Study Permits and Visas

In most instances, a study permit is required for all foreign nationals studying in Canada. A study permit is not an entry visa; instead, it is the authorization letter to study issued to a prospective student. It must be presented or obtained at the port of entry to Canada. Some personal circumstances and exemptions may make a permit unnecessary to study per IRCC regulation. However, an applicant must always obtain a temporary resident visa (TRV) to enter Canada. The TRV or eTA is issued automatically if the application for a study permit is approved.

Eligibility and Application Process

Students that have obtained a letter of acceptance from a designated learning institution (DLI) are encouraged to apply online. Students can follow either the regular study permit application stream or the Student Direct Stream (SDS). IRCC processes most SDS applications within 20 calendar days, unlike the standard process that lasts several months. Students applying under the SDS stream must present either of the two IRCC acceptable language tests. The tests include the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) academic or general training and Test d’évaluation de français (TEF). To qualify, an applicant must have obtained 6.0 or higher in each skill in IELTS, or a TEF score equivalent to a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) score of 7 or more.

The student must demonstrate that they have sufficient funds for tuition, living expenses, and the cost of returning to one’s country of permanent residence or citizenship. One should also submit a police clearance showing no criminal records and a medical fitness report from a designated panel physician. Finally, notwithstanding the application stream used by an applicant, they must satisfy a visa officer that they are sincere and will leave Canada at the end of the study program.

What are the keys to a successful application?

One of the critical documents accompanying a study permit application is the letter of explanation. The applicant or their representative uses the letter to advocate for the applicant. The letter’s content and tone help the officer understand the applicants’ study goals while demonstrating critical reasons the student wishes to study in Canada. The applicant must also show proof of adequate funds and strong ties to their country to convince an officer that they will return to it at the end of their study.

How we can help with your Canadian study plans

Elboniel Consultants can advise students on study permit exemptions and arrange general and country-specific documents to meet stream requirements. We will write a comprehensive letter of explanation, submit a complete application, and correspond with IRCC during the application processing period.

Studying Without A Study Permit

Students enrolled in part-time or full-time studies, six months or less in duration, may be exempt from needing a study permit.

Other exemptions are for:
  • Minor children inside Canada
  • Family members and members of the private staff of accredited foreign representatives
  • Members of the armed forces of a country designated for the purposes of the Visiting Forces Act
  • Registered Indians

We can advise people in such situations.