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To apply for a study permit, a person must:

  • have a letter of acceptance from a qualifying school in Canada;
  • have enough funds to pay for living expenses;
  • undergo a medical exam (unless exempted); and
  • prove that he or she is a genuine student.

Many applicants are rejected because of doubt over whether the individual is a genuine applicant. Visa officers must also be satisfied that the student will leave Canada after the authorized period of stay.

Spouse and common law partner of a student may be eligible to apply for an open work permit or study permit based on the student’s study permit.  After graduation, their spouse and common law partner may also be eligible for an open work permit based upon the Post Graduation Work Permit if the graduate is working in a high skilled, full time job.

The reality is that only a small percentage of Canada’s international students ever immigrate to Canada and the competition is fierce. Plans can be derailed early if a person fails to attend a program and school that would allow them to work while studying, obtain a spousal or common law partner Work Permit, or obtain a Post Graduation work permit.

Permanent residence options for students can range from Family Sponsorship to immigration as a Skilled Worker. For immigration as a Skilled Worker, it is critical for students to plan early so that they can make themselves a strong candidate for 1 or more of the Skilled Worker programs.