Each year, close to 130,000 students come from abroad to study in Canada. A Study Permit is a document issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada that allows a foreign individual to study in Canada for a limited time, generally at a specific Canadian educational institution and in a specific program.
Most international students will require a Study Permit to study in Canada, however, there are some exceptions.A Study Permit is not required in the following circumstances:
For a course or program with a duration of six months or less;
For a minor child already in Canada, whose parents have legal status in Canada, other than Visitor Status;
For the family or staff of a foreign representative to Canada.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada will normally issue a Study Permit if an applicant has received an acceptance letter from a qualified Canadian educational institution, and possesses sufficient funds to pay for tuition and living costs. In some cases, Citizenship and Immigration Canada may require applicants to undergo medical examinations and provide Police Clearance Certificates.
A Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) may also be required if the student is a citizen of a country from which Citizenship and Immigration Canada requires Temporary Resident Visas for entry into Canada. A Temporary Resident Visa is not required for citizens of visa exempt countries.
Applicants who wish to study in Montreal or another city in the Province of Quebec will also require approval from immigration authorities of the Government of Quebec.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada generally issues Study Permits that are valid for the duration of the intended course of studies. However, international students studying in Montreal or another city in the Province of Quebec must renew their status each year.
International Students are considered Visitors in Canada. They must satisfy a Citizenship and Immigration Canada Officer at the Port of Entry that the purpose of their entry into Canada is of a temporary nature.
Working in Canada as an International Student
Citizenship and Immigration Canada allows International Students to work in Canada in limited situations. Students are required to arrive in Canada with sufficient money to live and pay their bills while studying. However, in some cases, a student may be able to work in Canada during the course of study:
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, spouses/common-law partners of international students are eligible to work in Canada while their partners study.
Upon graduation, international students are encouraged to obtain Canadian work experience. The Post-Graduation Work Permit Program allows international graduates to obtain a three-year open work permit so that they can stay and contribute to the Canadian work force.