Are you planning to study abroad? Learn how to study in Canada without a study permit.
The educational system in Canada is so well-presented that a lot of people from outside the country wish to be part of the country’s educational community. From undergraduate to various postgraduate levels, diplomas and even different kinds of skills, people want a certificate from Canada’s DLIs (Designated Learning Institutions). However, one major hurdle people face is the application for a study permit. What this article aims to explain to you is how to study in Canada without a study permit.
What is a Study Permit?
A Canadian study permit is a document issued by the Canadian government to foreigners who wish to study in Canada at any of the Canadian schools. This document is not to be confused with a Canadian student visa, which gives you permission to enter Canada as a student.
Before a foreign national is allowed to study in a Designated Learning Institution in Canada, they must first apply for a Canada study permit. Which will be approved by the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). However, as you will soon find out, there are ways you can study in Canada without a study permit. First of all, let us understand who needs a study permit.
Who Can Apply for a Study Permit?
A Canadian study permit is required by the following groups of people;
- Foreign nationals who wish to come study in Canada.
- Temporary residents of Canada who wish to study here.
- People whose programs last beyond six (6) months.
Benefits of Having a Study Permit
Besides being licensed to study at a Canadian DLI, holding a study permit has a few other benefits to its name. The first and most important of these is that you are allowed to work while studying in Canada.
As a holder of the Canadian study permit, you do not need to apply for a separate work permit before you can earn money in Canada. The study permit allows international students to get part-time jobs in Canada and work up to 20 hours per week during the school period.
However, during the semester or sessional breaks, students are allowed to work full time in Canada using only their study permit.
Furthermore, upon completion of your studies, you have the opportunity to convert your study permit to a postgraduate work permit; a document that will let you work in Canada for up to 3 years.
How Can I Study in Canada Without a Study Permit?
A Canadian study permit is usually required for students who wish to attend a DLI in Canada. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Listed below are those who can study in Canada without a study permit.
#1. Minor Children Living Inside Canada
The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act provides that every minor child in Canada, other than a child of a temporary resident (i.e., visitors), not authorized to study or work, is authorized to study at the pre-school, primary or secondary level.
What this goes to say is that a child not yet 18, and in Canada, is free to study in Canada without the permit, providing that study is limited to secondary levels and below.
Such graces, however, are usually by extension. That is, they are limited to children of temporary students/workers in Canada, and Canadian citizens/permanent residents of Canada. Temporary residents who do not have a work or study permit (also known as visitors), do not have such benefits for their children.
#2. Family Members and Private Staff of Accredited Diplomats
If a foreign representative who has been accredited by the Global Affairs Canada (GAC), and is in Canada for official duties, their family members and private staff can study in Canada without a study permit.
Family members in this category include; spouses, children/dependent minors, and children/dependent minors of children/dependent minors.
#3. Registered Indians
As given by the Indian Act, all Indians registered in Canada, or entitled to be registered, is authorized to study in Canada without a study permit. This includes both adults and minors.
#4. Members of Foreign Armed Forces Under the Visiting Forces Act
The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act also exempts members of the armed forces of a country that is a designated state under the Visiting Forces Act may not need to obtain a permit to study in Canada.
They are also exempted from needing to obtain a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) or Medical Examination.
Civilian components of the visiting force are also under this category. However, the training session for which they are visiting Canada cannot last for more than 6 months.
#5. Short-term Courses
Citizens of other countries who wish to study in Canada should ordinarily get a study permit before they come over. However, those who plan to study short-term courses; that is, courses that last for 6 months or less, can study in Canada without a study permit.
Those under this category can simply apply for Visitor Visa (also known as TRV). This document lasts for exactly 6 months; enough time to complete whatever 6-month programme they please.
It is important, however, that you choose a course that can surely be completed within the validity duration of the visa. This is because the TRV holds no extension benefits for those who wish to complete courses they have started.
Furthermore, the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) often recommends that individuals should obtain a study permit for a program of six months or less if they wish to work on campus or continue their studies in Canada after completion of the initial short-term program.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I work while studying in Canada without a study permit?
No. The Canadian visa regulations prevent foreign nationals in Canada from studying here without a Canadian study permit. With your Visitor visa, you can search for work in Canada, but you cannot officially resume work without a work permit or a study permit before you return to Canada.
What kind of licensing/studies can I undertake using a TRV/Visitor Visa?
When in Canada on a Temporary Resident Visa, you can study courses that last less than months and are not undertaken at Designated Learning Institutions. Some of these include; Language courses (e.g., English, French), truck driver licensing study programs, pharmacist licensing study programmes, etc.
What is a TRV?
A Canadian Temporary Resident Visa (also called Visitor Visa), is a document that the Canadian Visa Office issues, stating that a foreigner is permitted to travel to Canada on a temporary basis; as a student, a worker, or a visitor.
A study permit is important if you wish to study in Canada. This is especially true when you wish to study in a DLI or for a long period. The exceptions listed above allow you to study in Canada without a study permit. Make sure to understand them properly; their benefits and limitations both.