Canada is one of the most popular destinations for international students who want to pursue higher education. However, some students may try to exploit the system and use fraudulent means to obtain a study permit or a permanent residence. To prevent this, Canada has introduced stricter student visa regulations that aim to ensure the integrity and security of the immigration system.
What are the new student visa regulations in Canada?
The new student visa regulations in Canada include the following:
– Applicants must be enrolled at a designated learning institution (DLI) that is approved by the provincial or territorial government for international students.
– Applicants must provide proof of identity, such as a valid passport or travel document, and two recent photos of themselves.
– Applicants must provide proof of sufficient funds to pay for their tuition fees and living expenses for themselves and their family members who come to Canada with them. They must also cover their return transportation costs.
– Applicants must have no criminal record and get a police certificate (if required) from their country of origin and any country where they have lived for more than six months in the past 10 years.
– Applicants must be in good health and get a medical exam (if required) from a panel physician approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
– Applicants must prove to an officer that they will leave Canada when their study permit expires, unless they apply for an extension or a change of status. They must also show that they have a valid reason to study in Canada and that they meet the academic requirements of their program.
Depending on the country or region of origin, applicants may also need to provide additional documents, such as:
– A letter of explanation that states why they want to study in Canada and how it relates to their future goals.
– A Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) if they want to study in Quebec for more than six months. This is a document issued by the Quebec government that confirms the acceptance of the applicant by a DLI in Quebec.
– A custodian declaration if they are minors (under 18 years old). This is a document that appoints a responsible adult who is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident to take care of and support the minor child while they are in Canada.
How can I apply for a student visa in Canada?
There are two ways to apply for a student visa in Canada: online or on paper.
– Online application: This is the preferred and faster method of applying for a student visa in Canada. Applicants can submit their application through the IRCC website, where they can fill out an online form, upload their supporting documents, pay the application fee, and track the status of their application.
– Paper application: This is an alternative method for applicants who have a disability that prevents them from applying online or who hold an identity document or a travel document for non-national residents, refugees or stateless persons. Applicants can download the application package from the IRCC website, print and complete the forms, attach their supporting documents, pay the application fee, and mail or courier their application to the nearest visa office.
Applicants are advised to apply at least three months before their intended date of travel to Canada, as the processing time may vary depending on the volume of applications and the country or region of origin.
What is the Student Direct Stream (SDS)?
The Student Direct Stream (SDS) is a special program that allows eligible applicants from certain countries to get their study permit faster, within 20 calendar days. To apply through the SDS, applicants must meet the following requirements:
– They must be legal residents of one of the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines or Senegal.
– They must have an acceptance letter from a post-secondary DLI in Canada.
– They must have paid their first year of tuition fees in full.
– They must have a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of $10,000 CAD or more from a participating Canadian financial institution. This is a proof of funds that shows that they can support themselves while studying in Canada.
– They must have a valid language test result that shows that they have achieved a minimum score of 6 for English (IELTS) or 7 for French (TEF).
– They must have completed an upfront medical exam by an approved panel physician.
Applicants who do not meet these requirements can still apply for a regular study permit through the online or paper application process.
Why are the new student visa regulations important?
The new student visa regulations are important because they aim to:
– Protect the reputation and quality of Canada’s education system by ensuring that only genuine and qualified students can study in Canada.
– Prevent fraud and abuse of the immigration system by deterring and detecting applicants who use fake documents, misrepresent their identity or credentials, or intend to overstay their visa or work illegally in Canada.
– Enhance the security and health of Canadians and international students by screening applicants for criminal and medical inadmissibility.
– Support the economic and social development of Canada by attracting and retaining talented and skilled international students who can contribute to the country’s innovation, diversity, and prosperity.
What are the benefits of studying in Canada?
Studying in Canada has many benefits for international students, such as:
– Accessing world-class education from reputable and accredited institutions that offer a wide range of programs and degrees.
– Experiencing a multicultural and welcoming society that values diversity, democracy, and human rights.
– Enjoying a high quality of life with affordable living costs, universal health care, public safety, and natural beauty.
– Improving their language skills in English and/or French, which are official languages in Canada and widely used in global communication and business.
– Expanding their career opportunities and networks by gaining valuable skills, knowledge, and experience that are recognized and sought after by employers worldwide.
– Exploring various pathways to permanent residence and citizenship in Canada after completing their studies, such as the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program, the Canadian Experience Class, the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Provincial Nominee Program, or the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program.
How can I prepare for studying in Canada?
Studying in Canada requires careful planning and preparation. Here are some tips to help applicants get ready for their academic journey in Canada:
– Research and compare different DLIs and programs that match their interests, goals, and qualifications. They can use online tools such as [School Finder] or [Study in Canada] to explore their options.
– Check the admission requirements and deadlines of their chosen DLI and program. They may need to provide transcripts, diplomas, language test results, letters of recommendation, essays, portfolios, or other documents to prove their eligibility. They may also need to take standardized tests such as SAT, GRE, GMAT, or LSAT.
– Apply for a study permit as soon as possible after receiving an acceptance letter from their DLI. They should follow the instructions and guidelines on the IRCC website or consult a licensed immigration consultant or lawyer if they need assistance.
– Arrange for their accommodation, transportation, insurance, banking, and other services before arriving in Canada. They can contact their DLI or look for online resources such as [Settlement.Org] or [ArriveCAN] to find useful information and support.
– Pack their essentials and documents, such as their passport, study permit, acceptance letter, CAQ (if applicable), custodian declaration (if applicable), medical exam results (if applicable), proof of funds, proof of health insurance, clothing, personal items, etc. They should also check the customs regulations and restrictions on what they can bring to Canada.
– Learn about Canadian culture, society, laws, rights, and responsibilities. They can visit websites such as [Living in Canada] or [Welcome to Canada] to familiarize themselves with the Canadian way of life and values. They should also respect the diversity and differences of people from various backgrounds and beliefs.
Canada is an attractive destination for international students who want to pursue higher education and achieve their dreams. However, studying in Canada also involves meeting certain requirements and following certain rules. To avoid fraud and abuse of the immigration system, Canada has introduced stricter student visa regulations that aim to ensure the integrity and security of the system. Applicants who want to study in Canada should be aware of these regulations and prepare accordingly.