Student Visa/Study Permit


While the majority of students coming to Canada to study will require a study permit, there are a few cases when an international student may be exempt. It’s an option for those looking for short-term programs, minor children as well as certain other individuals.

If you are looking at a program from a post-secondary institution in Canada that is less than six months in length, you do not need a study permit. You will need a Temporary Resident Visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization. Additionally, those who are family members or private staff of diplomats do not require a study permit, nor do members of foreign armed forces from certain countries.

Minor children who will be attending pre-school, primary or secondary school in Canada do not need a study permit when they are the children of temporary students or workers, Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

You may still want to apply for a study permit even if it isn’t a requirement. Why? Because you will be able to keep studying and renew your study permit while you are in Canada or because you are in Canada but can’t start your program without the permit.

Talk to us to determine if you need a study permit or not and we can help with all the application details.


International students can help stretch their budgets and make their education possible by working during and after their study period. There are five different types of work permits that related to a study permit. Each has its own distinct rules and requirements and we can help you determine which is right for you and/or your family (as is the case with the dependent work permit). This work option helps students gain valuable work experience in Canada which may be beneficial later.

This is often the case for students who come to Canada and want to experience all that the country has to offer. By taking advantage of both work and study opportunities, it’s easier to get a feel for the country and from this experience many international students have decided to apply for permanent resident status and make Canada their home.

Work while studying and after studying includes various options;

The On-Campus option allows you work on your school’s campus for up to 20 hours a week. You will need to apply for a Social Insurance Number. You must be registered as a full-time post-secondary school student and the on-campus work must be for an employer located on the campus grounds such as the school, a faculty member, student organization or a private business on campus. You may work as many hours as you like as many jobs as you want on-campus. There are no limits.

The Off-Campus choice allows for part-time work (20 hours a week) off campus during school semesters and full-time (anything over 30 hours a week) between semesters. To work off-campus, you must be studying full-time at a designated learning institution, hold a valid study permit, remain in satisfactory academic standing, be studying in a program of at least six months that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate.

If any of the above requirements change, the student must stop working off-campus. There are other situations where students are not eligible to work off-campus, such as those in English as a Second Language (ESL) programs. If you wish to work off-campus while studying in Canada, we can help you understand the choice available and how they apply to your unique needs.

A Co-op/Internship option allows work only as an intern or co-op student as part of the course curriculum. These students require mandatory work placement or internship as part of their program and must apply for a co-op or intern work permit in addition to their study permit.

Post-Graduate Work Permits allow for full-time work for the same duration (to a maximum of three years) as the degree or diploma program you completed once you have graduated. This work may help towards an application for permanent residency.

This program is an effort to retain students by allowing them to work for any Canadian employer in any industry. This delivers that Canadian work and live experience and often sees post-graduate students apply for permanent residence of later Canadian citizenship. Once the study program is complete (and the written notification of eligibility for degree, diploma or certificate is proven), the student has 180 days to apply for a work permit.

The dependent Work Permit allows a spouse to receive an open work permit if they accompany you during your studies.

Student Pathways to Permanent Residence allows students to stay in the country and contribute to their own experiences as well as to the benefit of the country. This generally begins with the Post-Graduate Work Permit before applying for permanent residence status. Many former international students have made use of programs like Canadian Experience Class, Quebec Experience Class or Provincial Nominee Programs in order to fast track their eligibility as a permanent resident.

Not sure which option applies to you? Ask us for help and we can make your dreams of studying in Canada come true.


Another option for students to study in Canada is via the Student Direct Stream. This program is available to legal residents of China, India, the Philippines and Vietnam and will allow for faster study permits. It is important to note that to be eligible for the Student Direct Stream prospective students must be citizens of these countries and reside there. If the prospective student doesn’t reside in one of these countries – even if they are a citizen – they will need to apply through the standard study permit process.

Just like with the other study programs, the first step in the Student Direct Stream is to determine the right school for your education and location needs. Once you have a letter of acceptance for the institution you can prepare your application with medical exam confirmation, guaranteed funds, proof of tuition fees and proof of graduation from a Canadian high school or a language test to prove language capabilities in either English and/or French.

For your application, you will need a copy of your acceptance letter from your preferred school, a copy of your medical exam confirmation, proof of a Guaranteed Investment Certificate of $10,000, proof of payment of your first year’s tuition, proof of graduation from a Canadian curriculum high school or a language test result of at least 6 for English or at least 7 for French.

Be sure that your application is complete to speed to process along. If anything within your application does not fit the Student Direct Stream process, your application will still be reviewed, but under a regular study permit process without the accelerated processing times.

If approved, you will receive a letter of introduction to show the immigration officer upon arrival in Canada. You will also need to show your visitor visa.

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