Convert Visitor Visa To Study Permit in Canada

Canada, known for its world-class education system, attracts thousands of international students each year. However, a common misunderstanding among tourists visiting Canada on a ‘Visitor Visa’ is the belief that they can easily transition to a ‘Student’ status. This article aims to dispel this misconception and guide you through the correct process.

canadian study visa refusal

Firstly, we must clarify a common misunderstanding among tourists who visit Canada on a Visitor Visa to study. Many assume they can easily transition from ‘Visitor’ to ‘Student’ once accepted into an institute by simply filing a request while in the country. This belief, known as ‘preconceived intent,’ is a misunderstanding that could lead to a refusal of your study permit application. It’s essential to be aware of this potential challenge and plan accordingly.

Additionally, immigration officials face challenges in conducting background checks on foreign visitors who are already in Canada. This could cause delays in processing your study permit application, consequently delaying your visa.

Eligibility to Apply for a Study Permit on a Canadian Visitor Visa

  • You must have enrolled at a DLI (Designated Learning Institution).
  • You need to prove that you have sufficient funds for your tuition fees, living expenses, and return transportation for yourself and your family members who come with you.
  • You must furnish a police certificate to prove you have no criminal record.
  • You must be in good health and get a medical examination.
  • You must prove to your immigration office that you will leave Canada once your study permit expires.

Apply for Student Direct Stream (SDS) for Faster Process

You can apply online through the Student Direct Stream (SDS) and get your study permit faster. When submitting their study permit application, most students must provide a provincial attestation letter (PAL) from the province or territory where they intend to study. Without this PAL, your application will likely be rejected, and fees may be incurred. In most cases, SDS applications are processed within 20 calendar days. You need to provide:

  • Give your biometrics to avoid getting delayed.
  • You must ensure you meet all the eligibility requirements.
  • The processing fee is $CAN150.

NOTE: You need a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ issued by Quebec’s provincial government) to study.

Steps to Make Transition from Visitor Visa to Study Permit in Canada

The process for transitioning from a tourist visa to a study permit in Canada involves several steps:

  1. Secure a Canadian Tourist Visa.
  2. Enter Canada as a tourist.
  3. Enroll in language classes at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada.
  4. Complete the language courses and obtain a Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from the DLI.
  5. Submit an application for a Study Permit within Canada.

Bring Your Spouse to Canada on a Visitor Visa

Get assistance from licensed RCIC experts for your Spouse’s Visitor Visa Application.

Helpful Tips To Change Visitor Visa To Study Permit

  • Enrolling in a prerequisite short-term course within 6 months is essential for a successful transition from a tourist visa to a study visa. The educational institution offering the course must be included in the DLI list.
  • You can apply for a study visa after completing the short-term course and obtaining the university acceptance letter.
  • Conditional acceptance requires completing prerequisite courses such as English or French as secondary languages before commencing the primary study program.
  • The study permit duration will be limited to the length of these courses plus an additional year.
  • Upon admission to the main program, a new student permit must be applied to extend the student stay.

Case Study: Inland Transition from Tourist Visa to Study Permit in Canada

In 2023, a family, let’s call them Harpreet and her husband, along with their child on a study permit, arrived in Vancouver, Canada, on tourist visas. They were in search of immigration solutions. After a comprehensive evaluation of their situation, a strategy was formulated: Harpreet would apply for a study permit as a visitor in Canada, enabling her to pursue her passion for healthcare while her husband could secure a spousal work permit. Once the husband’s work experience met the requirements for Canada Permanent Residence, the entire family would apply for permanent residency.

Initially, the family was drawn to the Greater Vancouver area due to its vibrant healthcare industry. However, the husband faced challenges due to his limited English proficiency and other factors. Despite the opportunity for skilled workers in the healthcare sector to be nominated through the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), his score was not high enough for a nomination. To mitigate risks, they settled in Saskatchewan, a province with less stringent requirements and competition.

Harpreet enrolled in a language class at a DLI-approved private school after it became clear that meeting the language admission standards of DLI-accredited public schools within the required time would be challenging for her. After completing the language class requirements, she successfully applied for a professional course offer at a healthcare college and obtained her study permit.

Subsequently, she transferred to a public healthcare college in Saskatchewan, and her child was admitted to a local public elementary school for free. Additionally, her husband’s spousal work permit application was successful. Following our plan, her husband found a job in the healthcare sector and submitted a provincial nomination after working for half a year. Recently, the entire family successfully obtained Canadian permanent residency. This story inspires many who dream of transitioning from a visitor visa to a study permit in Canada.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long is the study permit valid when converted from a visitor visa?

The validity of the study permit, when converted from a visitor visa within Canada, is determined based on the duration of the course.

Do I need to leave the country if the 6-month validity period of the tourist visa is about to expire after submitting the study permit application?

No, you don’t need to leave the country. Once you submit your study permit application, your residence status will be transferred to Maintained Status until you receive the result of the study permit application.

How long is the visa valid for the applicant’s children or spouse?

The visa validity period for the children or spouse of the travel transfer applicant is usually the same as the validity period of the applicant’s study permit.

Contact our team of experts if you need help with a Visitor Visa to Study Permit Transition. We have helped hundreds of international students and their families to obtain a Visitor Visa and later Permanent Residency.

Read More: Visitor Visa to Work Permit Canada

Trending Stories

Work Permits Extensions for Manitoba PNP 2024

Canada Announces Work Permit Extensions for MPNP Candidates

IRCC approved a temporary measure to extend temporary resident status to potential nominees whose work…
Proof of Funds Express Entry Canada 2024
New Proof of Funds Requirements for Express Entry 2024
New Work Permit for Hong Kong Residents in Canada
New Open Work Permit Policy for Hong Kong Residents in Canada
BC PNP Changes 2024 2025
BC PNP Changes 2024-2025: New Graduate Streams and Language Requirements
PGP 2024 update: The Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is set to issue 35,700 invitations with a goal of approving 20,500 applications.
IRCC Update: Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) Reopens for 2024

Start Your Canadian Immigration Journey!

Make your Canadian dream a reality. Start your Canadian immigration process with trusted and licensed experts.