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By: Evelyn Ackah, Immigration Lawyer 

Generally, a foreign national who intends to study in Canada for 6 months or less, does not require a study permit.  If the period of study is for more than 6 months, you will require a Canadian study permit. If you are studying for 6 months or less, you will require a study permit if you decide to extend your studies beyond 6 months or start another program after the initial studies have ended. If a study permit is issued to you as a full-time international student and you meet specific criteria, you may be allowed to work on or off campus for up to 20 hours per week without having to apply for an additional work permit.

To complete an application to study in Canada, you must first be accepted by a Designated Learning Institution (DLI).

Once you have been accepted to a DLI, you should submit your application as soon as possible because the times needed to process your application may vary among visa offices, ranging between 3 and 14 weeks. Ensure you have prepared the basic documents, as well as any documents required by the visa office for your country of citizenship. Missing documents and information can slow down your application processing or even result in a refusal.  For your best chance at a timely and positive process, check that you have provided all of the information requested by IRCC.

It is important to note that the submission of your application will not guarantee the approval of your study permit application. To get an approval, the reviewing officer must be satisfied that you will be a genuine temporary resident to Canada, that you can afford to support yourself (and family members) and that you will leave Canada at the end of the period authorized for your stay.

Depending on your country of citizenship or your recent travel history, you may be required to undergo a medical examination.  Students accepted into DLIs that focus in health (nursing, medical school) or the elderly and young will also need to undergo a medical.  Only medicals performed by an IRCC approved Panel Physician are accepted.

Evelyn Ackah is the Founder and Managing Lawyer at Ackah Business Immigration Law. She has been practicing law since 1999 and brings her passion and knowledge for immigration law to her corporate and individual clients from all over the world. 

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