Do I need a study permit?
First, what is a study permit?
The study permit is issued by the Canadian government allowing foreign nationals to study at designated learning institutions (DLI) in Canada, which is a school approved by a provincial or territorial government to host international students.
Does everybody need a study permit?
Some people don’t need a permit to study in Canada, for example, if your course or program is for six months or less AND your studies aren’t part of a longer program. In this case, you will complete all your studies within the time the government approved you to stay in Canada, usually six months after your arrival.
You also won’t need a study permit if you are family or staff of foreign representatives, like embassy’s workers; members of foreign armed forces on official duties in Canada; or citizens of countries who have Registered Indian status in Canada.
Minor children will not need a study permit if:
- he/she is in kindergarten
- he/she is a refugee or refugee claimants
- the child has parents who are refugees or refugee claimants or want to go to pre-school, primary school or
- the child, who is living in Canada and will attend secondary school is accompanying at least one parent who is allowed to work or study in Canada.
However, when a minor child is studying in Canada without a permit, as soon as they reach the age of majority, depending on where they live, they must apply for a permit if they want to keep studying.
So, who needs a study permit?
As a foreign national, if you are not one of the exceptions mentioned above, you are required to obtain a study permit.
The rule applies when you want to engage in academic, professional, vocational or other education or training that is more than 6 months in duration at a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada.
During the time you are studying in Canada, you have to obey some procedures:
- You must always be enrolled at a designated learning institution and work towards completing your program
- You must respect any conditions listed on your study permit
- You must stop studying if you no longer meet the requirements and
- You must leave Canada when your permit expires, which is usually valid for the length of your study program, plus an extra 90 days. The government gives you an extra time to prepare to leave Canada or in case you want to stay longer and extend your stay.
A very important information that many students don’t know is that if you finish your studies early, your permit will stop being valid 90 days after you complete your studies (no matter what day is printed on the study permit).
Generally, you must apply for a study permit before you come to Canada. Even if you don’t have to apply for a study permit, there are situations where we recommend applying for.
We say this because if you have a study permit, you are allowed to continue studying while you renew your permit. Also, if you get a study permit before you come to Canada, you can renew your permit and keep studying in Canada while waiting for your new permit as you will have implied status.
Still not sure if you need a study permit? Contact us for more information!