Canada offers one of the best career pathways for international students. This in-depth guide includes everything you need to know about getting your Canadian study permit and coming to Canada as an international student.
General steps to join a Canadian school as an International Student
All the Canadian schools that host international students are called Designated Learning Institutions (DLI). To get admission to a DLI, you have to follow the below-mentioned generalized steps.
Choose a study program based on your previous work experience or study history.
Choose a DLI that teaches your program of choice, then apply for a letter of acceptance from that DLI.
When you have your letter of acceptance with you, apply for the study permit.
You should note that all the primary and secondary schools in Canada are DLIs, but not all post-secondary schools. To confirm whether the school of your choice is a DLI, check the official DLI list.
Canadian Study Permit
A Canadian study permit is a document that allows international students join a Canadian school to study. To get your study permit, you have to apply for a letter of acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI).
Required documents to get a Canadian Study Permit
To get your study permit, you need to have the following documents with you.
Your letter of acceptance you got from a Canadian DLI.
Proof of financial support that depicts you have enough financial resources to financially support yourself, as well as any family member coming with you, during the first year of study.
Your identity documents, including your CNIC, passport, and marriage certificate (if any).
Application process to get your Canadian Study Permit
To get your study permit, you must follow the following steps.
- Double-check your documents
First and foremost, you should have all the necessary documents at hand.Acceptance letter
Proof of financial support
Prepare your application
The next step is to prepare your study permit application. Make sure you’re including all the necessary information and documents in your application. If you don’t, an immigration officer may reject your application. To boost the chances of your application being accepted, it’s recommended to let a qualified immigration representative review it beforehand.
- Submit your application
There are two ways you can submit your study permit application. Create an account on IRCC’s (Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada) official website. After you have created the account, submit your application electronically. Documents are accepted in both forms, digitally scanned or electronic. Gather all the documents in hard form and submit them to your country’s Visa Application Center (VAC).
- Come to Canada
If your application is approved, you will receive a Port of Entry introduction letter from the Canadian government. At this point, you’re eligible to come to Canada. When you arrive, show this letter to an immigration official to get your Canadian study permit. Be noted that the government doesn’t send the study permit directly to your mail, you get it when you arrive in Canada.
Processing time for a Canadian Study Permit
The processing time is not the same for every application; it varies a lot by a few factors. First, the processing time varies based on your country of residence. Applications coming from some countries can be processed faster than others. Second, the overall application volume also affects the processing speed. If there are a lot of applications to process, it will take longer.
In most cases, the processing may take anywhere from 1 to 16 weeks, depending on the factors mentioned above.
However, students of certain countries may also be eligible to apply through Canada’s Student Direct Stream program.
Student Direct Stream (SDS)
Student Direct Stream allows you to get through the application process faster. In most SDS cases, the student gets their study permit within 20 days. To utilize SDS, you should be living in one of the following countries.
Antigua and Barbuda
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
If you have a nationality for one of the above-mentioned countries but live somewhere else, you’re not eligible for the SDS program.
Can I work while studying in Canada?
Yes, you can.
Your study permit allows you to work part-time (up to 20 hours per week) during your semesters. During vacations, you can even work full-time. If you included your work experience in the study permit application, you may be able to work more than 20 hours per week during semesters, too.
Based on your study permit, you may or may not be allowed to work off-campus. You can check your study permit statement to verify that.
Last but not least, you don’t need a Canadian work permit to work in Canada. However, that may change based on what your study permit states.
If your spouse comes to Canada with you, they will be eligible for an open work permit, allowing them to work full-time while you study.
Studying in Quebec
There are a few extra perks to studying in Quebec. For instance, you can study in English, French, or both. However, the process to get a Quebec study visa is somewhat different. That’s because Quebec has its own set of rules and regulations to let international students in.
To study in Quebec, you need a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ), provided by the Ministry of Immigration, Francisation and Integration (MIFI).
Before you apply for a Quebec study permit, you need to have your CAQ ready. To get your CAQ, you need to meet the following requirements.
A Quebec Designated Learning Institution should have accepted you.
You should have paid the QAC application fees.
You should have agreed to the terms and conditions of the QAC certificate.
Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP)
If you meet a Canadian territory’s local economic needs, you may be selected by them for a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).
If you have been an international student in another country before, or you are specifically dedicated to international students, there’s a high chance a PNP stream might reward you.
Top Benefits of Studying in Canada
Are you interested to study in Canada and eventually become a Canadian permanent resident? With over 400,000 international students every year, here are top reasons why people around the world choose to study and live in Canada.
1. Canada provides world Class Education for International Students
Canada is recognized as one of the best education system in the world for providing top-notch educational opportunities to international students and its citizens. It has tons of universities that have a long history and reputation in terms of academic excellence and high graduate employability rate. As a matter of fact, Canadian schools compete with top-notch universities from the US, UK and Australia for example.
2. Live in a safe place that provides high quality of life
Canada has always been considered to be one of the the safest places in the world. The crime rate is very compared to other countries and there is less racial discrimination. The country has also been regarded to provide top quality of life. Residents enjoy a free publicly funded healthcare, better employment and a stable economy.
3. Obtain work experience in Canada after you graduate
Those who obtained a Canadian degree or diploma from a post-secondary institution in Canada enjoy work programs offered by the government allowing them to enter the Canadian labour market right after graduation. Those who have a hard time getting a Job Offer in Canada from abroad find it easier to get a job in Canada.
4. It is cheaper to study in Canada than in many other countries
Tuition fees for international students in Canada are much lower than in many other countries including the United States, Australia and United Kingdom. For these reasons, studying in Canada is more preferred by people around the world who wish to obtain a post secondary education
5. International students enjoy many different immigration programs for permanent residence offered by the Canadian government.
By studying in Canada, you can apply through a variety of Canadian immigration programs that cater to international students without ever having to leave Canada. As a student, you have a better command of the English and/or French language and have already proven that you are capable of fitting into Canadian life. Because of this, Canada wants that you settle in the country permanently through the numerous student-graduate aligned immigration programs.
Immigrate to Canada through the Study-Work-PR Pathway