In order to study in Canada at any level, a foreign national is usually required to apply for and receive a Canadian study permit. However, there are circumstances in which a foreign student is exempt from this requirement.
Check if you are eligible for the Canadian Study Permit, fill out a free assessment form
Click the “Study Assessment Form” to find out if you are eligible or not.
Short-Term Study In Canada without a Study Permit
Individuals do not require a study permit in order to pursue a program of study for six months or less. Courses may consist of any subject(s) and may be taken on a part- or full-time basis. In order to be deemed exempt from the requirement for a study permit, the course of study should be completed within a six-month period. A visa extension will not be granted for the sole purpose of completing a short-term program.
Foreign nationals in Canada without a study permit who wish to enroll in an educational program must apply for a study permit from outside Canada. An exception may be made if the course is short-term in nature and can be completed within the original period of stay specified upon their entry to Canada.
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Citizenship and Immigration Canada recommends that foreign nationals seek a study permit for a program of six months or less if they intend to work on campus or continue their studies in Canada after completion of the initial program.
Minor Children in Canada
Any minor child residing in Canada may study at a pre-school, primary, or secondary level without a study permit. This applies to the children of temporary students or workers, as well as Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
This exception does not apply to children of temporary residents who are not authorized to work or study in Canada (i.e. visitors).
Family Members and Private Staff of Diplomats
Family members or members of the private staff of foreign diplomats and foreign accredited representatives do not require a permit to study in Canada. For purposes of this exception, a family member is defined as:
- A spouse or common-law partner;
- The dependent child of the individual or their spouse/common-law partner; or
- The dependent child of a dependent child.
Members of Foreign Armed Forces in Canada
Members of the armed forces of a country that is a designated state under the Visiting Forces Act do not require a permit to study in Canada.
The Visiting Forces Act lists the following countries as designated states:
- Albania Antigua and Barbuda
- Czech Republic
- El Salvador
- Ivory Coast
- New Zealand
- North Macedonia
- Sierra Leone
- Slovak Republic
- Sudan Sweden
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland United States of America
How to Study In Canada without a Study Permit
The following are the steps you need to take if you wish to study in Canada and transition to permanent residence.
Select a program:
Conduct research and find the education program you want to pursue in Canada.
- Apply to a Canadian designated learning institution:
Once you have determined which education program to apply to, submit your application to the Canadian designated learning institution (DLI) of your choice.
Apply for a study permit:
Upon obtaining a letter of acceptance, Campbell Cohen can help you submit an application to the Government of Canada for a study permit. The study permit is a document that most people need so they can legally remain in Canada as a student.
Explore your immigration options:
After completing your studies, Campbell Cohen can help you remain in Canada to gain more professional work experience and pursue permanent residence.
Benefits of Study In Canada without a Study Permit
Canada has made it easier for international students to begin their Canadian immigration journey. Whether you wish to begin your program at a Canadian college or university, you will be able to study online in your home country and still access the same benefits of being in Canada.
The reason for this is that Canada is allowing new international students to start their Canadian educational programs online, and still be eligible to obtain a Post-Graduation Work Permit after they complete their program. This is a temporary policy that aims to provide more flexibility to international students due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
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According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), a student can complete their entire Canadian program online and remain eligible for the PGWP.
The PGWP is important for international students that want to make their Canadian immigration applications more competitive. The combination of Canadian education and Canadian work experience gained through the PGWP will enhance a student’s chances of obtaining Canadian permanent residence.
Hence, assuming that a student is currently enrolled in a qualifying two-year program at a Canadian college or university or other designated learning institution, they can get a full, three-year PGWP after completing their program as long as they complete 50 percent of their program in Canada.
The benefits of beginning your Canadian immigration journey include:
- Get peace of mind that you can start your Canadian program in your country even if you are unable to come to Canada in time because of a coronavirus interruption (e.g., lack of available flights).
- Canadian colleges and universities are currently offering their programs online for the 2020-21 academic year.
- If you take a qualifying program at a Canadian designated learning institution (e.g., a college or university) of at least two years in duration, you can get a full, three-year Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). A PGWP of this length will provide you with three years to get enough qualifying Canadian work experience to become eligible for more immigration programs.
- Beginning your program online can make studying in Canada even more affordable for you. Canada is already more affordable to study in than the likes of the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, and Australia. This temporary PGWP policy enables you to save on several months of living costs in Canada while you remain in your home country.
- If you are like most study permit holders, you will be legally eligible to work in Canada for any employer as soon as you arrive in the country. Under the terms of most study permits, you can work for up to 20 hours per week during your program, and full-time during regularly scheduled breaks such as winter and summer breaks.
- Your spouse or partner is eligible to obtain an open work permit to work for any Canadian employer during and after you complete your studies. You can also bring your children with you to Canada and they can attend one of Canada’s public schools without needing their own study permit.
- Once you complete your program, you will get a Canadian degree, diploma, or other credentials that will be recognized and respected by Canadian employers and government authorities. This credential will help you integrate into the Canadian labor market and gain more points under a variety of federal and provincial immigration programs.
- Pursuing Canadian studies will also help to enhance your English and/or French skills. Stronger language skills will support your economic and social integration in Canada and also help you obtain more points under Canada’s immigration programs.
Study Assessment Form
Also, find out if you are eligible to study in Canada without a student permit by clicking the “Study Assessment Form” link.