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Canada Study Permit


The number of international students in Canada is over 450,000, a figure that is constantly growing.

A Study Permit is a document issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that allows a foreign national to study in Canada for a limited time.

Eligibility criteria

In order to be eligible to submit an application for a Canadian study permit, a prospective student must:

1) Obtain a Letter of Acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution in order to submit an application for a study permit;

2) Prove that he or she has sufficient financial support to cover the first year of tuition, as well as living expenses and return transportation to his or her home country;

3) Obtain a Certificat d'acceptation du Quebec (Quebec Acceptance Certificate, or CAQ) if he or she wishes to study in Montreal or elsewhere in the Province of Quebec;

4) Have clean record. Applicants with a criminal background, or who pose a risk to Canadian security, may be refused. IRCC may request an applicant to supply a Police Clearance Certificate; Be in good health. IRCC may request an applicant to complete a medical examination; and, Satisfy the immigration officer that he or she will leave Canada at the end of the stay authorized by the study permit.

The applicant may also be required to submit the following documents:

1) Passport for the applicant and every family member included on the application ; 2) Two passport photos for the applicant and each family member included on the application, with the full name and date of birth written on the back; 3) Photocopy of marriage certificate, if applicable; and, 4) Any further documents required by specific visa offices.

Accompanying family members

An applicant for a Canadian study permit may include his or her family members on the application, so that they may accompany the applicant to Canada. An accompanying spouse may be able to obtain an open work permit, and minor children may be able to study at Canadian elementary and secondary schools.

Applying for a study permit

Once a prospective student meets the eligibility criteria and has the correct documents, he or she may apply for a study permit. This can be done online or by paper. A paper application must be submitted to a visa processing office outside of Canada. It is important to apply for a study permit immediately upon receiving the Letter of Acceptance. Study permit processing times vary, and applicants may see delays during busy times — particularly during the summer months.

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