Before You Apply to Study

Canadian Study Permit Requirements: Are You Eligible?

Canadian study permit requirements

Image credit to xb3 at flickr

In order to study in Canada, you will need to fulfill the Canadian study permit requirements.  But first, before you can apply, you would need to gain acceptance to a recognized school, university, or college in Canada.  In addition, you will need to be eligible to enter Canada, and will likely need a temporary resident visa.

There are a variety of schools and institutions at which to study.  Listed below are some examples.

Primary and secondary schools

Students up to the grade 12 level learn at these schools.  Primary and secondary schools are regulated by provincial governments.

Post-secondary institutions

Colleges, universities, and technical schools fall under the banner of post-secondary schools.  The application process varies for each school as they each have their own set of rules, and they decide how much English or French education is necessary to be accepted.

Private career and vocational schools

Private schools are not always regulated by provincial governments.  If you apply to a private school, ensure that it meets provincial education requirements.

Language Schools

Canada has many schools that teach either English or French as a second language.  Language programs at public institutions are regulated by the provincial governments, but are not necessarily regulated at private schools.

How to apply to a school, college or university

Once you select a school, college, or university to attend, you’ll have to learn about the specific application process that each school has in effect.  Get in touch with the school in which you are interested, and they will provide the details and the proper applications forms.  You can learn about the fees for applying and for tuition, health insurance, the cost of living in Canada, and information about language tests.

Complete the application form and follow the instructions for submission.  You will receive a letter of acceptance if the school admits you.  You need this acceptance letter when applying for a Study Permit.

It is important to apply in advance of your course of study.  For primary and secondary schools, it is recommended to apply at least six months early.  For universities and colleges, students should apply a year prior to the start of their program.

Once you have been accepted, the following Canadian study permit requirements exist:

  • You need to provide evidence that you can afford your tuition fees, your living expenses, the cost of return fare to your home country, and the living expenses and return fare for any family members that have accompanied you to Canada
  • You must have no criminal record or pose a risk to Canada’s security.  A police certificate may be necessary
  • You must be in good health.  A medical examination may be necessary
  • You must assure an immigration office that you will leave Canada once your studies are completed.

Exceptions to the Canadian study permit requirements

You would not require a study permit if:

  • you are a foreign representative to Canada. Furthermore, if you are a family member or staff member of a foreign representative, you may also be exempt from applying for a study permit.
  • you are a member of foreign armed forces. As a member of a foreign armed force under the Visiting Forces Act, you would not need a study permit.
  • you are interested in studying in a short-term course or program. If the course or program can be completed during your authorized stay in Canada, which would be six months or less, you would not need a study permit.  You should apply for a permit before visiting Canada regardless, however, even if you do not need a study permit.  Once you have completed your short-term course or program, if you were interested in continuing to study, you would have to apply for a new study permit.  You could only do so outside of Canada, through a Canadian visa office, which means you’d have to leave the country if you haven’t arranged a study permit ahead of time.

If you are interested in learning English or French, there are many opportunities in Canada, so how can you decide which classes are best?  If you are looking for experienced instructors for English as a Second Language, we can point you in the right direction, and get you on the path to communicating confidently.


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Once you have learned of the Canadian study permit requirements, then you can apply for a great opportunity to learn in a beautiful country!

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