There are many steps involved with applying for a study permit and the processing times vary greatly from country-to-country, so it is best to plan ahead to ensure your permit will be processed before your study period begins. The majority of Canadian post-secondary educational programs commence study in September, January, or May, though a number of programs do offer intakes outside of those dates. Since a foreign national cannot apply for a study permit without an acceptance letter, they should check the start date and application process for their schools and programs of interest far in advance to ensure they have sufficient time to obtain the acceptance letter and complete the study permit application.
Canadian schools often impose different application deadlines for international students than for students applying from inside of Canada. Make sure you’re aware of the proper deadline for your program!
There are two sets of requirements you must consider when applying for a Canadian study permit: eligibility requirements, and requirements while studying in Canada.
You must meet these criteria in order to be eligible to apply for a study permit:
When you apply for your permit, the visa officer will confirm to ensure you meet the requirements. If the visa officer is not satisfied, they will refuse your application.
If your study permit is approved and you enter Canada as an international student, you must meet the requirements below in order to maintain the validity of your study permit. While studying in Canada under a study permit, a foreign national must:
There are four stages to obtaining a Canadian study permit:
Please note that your study permit is not a visa. This means that, depending on your country of citizenship, you may need a travel visa in order to come to the POE in Canada.
*If you are already in Canada legally, you may apply from within the country. If your study permit is approved it 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 while residing in Canada, like working or studying!
Not all foreign nationals require a permit in order to study in Canada. The following are the most common exemptions from the study permit requirement:
A foreign national does not require a study permit if they are completing a program of study which has a duration of six months or less. If the foreign national takes longer than six months to complete such a program, they must secure a study permit before the initial six months has passed.
Minor children, those under the age of 18 or 19 (the age for minor children varies by province), do not need a study permit to attend kindergarten, pre-school, primary or secondary school if they meet one of the following conditions:
A member of a foreign armed force who is in Canada on active duty does not require a permit to study. However, their family members may require study permits.
If you are unsure whether or not you require a study permit for Canada, please complete our free student assessment and one of our Educational Counsellors will contact you to discuss your options.
Those interested in pursuing an educational program in the province of Quebec must first obtain a Certificat d’acceptation du Quebec (CAQ) before applying for a study permit.
Pursuing studies as an international student in Canada can be confusing and stressful. There are many schools and programs to choose and study permit applications are regularly refused for not meeting government requirements.
Thankfully, the Canadim Team is here to help you keep it simple. Our International Student Program pairs potential students with one of our expert Educational Counsellors to provide guidance from start to finish. We will help you with finding a program of study which suits your needs, to obtaining a letter of acceptance, to preparing and submitting your study permit application!
To get started, simply complete our free student assessment and one of our Educational Counsellors will contact you to discuss your immigration options!
Let us help you become an international student in Canada! Complete our free student assessment and an academic counsellor from our International Student Program department will contact you to discuss your options.Get Started