You’ve decided you’re going to study in Canada, your bags are packed and waiting by the door. You’ve fallen in love with the country and are ready to make a life for yourself here – at least for the next few years while you study.
But what’s this? You need a visa if your course is longer than six months? Well that’s thrown a spanner in the works. Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know…
First thing’s first, you’re going to need to apply to Canadian universities and for your student visa. Here’s our step by step guide on everything you need to do to make that happen.
So, you know how to apply, but what about the rest?
In short, your student visa is your key to studying and living in Canada for the duration of your studies.
According to Migration Expert, students can obtain student visas that allow them to live and study in Canada at Primary, Secondary and Tertiary-level education in either a vocational course or a professional capacity.
Students are able to explore the option of applying for a working visa after graduation or even for permanent residence.
Many international students who study in Canada wish to remain in the country once their studies come to an end. In fact, a recent survey by the Canadian Bureau of International Education (CBIE) found that 60 percent of international students hoped to stay after they graduate.
What do you need?
What you need to obtain your student visa varies depending on the level of study you are applying for, your qualifications and background as well as your nationality. But in general, you’re likely to need:
- A valid passport
- Proof that you’ve accepted an offer to study at an accredited academic institution in Canada
- Proof you have the financial means to study and live in Canada
- Evidence of your willingness to leave Canada once you complete your studies, e.g. family members living in your home country
- You must also prove you are criminally and medically admissible to enter the country
- You must show enthusiasm at the prospect of studying in Canada
We have a much more detailed piece on how to obtain your visa here.
What am I entitled to?
If you’ve been granted a Canadian student visa, you’re automatically eligible to undertake paid work throughout the academic year. You can gain valuable work experience in your host country, earn yourself a bit of extra cash you could put towards tuition, a treat or a weekend break, allowing you to really make the most of your time in Canada and maybe even make new friends.
After six months of studying in Canada, you will be eligible to apply for an ‘off-campus work visa’ which, if granted, will mean you are able to apply for and work a job off campus.
We have an article that details working rights here.
The majority of students are entitled to apply for a ‘post-graduation work visa’, making them eligible to remain in Canada for up to three years after their studies come to an end.
It’s even possible to gain permanent residence, as mentioned previously. So you may be able to gain clearance to work and live in Canada on a permanent basis.
You may also be entitled to a scholarship, bursary or an award from your university. Many institutions in Canada offer such incentives to help retain international students against competitors. It’s always worth asking the university if you’re not sure!
Now, get out there and start planning your exciting adventures in Canada. Happy visa-ing!