Are you an international student who would like to study in Canada? Canadian learning institutions are world renown and offer students high quality education. In Canada, each province or territory is responsible for its education system.

However, there are general rules that apply to all international students.

Can I study in Canada?

As an international student, you can study in Canada if you get enrolled in a Designated Learning Institution, DLI. A DLI is a school that has been selected by the province or territory to enroll international students. Before you choose a school to apply to, you should ensure that it is a DLI.

For those who are in grade 12 and below, all Primary and Secondary schools in Canada fall under DLIs. Grades 1-8 comprise of the Primary level, and Grades 9-12 comprise of the high school level. Once you select an institution that you would like to attend, you need to apply for admission.

Each school has its set of criteria with which they use to enroll international students. If you are applying to a primary or secondary school, you will need to apply six months in advance and one year in advance, respectively.

Once you are accepted, you will need to use the acceptance letter to apply for a study permit.

Do I need a Study Permit?

To study in Canada as an international student, you need to have a Study Permit. There are a few exceptions to this rule. A study permit is a document that shows that you are allowed to study in the country, at a DLI.

If you fall under one of the following points, you are not required to obtain a Study Permit to study in an institution in Canada:

  • Those whose studies will not take more than six months;
  • One who belongs to foreign armed forces;
  • One who is registered as an Indian in Canada;
  • Minor children;
  • Family or staff members of a diplomatic representative in Canada

You should apply for a study permit before you travel to Canada. Those individuals in the exemption list can also request a study permit if they want to as long as they are enrolled in a DLI. It will help you be able to work part-time on Campus and also to keep studying as you renew your permit.

Remember, a study permit is not equivalent to a Visa. You will still need to apply for one. It also has an expiration date, which is usually the length of your study program, plus an additional 90 days.

It expires 90 days after you have completed your study, even if it is before the stated date on your Study Permit.

What should I do when my Study Permit expires?

A study permit has an expiration date. Depending on your situation, it could be the set timeline on the study permit or 90 days after completion of your studies. You complete your studies when:

  • The school notifies you that you have completed your studies;
  • You get your diploma, certificate or degree

Once your permit expires, you lose your status that allows you to stay in Canada. If your study program will take longer than you expected or included in the study permit, you will need to apply for an extension.

It is advisable to apply to extend your Study Permit at least 30 days before its expiration date.