If you want to study at a Canadian institution as an international student, then you are required to apply for a study permit. Study permits are issued by the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Study permits authorize you to study at a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada.
However, you do not require a study permit if the following conditions apply to your case:
- Your study program is for 6 months or less
- You are accompanying a foreign representative as a family member or staff
- You are part of the armed forces of a country designated for the purposes of the Visiting Forces Act.
Who is Eligible for a Study Permit?
Following requirements need to be satisfied, to be eligible for a study permit in Canada:
- Have an acceptance letter from a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada
- Demonstrate sufficient financial resources to support your stay in Canada
- Have no previous criminal charges. Police certification is required
- Clear a medical examination if required
- Convince an immigration officer that you intend to leave Canada after your study permit expires
What Programs are Offered Under Study Permits?
Work While Studying: As an international student, a study permit in Canada allows you to Work While Studying without the need to apply for a work permit. You are eligible to work while studying only if your study program is for a period of more than 6 months. You will also require a Social Insurance Number (SIN).
Working Off-Campus: Working off-campus means working with an employer outside your university. Having a study permit authorizes you to work off-campus for 20 hours per week during the academic season and full time during scheduled breaks like summer or winter vacations.
Student Direct Stream: As an international student, the Student Direct Stream (SDS) allows you the opportunity to fast track the process of your study permit. However, you must be a citizen of the select countries, meet stricter eligibility requirements, and provide an upfront Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) to be considered.
What is the Process of Getting a Study Permit?
If your study permit application is approved, then you will receive a Letter of Introduction (LOI) that needs to be presented to an immigration officer on arrival.
The LOI will ensure that you get an approved study permit once you enter Canada.
If you are from a visa-exempt country, then you need to acquire an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).
If you are not from a visa-exempt country, then you need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) that indicates the duration of your stay in Canada.
However, you do not need to apply for a TRV separately. If your study permit is approved, then an approved TRV will be issued with the LOI.
What Else do You Need to Know About Study Permits?
Extending or Renewing Study Permits: As an international student, extending or renewing your Study Permit is essential to maintain your legal status when your current study permit expires.
You must apply before your current status expires. If you apply after your study permit has expired, then you must do so within 90 days.
Spouses and Family of International Students: A request for the authorization of accompanying Spouses and Family of International Students Studying in Canada can be included in a study permit.
Your spouse will be eligible to apply for an open work permit in Canada if you are enrolled as a full-time student in a designated learning institution.