Study Permits are for Foreign Nationals who wish to study at an educational institution in Canada. Dependents (either a spouse or children), of those who are temporarily residing in Canada on a Work Permit or Temporary Resident Permit are required to obtain a Study Permit in order to Study in Canada. These dependents will receive a Study Permit which has the same validity as the holder of the Work Permit or Temporary Resident Permit.
Minor children who are planning on attending pre-school, primary school, or secondary school are not required to obtain a Study Permit, (except for children who are accompanying their parents who hold Temporary Resident Visas).
All Foreign Nationals who have attained the age of majority at the time of application must obtain a Study Permit to attend any educational institution. In order to apply for the Study Permit, the Foreign National must provide proof of acceptance into an approved institution, evidence of sufficient funds to pay for tuition and living costs, and demonstrate the intention to return home upon the completion of studies. Typically, the Foreign National will receive a Study Permit which is valid for one year. The Foreign National will have to apply for a renewal of the Study Permit at the end of each school year.
Foreign Nationals who obtain a Study Permit are prohibited from engaging in employment in Canada, unless they apply for and obtain a Work Permit in addition to their Study Permit. There are certain exceptions to this rule, please contact our office for further information regarding Study Permits and employment.
Off-Campus Work Permit Program
On April 27, 2006, Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced that foreign students in Canada can work off campus if they meet certain eligibility requirements. CIC is now accepting applications for work permits under the Off-Campus Work Permit Program. If you are a foreign student studying in Canada, you must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for a work permit under the Off-Campus Work Permit Program:
- you must have a valid study permit;
- you must have studied full time at an eligible institution for at least six months out of the 12 months before you apply;
- you must maintain satisfactory academic standing (as defined by your academic institution);
- you must be enrolled in an academic program of study; and
- you must comply with the conditions of your study permit and your work permit, if applicable. If you fail to do so, you will be found to be in non-compliance and will not be able to re-apply for the program.
The following classes of foreign students in Canada are not eligible for a work permit under the Off-Campus Work Permit Program:
- Foreign students who are not studying at publicly funded post-secondary educational institutions;
- Students who are not enrolled at a participating institution, and
- All exchange students, guest students, students enrolled in English or French second language programs, and students who have received awards from the Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program, the Government of Canada Awards Program or the Canadian International Development Agency, or students who in the past did not comply with the conditions of their study or work permit.
Foreign students under this program are able to work anywhere in Canada as long as they remain a full-time student in satisfactory academic standing while classes are in session and comply with the conditions of their work permit.
In some cases, there may be restrictions on the type of job a foreign student can hold. For example, the student may be required to undergo a medical examination for some occupations.
Once the work permit is issued, the student can work up to 20 hours per week off campus while classes are in session. The student can also work full time during scheduled breaks, including summer or winter holidays and reading weeks.
While classes are in session, the student must be studying full time and retain satisfactory academic standing in order to keep the work permit.
Foreign Nationals who plan to visit Canada for more than six (6) months, and who have resided in certain countries within a year prior to their arrival in Canada will be required to undergo a medical examination prior to being granted a Study Permit.
Provincial Health Coverage
A Foreign National, who holds a Study Permit, is not covered under the Provincial Health Coverage plans. We strongly suggest that you obtain private insurance to cover you during your stay in Canada. See the link on our home page. For further information regarding the procedures for applying for a Study Permit, please contact our office.