Questions and Answers for Study Permits
In this article, I will address popular questions and answers for study permits in Canada, as there are several different circumstances that can arise for students. Additionally, this will also assist you in understanding what a study permit entails. A study permit is an official document intended for foreign nationals to permit them entry into Canada to pursue an education. It was created to give foreign nationals an opportunity to further their higher education and future careers through a recognized Canadian educational institution. If you feel as though you would be eligible to apply for a study permit, I suggest you read our article on “How to Apply for a Study Permit” before reading this question and answer article. This article is intended to clarify any misunderstanding or confusion with regards to study permits in Canada.
Q: I would like to pursue studies for less than six months in Canada. Am I required to obtain a study permit?
A: No, you are not required to obtain a study permit in Canada if you are planning on studying for less than six months. In other words, you do not have to obtain a study permit and you can study in Canada so long as your program or course is less than six months and you will complete the program or course within the authorized stay period in Canada. Keep in mind, even if you are studying for less than six months, it is best to apply for a study permit, in case you are unable to complete the intended course or program or if you choose to want to study longer.
Q: How long does it usually take to process a study permit application? I’ve been waiting for what seems like forever!
A: This may be the case for many foreign nationals applying for a study permit. The reason behind this is because processing times for study permit applications vary depending on the country you are applying from. This is the case whether you apply online or by paper. Thus, it is very important to consistently check the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website for the processing times for your specific country, especially if you have been waiting for a while. CIC consistently updates the processing times as well so it’s best to check often.
Q: I have received a POE letter – what does this mean?
A: A POE letter, which stands for Port of Entry letter of introduction, is a letter that you receive from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) once you have been approved for a study permit in Canada. This letter can often also be referred to as an Introduction or Introductory letter. Keep in mind, this letter of introduction is not your study permit. You must provide this letter to the Immigration officer upon entry into Canada and they will proceed to give you the study permit document.
Q: Will I get a refund if Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) refuses my study permit application?
A: Unfortunately, no. They will not issue a refund if they refuse your study permit.
Q: If I came to Canada as a visitor, am I allowed to study?
A: Yes, depending on how long you are intending on studying for. If you plan on completing a course or program within less than 6 months, you will not require a study permit to study in Canada. However, if you plan on attending a recognized educational institution for more than 6 months, then you will need a study permit to study in Canada. For more information on eligibility requirements for study permits, please see our article “How to Apply for a Study permit.”
Q: There has been a strike at my recognized educational institution and I cannot continue my studies. What does this mean for my study permit and my stay in Canada? Please help!
A: This is a very important question to ask, especially with the recent strike that affected most colleges in the Greater Toronto Area. Unfortunately, strikes are completely out of your control. Thankfully, your status in Canada and as a study permit holder should not be affected because of the strike. Furthermore, because of the strike, you will:
- Not be penalized because you cannot continue your studies during this time
- Be able and eligible to work off-campus for up to twenty hours a week, if your study permit allows you to work in Canada
- Be able to work full-time during regular scheduled breaks, such as Christmas and reading week, if the strike continues during this time, AND
- Continue to be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit
It is important to note that you must still have valid status in Canada in order to return to your program or course after the strike has been resolved. Therefore, should you need to apply to extend your study permit during the strike, it is highly suggested to obtain a letter from the registrar of your recognized educational institution indicating and confirming that the strike has halted you from attending the school and continuing your studies.
Contact Akrami & Associates
Should you have any further questions or feel confused or unclear about how to apply for a study permit in Canada, it is important to ask all questions you may have and discuss your concerns. By talking to immigration professionals about your concerns, this will ease your worries and assist with the study permit application process. Study permit applications are difficult to pursue on your own, especially if you are unfamiliar; therefore, it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to apply. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients enter Canada as study permit holders and they are now enjoying their Canadian education. If you believe that you may be eligible to apply, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advise.
With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!