It is not without reason that Canada has made it into several ‘Best Places for International Education” lists, including educations.com’s “Top 10 Places in the World to Study Abroad” list for 2021.
The Benefits of Being on a Student Visa in Canada
Applying for a student visa in Canada offers many advantages to those interested in becoming permanent residents. Did you know that just by being in Canada you already raise your chances of becoming a permanent resident?
- Working in Canada – a student visa grants you the ability to work in Canada legally, which in turn increases your immigration points.
- Canadian Education – Canadian Education will be looked at in a more positive approach than other international education certificates.
- Proficiency in English – Unless you come from an English-speaking country, Studying in Canada requires a certain level of English – meaning that by the time you attend your studies your English level would be sufficient – and will likely be improved while studying.
- Easier to get a job – Being in Canada allows you to approach potential employers directly, attend job interviews, and form useful network connections.
- Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWR) -Another factor that should be taken into consideration when choosing a country to study abroad is the option to stay in the country after graduation. As a part of Canada’s efforts to attract international students and welcome immigrants, it offers an open work permit that allows graduates to stay in the country after graduation and for their Canadian employer of choice.
In conclusion – Studying in Canada opens the door for some undeniably valuable options. Keep in mind that Canada has a relatively welcoming approach when it comes to immigration options – especially for those studying and working there – and you got all the reasons to apply for a Canadian study permit!
Before applying for a Canadian Student Visa (and we know how tempting it is!) it’s important to check the eligibility criteria below.
First – you must hold an acceptance letter from a designated learning institution (DLI). Applicants applying to study in Quebec will also need to obtain a CAQ – a certificate of acceptance from the government of Quebec. The letter (and CAQ, if required) must be obtained before applying for the study permit. You can check the list of Designated Learning Institutions HERE! Other requirements that need to be met:
- No criminal record – applicants will be asked to show a police certificate proving they have a clean background.
- Good health – Good health is required for a student visa, and applicants will be required to produce a medical certificate or get a medical exam if needed.
- Sufficient funds – On top of the tuition fees, you will need to present proof that you can fully support yourself or any additional family members during your stay. Adequate funds are not only important for your tuition and living expenses but also for transportation to return to your home country. For the present moment, the required amount is CAD 10,000$ for each year (or CAD $11,000 for Quebec) with varying additional costs for extra family members.
How to Apply
There are two main ways to apply for a Canadian study permit.
In order to apply you need to get a visa application package. Usually, you can get the application through your local visa office or from the Canadian government website, but it is strongly encouraged now to apply online only for shorter processing times and health measures.
To determine whether you are eligible for a study permit and what documents your application process requires, you will need to answer a few questions about yourself. If found eligible, you will get a personal checklist and a code. The checklist includes forms and documents that need to be completed and sent in with your application, along with some instructions for your next steps. They will be valid for 60 days for you to submit your application. Don’t forget to keep the code in a safe place as you will need it for future use!
Note that some applicants may be asked to come in for an interview at their local visa office.
What Happens After You Apply?
So you chose a recognized learning institution and got your acceptance letter, answered all the questions, gathered all the documents, and finally submitted your application for the study permit. Now what?
The Canadian immigration office mention on their site that it takes at least 8 weeks for them to process your application, so a bit of patience is required. In the meantime, you may get further instructions from them such as:
- Depending on the country you reside in, you may need to set and attend a biometric appointment where they take your photo, collect your fingerprints and your signature. If you run into issues scheduling the appointment due to COVID-19, click here to find out what you should do.
- In case of missing documents, you will be contacted and asked to provide said documents.
- If needed, you will need to get a medical exam or a police certificate.
It is important to make sure to update your application about any change in your personal information, such as your address, telephone number, name change, etc.
It is also strongly advised not to submit multiple applications as it will only slow down your application process and create confusion.
If your application is approved:
Congratulations! A study permit will be mailed to you if you’re already in Canada or given to you at the port of entry upon arrival in Canada.
If applied from outside Canada, an electronic travel authorization (eTA) or a visitor visa will be sent to you in addition to the study permit and a letter of introduction that states that you’re allowed to study in Canada. Make sure to have all of these documents with you when you arrive in Canada, along with the passport you used for the application to show to the border service officer.
*COVID-19 note: Before arriving in Canada, please make sure your DLI is on the list of institutions with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan. You can find out more information here*
If your application is NOT approved:
You will get a letter with an explanation of why your application was refused.
You will receive a letter with an explanation for why your application was refused. Possible reasons are not showing proof of sufficient funds, not passing your medical exam, not convincing the officer that you will leave Canada after your finish your studies, etc.
You can always contact the visa office for questions regarding the refusal of your application.