Canada, a Dream Destination of Passionate Students

September 3, 2015

By Mary Zhang, Law Office of Jeff Jiehui Li

When and where to start if you are interested in studying in Canada?

Today Canada is not only a dream destination for immigrants but also for aspiring students. Those who dream of a promising career, Canadian universities and schools top their list. Canada is known for its advanced education system which draws hundreds of thousands students from across the world each year.

With a few exemptions, a foreign national needs a study permit to allow them to study in Canada. Study without legal authorization constitutes a deportable offence.

As of June 1, 2014, not all Canadian institutions are allowed to host foreign students. You must obtain a letter of acceptance from a designated learning institution in Canada. A list of the designated learning institutions can be find on Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC) official website www.cic.gc.ca. All primary and secondary schools in Canada are automatically designated. So they are not on the list. However, if any post secondary institution you choose to study is not on the list, your application will not be accepted by CIC.

In order to get a letter of acceptance from a Canadian college, you must demonstrate that you have a high school diploma and your English or French Language ability meets the entry level to the college.  The acceptance requirements for Canadian universities vary depending on the university you intend to study. You should check with the admission office for details.

To be eligible to study in Canada, you must also demonstrate that you have enough money to pay for your tuition fees and living cost. For example, you decide to study a one-year post-graduate college diploma in Toronto. The tuition fee is $12,500. The basic living expense in Toronto is about $11,000 a year. Then you need to show CIC that you are financially capable of supporting your one year studying and living in Canada.  Even though you may be allowed to work part-time while you are studying full-time, your potential part-time job income will not be counted by CIC when they assess your financial ability.

Of course needless to say that you must pass medical examination and criminal background check before you are allowed to come into the country. If you have medical problems or criminal record, you will need to take care of these issues first.

Last, but not the least, you must demonstrate your temporary intent to stay in Canada. A foreign student status is a type of temporary resident status in Canada. In other words, you must satisfy immigration that you will leave Canada at the end of your authorized stay by demonstrating various factors such as your ties to your home country, personal assets and financial status, employment situation, your bona fide intention to study, etc.

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