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Canada Student Visa Requirements

Canada Student Visa Requirements
Study Permit
If you wish to take academic, professional or vocational training at a university, college or other educational institution in Canada, you will need a study permit before you enter Canada.

There are a few exceptions to this rule:
For example, you do not need a permit if you are enrolling in a short-term course or program of six months or less. However, if you think you might study for more than six months, it is a good idea to obtain a study permit before you arrive.

Where to Apply for a Student Visa:
You must apply for a study permit from outside Canada, at the visa office responsible for the country or region where you live.

You must include:
The original letter of acceptance at an educational institution in Canada; proof of your identity; and proof that you have sufficient funds for your stay in Canada.

Obtaining your Study Permit:
When you arrive in Canada, you will be met by an officer from the Canada Border Services Agency. You will need to show the officer:

  • 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;
  • proof of funds documents;
  • your temporary resident visa, if required.

Proof of Study:
If you hold a study permit, you must remain enrolled and make reasonable and timely progress towards completing your program; and failing to do so could lead to your removal from Canada.

Your educational institution will report to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) on your continued enrolment and academic status. You may also be asked by an immigration officer to provide evidence of your continued enrolment and academic status.

Student Work Permit:
It is possible to work in Canada while you are living in Canada as a student. In some cases, you will need to apply for a student work permit.

As of June 1, 2014, you may qualify to work off campus without a work permit. If you qualify, your study permit will allow you to:

  • work up to 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions
  • work full-time during scheduled breaks, such as the winter and summer holidays or spring break.

To qualify, you must:

  • have a valid study permit,
  • be a full-time student,
  • be enrolled at a designated learning institution at the post-secondary level or, in Quebec, a vocational program at the secondary level, and
  • be studying in an academic, vocational or professional training program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate that is at least six months in duration.

Work as a Co–op Student or Intern:
For some academic programs, work experience is part of the curriculum. Foreign students who wish to participate in a co-op or internship program must apply for a work permit as well as a study permit.

Stay and Work in Canada after Graduation:
To work in Canada after you graduate, you must apply for a work permit under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP). If you want to stay in Canada as a permanent resident after you graduate, there are a number of programs available, each with its own requirements.

Child student visa for Canada
In addition to the documents needed to enter Canada, a minor will need additional documents if he/she is less than 17 years of age and comes to Canada to study without a parent or legal guardian. The minor must be cared for by a responsible adult in Canada. This person is known as a custodian.

In some cases, a custodian may also be needed for minor children between 17 years of age and the age of majority in the province or territory of the educational institution where they intend to study. This will be at the discretion of an immigration officer.

A minor will need two notarized documents to study in Canada

  • A notarized document is a document that has been certified by a notary.
  • The first notarized document must be signed by the parents or legal guardians of the minor child in the child’s country of origin.
  • The second notarized document must be signed by the custodian in Canada.
  • Custodianship requires that legal arrangements be made to give the custodian in Canada permission to act in place of a parent.
  • An immigration officer must be satisfied that adequate arrangements have been made for the care and support of minor children who travel to Canada to study.

Exceptions: Studying without a study permit
In some cases, minor children do not need a study permit to study in Canada.  These cases include:

  • minor children attending kindergarten;
  • minor children who are refugees or refugee claimants, or whose parents are refugees or refugee claimants; and
  • minor children who are already in Canada with parents who are allowed to work or study in Canada, and who want to attend pre-school, primary or secondary school.

Links to Related Information:

Embassy Contact Information:
Contact the nearest Embassy / Consulate for Canada for the most up-to-date information on what documentation you specifically may require to enter Canada.

Disclaimer: The contents of this page and other such web pages on this website are provided in good faith as a general information guide only, and the use of this website as an information resource or other is at the viewer/user's sole risk. While every effort is made in presenting up-to-date and accurate information, no responsibility or liability is accepted by the owners to this website for any errors, omissions, outdated or misleading information on these pages or any other website to which these pages connect or are linked.

Source & Copyright: The source of the above visa and immigration information and copyright owner/s is the:

  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada – URL:  cic.gc.ca

The viewer/user of this web page should use the above information as a guideline only, and should always contact the above sources or the user's own government representatives for the most up-to-date information at that moment in time, before making a final decision to travel to that country or destination.

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