Canada is a G7 country with high standards of living and one of the best healthcare and education systems. It is frequently ranked at top positions in various reputable rankings on quality of life.
Foreigners intending to get education in Canada need to apply to Citizenship and Immigration Canada's (CIC) website and obtain a 'study permit', which is actually a student visa. Applications can be submitted online, but applicants first need to obtain an acceptance letter from a designated learning institution (DLI). They must also have a valid travel documents and prove of sufficient funds for themselves while residing in Canada.
Applications may also include other documents, such as: a letter of explanation, a certificat d'acceptation du Québec (CAQ), a custodian declaration (for minors), police or health certificates, etc. After approval applicants have to send their original passports, along with other requested documents.
Most people apply for 'study permit' from outside Canada, while applying from within the country or at the port of entry is also possible, but they require different application forms.
Applicants must prove that they have sufficient funds to support yourself, and the family members who come with them, while residing in Canada. This can be done by following means:
- proof of a Canadian bank account on the name of the applicant if money is transferred to Canada;
- Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) from a participating Canadian financial institution;
- Proof of a student or education loan from a bank;
- Bank statements for the past 4 months;
- A bank draft that can be converted to Canadian dollars;
- Proof that tuition and housing fees are covered;
- A letter from the person or school giving you money; or
- Proof of funding paid from within Canada, if the applicant has a scholarship or participates in Canadian-funded educational program.
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There are different thresholds for sufficient funds in Quebec and the rest of the country. In Quebec amount of funds required per year is CAD 11,000 for a student and increases by CAD 5,100 for accompanying family member. The same thresholds are lower in the rest of Canada standing at CAD 10,000 and CAD 4,000 respectively. These amounts do not include tuition fees.
Proof of English language skills is not included on the list of required documents. But unless you come from an English-speaking country, Canadian universities require from students to submit proof of English language proficiency. Accepted language tests include IELTS Academic; TOEFL iBT; PTE Academic and C1 Advanced.
The 'study permit' is not a visa and it doesn't allow to enter Canada. Applicants may also need a visitor visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTA). But if CIC approves an application, it will issue a visa together with a 'study permit'.
Students from China, India, Morocco, Pakistan, the Philippines, Senegal and Vietnam can use the Student Direct Stream and get permit in a 20 calendarial days, which is faster than usual.
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The fee for the application is CAD 150.
Generally, a study permit is valid for the length of the study program, plus an extra 90 days.
After initial approval applicants need to give biometrics (fingerprints and photo) and cover fee of CAD 85 for it. Application processing time varies from 3 to 12 weeks by countries. Applications might be returned without processing if incomplete, or missing documents might be requested.
Applicants might be also asked to go to an interview with a visa officer in their countries or send more information.
After studying applicants can apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) from inside Canada or overseas, as long as they are eligible.
Advantages of a Study Permit in Canada
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