Canada Student Visa
International students who desire to apply for Canadian Student Visa or Study Permit must first enroll and be accepted to study at a Canadian educational institution. For step-by-step guides to applying for admission and study visa read Canada Study Permit – Step-by-Step Guides.
See also Find Universities in Canada.
Who can apply for a Canadian Student Visa?
Foreign students who have applied for and been accepted into a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) may apply for a Canadian Student Visa to come to Canada for the program to which they have been accepted. To be eligible you must meet the following requirements:
- You must have been accepted by a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada.
- You must prove that you have enough money to pay for your:
- tuition fees
- living expenses for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada and
- 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. You may have to provide a police certificate.
- You must be in good health and willing to complete a medical examination, if necessary.
- You must satisfy an immigration officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your authorized stay.
You must have received an acceptance letter from the designated institution before you submit your application for a Canadian student visa.
Working While You Are on Student Visa
International students who are attending full-time programs are allowed to work without a work permit on their own campus or the campus of other institutions within the same municipality. In order to be eligible to work on-campus, you must hold a valid student visa and be enrolled full-time in your institution.
Foreign students can also work off-campus up to 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions and full-time during scheduled breaks, such as the winter and summer holidays or spring break. To be eligible for off-campus jobs you must have a valid student visa and remain in satisfactory academic standing as determined by your institution and must be studying in an academic, vocational or professional training program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate that is at least six months in duration.
Students enrolled in an English as a Second Language or French as a Second Language program and students taking a general interest course or program are NOT permitted to work off-campus.
Bringing Your Family to Canada
You may bring your spouse, common-law partner, and dependent children to Canada to be with you while you study. Your spouse or common-law partner can work anywhere in Canada with an Open Work Permit during your studies.
Your Health Care Responsibilities
The government of Canada does not pay for the medical costs of international students. Health insurance is handled by each province and varies from province to province. You should contact your school ahead to inquire if they offer any health care benefits.
Canada Post-Graduation Work Permit Program
After graduating from your program you may qualify to apply for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program. The program is intended to provide graduating international students a three-year work experience and you do not need to have a job offer to get the open work permit.
In order to be eligible, you must:
- have received written confirmation of graduation (e.g. by transcript, official letter or graduation certificate);
- apply for the Post-Graduation Work Permit no later than 90 days after receiving written confirmation of graduating;
- have a valid student visa (your study permit has not expired).
Permanent Resident Eligibility
International students who have completed their studies and have gained a certain amount of work experience within Canada (via the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program – PGWPP) may apply for permanent resident status under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). See detail PGWPP information here Canada Post-Graduate Work Permit Program.
Extend a Student Visa or Change Conditions
If you want to extend your stay in Canada as a student, you must complete an application to do so. Check the expiry date on your study permit, and make sure you apply at least 30 days before that date.
If you decide to change programs or school / institution, you must complete an application to change the conditions of you study permit.
Lost Your Student Status?
You may apply to restore your status as a student within 90 days of losing it. You may only apply if you have continued to meet the requirements under which you were allowed to enter and stay in Canada and you have met all the conditions imposed on your permit.
After you apply to restore your status, you may stay in Canada until a decision is made on your application but you are not allowed to study until your status has been restored.
There is no guarantee that your application to restore your status will be accepted. On your application, you must provide full details of all the facts and circumstances that caused you to lose your status.
NOTE: You do not require a study permit to go to school in Canada if:
- You wish to study in a short-term course or program:
- You do not need a study permit if you plan to take a course or program in Canada that lasts six months or less. You must complete the course or program within the period authorized for your stay in Canada.
- You are a family member of a Foreign representatives to Canada:
- If you are a family member or staff member of a foreign representative to Canada accredited by Global Affairs Canada (GAC), you may not need a permit to study in Canada. You should contact your embassy in Canada. Your embassy can contact the Office of Protocol at GAC to find out whether you need a study permit.
- You are a family member of foreign armed forces:
- If you are a member of a foreign armed force under the Visiting Forces Act, you do not need a permit to study in Canada. If your family members, including minor children, want to study in Canada, they must meet the requirements.
Contact us for more information about Studying in Canada or for assistance in applying for Study permit (Student Visa).