The following information has been compiled from Canadian Government Sources, namely the Department of Citizenship and Immigration lawyer at 17 Hanover Square, Mayfair, London W1S 1HT
Every person wishing to study in Canada must apply for a Student Visa, and obtain the written approval from a Canadian Embassy, Canadian Consulate or Canadian High Commission (herein after referred to as Visa Office) in your country. In certain instances, you may require a Visitor’s Visa. If you require a Visitor’s Visa, the Visa Officer will issue this document at the same time as the Student Visa.
Before you apply for a Student Visa, you will need to be accepted as a student by an approved educational institution. Hence, individuals wishing to study in Canada must apply for admission at least one year in advance of the planned arrival to Canada.
Once you have received your written acceptance at a Canadian educational institution, you will need to apply for your Student Visa. This is a form that one can obtain from a Visa Office nearest where you live. This form is known as a Student Authorization Form.
Upon completion of the Student Authorization Form, you will need to submit the following documentation:
To qualify for a Visitor’s Visa individuals must abide by the following requirments:
original letter of acceptance from the Canadian educational institution;
provide a valid passport;
have enough money to support yourself during your stay in Canada;
demonstrate to the Visa Officer that you will be returning home after your studies;
submit to a security clearance;
pass a medical examination, if required; and
pay the requisite Canadian Government Fees (Cdn $125)
What does “approved educational institution” mean? This refers to a Canadian university, college or other educational institution that is licensed by the provincial authorities where the educational institution is located.
What does “have enough money to support yourself” mean? Students must show that they can pay the required tuition fees, living expenses and return transportation. As a general rule, applicants will have to demonstrate through bank statements the availability of sufficient funds to cover tuition and living expenses. If the tuition has been partially or fully paid, applicants must show proof of payment.
What does a “security clearance” mean? Every applicant over the age of 18 must submit a Certificate of Good Conduct for all countries where they have resided for periods of at least 6 months during the past 10 years. This Certificate can be obtained by requesting a Certificate of Good Conduct by a federal or national police agency in your country.
What does “medical examination” mean? Every applicant and accompanying family member is required to submit to a medical examination by a qualified physician who is named by the Medical Services Branch of Health and Welfare Canada. The Canadian Government undertakes this procedure to screen out potential applicants who may be a burden on Canada’s health care system.
Please note that a Student Visa is not required if you plan to study English or French language where the course does not exceed 3 months. In such instances, you will require a Visitor’s Visa.
If you are married, and have children, your family may accompany you to Canada. Your spouse and children must meet all the requirements for a Visitor’s Visa. Your spouse and children may be required to submit to a medical examination and a security clearance.
If you are planning to study in the Province of Quebec, you must apply through the Quebec Immigration Service for a “Quebec Certificate of Acceptance (CAQ)”. The following persons are generally not required to obtain an CAQ:
persons enrolled in part-time courses;
persons enrolled in English or French language courses that do not exceed three months and provide a minimum of 20 hours per week of class room time.
Please note that the Quebec based educational institution you are applying to, should inform you about the Quebec Government requirements. Applicants may also contact the Montreal office at (514) 864-9191.
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