Studying in Canada
If you plan to study when you are living in Canada, there are different requirements depending on your legal status and length of study:
If you are already in Canada and wish to apply for a study permit, you might have to apply for the study permit BEFORE (not after) your husband submits your sponsorship application. To be sure, contact the CIC Call Centre.
Studying while on a Temporary Resident Visa
If you would like to study in Canada while waiting for your sponsorship application to be processed, you do not need a study permit for courses less than six months. You are able to take any courses that are less than six months long, so long as your visitor visa remains valid for that length of time. This means that you are eligible to take certain courses in order to upgrade your education or to improve your English through ESL (English as a Second Language) classes. You just need to make sure that these courses do not exceed six months.
You should also keep in mind that sometimes these types of courses have a fee that you must pay although sometimes they are free (especially the ESL classes). A good place to inquire about these kinds of classes is at any immigrant-serving agency in your area.
Courses for more than six months – require a study permit
If you would like to attend an educational institution, whether high school, college, or university, for more than six months, you need a study permit. In order to obtain a study permit, you must have the following documentation:
Proof of acceptance
- For attendance at a university, college or technical institution, a letter from the educational institution to show:
- the name of the institution;
- confirmation of your acceptance and/or registration as a student;
- the course of study;
- the duration of the academic program; and
- the latest date you may register.
- For attendance at a primary or secondary school, a letter from the school board having jurisdiction for the school you are attending (or for private schools, a letter from the school itself) indicating:
- the name of the school;
- the level of study; and
- the duration of the course.Proof of identity
- A valid passport
- Two photos of yourself
Proof of financial support
- Evidence that you can support yourself and accompanying family members while you study in Canada. Such evidence may include:
- proof of a Canadian bank account in your name if money has been transferred to Canada;
- your bank statements for the past four months;
- a bank draft;
- proof of payment of tuition and residence fees;
- for those with a scholarship or those with a Canadian funded educational program: proof of funding paid from within Canada;
- If foreign exchange control measures exist in your country, you must provide proof that you will be permitted by the exchange control authorities of your country to export funds for all of your expenses.
Study Permit Application
The application can be downloaded from the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website.
Once your application has been reviewed, you might be asked to meet an officer for an interview. If you are approved for a study permit, you will be notified by letter and, if outside of Canada, must show this letter to an immigration official upon arriving in Canada.
Conditions of a Study Permit
A study permit is valid for a specific course or degree and for a certain amount of time. That means that you cannot change programs or extend your studies without notifying immigration authorities first and you may have to apply for another study permit.
Also, all information on your study permit must be correct. If you move and your address changes, for example, you need to notify immigration authorities.
The fee for a study permit application is $125 (Canadian).
Your Dependent Children
Studying as a Permanent Resident
You can enroll in any educational institution as long as you are accepted by them. As a permanent resident, you do not need a study permit to study.
Many private institutions and non-profit organizations offer ESL (English as a Second Language) classes. Depending on the organization, there may be a fee for classes. They may also be offered for free.
Each post-secondary institution (university or college) has different standards for admission. Some require high grades. You need to have a high school diploma or an equivalent certificate.
If you want to get into more advanced post-secondary education, there are other requirements. Programs like law and medicine often require at least two years of undergraduate study and good grades. You will also need to get a good grade on the admissions tests for the programs, such as the Law School Admissions Test.
In order to pursue graduate studies, you will need to have a bachelor’s degree that is recognized by the institution you are applying to. Graduate studies generally require high grades and may require other things like admissions essays. In Alberta, you can have your degree assessed by the International Qualifications Assessment Service.