Studying Without a Study Permit in Canada for International Students

As a foreign national, if you want to study in Canada, you will require an authorized study permit. There could be circumstances that can exempt you from this requirement.

Canadian institutions offer a wide variety of study programs for international students. If you are enrolled in a program that lasts 6 months or less, you do not need a study permit.

Other conditions can exempt you from requiring a study permit in Canada.

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Who Can Study Without a Study Permit in Canada?

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) states that a foreign national does not require a study permit under the following conditions:

  • The applicant is a family member or member of the support staff of a foreign representative authorized by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade to perform diplomatic duties as a consular officer, representative or a foreign ambassador or a member of the United Nations or any international agency which Canada is a member of
  • The applicant is employed in the armed force of a designated country part of the Visiting Forces Act or accompanying them as a civilian
  • Applicant’s study program is for 6 months or less and will be completed within the authorized period of their stay
  • The applicant is an Indian under the Registered Indian Act
  • The applicant is a minor child studying at a pre-school, primary, or secondary school level (this includes dependent children of temporary foreign workers)

A study permit can only be applied from abroad. However, if you are already residing in Canada and want to enroll in a program that will be completed within the authorization period of your stay, then you do not require a study permit.

In any case, you can apply for a study permit if you want to work alongside completing your study program or continue your study after your initial program.

What are the Benefits of a Study Permit?

A study permit allows international students to work on-campus or off-campus during their study program. You must be enrolled in a full-time study program.

Upon completing your study program, you can apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) if you want to gain Canadian work experience.

If you want to study in Quebec, then you will require a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) along with a study permit.

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