Study In Canada FAQ's

Study In Canada

Q. What is the procedure if one wants to study in Canada?

If you want to study in Canada, follow the steps given below.

  • You have to gain admission in a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI) which is duly recognised by the Canadian government.
  • Once you get an acceptance letter from a DLI, you can apply for a study permit either online or through mail.

Q. How much will I have to pay to study in Canada?

Each institution has its own tuition fees. If you want information on this matter, you will have to contact its administration department.

Q. Will I have to show proof of funds while applying for a study permit?

Yes, you do. All study applicants should provide proof that they will be able to meet the tuition fees and their own living expenses for the first year of studying there.

Take a look at the table given below that shows the minimum funds you will need as a student and for your accompanying family members.

Number of people All Canadian provinces (except Quebec)
A single student Tuition fee + $10,000 ($ 833 per month) for a 12-month time period
For an accompanying family member, you have to add: $4,000 ($333 per month) for a 12-month time period
For each additional family member, you have to add: $3,000 ($255 per month) for a 12-month time period per dependent child of any age

Q. Are a Study Permit and a Temporary Resident Visa different from one another?

Yes. A study permit allows international students to pursue their studies in Canada.

A Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) allows a person to enter Canada.

An international student may require a TRV for entry in Canada depending on their country of citizenship.

Q. Are there any scholarships available to international students in Canada?

Yes, for international students in Canada, they may be available from the following institutions:

  • Private
  • Government
  • Public

Q. Do I need IELTS or CAEL to submit a study permit application?

Yes, you do. If you seek admission to Canadian universities and colleges, you will in most cases be required to show results of IELTS or proof of language proficiency.

This is a requirement for admission, not for a Canadian Study Permit (unless you are applying through the Student Partner Program). Ask your chosen academic institution for details on this aspect.

  • Processing time for a study permit

This time varies depending on the visa office.

  • Procedure to apply to study in Quebec

For studying in Quebec, you have to first apply for

Applicants interested in studying in Quebec need to first apply for a Certificatd’acceptation de Quebec (CAQ) and then apply for a study permit.

  • Do I need a study permit for short courses?

If you have chosen a program that’s less than six months in duration, you don’t need a study permit. If the program has a time duration of more than six months, you would need a study permit.

  • What if a study permit application is refused?

You can re-apply with a new application.

  • Can I work while pursuing studies?

Yes, if you are an international student, you are eligible to work while studying in Canada. For this:

  • You should have a valid study permit.
  • You should be enrolled full-time in a DLI.

During your regular academic sessions, you will be allowed to work for up to 20 hours per week. You can work full-time in your scheduled breaks.

If you want to work on-campus, there is a list of criteria you should meet, such as holding a valid study permit, having a Social Insurance Number, etc.

To work off-campus, your study permit should be duly authorized by a visa officer. The exception to this rule is if you are enrolled in a full-time academic, professional, or vocational training program at a DLI. However, your study permit should show that you are authorized to work off-campus.

You must stop working the day you no longer meet the eligibility requirements. Also, note that if you are enrolled in English as a Second Language (ESL) or French as a Second Language (FSL) program, you are not authorized to work with a study permit.

Q. Can I stay in Canada after graduation?

There are many ways offered by the Canadian immigration policy to international students who want to stay in Canada post-graduation.

A popular option is an open work permit under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP).

Under this option, any individual who has studied full-time at a participating is eligible to apply for a PGWP.

If you gain enough work experience after graduation, you may qualify for permanent residence in Canada via several immigration programs.

In most cases, a PGWP is issued for the same duration as the applicant’s studies. It is between a minimum of eight months and a maximum of three years.

Q. Do I need to undergo a medical exam for a study permit?

You may have to if the visa officer deems it so.

Q. Do I require police clearance certificates for a study permit application?

Yes, you may need a criminal record check if you want to come to Canada as a student. You will have to get a police certificate from each country/territory you have lived in for six or more months consecutively since you turned 18.

The police certificates determine if the applicants have a criminal record and ensure visa officers that the applicants do not pose a security risk to Canada.

Q. If I change my institution, would I need a new study permit?

If you are transferring from one DLI to another, you have to notify the IRCC by updating your online account even if it is at the same study level. Also, you must ensure the new institution is a DLI.

Q. Can I include my spouse in the application?

If you are enrolled full-time in a qualified post-secondary institution and hold a valid study permit, your spouse/common-law partner is eligible to apply for an open work permit. This permit is valid for the same time period as your study permit.

In your application for the study permit, just indicate that your spouse/common-law partner will accompany you to Canada. In case your spouse/common-law partner wants to study in Canada, they shall have to submit their own application for a study permit.

Q. I am an international student. Can my dependent children accompany me to Canada?

Yes, they can but they will have to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

Q. I have a dependent child who will be studying in Canada. Will he/she require a separate study permit application?

If you are in Canada on a study or work permit, your accompanying minor child is eligible to study there without requiring a study permit. You have to indicate that your minor children will also study in Canada in your own application.

For your accompanying minor children, a letter of acceptance from a Canadian DLI is not required.

Your children will have to apply for a study permit to continue studies in Canada once they attain majority, which is usually 18 or 19 years of age. This age may differ in different provinces and territories.

Q. Can I come to Canada for a pre-study visit?

Yes, you can explore Canada as a visitor before you decide to study here. You just have to verify whether you need a TRV or an eTA to enter Canada. The citizens of some countries may need a visa to visit Canada.

Q. Can I submit an application without all the required documents, and update the application later?

You should ensure that all the required documents are attached with the completed application as the visa officer may base their decision on the initial application itself and the applicant may not get the chance to submit the missing document/s.

Q. Can my minor child study in Canada? What is custodianship?

Yes, they can if certain set requirements are met. These are:

  1. The minor child should either be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian.
  2. In case the minor is unaccompanied, they must have an appointed guardian who shall provide care and support to them while in Canada. This custodian should be a responsible adult Canadian citizen or permanent resident. To appoint a custodian for a minor child, the application for a study permit should include a Custodianship declaration form. This form should be signed by the custodian and the parents/legal guardians in the home country and be duly certified by a lawyer/notary wherever signed.

Also, the immigration officer must be convinced that once the minor child travels to Canada to study, they shall receive proper care and support.

Q. Can I apply for a study permit for a distance learning program?

As the student does not have to be physically present for a distance learning program, there is no need for you to apply for a study permit. In case this program includes an in-Canada portion, and the total length of the program exceeds six months, you have to apply for a study permit for the in-Canada portion. You shall receive the permit for the duration of the in-Canada portion only.

Q. Which immigration programs are available to international students who are interested in settling down permanently in Canada?

Several federal and provincial programs are available for international students who want to apply for immigration. In a few cases, this can be done without the requirement of a job offer. Additional CRS points are awarded to applicants with Canadian education and work experience.

Q. What is the Student Partners Program all about?

This is an administrative framework that was developed to streamline the visa application process of Indian and Chinese students studying in Canada by the IRCC and Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan).

Q. What is a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP?)

This is an open work permit. It is available to international students who have graduated from eligible Canadian educational institutions. It allows them to work for any employer anywhere in Canada.

Q. What are the eligibility criteria for a PGWP?

The criteria are:

  • You should be 18 years of age or older.
  • You should have studied full-time continuously in Canada in a study program that is at least eight months long.
  • You should have a document, like a certificate, official letter, etc. from your school that states that you have completed and passed all your program requirements.
  • You should have graduated from a:
  • Public post-secondary school like a college, trade/technical school or university, or CEGEP in Quebec


  • Private post-secondary schools follow the same rules as public schools. This currently applies only to certain private post-secondary institutions in Quebec.


  • Private secondary or post-secondary school (in Quebec) which offers qualifying programs that are 900 hours or longer, which leads to a diplômed’étudesprofessionnelles (DEP) or an attestation de spécialisationprofessionnelle (ASP).


  • Canadian private schools can legally award degrees (like Bachelors, Masters, or Doctorate) under provincial law but only if you enrolled in a study program that led to a degree authorized by the province.
  • You should apply for this permit within 180 days of confirmation of program completion.
  • You have a valid study permit at any point during those 180 days before applying for PGWP.

It is now possible for international students to start their program at a Canadian school online in fall 2020. They shall remain eligible for PGWP after the completion of their Canadian studies.

Q. Who is not deemed eligible for a PGWP?

You are ineligible if:

  • You have studied in a program less than eight months long;
  • While you have studied for longer, you have not studied continuously for eight months. For example, you took a semester off.
  • You have taken part in a Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program, or a Government of Canada Awards Program funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC).
  • You received funding from GAC.
  • You took part in the:
  • Equal Opportunity Scholarship: Canada-Chile
  • The Canada-China Scholars Exchange Program
  • Organization of American States Fellowships Program
  • You have completed a study program by distance learning:
  • either from abroad


  • from within Canada
  • You already had a post-graduation work permit post completion of another study program.

Q. When do I require a PGWP?

If, as a graduate, you do not intend to remain and work in Canada, you do not require a PGWP.

Q. How long will a PGWP remain valid?

The maximum period a PGWP is issued for is three years. It basically depends on the length of the graduate’s study program. If the study program is one year long, the PGWP is issued for one year.

In case the study program’s length is two years or more, the PGWP is issued for up to three years.

Q. When can I submit an application?

To apply for a PGWP, a candidate must have:

  • Completed and passed the program of study.
  • Received a notification of eligibility to receive their degree diploma/certificate.

A transcript or official letter can easily prove this. An application has to be submitted within 180 days of receiving a written confirmation that the candidate has completed their studies.

Q. How can I submit the application for a PGWP?

You can submit the application online or by mail to IRCC.

Q. What is the processing time for applying for a PGWP?

For an estimated processing time, you have to consult the Canada Visa Immigration Processing Times Tool.

Q. What are the application charges?

At present, the total fee for a PGWP is $255 CAD. This comprises:

  • The work permit fee – $155 CAD
  • The Open Work Permit Holder fee – $100 CAD

Q. Which documents are required for the application?

To check this, you will have to consult IRCC’s document checklist.

Q. As a graduate with a PGWP, do I have to remain in Canada?

No, you don’t. According to a 2019 IRCC update, all international students have to apply for PGWP after 180 days of the issue of their final marks by the school. Their study permit should be valid during these 180 days.

Q. Can a PGWP be renewed?

There is a maximum duration allowed for a PGWP depending on the holder’s study program length. The holder should apply for a different permit or visa when their PGWP is about to expire if they want to keep working in Canada.

Q. If a candidate has obtained a PGWP on the basis of a previous degree and then they complete another degree in Canada, can they apply for another PGWP?

However, many Canadian diplomas, degrees, or certificates an individual gets, they can still only receive one PGWP.

Q. Must the holder of a PGWP hold a skilled job?

While certain restrictions can apply, a PGWP holder can take up any job for any employer anywhere in Canada.

Q. Can I submit an application for permanent residence while applying for a PGWP?

Yes, you can pursue both programs at the same time.

Q. If I have studied part-time only in my last semester, can I still apply for a PGWP?

When a student has only one-two courses left in the program towards the end of their degree, they may study part-time in the last semester to meet the study program’s credit needs. In this case, the student is not considered to have failed the condition of full-time study and their PGWP eligibility stands unaffected.

Q. If a student has transferred to a Canadian institution from another country, can they still get a PGWP after graduating from a Canadian institution?

They can but it is only issued for a period equivalent to their study duration in Canada.

Q. Can I include my accompanying spouse/common-law partner in my PGWP application?

If your spouse/common-law partner wants to get an open work permit, they should submit a separate application.

To get an open work permit for an accompanying spouse/common-law partner, the PGWP holder will have to show that they are working in a skilled, managerial, or technical position. In this case, the spouse/common-law partner should submit documents relating to the international graduate’s PGWP and employment, along with their application for an open work permit for an accompanying spouse.

Q. Can I include children in the application?

Yes, you can apply for your children’s visitor record or study permit along with your PGWP application. You will have to pay additional fees and submit some extra documents.

Q. If my accompanying family members were included in the study permit, can they remain in Canada for the duration of my PGWP?

If your family members want to remain in Canada with you, they will have to apply for an appropriate permit.

Q. Is PGWP available to international graduates of Quebec’s educational institutions?

The eligibility criteria are the same for all international graduates of Quebec’s institutions.

The PGWP program recognizes programs that are unique to Quebec’s education system; however, the program completed should be at least 900 hours in length (an equivalent of 8 months).

The institutions deemed eligible include public or private secondary schools and private post-secondary schools. However, they should be recognized by the Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport (the Department of Education, Recreation and Sports (MELS)).

A PGWP that’s obtained after the completion of a study program in Quebec is valid throughout Canada.

Q. After having submitted a PGWP application, can I travel outside Canada and come back with my student permit?

Do note that a study/work permit is not a visa – it does not allow you to travel back to Canada.

If you have a valid TRV or eTA and your study permit has not expired, you can return to Canada. But if your TRV or eTA has expired, you will require a new one.

If you were outside of Canada and your PGWP application got approved, you can enter Canada as a worker. You may be asked by a border officer for proof that you applied for a PGWP when you return to Canada, like an application copy, fee receipt, etc.

Q. What is a bridging open work permit all about?

You can apply for a bridging open work permit if your post-graduation work permit is about to expire and you are still waiting for a decision on your Canada Experience Class (CEC) application. This permit helps qualified applicants, whose work permits are about to expire (within four months or less), to keep working till they get a final decision on their permanent residence application.

Q. Will my PGWP still be valid if my passport expires?

No, these are valid till the passport’s expiry date. You must renew your passport well in advance of applying for a PGWP.

Q. If I enroll in online courses while abroad in fall 2020, will I still be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit after moving to Canada?

Yes. All new international students can commence their programs at a Canadian DLI online in fall 2020 and complete up to 50 percent of it while abroad. They can still get the PGWP to work in Canada post completion of their studies.

Q. What is maintained status? How does it impact my PGWP application?

This status is applied for by a student or worker who wants to extend their status before it expires, to be able to stay in Canada until a decision is finalized regarding a new permit application.

Q. Do I have to submit an application for maintained status?

No. If you, or your family member, have applied for an extension of a previous permit, maintained status is automatically conferred upon the previous permit’s expiration while you are awaiting a decision on the application.

Q. How long does the maintained status last?

This status lasts until a decision is made on the application.

Q. Can an individual on maintained status still work?

If you are a temporary worker who has applied for a work permit extension for the same employer before your previous permit’s expiration, you can continue working under the previous permit’s conditions, which is for the same employer.

But if you have applied for a work permit for a different employer, you must stop working when the permit expires and wait for the final decision on the application.

Q. Can a student on maintained status still study?

If you are a student and have applied for a study permit extension before the previous permit’s expiration, you can continue studying under its conditions. But if you have applied for a study permit for a different institution, you should stop studying when the permit expires and wait for the final decision on the application.

Q. What will happen to maintained status if an application is refused?

If that happens, the applicant will be out of status in Canada. They can, in some situations, apply for status restoration.

Q. If someone on maintained status leaves Canada, can they re-enter it?

They can re-enter Canada as temporary residents if they have a multiple-entry visa or are temporary resident visa (TRV)-exempt.

If someone is from a country that requires a TRV leaves Canada to visit the United States or St Pierre and Miquelon, they are considered as TRV-exempt and can re-enter Canada as a temporary resident.

However, they cannot resume work or study after leaving and re-entering the country until they get a new work or study permit.

Q. Which documents are required to prove that someone is legally in Canada on maintained status?

In most cases, the application proof regarding permit extension is considered as proof of maintained status. If this application has been submitted during the validity period of the person’s previous permit, they remain on maintained status.

For hassle-free re-entry into Canada, individuals on maintained status should carry their application submission proof along with them.

Q. If I have applied for a different permit, can I still continue the activities allowed by the previous permit while waiting for a decision on the application?

If you have submitted an application for a new work permit for a different employer, you must cease working upon the expiration of the previous permit and wait for a decision on the application for the new work permit.

Students should follow the same practice too.

Q. Will the apparent gap in the dates between two permits affect my future application for a Canadian Permanent Residence visa?

You may have permits that show a gap in the dates between the expiry of your former permit and the issue of the more recent permit. But, in almost all cases, the new permit does state that the holder maintained their status until their new permit was issued, making clear the reason behind the gap in dates.

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