Canada offers world-class education and the chance for international students to obtain Canadian work experience. Many international students choose to remain in Canada to work after graduation and then apply for permanent resident (PR) status.
Obtaining Canadian education is one of the best investments you can make for your future. Click here to learn why people are choosing to study in Canada.
How does it work
Below is an illustration of the steps to becoming an international student in Canada at the post-secondary level.
Obtaining a letter of acceptance
A Letter of Acceptance (LOA) is a document issued by a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) once you are accepted into a study program. Post-secondary students must provide the LOA to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) when applying for a study permit.
Proof of available funds
It is important to demonstrate that you have the funds to pay for the tuition and fees for the first academic year, and for your living expenses in Canada for the first year. Bank statements and student Guaranteed Investment Certificates are the most common proof of funds. If the length of your program is longer than one year, you also need to provide proof that you have the financial means to support your entire stay in Canada.
The required documents to submit your study permit application are the following:
- Digital photo
- Letter of acceptance
- Proof of funds
- Secondary and post-secondary transcripts and certificates from schools you attended
- Proof of upfront medical exam (if applicable)
The officer assessing your study permit application must be convinced that your main purpose for seeking entry to Canada is to study. A well-written explanation letter (also known as SOP) may help strengthen your application. Depending on your situation, you may want to submit additional supporting documents.
Submitting a study permit application to IRCC
Study permit applications are submitted online. You can submit your application on paper if you have a valid reason such as having a disability preventing you from submitting an application online. The processing time takes around 12 weeks, so ensure that you submit your application early.
If your application is approved and you are from a visa-required country, you will get a passport request letter. You will also get the introduction letter to present to the border officer when you arrive in Canada.
In case of a negative decision, you will receive a letter containing a generic explanation of why your application has been refused. Read the most common grounds for refusal here.
What to do if you receive a refusal letter
There are many reasons a visa officer may refuse your application, the officer will usually leave notes into the Global Case Management System (GCMS) about why your application has been refused. It is important to address the reasons for the refusal to get a different outcome in your second application. We can help you obtain a copy of the assessing officer’s GCMS notes, contact us.
Arrival in Canada
You’ll need to present yourself for immigration inspection at the first port of entry. If you are from a designated country, ensure that your medical exam is still valid on the day you arrive in Canada. There may be travel restrictions in place, so make sure you are aware of this.
International students can help their spouses apply for an open work permit and their dependents apply for visitor visas or study permits. Depending on your situation, you may be able to arrive in Canada together or they can arrive in Canada at a later time. Learn how your family can join you in Canada.
How an immigration consultant can help
Our experienced immigration consultant will help you obtain a study permit to complete your study program in Canada. We provide guidance and advise you on the best approach to take. We will be involved in every step of the process.
Studying in Canada is a big investment and you want to do this right. With our extensive experience focusing on study permit applications, we are able to alert you of any aspects of your application that may cause a refusal. Save time, money and frustration by letting us take over your application.