While applying for your Canadian study (student) visa, you need to remember that you can only get it if a Designated Learning Institution has already accepted you into their academic program. Moreover, depending on the bilateral agreements that might exist between Canada and your country, you’ll need either an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization) or a TRV (Temporarily Resident Visa) to enter Canada.
Eligibility for a student visa
If your application for a study opportunity in a Canadian Designated Learning Institution has been accepted, you’ll need to apply for a study visa. To get the visa, you must:
- Demonstrate that you have sufficient funds for:
- Tuition fees
- Your living expenses and also for accompanying family member, if any
- Be admissible in Canada on security, medical, and security grounds.
- Pass a mandatory medical exam
- Satisfy IRCC that you’ll exit Canada once you finish your studies—unless your application for an extension of your stay is accepted.
- You may not need a student visa in order to join a Canadian DLI if:
- You are pursuing a short-term study program lasting for less than 180 days.
- You are an eligible family of a foreign diplomat who represents their country in Canada or a family of persons working for the UN in Canada.
- You are in Canada as per the Visiting Forces Act—family members of foreign armed forces who are in Canada pursuant to the Act don’t need a study permit to join a Canadian DLI.
- You are categorized as a RIC (Registered Indian in Canada)
Extending a Study Visa
You may renew your soon-to-expire study visa and prolong your stay in Canada. To do so, you need to submit your renewal application no less than 30 days before your visa expires.
International students who choose to change their schools or study programs must apply for a change of their study permit conditions.
Restoration of status
If an international student has lost their status in Canada, they may apply for restoration. They must make the application for status restoration no more than three months after losing it. However, your status won’t be restored if you have violated any of the conditions imposed on your permit.
You will continue to stay in the country while you wait for a decision on your application for status restoration. However, there is no assurance that you’ll receive a positive response on your application to restore your status. Nonetheless, if you provide enough details of the circumstances and facts that made you lose your status, there’re high chances that IRCC will accept your application.
Healthcare for international students
Canada doesn’t pay for international student’s medical costs. International students should arrange for a health insurance medical cover, which falls under the jurisdiction of the person’s province of study/residency.
Get in touch with your IDL for more information on their recommended health insurance covers for international students.
Working while studying
A full-time international student may be eligible for off-campus or on-campus work. Sometimes, such work doesn’t need a work permit. However, there are some conditions that the person must fulfill before starting to work while studying. These conditions depend on factors such as:
- The type of institution
- The type of study program
- Location of work
You can bring along your family.
While in Canada pursuing your certificate, diploma, or degree, you can bring your family along to live with you. They include:
- Your common-law partner or spouse
- Dependent children
Spousal open work permit
If you bring your spouse or common-law partner to live with you in Canada while pursuing your studies, they may apply to work in Canada. Canada allows such persons to enter the job market only if they have applied and received an Open Work Permit (OWP). The permit given will be valid for the duration of the spouse’s study program.
PGWP-Post Graduate Work Permit
After graduating from a Canadian DLI (particularly post-secondary school), you may apply for a post-graduation work permit. The permit allows you extra three years to stay in Canada after your studies, enabling you to acquire the working experience you need for your career. The PGWP is also an excellent route to getting a Canadian resident permit.
An international student does not need to have an LMIA (Labor Market Impact Assessment) or a confirmed job offer with a Canadian employer to acquire the PGWP. However, you may need to note the following important facts before applying for a post-graduation open work permit.
- You may not be eligible for a PGWP if more than three months (90 days) have passed after receiving a written confirmation from your DLI that you have successfully completed your study program.
- You can only apply for a PGWP if you still have a valid status in Canada. Your student visa shouldn’t have expired by the time you apply for the post-graduation work permit.