Congratulations on choosing Canada as a place to study! You’re among others who have recognized the benefits of studying here. In fact, a 2017 survey of international students by ICEF Monitor (an organization that measures international education), the tops three reasons students chose to study in the country are:
- The reputation of Canada’s education system (82% said this was “essential” or “very important” to their decision)
- Canada’s generally tolerant and non-discriminatory society (79%)
- Canada’s reputation as a safe country (78%)
Starting your study experience in Canada will begin with research into the educational institution you wish to attend. With the broad mix of opportunities, you’ll want to determine which school offers the program you want, in the region you want. Once you’ve figured out your top choice, and determined that they are accepting international students (most do), it’s time to send off your request for acceptance and see if you are selected.
The 2017 ICEF survey also found that 95% of students felt they are achieving success in meeting the demands of their academic program. This may mean that international students are having positive results in choosing the right programs for their interests and skills.
The next requirement to studying in Canada is obtaining a study permit, although other documents like Temporary Resident Visas may also be required. To apply for a study permit you will need your letter of acceptance from a designated Canadian educational institution, have a criminal and background record check as well as a medical exam and proof of funds to cover tuition, living expenses and return transportation. Additionally you must prove that you will leave Canada (or apply for a post-graduate work permit) after the study permit expires.
Be sure to apply for your study permit as soon as you receive your letter of acceptance as processing times aren’t guaranteed. You will receive your study permit when you present your TRV or eTA upon arriving in Canada.
In order to stay in Canada as a student, certain conditions must be met. You must:
- Always be enrolled in a designated learning institution.
- Make progress towards completing your program.
- Respect any conditions listed on your study permit/ stop studies if you no longer meet the requirement.
- Leave Canada when your permit expires.
Conditions on your study permit can include the level of studies you may attend, eligibility to work in Canada, travel restrictions and the date you must stop studying.
Your study permit is not your admission into Canada, you are also likely to need a temporary resident visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTA) which will be issued as part of the study permit application.
Generally, your study permit is good for the length of your studies plus 90 days to prepare to leave Canada or arrange to extend your stay.