duration of study will be taken into consideration. These are all highlighted in the study permit.
From the study permit, a duration of stay is stamped on the visitor record in accordance with the timeframe it will take the student to finish his/her program in the educational institution.
Other requirements such as health of the applicant which can be obtained from the information uploaded on the ArriveCAN portal and proof of financial support which will be obtained from the account statements submitted, the later must not be more than 4 months old.
The 2 above documents will show that the applicant is fit enough to embark on the program of study as well as have the necessary means to maintain a good standard of living while in Canada.
Is A Canada Student Visa The Same As A Study Permit?
These 2 documents are totally different and do not serve the same purpose. A Canada student visa is for visitors to Canada who have been given express permission by the province to study in a designated learning institution in Canada by issuing them study permits.
A study permit is an approval granted to individuals in the form of a document that allows them study in select institutions across different provinces and territories in Canada. It cannot by itself be used to enter the country.
How To Be Granted Canada Student Visa Without Study Permit
If the applicant is eligible to study in Canada without a study permit, he/she is considered a visitor to Canada and can be granted visa to come into the country. However, all entry requirement needs to be met and this starts from checking whether people from the applicant’s country are allowed into Canada.
Designated Learning Institution Letter Of Support For Future Applications
An international student might seek to take advantage of an immigration program, in the process inquiry could be made by the processing officer as regards to the applicant’s study history while in Canada.
In this case, the faculty body presiding over the applicant’s designated learning institution is required to offer a support letter that explains the foreign student’s study history as well as how it was impacted by the Covid 19 pandemic or any other disruptions encountered.
International Students Who Plan On Staying Longer After Their Academic Pursuit
Foreign students can apply to extend their stay in Canada after graduating from designated learning institutions in the country. If a study permit is still active but about to expire, international students have 3 options to choose from;
- A study permit extension may be applied for if the foreign student plans on furthering his/her education in Canada
- If the international student completed his course in the designated learning school, he/she might be eligible for a post-graduation work permit or work permit that could be used to land a job with a Canadian company
- An application to change status to visitor could be applied for to extend stay in the country
It is important to note that an application for one of these options has to be submitted before expiration of a study permit or the foreign student might be required to leave Canada.
Eligibility For Post-Graduation Work Permit
There are certain academic institutions within the country that offer specialized courses that makes enrolled students eligible for a post-graduation work permit, which is a special type of work permit that grants beneficiaries the ability to work for any type of employer in Canada.
The post-graduation work permit gives international students the opportunity to increase their work experience and thus make them eligible for the numerous immigration programs offered by the immigration refugee and citizenship Canada.
Canada Work Experience For Foreign Students
To be eligible to take advantage of the plethora of immigration programs on offer by the IRCC, applicants are required to have the right type of work experience, which is graded under the National Occupational Classification used to classify jobs in the country.
Attending schools in Canada makes foreign students labor market ready, this is because students are taught what is required to succeed in positions held in an organizational framework. Students also have abundant opportunities to enhance their work experience working on/off campus or as interns which is an academic requirement for select courses.
Unlike other study destinations around the world, foreign students are not required to apply for work permits while looking to secure jobs in major provinces around Canada.
Working on campus or off as well as taking part in internship programs offers huge opportunities to enhance work experience, however only experience garnered by working for companies after graduations counts towards a permanent resident application.
A post-graduation work permit becomes priceless in getting the right type of work experience that would count towards ensuring applicant’s eligibility for immigration programs on offer.
Outlined below are the required skills necessary to land jobs in Canada as well as the corresponding immigration programs according to the National Occupational Classification system;
|Skill Type 0||Level A||Level B||Level C||Level D|
|Management Jobs||Professional Jobs||Technical Jobs and Skilled Trades||Intermediate Jobs||Labour Jobs|
|Express entry*||Express entry*||Express entry*||Atlantic immigration pilot program||Provincial nominee program (this varies across different provinces)|
|Atlantic immigration pilot program||Atlantic immigration pilot program||Atlantic immigration pilot program||Provincial nominee program|
|Provincial nominee program||Provincial nominee program|
The online system used to manage immigration programs is called an express entry. There are 3 streams under the express entry;
- Canadian work experience class
- Federal skilled workers program
- Federal skilled trade
Regional Job Opportunities, Provincial Programs And Pilots
In filtering the best institutions to study in, it is important to research jobs and immigration programs on offer by target provinces where these colleges and universities are located.
The majority of provinces in Canada have the power to nominate candidates for permanent residency under the numerous provincial nominee programs on offer. However, these candidates are required to have the prerequisite skills, education and work experience necessary to thrive and make a meaningful contribution to the economic wellbeing of the province or territory.
To be nominated by any one of the 11 provinces or territories in Canada, instructions found on their websites must be followed. Also, applicants are advised to reach out to immigration program representatives of target locations they are interested in moving to get more details on how to apply.
Regions, Immigration Programs And Pilot Avenues that Can Benefit International Students
Quebec Selected Skilled Worker Program
The province of Quebec has an agreement with the Canadian government which is of immense benefit to international students or other category of applicants interested in immigrating to Canada on a student visa with a view to work afterwards.
The province has its own set of rules and guidelines for selecting candidates whom they feel can adapt well to living and working in the province under the Quebec selected skilled workers program.
Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program
For international students who attended publicly funded schools in any one of; New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Islands, Newfoundland and Labrador, the Atlantic immigration pilot program offers a straight path to permanent residency.
Getting Work In Canada As A Student
Foreign students are at liberty to work on/off campus in major provinces around Canada without the need to apply for a work permit. However, there are key requirements that have to be met before positions in companies can be taken up.
International students are mandated to;
- Be enrolled as students on a full-time basis
- Have been enrolled in a designated learning institution
- Have met all eligibility requirement for on and off campus work
Permits For Co-Op Work
The covid-19 pandemic made it possible for foreign students to study online while taking classes remotely from their home countries. To work while studying remotely a co-op work permit can be applied for which implies an agreement has been reached between the education provider and employer.
When this agreement is reached foreign students can either;
- Work remotely from their home country by accepting a Canada work placement
- Or applicant can choose to work for any company of their choice located in their home country
International students who have never stepped foot on Canadian soil, due to the covid-19 pandemic, but who have been studying in designated learning institutions online can maintain their employment in companies located in their home country while their study permits and co-op work permits are being processed. This of course is for foreign students who plan on moving to Canada.
Factors That Affect Post Graduation Work Permit Eligibility
There are factors that affect the awarding of a post-graduation work permit, this is particularly for foreign students who are already in Canada. Applicants or beneficiaries can still be eligible for a PGWP, if due to the pandemic;
- In person classes were switched completely to an online format
- If the applicant’s curriculum is characterized by a mixture of in person as well as online classes. The in-person classes have to be honored as this is highly recommended
- During the winter, spring or summer semesters of 2020, the applicant had to put his/her studies on hold or was forced to study on a part-time basis
The 3 articles listed above are the conditions that need to be met for foreign students to be eligible for post-graduation work permit. Applicants affected by unforeseen circumstances have to be studying on a full-time basis from the fall semester of 2020 to be eligible.
A Canada student visa is simply a combination of a visitor visa and study permit. Individuals who seek to study in Canada are required to apply for a study permit, this is after applying to schools designated by the province of choice and getting accepted.
For applicants who seek to attend schools located in Quebec, a Quebec certificate of acceptance is a mandatory document to apply for a study permit for foreign nationals looking to attend schools in this province.
Minors can attend primary and secondary schools in Canada, to do this the minor child’s parent or legal guardian is expected to accompany the juvenile on the trip to Canada for studies. A custodian could be appointed to offer support to the minor in the country. Custodians can only be citizens or permanent residents of Canada
Not all minors are required to apply for study permits. Depending on how they enter Canada and documents submitted, this step could be waived. However, there are immense benefits to applying for a study permit which could unlock access to social services and more
The Canada student visa is an authorized document that offers a plethora of advantages a chief of which is permanent residency in provinces such as Quebec which offers specialized professional immigration programs.
What do you think about Studying in Canada? Let me know your thoughts below