In order to study in Canada, you require a letter of acceptance from your designated learning institution, a valid passport or travel document, and proof that you can support yourself financially while you are in Canada.
Whether you’re looking to complete your undergraduate or postgraduate studies there are some things you need to know before you apply:
- Most foreign nationals will need to obtain a study permit before studying in Canada at a designated learning institution (DLI). A study permit is not a VISA and does not grant you entry into Canada. Once your study permit is approved you will be issued a VISA for entry into the country if you are from a visa requiring country.
- In order to be eligible for a study permit, you must be enrolled at a DLI and prove you have enough funds to pay for your tuition as well as living expenses. If family members are coming with you, you must also show proof that their living expenses will be covered as well. You must also not have a criminal record and be in good health (a medical exam may be required). If your program is less than 6 months in length, you may not need a study permit.
- Your study permit will be valid for the length of your program plus an additional 90 days. You may use those 90 days to make plans to leave the country or to apply to extend your stay in Canada. You may go back home while studying in Canada, you’ll simply need to show proof that you are enrolled in school upon re-entry into the country along with a valid entry visa if you are from a visa requiring country.
- You may be eligible to work on or off-campus depending on the conditions on your study permit. You can only begin working once your studies start, you cannot begin work prior to your program starting. Upon graduation, you may be eligible to stay and work in Canada on a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) which can vary in length depending on the length of your program of study. The experience you gain while working in Canada post-graduation may help you qualify for permanent residence.