Canada welcomes more than 350,000 students from foreign jurisdictions each year. If you intend to study at a Canadian educational institution, most foreign nationals must apply for a study permit. A study permit, once issued, allows a foreign national to study in Canada at an approved institute for the duration of the specified course or program.
In some cases, you do not require a study permit to go to school in Canada:
- If the course or program you intend to study is less that 6 months in duration.
- If you are a family member or staff of a foreign representative to Canada.
- If you are a member of a foreign armed force.
To be eligible to study in Canada:
- You must have been accepted by a school, college, university or other educational institution in Canada.
- You must prove 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.
- You must 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.
- You must be in good health and willing to complete a medical examination, if necessary.
- You must satisfy an immigration officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your authorized stay.
A Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) may also be required if the student is a citizen of a country from which Temporary Resident Visas are required for entry into Canada. A Temporary Resident Visa is not required for citizens of visa exempt countries.
Working in Canada as a Student
It is possible to work in Canada, while you are here as a student, under any Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC’s) work programs for students.
A student may be able to work in Canada during the course of study under the following categories:
- On campus without a Work Permit;
- Off campus with a Work Permit;
- In Co-op and Internship Programs, where work experience is part of the curriculum, with a Work Permit.
In addition to this, spouses or common-law partners of foreign students are eligible for a work permit for the duration as the study permit.
Upon graduation, a foreign student may apply for a work permit under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program. Under this program, the work permit may be issued for the length of the study program, up to a maximum of three years.