documentation you require to legally enter and study in Canada? Or have you been accepted into a Canadian school and want to apply for a study permit? If you are a foreign national and are interested in studying in Canada, you may have some of these questions and more. If so, this blog will provide some useful information about the application process for a study permit, which is the proper documentation required for foreign nationals who would like to study in Canada.
A study permit is a government-issued document that allows foreign nationals to study in Canada. To be eligible for a study permit, you must be accepted into one of Canada’s designated learning institutions (DLI). A study permit is not a visa. It does not allow you to enter Canada. To enter Canada, you will need a Temporary Resident Visa or an electronic travel authorization. This will be issued as part of your study permit application.
A designated learning institution is a school that is approved by a provincial or territorial government to host international students. If you plan to study in Canada, it is important to make sure the school is a DLI before you apply. You can find a list of all Canadian post-secondary institutions that are DLIs on the Canada immigration website. All primary and secondary schools are DLI so they are not included on the list.
Schools can also lose its DLI status so after you get your study permit, it is important you make sure your school is still a DLI. If your school loses its status after you begin your program, you can keep studying in your program until you permit expires and can only renew your study permit if you enroll at another DLI.
To apply for the study permit, you will need an acceptance letter from a DLI, a valid passport or travel document and proof that you can support yourself, and any family members who come with you, while you are in Canada. You will need to complete the required government forms and gather all support documentation that CIC will use to process your application. Applications may be submitted either online or by mail. The processing times for study permits varies depending on the applicant’s country of residence. You can use CIC’s ‘check processing times’ application to calculate the processing times for your country of residence.
To qualify for a study permit, the visa officer must be convinced that you are a genuine student and not just looking for an easy way to enter Canada. Furthermore, a study permit is a temporary resident visa therefore it is critical you can show that you have enough reasons to return to your home country after you finish your studies. For example, you can show proof of ties to your home country and have a study plan that outlines your career goals and plans for when you finish the program and return to your country of residence. You must also show enough money to cover your tuition and cover your expenses while study in Canada.
Depending on your eligibility, you may be able to apply for a study permit from within Canada, outside Canada or at the port of entry.
If you are applying from outside Canada, you can apply either online or in person. Depending on your country of residence, you may qualify for expedited processing of your study permit.
If you are not already in Canada, Canada Immigration strongly encourages study permit applicants to apply for a study permit before travelling to Canada. Those who are eligible to apply from within Canada include minor children in primary or secondary school, exchange or visiting students, or foreign nationals or their family members with a valid study or work permit who want to stay in Canada longer to study. You can check the Canada immigration website for the full list.
To be eligible to apply at a port of entry, you must be either a U.S. citizen, U.S. permanent resident, resident of Greenland, resident of Saint-Pierre Miquelon or a person who has lawfully been admitted to the U.S for permanent residence.
A study permit is generally valid for the duration of your studies plus an additional 90 days. The additional time allows holders of study permits to either extend their stay in Canada or prepare to return to your country.
There are cases where the program may extend beyond the validity of the study permit. If this happens, you will have to apply to extend your stay as a student. If you finish your program before your study permit expires, your permit will stop being valid 90 days after you complete your studies, irrespective of the date printed on your study permit.
Sometimes, students want to return to their country of residence or travel outside Canada for a vacation during their studies. In this case, when you arrive at the port of entry upon your return, you will be asked to show proof that you are enrolled in a school. In addition, if you used a visa or an electronic travel authorization to enter Canada, you will need to make sure it is still valid.
If you have been seeking assistance with your application for a study permit, we can help you. Our qualified and trained legal professionals are in constant watch over the ever-changing visa policies, and we are always aiming to find the best possible routes to suit our clients. Getting into Canada is not easy; let alone acquiring a study permit. However, by helping our clients present a strong case, this increases their chances of entering the country. If you have any further questions or would simply like to discuss your own unique immigration matter, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 416-477-2545 requesting a consultation. Here at Akrami and Associates we enjoy helping our clients through even the toughest immigration matter, as there’s always a way!