Work and Study in Canada Guide for International Students

To study in Canada (undergraduate, postgraduate or any other level) for more than 6 months, you must apply for a study permit and a temporary residence visa .

Canada study permit – Study in Canada

Those who wish to pursue a program that lasts less than 6 months can apply for a visitor visa. The applicant is required to complete the studies in the period for which he has been authorized to stay in Canada.

The study permit is issued to people who wish to study full time and take a recognized course (longer than 6 months) at a Canadian academic institution.

This type of visa allows you to study and work. Work activities may be carried out on a limited time, while the course is in activity, and full time, during the academic vacation period.

To do this, the student must apply for a work permit in Canada, which can be requested once the student has started their course.

Obtaining a student visa in Canada

Obtaining a student visa can take several weeks. The application must be submitted directly to the embassy or through the visa application centers (VACs) of each country.

Generally, short language courses (less than 6 months) do not require obtaining a study permit. However, in some cases, it may be appropriate to request it, even if the candidate does not need it right away.

The two main advantages of having a study permit are obtaining the right to work part-time on campus and the ability to apply for a student visa renewal without leaving Canada, should the student decide to continue studying their education in the country.

When a candidate applies for a study permit when it is not necessary (in case of studying for less than 6 months), he must submit a letter describing his reasons.

Simply explain that after completing the short course, he would like to enroll in a Canadian university, for which a study permit is required.

General requirements to obtain a study permit in Canada

To obtain a study permit in Canada, the candidate must meet a series of requirements and present several documents.

The requirements and documents are described below:

  • Have and present a valid passport . If traveling with the family, each family member must have a valid passport.
  • Submit two recent photographs (passport size) of the applicant and each accompanying family member. The name and date of birth of the person must be written on the back of each photo. More information about the characteristics of the photo, here
  • Demonstrate that acceptance has been received by a school, college or university in Canada, presenting the respective letter of acceptance.
  • Be in good health and be willing to prove it by undergoing a medical examination . The results of medical examinations can take up to three months.
  • Prove that you do not have a criminal record and that you do not constitute a risk to the security of Canada. If you are traveling with your family, the police certificate may also be required for family members over 18 years of age.
  • Submit proof that you will return to your country of origin after completing your studies.
  • Submit proof that you have the necessary money to pay for your studies and support, including that of your family, if applicable.

The documents that are accepted as evidence of economic sufficiency are the following:

  1. Proof of opening a Canadian bank account in the applicant’s name and transfer of funds to Canada.
  2. Evidence that you have a student loan from a financial institution.
  3. Evidence that you have a scholarship or that you are enrolled in an educational support program financed by Canada.
  4. The applicant’s bank statements for the last four months.
  5. A bank draft in convertible currency.
  6. Proof of payment of university tuition.
  7. A letter from the person or institution that is financing the studies.

Specific amounts for child support

The Government of Canada requires specific amounts for child support. University tuition is not included, the amount of which depends on the type of studies carried out and the academic institution chosen.

The economic funds that are required of a student in Canada for maintenance are the following:

  • A single student: $10 thousand for a period of 12 months or $833 per month.
  • For the spouse: $4 thousand for a period of 12 months or $333 per month.
  • For each dependent child of any age: $3,000 for a 12-month period or $255 per month.

The Quebec government requires other amounts for child support:

  1. A single student: $11 thousand for a period of 12 months or $917 per month.
  2. For the spouse or family member over 18 years of age: $5,100 thousand for a period of 12 months or $425 per month.
  3. For the spouse or relative under 18 years of age: $3,800 thousand for a period of 12 months or $317 per month.
  4. For each dependent child over the age of 18: $5,125 for a 12-month period or $427 per month.
  5. For each dependent child under the age of 18: $1,903 for a 12-month period or $159 per month.

Obtaining a study permit for federal Canada

The study permit application is a relatively simple process that can be done online, through the official website of the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

It is also possible to apply directly at the embassy or consular headquarters. In some Latin American countries there is no Canadian embassy or, if there is, it does not provide consular services, in such cases it is necessary to use the services of the Canadian embassy in another country.

The application form and other documents required for obtaining the study permit can be obtained from the official website.

More information:

Obtaining a study permit for Quebec

To study in Quebec, at all levels of education, in addition to the study permit, you must obtain a Certificate of Acceptance or CAQ, for its French acronym “Certificat d’acceptation du Québec”, issued by the Quebec government.

The request for this certificate can be made online through the official website of the Ministry of Immigration and Cultural Communities of Quebec.

Health insurance in Canada

Although it is not a requirement to obtain a study permit, it is important that before traveling the interested party obtain insurance that provides adequate coverage during their stay. Medical care and hospital fees for illness or accident in Canada can be very high.

In most Canadian provinces, foreign students are not covered by the health insurance system. Each province has different systems.

Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan have health plans for foreign students, for which they must register with the institution that administers the provincial health insurance, in order to guarantee their receipt.

The provinces of Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Quebec do not cover international students in their medical plans.

In these cases, international coverage insurance must be obtained before leaving the country of origin.

Preparing a student visa application file (study permit) is a long and meticulous process that requires a lot of planning on the part of the interested party.

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