Most foreign nationals require a study permit to study in Canada.
If a foreign national intends to study a course or program which is more than six months in duration at a university, college, or trade school in Canada, they require a study permit. To qualify for a study permit, the foreign national must demonstrate that:
- They have been accepted into a course or program of study at a “designated learning institution” in Canada; and
- They have sufficient funds to support themselves while studying in Canada which typically includes tuition fees, living expenses, and the cost of return transportation to their home country.
Generally, a foreign national must apply for an initial study permit and a temporary resident visa (TRV) (if required) at a Canadian visa office abroad prior to travelling to Canada. However, in some circumstances, a foreign national may be eligible to apply for an initial study permit at a Canadian port-of-entry (e.g. international airport, land crossing, etc.) or from within Canada.
A study permit is usually valid for the length of the course or program plus 90 calendar days.
Short Term Studies
A foreign national can study in Canada without a study permit if:
- Their course or program is for six months or less;
- Their studies aren’t part of a longer course or program; and
- They will complete all of their studies within their approved duration of stay in Canada which is usually six months from their entry date.
If a foreign national will not be able to complete their course or program in Canada without having to extend their stay in Canada, they will require a study permit.