What Do I Need To Know About Getting A Study Permit In Canada?
Canada prides itself on the quality of its institutions for higher levels of learning. This quality education can come at a lower price compared to other countries, particularly related to the United States. This combination of quality for a good value is a draw for many, including immigrants.
For the last decade, the growth of Canadian postsecondary institutions has been fueled by international students. The COVID-19 pandemic was the first time this growth slowed. There is a strong likelihood that these numbers will return to pre-pandemic levels, and enrollment for international students at Canadian institutions will continue to grow now that most restrictions related to the pandemic are no longer in effect. Recent data supported this belief. Canada reported 800,000 international students in 2022. This is a 75% increase from five years ago.
Those looking to join this group and immigrate to Canada to take advantage of these educational opportunities likely have many questions. Two of the most common questions include the following.
#1: What Do I Need To Qualify To Study In Canada?
In order to study in Canada, immigrants generally need to get a study permit. To qualify, students must have the following:
- Proof of acceptance. Students need an official acceptance to a designated learning institution. A letter of acceptance from the school can qualify. The government will generally expect an original or electronic version of the letter.
- Finances. Applicants must also have proof that they can cover the cost of attending the institution. This includes the expense of tuition as well as living arrangements. To meet this requirement, the government will generally accept proof of a bank account, student loan, or prepayment of tuition and housing fees.
- Health. Applicants will also need to establish that they are in good health and intend to leave Canada once their permit expires.
The government is unlikely to approve the permit application if there is a criminal history or health concerns. The permit is not a visa. In addition to this permit, students will also likely need a visa. An attorney can discuss the difference and help make sure you get everything you need to enter and complete your education here in Canada.
#2: How Do I Apply For A Study Permit In Canada?
Gather the right documentation, like proof of acceptance and valid passport or travel documents. It is also important to put together a strong letter of explanation. This letter explains to the visa officer why they should approve the application. You can use this letter to explain your educational goals. Depending on certain details, the government may require additional documentation, such as a medical examination.
Once you have the information ready, you can proceed with the application process. The government encourages applicants to use their online portal with few exceptions.
It is also important to note that the rules surrounding the process are always changing. Due to the complex nature of the process and the potential for changes, it is often wise to seek counsel from an immigration lawyer to help guide you through the process and better ensure a more favourable outcome.