What You Need To Know About The Canada Study Permit

If you are thinking about studying in Canada in 2021, you should get the ball rolling as the new academic year starts in August, but the process of enrolling at a school and getting your student visa is quite a long one. Whichever questions you may have will be answered in this article, or you can follow the link right at the bottom for more information. So, what do you need to know about the Canada study permit?

There are a few things that will be helpful to know before starting the process that will leave you feeling comfortable about the journey you will be taking. The requirements to be able to study in Canada are obviously the most important, but also what does it cost? Will you be allowed to work to help cover your costs? What is student life like in Canada? And most importantly, what are your options when you graduate?

Applying For Your Canadian Student Visa

International student at Canadian university-what you need for a study permit

In order to study a course or program longer than six months, you will need a study permit, also known as the student visa. If you are intending to do a course that is shorter than six months, you are allowed to do so under a normal tourist visa. To be eligible for a student permit, you must apply to a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada. DLIs are universities and colleges that have permission from the Canadian government to accept international students. You can start the application process for your student visa, but you must have all the following documentation before submitting.

What You Need To Apply For A Canadian Study Permit
Proof of Acceptance - once you know have successfully applied to the university or school of your choice, they will issue you with an acceptance letter.
Proof of Identity - to travel to and study in Canada, you will need a valid travel document, such as a passport. Anyone accompanying you will require the same.
Proof of Financial Support - you will need to show you have the financial resources, aide or a third party assisting you to cover the cost of your tuition and living expenses while in Canada. To cover your own living expenses, you must show a minimum of $10,000 CAD, for your first dependent, and additional $4,000 CAD and $3,000 for every dependent thereafter.

Working in Canada on a Student Visa

You are allowed to work part-time jobs if you are studying in Canada on a full-time basis, and your study permit allows for it. Part-time means no more than 30 hours per week. The extra income can be very helpful, while living costs are not particularly high in Canada, it will mean graduating in a stronger position financially.

While 30 hours per week may not sound like much, consider that the minimum wage in most provinces is around $13 an hour. This means that including tax, you could earn a basic of around $1,325. This is more than enough to cover living expenses.

If you have a partner or spouse accompanying you as a dependent, they may also be eligible to apply for an open work permit. With an open work permit they will be allowed to work for any employer in Canada except for those listed as ineligible.

How Much Does It Cost to Study in Canada?

Student in library-how much does it cost to study in Canada

The cost of tuition in Canada is higher for international students than for Canadian citizens, as with anywhere else in the world. Canada does however rank better than Australia , the United States and England in terms of tuition fees and cost of living to international students. The average tuition costs are:

  • Average tuition cost per year at a Canadian university - $29,000. Keep in mind that this is for more costly programmes such as engineering and dentistry at highly rated universities. Humanities courses are considerably less.
  • Average tuition cost per year at a Canadian college - $9,000 to $14,000, depending on the program of your choice. Colleges are a great choice for international students who want to go into the Canadian labour market after graduation.

The Cost of Living in Canada

So how far will the required $10,000 a year get you in Canada. A lot will depend on where you study, city or rural, as well as the neighbourhood you choose to live in. Obviously major cities are very expensive, and the closer you live to the centre of them, the higher prices for things like rent and groceries will be. So when you choose, do so wisely. Try not to overextend yourself. While there are financial aids available such as student loans, the less debt you graduate with, the better.

The average cost of living for a student is set at around $600, this includes everything except your rent. Monthly living costs include groceries, utilities, internet, public transport and recreation. Rent can be as expensive or cheap as you want it to be. If you are willing to share, you can pay as little $500 a month, but typically you will pay around $750 a month.

As you can see you may need a little more than $10,000 a year. But as you now know, if money is tight you can take a part-time job, or live on ramen noodles, that’s up to you.

Student Life in Canada

You can be as involved in Canadian student life as you like. Your university or college will offer clubs, societies and various sports teams you can join. Canadians are by nature very friendly, polite and welcoming people, so finding a group to belong to won’t be as tough as you might imagine.

Going out can become expensive, but areas where university and college students live will have restaurants, bars and shops that cater to the tighter budgets and constraints faced by most students. You will find bars with ‘happy hour’ specials on drinks and food. In some places you can get beers for as cheap as a dollar, and dinner for $4!

You are welcome to return to your home country to visit family and friends during breaks, or you can stay in Canada and find a summer job to build up a comfortable little nest egg your next year. Just because colleges close, doesn’t mean you won’t have a great time getting a taste of what it’s like to live and work in Canada.

What Happens After You Graduate

Graduation-work permit

Your Canada study permit will allow you to stay in the country for up to 90 days after your graduation. If you want to continue living in Canada, you will have two possible options at this point. You may either secure a job offer from a Canadian employer, at which point you can and will need to apply for an employer-specific work permit.

The second option is dependent on your university or college. Most DLIs in Canada offer programs and courses that are eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). If you complete a course or program at one of these institutions, you can apply for the PGWP which will allow you to work for any employer in Canada (the same as an open work permit).

Your PGWP will be valid for the same length of time as your program takes to complete. No matter which option you choose, you can then apply for permanent residence in Canada through one of any number of immigration programs available to you, from the foreign graduate stream of your Provincial Nomination Program to the Canada Experience Class program of the Express Entry System. Studying in Canada is a smart way to lay a strong foundation for a long and prosperous life in Canada.

Do You Want To Study in Canada?

Now that you have a rough idea of what you need to know about the Canada study permit and the costs involved with studying here, we recommend you apply to the university or college of your choice as soon as possible. It also won’t hurt to get your application underway as we mentioned, the clock is ticking.