Student Visa

Close to 100,000 foreign students come to study in Canada per year. A student visa/study permit is issued to an applicant who intends to study in Canada at the primary, secondary, tertiary, post graduate, vocational and training levels. In addition, a spouse or common-law partner and dependent children will be granted a visa to accompany the applicant. In some cases, an applicant is required to obtain a temporary resident visa in addition to the student permit/visa.

Most foreign students will need a study permit/student visa to study in Canada. There are some exemptions such as:

  • If you wish to study a short-term course or program of a duration of 6 months or less provided that the course must be completed within the period of one’s authorized stay in Canada.
  • If you have a minor child already in Canada and your parents are not visitors to Canada.
  • If you are a family or staff member of a foreign representative to Canada accredited by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
  • Nursery schools or kindergartens.

A valid study permit/student visa allows the permit/visa holder to work part-time on campus at the college or university at which he/she is registered as a full-time student and to apply to renew his/her student permit/visa from within Canada if one wishes to continue to study in Canada.

To be eligible for a student visa, the applicant must be accepted into an educational institute that is recognized as a designated learning institution approved by a provincial or territorial government to host international students. For a list of recognized schools, colleges, and institutions, please refer to:

A letter of acceptance must be submitted with any student application to obtain a study permit/student visa.

Depending on the entry requirements of the individual course/school/college where the applicant intends to study, the applicant may be required to prove his/her English or French language ability by means of furnishing the results of one of the approved English or French language tests.

In addition, to the above, the applicant is required to prove the following:

  • that he/she will leave Canada at the end of his/her studies.
  • that he/she has sufficient funds to cover tuition fees
  • that he/she has sufficient funds to cover living expenses for himself/herself and accompanying family members as well as the cost of return transportation for himself/herself and accompanying family members.
  •  that he/she is law abiding and has no criminal record.
  • that he/she will not be a security risk to Canada.
  • that he/she is healthy and has completed the required medical examination
  • the furnishing of any documentation that is requested by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Student visas may be granted subject to various restrictions such as: the type of studies the visa/permit holder can take, the educational institute that may be attended, prohibition of engaging in employment and a time period that reflects the duration of the studies in Canada.

It is should be noted that student permits/visas are valid for the duration of the studies only.


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