If you’re a student looking to pursue your academic dreams in Canada, then you’re in for a thrilling and enriching journey! But before you can undertake this journey, you’ll need to steer the process of obtaining a student visa. This might sound like a hectic task might seem like a hectic task, but the good news is that with the right knowledge and advice, it can be a straight and rewarding experience. we’ll take you through the essentials of getting a student visa for Canada, from the eligibility criteria to the application process. So, sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the world of student visas!

A student visa allows individuals to study in a foreign country. To be eligible for a student visa the applicant must be first offered a course by an educational institution in the host country. The application process requires the submission of documents like proof of acceptance from the university, proof of finance, and a valid passport. 

Canada welcomes more than 150,000 students every year. In addition, more students come to Canada to learn English or French. You can learn more here about Moving to Canada.

The study permit is a document IRCC issue that allows foreign nationals to study at designated learning institutions (DLIs) in Canada. Most foreign nationals need a study permit to study in Canada. Make sure you have all the documents you need before you apply. You should apply before you travel to Canada.

Your study permit is not a visa. It doesn’t let you enter Canada. You may also need a visitor visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTA). If IRCC approves your study permit, IRCC will issue one to you with your study permit.

Apply online

If you’re applying for a study permit, you must apply online, whether you’re outside of Canada or already in Canada.

You’re only eligible to apply on paper if you

  • have a disability that prevents you from applying online
  • hold an identity or travel document for non-national residents, refugees, or stateless persons

The provinces regulate education and schools in Canada. It is advisable to contact the school where you wish to study and receive detailed information on living and studying in a specific province or territory. To study in Canada, you may need a study permit, and/or a temporary resident visa, though not everyone must have these documents.

In most cases, you must obtain a study permit 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, in addition:

  • Living expenses for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada;
  • 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 and you may have to provide a police certificate;
  • You must be in good health and willing to complete a medical examination, if necessary; and
  • You must satisfy an immigration officer that you will leave Canada when you have completed your studies.

In applying for a study permit, a student must first and foremost demonstrate to the Visa officer that he/she intends to respect the requirement that study permit holders leave Canada by the end of the period authorized for their stay which usually corresponds with the completion of studies and expiry of their study permit.

Student Direct Stream: The Process

Depending on where you live, you may be able to get your study permit faster through the Student Direct Stream (SDS). IRCC tries to process most SDS applications within 20 calendar days. However, some applications may take longer. To get faster processing, you must

  • Give your bio-metrics as soon as possible
  • Meet all the eligibility requirements

Remember, a study permit is not a visa and does not, by itself, allow you to travel to or enter Canada. You may also need a visitor visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTA). If you do, IRCC will issue your visitor visa or eTA with your study permit.

Introduction of Dual Intent:

Section 22(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) states: “An intention by a foreign national to become a permanent resident does not preclude them from becoming a temporary resident if the officer is satisfied that they will leave Canada by the end of the period authorized for their stay.” This can come up in a situation where an international student has one intention to apply for a study permit (as a temporary resident) and a second intention to apply for permanent residency. An applicant may have several mechanisms under the Act allowing them to transfer from the temporary resident stream to the permanent resident stream that would satisfy this dual intent provision. This “dual intent is not grounds for refusal of the study permit.

International students should first be aware that:

  • Holders of a study permit are usually required to return home at the end of the period authorized for their stay which usually corresponds with the completion of their studies and they must commit to respecting this requirement at the time of application for the study permit; and
  • Federal government programs may be available to international students which permit them to stay and work in Canada after having completed their studies and, in some cases, eventually apply for permanent residency. If unable to qualify for such programs a student is required to leave Canada upon the expiry of their study permit.

Your responsibilities as a study permit holder:

While studying in Canada you must:

  • make progress toward completing your program
  • respect any conditions listed on your study permit and
  • stop studying if you no longer meet the requirements

Depending on your case, there may be conditions on your study permit such as

  • if you’re allowed to work in Canada
  • if you’re allowed to travel within Canada
  • the specific date you must leave Canada
  • where you can study (a specific DLI listed on your permit) and
    • You can’t check at a DLI other than the one listed on your permit.
  • whether you need an immigration medical examination

To learn more about the Study visa category, please visit: Studying in Canada

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