Canada’s education system is renowned as one of the best in the world, with many universities ranking in the Top 200 on a global scale. Over 130 000 Student Visas are provided each academic year. In order to study at one of these prestigious institutions, you will need to apply for a Student Permit.

Once issued with a study permit, international students can study in Canada at an approved education institution for the duration of the specified course or program.

However, there are some cases where an international student does not require a study permit to study in Canada including:

  • If the course program you intend to study is less than two months in duration
  • If you are a family member or staff of a foreign representative to Canada
  • If you are a member of a foreign armed force


The eligibility criteria for international students who want to study in Canada are as follows:

  1. The individual must have been accepted by a Canadian education institution
  2. Provide proof that there are sufficient funds to pay for;
  • Tuition fees
  • Living expenses for the individual and any accompanying family members
  • Return transport for the individual and accompanying family members upon completion of the study program
  1. Must be a law-abiding citizen with no criminal record and should not be a security risk to Canada. The individual must provide a valid police certificate
  2. Individual must be in good health and be ready and willing to complete a medical examination if deemed necessary
  3. The individual must satisfy the immigration officer that they will leave Canada at the end of the study program and authorized stay

After graduation, international students may apply for a work permit under the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program.

Why study in Canada?

Canada is regularly rated as one of the best countries to live in by the United Nations. It is the second largest country in the world in terms of natural and oil resources only behind the United States, and it is particularly known for its great education system, high life expectancy, and low crime rates.

The majority of Canada’s universities and various colleges are evenly spread out and conveniently located in both the rural and urban areas of the country. In addition to that, many of the education institutions in Canada are public funded and managed and monitored by the provincial governments, as a result, the education system is considered to be of the highest quality.

As a diverse and multicultural country, Canada encourages immigration, in general, adding to the variety of the world’s different cultures and ethnic groups that help students settle quickly and concentrate on their studies in a peaceful environment. Canada is a top destination for international students and the student visa allows them to study at many of the countries world class universities and colleges.

Canadian universities are very popular for international students as Canada has some of the lowest tuition fees rates in the world, with fees starting as low as CAN $6,000 year. Canadian universities are known to have a high quality standard with 4 Canadian institutions in the top 100 university rankings, and 10 in the top 200.

It is important for international students to understand that in Canada the word college has a totally different meaning compared to other countries and the US for example. In Canada, a college is an institution that awards qualifications of a more vocational nature, often below bachelor’s level. Whereas a university will offer bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees.

For accommodation, most students stay in university dormitories which can be found on or close to campus. This accommodation arrangement is recommended for new undergraduate students as it provides a great opportunity for meeting a lot of new people.

Across all the university institutions in Canada internet access is readily available, and housing is either catered or self-catered and can have standard en-suite rooms. For example, the University of Ottawa charges roughly CAN $600 per month for accommodation and leases can be for 8-12 months contracts.

As an international student in Canada, you may also be eligible to work without a work permit while you are studying. You can work for up to 20 hours a week during the duration of the term and full-time work during scheduled holidays.

Postgraduate Work Permit

The Postgraduate Work Permit allows international students to work in Canada after they have graduated and completed their studies at an eligible Canadian study institution. Graduate international students who gain skilled work experience through the Postgraduate Work Permit Program in Canada will then be able to apply for permanent residency.

In addition to that the Canadian government through Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is seeking to return as many international student graduates as possible to work in Canada and contribute to its economic growth. To facilitate this initiative, the CIC has recently introduced new changes to the Postgraduate Work Permit Program whereby international graduates can now obtain a three-year open work permit that allows them to work for any Canadian employer.

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