How to get a study permit in Canada in 2018

How to get a study permit in Canada in 2018

1. Find out if you are eligible to study in Canada

Most foreign nationals need a study permit to study in Canada. You must apply before you travel and make sure you have all the documents Canadian representatives need before you apply.

What is a study permit?

The study permit is a document they issue that allows foreign nationals to study at designated learning institutions (DLI) in Canada.

While studying in Canada under a study permit you must:

  • always be enrolled at a DLI
  • make progress towards completing your program
  • respect any conditions listed on your study permit
  • stop studying if you no longer meet the requirements and
  • leave Canada when your permit expires

Depending on your case, there may be conditions on your study permit such as:

  • the level of studies you can attend
  • if you are allowed to work in Canada
  • if you can’t travel within Canada
  • the date you must stop studying

Note: Your study permit is not a visa. It alone doesn’t allow you to enter Canada. You may also need a temporary resident visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTA)

How long can you stay in Canada with a study permit?

A study permit is usually valid for the length of your study program, plus an extra 90 days. This extra time lets you prepare to leave Canada or apply to extend your stay.

  • If you can’t finish your courses before the date on your permit, you must apply to extend your stay as a student.
  • If you finish your studies early, your permit will stop being valid 90 days after you complete your studies (no matter what day is printed on the study permit). You have completed your studies either
    • on the date, you get the first notification from your school (such as an email, letter, transcript, etc.) or
    • when you get your degree, diploma or certificate.

    You must prove to provide proof of the date you got one of these.

Can you go back home while studying?

If you plan to leave Canada during a scheduled break (such as the summer, or winter holidays and spring break), you may need to show proof you are enrolled in your school when you return to Canada. If you came here on:

  • a visa, you also need to make sure it is still valid.
  • an electronic travel authorization (eTA), and you leave and return to Canada by air, you will need to make sure it is still valid.

Your study permit is not a visa.

People who don’t need a permit to study in Canada

Most foreign nationals need a study permit to study in Canada. The cases below are exceptions.

Short-term studies (six months or less)

You can study at any school in Canada without a study permit if:

  • your course or program is for six months or less
  • your studies aren’t part of a longer program and
  • you will complete all your studies within the time representatives approved you to stay in Canada (usually six months after you enter).

Note from EduBlogger: you will need a study permit if you:

  • are going to study for longer than six months or
  • won’t be able to complete your program without having to extend your stay in Canada.

Family or staff of foreign representatives

You may not need a study permit if you are a family member or staff member of a foreign representative to Canada accredited by Global Affairs Canada (GAC). Your embassy can contact GAC to find out if you need one.

Members of foreign armed forces

If you are a member of a foreign armed force in Canada on official duties, you don’t need a study permit. If your family members (including minor children), want to study in Canada, they may need one.

Registered Indians in Canada

You don’t need a study permit if you are a citizen of another country who has Registered Indian status in Canada.

Minor children in Canada

Minor children don’t need a study permit if they:

  • are in kindergarten
  • are refugees or refugee claimants
  • have parents who are refugees or refugee claimants or
  • want to go to pre-school, primary or secondary school, and are already in Canada with a parent who is allowed to work or study in Canada.

Note: When minor children studying in Canada without a permit reach the age of majority (turn 18 or 19 depending on the province or territory), they must apply for a permit if they want to keep studying. Learn more about minors studying in Canada.

Why get a study permit if you are exempt?

You may want to apply for a study permit even if you don’t need one. To be eligible to apply for a study permit, your course or program must be from a DLI. If you decide to apply for a study permit even though you are exempt, you should include a letter of explanation that says why you want one.

Reasons to apply for a study permit include being able to:

Keep studying while you renew your permit

  • If you get a study permit before you come to Canada: you can renew your permit and keep studying in Canada while waiting for your new permit because you have implied status.
  • If you don’t have a study permit: you can apply for a study permit from inside Canada, but you can’t start your program until you get the permit.

This rule also applies for prerequisite courses, when you get accepted to a program under the condition that you take and pass certain courses (conditional acceptance).

Work part-time on-campus

You can work part-time on-campus if you are registered as a full-time student at a college or university.

2. Apply for a study permit

You need to give your biometrics

You now need to give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics) when you apply for a study permit if you are from Europe, the Middle East or Africa.

Before you apply

Before you apply for a study permit, you need the following:

You also must do the following:

  • show proof that you have enough money to pay for your:
    • tuition fees
    • living expenses for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada and
    • return transportation for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada
  • be a law-abiding citizen with no criminal record and not be a risk to the security of Canada. You may have to provide a police certificate.
  • be in good health. You may need to complete a medical exam.
  • convince an immigration officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your studies.

Note: If your school asked you to take some courses before they will accept you into the main program (conditional acceptance), Canadian representatives will only issue your study permit for the length of these courses. When you get accepted into the main program, you can apply to extend your stay as a student from within Canada.

How to apply

Generally, you must apply for a study permit before you come to Canada. Some people can apply for a study permit from within Canada. In some cases, you can apply when you arrive in Canada at the port of entry. Make sure you understand which option is available to you.

2.1 Applying within Canada

  • You can only apply online  for a study permit within Canada if you’re:
    • a minor child in primary or secondary school
    • an exchange or visiting student
    • a student who has completed a short-term course or study program, which is a condition for being accepted at a DLI
    • someone who holds a temporary resident permit (TRP) valid for at least 6 months, or their family member
    • a spouse or common-law partner (and their family members) being sponsored to immigrate, who are:
      • in Canada, and
      • have applied for permanent residence, if eligible
    • a person with a study permit from a visa office abroad and the permit was issued before you got to Canada, who wants to keep studying
    • the family member of:
      • athletes on a Canadian-based team
      • media representatives
      • members of the clergy, or
      • military personnel assigned to Canada
    • family member or private staff member of a foreign representative who is properly accredited (90 days before or after you are no longer authorized to study without a study permit), or
    • a foreign national or their family member with a valid study or work permit, who wants to stay in Canada longer to study

2.2 Applying outside Canada

If you need an eTA or visa, Canadian representatives will issue it automatically at the same time as your study permit. You don’t need to apply separately or pay another fee.

Apply online too.

2.3 Applying at the port of entry

You may apply for a study permit when you enter Canada if you are any of the following:

  • a citizen of the U.S.
  • a permanent resident of the U.S.
  • a person who has lawfully been admitted to the U.S. for permanent residence
  • a resident of Greenland
  • a resident of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon

3. After you apply: study permit

3.1 You will need to give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics)

After you send us your application, Canadian representatives will send you a letter if you need to give your biometrics. Most study permit applicants need to. The letter will tell you how and where to go. You have up to 30 days to give your biometrics (in person).

  • If you applied online

    • The letter is sent to your account message box within 24 hours of applying. You’ll get an email to let you know you received a new message.

 

  • If you applied by mail

    • The letter is sent to you by mail about two weeks after Canadian representatives get your application. The timing of your letter depends on various factors including the speed of your postal service.

3.2 Canadian representatives process your study permit application

They will check your application to make sure you have all the necessary documents. If it’s complete and you need to give biometrics, representatives will send you a letter that tells you so.

If it’s incomplete, they will return your application without processing it.

they may also ask you to:

  • go to an interview with our officials in your country, or
  • to send more information.

Updating your application

If you move or change your address, telephone number or any other contact information after you apply, you must tell them.

If Canadian representatives approve your application

They will send you:

  • letter of introduction to confirm. This letter isn’t your study permit. You need to show it to the immigration official when you arrive in Canada.
  • an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or a visitor visa (temporary resident visa) to enter Canada:
    • if you are from a country where you need an eTA, the letter of introduction will include information about your eTA. Also, the eTA will be:
      • linked to your passport. It is important that you travel with the passport you used when you applied for your study permit.
      • valid for five years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.
    • if you are from a country where you need a visitor visa, the visa will:
      • be in your passport. You must enter Canada before it expires.
      • show if you can enter Canada only once (a single-entry visa) or if you can enter Canada multiple times (a multiple-entry visa).

If Canadian representatives refuse your application

They will send you a letter explaining why. Reasons they may refuse it include if you didn’t:

  • show proof that you have enough money to support yourself while studying in Canada
  • pass the medical exam if you needed one
  • convince the visa officer that your main purpose in Canada is to study
  • convince the visa officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your study period.

If you have questions about why you were refused, contact the visa office that sent the refusal letter.

Waiting for a decision

Your study permit can expire while you are waiting for a decision on an extension. In this case, you still have temporary resident (student) status.

This is known as implied status, and it lasts until you get a decision on your application (as long as you don’t leave Canada). You can keep studying under implied status.

Traveling outside Canada while waiting for a decision

You can leave Canada and come back. Your study permit is not a visa. You need a valid visa or eTA to return unless you are coming back from a trip where you visited the United States or St-Pierre and Miquelon only.

When you return:

  • You can come back as the student if your permit is still valid.
  • You may be allowed to come back as a visitor if they are still processing your study permit extension.
    • You can’t study until Canadian representatives extend your study permit. The officer at the border may ask you to prove you have enough money to support yourself in Canada.
  • You may be allowed to come back as a student if representatives extended your study permit while you were away.
  • You may be asked to apply for a new study permit if you are a national or a permanent resident of the U.S. or a resident of Greenland or St. Pierre and Miquelon.
  • It is possible that you will not be able to enter Canada.

The officer may ask you for a copy of the application, the fee payment receipt, and other documents to prove you applied for an extension.

4. Get a study permit — Prepare to arrive

When you arrive in Canada, a Government of Canada officer will meet you and:

  • ask to see your passport or travel documents,
  • ask you a few questions, and
  • make sure you meet the requirements to enter Canada.

You will also have to show the officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay.

Primary Inspection Kiosks

Check with your school or training facility to see if you need to prove your entry into Canada. If you need proof of entry, you have to get your passport stamped from a border services officer before leaving the airport. Canada’s international airports with Primary Inspection Kiosks have a new process in place to stamp passports.

Presenting your documents

You will need to show:

  • a valid passport or travel document
  • the letter of introduction the visa office sent you when they approved your study permit (this letter has your permit reference number which Canadian representatives use to issue your study permit)
  • a copy of the acceptance letter your school sent you
  • proof that you have enough money to support yourself during your stay in Canada
  • letters of reference or any other documents the visa office where you applied told you to bring and either a valid:
    • eTA. If you have an approved eTA, it will be linked to the passport that you used to apply for your study permit or
    • temporary resident visa.

Children under 18 should have valid identification with them. The documents a minor child needs to present depending on whether the child is traveling alone or with someone.

Carry these items and all other valuable papers, cash and traveler’s cheques with you at all times. Don’t put them in your checked luggage.

You may not be allowed into Canada if any of your documents are missing or if any of the information on your application or letters of reference is incorrect.

The officer will stamp your passport or let you know how long you can stay in Canada. The period is usually six months. In some cases, the officer may limit or extend this period to cover your study period. Ask questions if you aren’t sure about anything.

If there aren’t problems at the point of entry, the officer will let you enter Canada and will issue your study permit. You should check the:

  • study permit to make sure your personal information is correct and
  • expiry date on your study permit. You must leave Canada by this date.

Disclosure of funds

If you arrive in Canada with more than CAN$10,000, you must tell this to the government officer. If you don’t, you could be fined, and your funds could be seized. This includes:

  • cash
  • securities that belong to you (for example, stocks, bonds, debentures, treasury bills) or
  • bankers’ drafts, cheques, traveler’s cheques or money orders.

Understanding the terms and conditions of your study permit

As an international student with a study permit you must:

  • always be enrolled at a DLI
  • make progress towards completing your program
  • respect any conditions listed on your study permit
  • stop studying if you no longer meet the requirements, and
  • leave Canada when your permit expires

Based on your application, your study permit may include one or more of the following conditions:

  • the level of studies you can attend
  • if you are allowed to work in Canada
  • if you need to report for medical procedures
  • if you can’t travel within Canada, and
  • the date you must stop studying.

It is a crime not to comply with the conditions on your study permit.

If you break any of the conditions, you will lose your temporary resident status and any permit you have.

Read your study permit carefully. It sets out all the conditions for studying in Canada. If you don’t meet those conditions or those of your eTA or visa, Canadian representatives will ask you to leave Canada.

Most people asked to leave Canada to have the right to a fair hearing to review the decision.

Leaving and coming back to Canada

If you leave Canada and want to return, you must have a valid:

  • passport or travel document
  • study permit if you are returning to study in Canada and either a valid
    • eTA, if you are from a country where you need an eTA
    • visitor visa, if you are from a country where you need a visa (unless you travel solely to the United States or St-Pierre and Miquelon and return to Canada while your study permit is still valid).

Your study permit is not a visa.

Health insurance

The Government of Canada does not pay for the medical costs of foreign students. Health coverage for foreign students is different depending on where you live. Contact the school you applied to for details about health insurance.

Source: canada.ca