In order to study in Canada for longer than 6 months, most foreign nationals need to obtain a Canadian study permit. This study permit serves as a Canadian student visa and allows you to study in Canada at an approved institute for the duration of your study program.
In some cases, you do not require a study permit to go to school in Canada:
- If the course or program you intend to study is less than 6 months in duration.
- If you are a family member or staff of a foreign representative to Canada.
- If you are a member of a foreign armed force.
However, you will still need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to Canada.
You can apply for a Canadian study permit either online or through a paper application, which can be obtained from the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/study-canada/study-permit/apply.html.
In order to submit your application, you will first need to:
1. Obtain a standardized letter of acceptance from a recognized higher education provider in Canada.
2. Get a Canadian student visa application package, either from the CIC website (http://www.cic.gc.ca), by contacting your local visa office, or from the Canadian embassy or consulate in your home country.
3. In order to get your application package, you will need to answer a few questions about yourself on the CIC website. These questions will determine whether you are eligible to apply online for a Canadian student permit, and what documents you will need to provide. You will also receive an application guide and guidelines for your next steps.
Processing times for a Canadian study permit vary. Paper applications typically take about twice as long as online applications. In order to check the processing times, visit: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/times/temp.asp