More than 130,000 students come to study in Canada every year and even more come to Canada to learn English or French. Foreign students bring a rich culture to our classrooms. Your knowledge and skills are welcome in our schools. The provinces regulate education and schools in Canada. For more detailed information on living and studying in a specific province or territory, contact the school where you wish to study.
To study in Canada, you may need a study permit or a temporary resident visa, though not everyone must have these documents. Before you can apply for a study permit, you must have been accepted at a recognized school, university or college in Canada. You can find information on how to choose a school, college or university in the Related Links section at the bottom of this page. In most cases, you must obtain a study permit if you want to study in Canada.
To be eligible to study in Canada:
You must have been accepted by a school, college, university or other educational institution in Canada.
You must prove that you have enough money to pay for your:
- tuition fees
- living expenses for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada and
return transportation for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada.
You must be a law-abiding citizen with no criminal record and not be a risk to the security of Canada. You may have to provide a police certificate.
You must be in good health and willing to complete a medical examination, if necessary.
You must satisfy an immigration officer that you will leave Canada when you have completed your studies.
In some cases, you do not require a study permit to go to school in Canada.
If you wish to study in a short-term course or program
You do not need a study permit if you plan to take a course or program in Canada that lasts six months or less. You must complete the course or program within the period authorized for your stay in Canada.
Even if you do not need a study permit, it is a good idea to apply for a permit before you come to Canada. If you decide that you want to continue your studies in another program after you complete your short-term course or program, you must apply through a Canadian visa office outside Canada for a study permit if you do not already have one.
Foreign representatives to Canada
If you are a family member or staff member of a foreign representative to Canada accredited by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, you may not need a permit to study in Canada. You should contact your embassy in Canada. Your embassy can contact the Office of Protocol at Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada to find out whether you need a study permit.
Members of foreign armed forces
If you are a member of a foreign armed force under the Visiting Forces Act, you do not need a permit to study in Canada. If your family members, including minor children, want to study in Canada, they must meet the requirements.
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