Canada is becoming an increasingly popular destination for international students coming from all over the world. Before you can come to study in Canada, there are a few simple steps you must take. It is important to know how to apply and exactly what documents to show the Canadian authorities.
If you want to come to Canada for post-secondary education, read through our five simple steps for applying for your Canadian study permit:
In order to apply for a Canadian study permit, first you must obtain an acceptance letter from a Canadian university. The acceptance letter must contain specific information and while most schools will be familiar with the requirements, you can always verify the contents of your letter by comparing it to IRCC’s sample letter of acceptance. As well, the letter must come from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). This is an organization authorized by the Canadian government to host international students.
Finally, it is worth noting that not all programs of study are eligible for post-graduation work permits (PGWP). It is important to ensure that your program is eligible for a PGWP prior to applying.
Once you receive your letter of acceptance, you can begin preparing your Canadian study permit application. This application requires extensive documentation proving your intentions in Canada and your ability to support yourself. The exact documents required vary from country to country, but you can verify your individual document requirements by consulting the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.
Please note that if you are applying to attend a school in the province of Quebec, you must obtain a certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) before you can submit a study permit application.
Generally, when you submit the study permit application you will have to provide the following documentation, in addition to those documents requested for your country:
Once you’ve checked and double-checked that you’ve included all required documents for the study permit application, you are ready to submit.
You should submit your application using the online web portal. If you are unable to submit online due to a disability or because of a problem with the online application, you can submit a paper-based application in hard copy to your designated visa application centre (VAC).
Processing times vary greatly from country to country, ranging from a few weeks to a few months, so be sure to plan in advance.
If you are living outside of Canada and your application is approved you will receive a Letter of Introduction as well as a travel visa (if required for your country of citizenship). These documents will authorize you to travel to a Canadian Port of Entry (POE) to obtain your study permit. Your study permit will not be mailed to you, you can only pick it up when you land at a Canadian POE and speak to a border official.
If you are living inside of Canada and your application is approved, then your study permit will be mailed to you.
The document allowing international students to study in Canada is called a study permit rather than a study visa. The term ‘visa’ refers to a document which allows you to enter Canada, while a ‘permit’ allows you to participate in certain activities, like working or studying.
If your study permit is approved and you enter Canada as an international student, you must meet the requirements below in order to maintain legal status in Canada:
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