Studying in America and Canada  
6.4.1 General Information

All persons who want to study in Canada need to apply for a student authorization and obtain the written approval of a visa officer. To apply for an authorization you must:

  • have a valid passport;
  • have a letter of acceptance from an educational institution;
  • have enough money to support yourself;
  • complete an application form; and
  • pay a fee.

If you want to study in Canada you must meet some important immigration requirements and you may require a visitor visa. If you do require a visitor visa, the visa officer will issue it at the same time as the documentation necessary for your entry to Canada as a student. Before you apply for a student authorization, you must be accepted as a student by an approved educational institution. The institution will decide if you meet its academic and language requirements. Note: To obtain such acceptance, you must deal directly with the educational institution in which you are interested.

What is a student authorization?

A student authorization is a form issued by an immigration officer. It allows you, after your admittance, to remain in Canada to take an academic, professional, or vocational training course at an approved university, college, or other institution.

Who needs a student authorization?

If you are not a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada, or a dependent of a

diplomat accredited to Canada, you must obtain a student authorization.

Where do I apply?

You apply to the nearest Canadian visa office. You must obtain permission to study in Canada before leaving for Canada. The following persons may apply at a Canadian port of entry: citizens and permanent residents of the United States, St. Pierre, and Miquelon, or Greenland.

Do I pay a fee?

Yes, a processing fee is charged. The current fee, subject to change without notice, is Cdn$125. For the latest information on various fees, see: Fee Schedule for Citizenship and Immigration Services.

What are the basic requirements for student authorization?

You must satisfy the visa officer that you meet the requirements of the Canadian

Immigration Act and Regulations and that you will be in Canada for a temporary stay. You must also:

  • satisfy a visa officer that you will be able to return to your country or be admitted to another country after your studies;
  • have been unconditionally accepted by an approved educational institution;
  • have enough money during your stay in Canada to pay for:
    • tuition fees;
    • living expenses for yourself and accompanying dependents; and
    • return transportation for yourself and accompanying dependents;
  • be law abiding and have no record of criminal activity (you may be asked to provide a Police Clearance Certificate);
  • not be a risk to the security of Canada;
  • produce any additional documents requested by the visa officer to establish your
  • admissibility;
  • complete a medical examination, if required; and
  • pay the fee.

May my spouse and dependent children accompany me to Canada?

Yes. They may either accompany you to Canada or they may join you at a later date.

Your spouse and children must meet all the requirements for visitors to Canada. They may be required to provide evidence that they are law abiding and have no criminal record. They may also be required to have a medical examination, and to obtain a visitor visa.

If they will accompany you, include them on your application by providing their names and other information in the appropriate space on the application form. You will be required to provide a marriage certificate and birth certificates for any accompanying dependents.

If they wish to follow you to Canada at a later date, they must make a separate application for admission.

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