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Get Ready to Study in Canada


When you have decided where you wish to study, apply to the school for admission. Each institution has a different procedure, which is posted on their website. Review it carefully. If you have any questions, contact the institution directly and ask for help.

Get a Study Permit

Once you get your acceptance letter from the school, apply for a Study Permit. You must have a Study Permit if you want to study in Canada. for more than six months long.

Scholarships and Tuition

International students must prove that they have enough money to cover their tuition fees and living expenses. Students must pay tuition fees. You can contact your school directly, or look at its website for information on amounts and payment dates. You might be eligible for a scholarship or bursary to help with these costs, check the school website for this information too.

Do you need a Study Permit?

Each year, thousands of students from around the world come to Canada to study.

If you plan to study in Canada for more than six months continuously, and if you are not a Permanent Resident, you will need a Study Permit to attend a school in Canada.

Study Permits are issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), but before you apply for one you must be accepted by a school. When you apply for your study permit, you will be asked to provide proof of your acceptance (such as an acceptance letter) from the school. You will also need to provide a bank statement or proof of loan to show that you have enough money to live and pay your bills while you are studying in British Columbia. You should apply for a Study Permit as early as possible, as it can take several months to process an application, depending on your home country.

Depending on your country of origin, you also may need a Temporary Resident Visa.

Get organized

When you arrive in Canada, you will need to show the following documents to the Canadian Border Services/Immigration Officer:

  • Valid passport or travel document.
  • Letter of introduction from the visa office where your study permit was approved (this letter contains your permit reference number).
  • Valid temporary resident visa (if required).
  • Copy of the letter of acceptance from the post-secondary institution where you have been granted permission to study.
  • Proof that you have enough money to support yourself during your stay.
  • Letters of reference or any other documents recommended by the visa office where you applied.

Permanent Residency Pathways for International Students

What is a Canadian permanent resident?

International students are considered “temporary residents” in Canada. If you want to live in Canada permanently and you meet certain requirements, you can apply to immigrate as a “permanent resident” (PR). PRs are eligible for most Canadian social benefits and can live, work, or study anywhere in Canada. They must follow certain rules to retain their PR status, such as live in Canada for at least two years every five- year period. PRs who meet additional requirements can eventually apply for Canadian citizenship.

How do international students become Permanent Residents?

Most international students become Permanent Residents after graduation through economic immigration programs which emphasize proven (or potential) success in the Canadian labour market as a “skilled” worker. This guide focuses on the most common programs used by students:

  • Canadian Experience Class
  • Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • BC PNP International Graduate Category (IG)
  • BC PNP International Post Graduate Category (IPG)
However, keep in mind that everyone’s situation is unique. There are many different immigration programs, each with a different application procedure and processing time. You may also qualify for programs not discussed here, including (but not limited to) the Self-employed Persons Program, Start-up Visa, Family Sponsorship (e.g. through a Canadian or PR spouse/common-law partner), or Provincial Nominee Programs in other provinces and territories. Quebec also has province-specific programs.

Some people are “inadmissible” for reasons such as serious health problems or past criminal convictions, making PR difficult to obtain. See


Economic immigration applications processed within Canada typically take between six months to 2 years (or sometimes longer!) to complete.

What is considered “skilled” work?

The National Occupational Classification (NOC) is Canada’s official classification system of occupations

http://www5.hrsdc.gc.ca/NOC/English/NOC/2011/Welcome.aspx. To determine the skill level of your job, search the NOC for the job title with “main duties” that most closely match your job’s duties. You can then determine the job’s skill level (e.g. A, B, C, D, or 0) within the NOC Matrix. The NOC can be challenging to navigate; if you are unsure, consider seeking professional advice.