Tips For Obtaining A Canadian Study Permit


Many foreign nationals contact me for advice on how to obtain a study permit to pursue education in Canada. This article will briefly review what is required to apply for a study permit from outside of Canada.  I remind the reader that Canadian Immigration Law is complex and therefore this article should not be construed as Legal Advice.

A study permit is defined at R. 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, hereafter the Regulations, as “a written authorization to engage in academic, professional, vocational or other education or training in Canada that is issued by an officer to a foreign national. In General, a foreign national who wishes to study in Canada must obtain a study permit before entering Canada pursuant to R. 213 of the Regulations. There are some exemptions that allow some foreign nationals to apply at a Port of Entry or after entry into Canada. Some foreign nationals are even exempt from applying for a study permit such is the case ”  if the duration of their course or program of studies is six months or less and will be completed within the period for their stay authorized upon entry into Canada” pursuant to R. 188 (1) (c) of  the Regulations. 

Visa officers consider many factors when assessing whether or not a foreign national should be issued a study permit. At a minimum a foreign national must demonstrate four things:

  1. That they have been accepted in a designated learning institution by presenting a letter of acceptance from the institution unless they are exempt pursuant to R 219 (2) (a) of The Regulations.
  2. That they will have the financial capacity to pay their tuition as well as cover their living expenses while in Canada.
  3. That their intention to study in Canada is genuine (bona fides).
  4. That they are not inadmissible into Canada.

In addition to the above an applicant must provide a concrete study plan or statement of purpose with their application.

Study Plan/Statement of Purpose (SOP)

This is your opportunity to write effectively enough for visa officer to get to know you (and your purpose), without knowing you.

Here are some of the universal questions to answer when writing your Study Plan/Statement of Purpose:

  • Why you would like to study in Canada in the program for which you’ve been accepted?
  • What are your educational goals?
  • Why have you not chosen to study in your homeland?
  • How this program will benefit your employment opportunities in your own land?
  • What ties do you have to your home country?
  • If you’ve been out of school for more than 2 years, provide your resume.
  • If you’re a minor, what are your reasons to study in Canada?
  • Add job experience and possible reasons for your study gaps.
  • Speak about what selling factor lead you to choose this specific university (facilities, infrastructure etc.)

Despite meeting these requirements an officer might still determine that you do not meet the requirements pursuant to section 219 and 220 of the Regulations or that you will not leave Canada upon the expiry of your status. It is important to demonstrate all the requirements for a temporary residence application such as your travel history, ties to the home country and Canada as well as the general requirements for a study permit.

Hiring competent counsel such as Canada Global Immigration will increase your chances of obtaining a study permit.

Written by: Camilla Jones