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Study permit for international students in Canada

Not everyone is required to obtain a study permit in order to study in Canada. Call us now to know where you stand.

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Hundreds of Thousands of international students study in the Canada each year. With an excellent higher-education system and hundreds of world-class universities, Canada promises a rich experience for international students.

What is a study permit/visa?

A study permit is a written authorization issued to foreign students authorizing them to engage in studies in Canada.

Foreign students are now a prescribed class of persons who may obtain temporary resident status and who have been issued study permits or who are authorized by the Regulations to study. Therefore, foreign students have the same obligations as temporary residents.

Do you need a study permit/visa?

You need to apply for a study permit if:

  • The program of study is six months or longer. (You may need a visitor visa depending on the country you are from)
  • You intend to apply for another program after your initial six month period.
  • You work on campus, take an internship/co-op class, or take a paid practical training course that is part of the educational program.

If you need to apply for a study permit, you need to be accepted by an educational institute first.

Students are required to demonstrate financial sufficiency for the first year of studies.

Persons exempt from the requirements for a study permit

Not everyone is required to obtain a study permit in order to study in Canada. A foreign national is exempt from the requirement of a study permit in the following situations:

Here are examples of people who may not need a Canada study permit:

  1. Academic program less than six months in duration: – Regulation 188 (1) (c) – Duration of the Program of studies is less than six months. Foreign nationals who will be in Canada for less than 6months as a visitor can enrol in a program of study without the need of a Canada Study Permit. “This six-month criterion helps to facilitate easy access to short-term courses, regardless of their subject matter.
  2. Diplomats and foreign representatives:- Regulation 188 (1) (a) – Diploma/foreign Representatives “ Family member or members of the private staff of foreign accredited representatives do not require a study permit”
  3. Military Personnel:- Regulation 188 (1) (b) – Pursuant to the Visiting Forces Act, an individual member of the foreign army stationed in Canada does not require a Study Permit. It is noteworthy mentioning that family members are not “Study Permit Exempt”. However, minor children of a “member” are governed by virtue of subsection A (30)(2) of the IRPA ‘2002’.
  4. Article 30 (2) – MINOR CHILDREN :- “A Minor already IN Canada is authorized to study without a study permit at the pre-school, primary or secondary level, with the exception of a minor whose parents are temporary residents not authorized to Work or Study”
Don't forget!

The following cases apply to Minor Children that are exempt from a Study Permit:

  • Minor Children attending kindergarten.
  • Minor Children of Refugee Claimants or who are refugees themselves.
  • Minor Children accompanied by their parents who are authorized, to work and/or study in Canada.[/callout]

Student requirements

1. Letter of Admission

Preferably Original letter of Acceptance signed by an officer of the University. The following information below can be included in the offer of Admission/Letter of Acceptance:

  • Full name, date of birth and mailing address of student.
  • Name of the Institution and official contact.
  • Telephone, fax, website address, email of the Institution (Simon Fraser).
  • Course/Program Level.
  • Estimated Duration of Course.
  • Full-time/Part-time Course.
  • Tuition Fee.
  • Valid letter of Acceptance.
  • Licensing information for private institutions normally confirmed through letterhead.

2. Proof of Funds

Most Canadian immigration officers interpret “evidence of sufficient funds” to mean a Bank Statement, saving account, Bank draft, or any other proof that can show/indicate that the student in question has sufficient funds to cover the cost of his/her education. “Students are required to demonstrate financial sufficiency for only the first year of studies, regardless of the duration of the course or program of studies in which they are enrolled.

The following table shows the minimum amounts that you will need.

Number of PersonsAll Provinces Except QuebecQuebec
Single studentTuition plus $10,000 for a
12- month period ( or $833 per month )
Tuition plus $11,000 for a 12-month period
( or $917 per month )
+ One family member$4,000 for a 12-month period
( or $333 per month )
$5,100 more for a person 18 years of age or older for a 12-month period ( or $425 per month ) $3,800 more for a person under 18 years of age for a 12-month period (or $317 per month)
+ Each additional family member$3,000 for a 12-month period per dependent child of any age
( or $255 per month )
$5,125 more for a person 18 years of age or older for a 12-month period ( or $427 per month ) $1,903 more for a person under 18 years of age for a 12-month period (or $159 per month )

How to apply?

This application includes the following items:


Working while studying in Canada?

Please consult the work permit for students section if you plan on working in Canada while you are studying.