Except in a few cases, you must apply for a study permit if you wish to study in Canada. Even if you do not require a study permit, you may still need to apply for a temporary residence visa, depending on your country of citizenship.
To study in Canada, you must show that you have been accepted to a school, college, university or other educational institution in Canada. Under the new rules, CIC has limited the issuing of study permits to applicants who will be studying at a designated learning institution, i.e. institutions approved by the government, including institutions that are designated by provinces and territories on the basis of meeting minimum standards.
You must be able to prove that you have enough money to pay for your tuition fees, living expenses for yourself and any dependants who may accompany you. According to CIC guidelines, apart from tuition fees, you will require approximately $10,000 a year for living expenses. If family members will join you, you will need an additional $4000 for the first dependant, and $3000 for each subsequent dependant. You will also need to show that you have enough money to pay for return transportation for yourself and any family members who are with you.
In addition to showing you have enough funds, you must also be a law abiding citizen without a criminal record and not be a risk to the security of Canada. You may need to undergo a medical examination to prove that you are in good health. Finally, you must satisfy the officer that you will leave Canada when you have completed your studies.
The new rules require students to actively pursue their studies while in Canada and allows full-time international students enrolled in designated institutions in certain programs to work part time off campus and full time during breaks from school without a work permit.
However there are a few situations in which you do not need a study permit. You do not need a study permit for a course or exchange program in Canada that lasts six months or less.
To qualify as a short term course, your education in Canada must end within the period authorized for your stay in Canada. When you enter Canada, carry your letter of acceptance and proof of course registration issued by the educational institute in Canada. A CBSA officer may examine these documents when you arrive at the port of entry to Canada.
If you think you may want to continue studying in Canada after the end of your short term course, it is highly recommended that you apply for a study permit before arriving in Canada. This is because if you do not have a study permit and want to continue studying in Canada, you will have to leave Canada in order to apply for a study permit at a visa office outside Canada.
If you wish to work on campus or participate in a co-op or internship program, you need to apply for a study permit before arriving in Canada, even if your course is a short term program.
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