Student Visas: Everything You Need to Know About Successfully Applying to a Canadian College as an Immigrant

Student Visas: Everything You Need to Know About Successfully Applying to a Canadian College as an Immigrant

Each year, thousands of students from other countries pursue their educational goals in Canada, as our colleges and universities are considered some of the best in the world. Not only does Canada have one of the most respected education systems internationally, there are also permanent immigration options available for international students graduating from post-secondary programs in Canada.

Any academic, professional, or vocational training at a university, college, or educational institution will require a study permit before the foreign student can enter the country. There are few exceptions to this rule, but programs which are less than 6 months in length do not require study permits. To apply for a study permit, follow these steps:

1. Choose your school:

Before you can apply for a study permit, you’ll need to be accepted by the school you wish to attend. Each province and territory manages their own education system with different options. Once you have chosen a place to study, apply for admission. If the school accepts you, they will send you a letter of acceptance. You will need this letter in order to apply for your permit.

2. Visit your Visa office:

You can only apply for a permit from outside Canada at the Visa office responsible for your country or region. Many offices have specific local requirements regarding documentation that must be submitted with your application.

3. Provide documentation:

On top of whatever documents your local Visa office requires, you will need to ensure you have all of the required forms and documents required by the Government of Canada. Some of the items you will need to include in your application package are:

  • Your original letter of acceptance from the educational institute of your choosing;
  • Proof of your identify; and
  • Proof that you have sufficient funds for your stay in Canada, including money for tuition fees, living expenses, and return transportation for you and any member of your family traveling with you.

4. Receive your permit:

If approved for a study permit, you will receive a letter of introduction confirming your approval. This is not the study permit but you will need to bring this letter to Canada in order to obtain your study permit upon entering the country. Depending on your citizenship or where you currently live you may also require a temporary resident Visa to enter the country.

When you arrive in Canada you will be met by an officer of the Canada Border Services Agency who will make the final decision on whether or not you will receive your study permit. You will need to show them:

  • Your letter of introduction from the visa office;
  • Your passport or other valid travel documents;
  • The letter of acceptance from the school you will be attending;
  • Your proof of funds document; and
  • Your temporary resident visa if required.

If you meet all of the conditions, you will be given your study permit and allowed to enter the country.

5. Earn your degree!