College and University Education in Canada
Canada has one of the top universities and colleges globally that students seek to study at.
When applying for undergraduate studies (college/university) in Canada, it is highly recommended that you have multiple applications (minimum 3-4). Each institute has its own qualification prerequisites.
Programs and Areas of Study
There are hundreds of unique Canadian college and university programs that international students can choose to attend. Canada has some of the most highly ranked universities and colleges around the world.
As a result, when applying for undergraduate studies (college/university) in Canada, it is highly recommended that you have multiple applications (minimum 3-4), since each institute has its own qualification prerequisites. Don’t be discouraged! This can be a very rewarding decision to make for yourself and your family.
Some of the most in-demand programs are Cybersecurity, Nursing, Civil Engineering, Software Engineering, Electrics, Mechanics, Plumbing and Carpentry.
Levels of Study
When studying in Canada you may start by earning a diploma or a degree and make your way up to the next levels of post graduate programs – Master’s or even PhD.
Who Needs a Study Permit
As a non-Canadian who lives abroad (note: this does not apply to someone with an existing Permanent Resident PR status) you will require a study permit in order to study in Canada unless exempted.
In order to qualify you must be enrolled in a program that is more than (6) months in duration at a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada.
Designated Learning Institutions
As an international student you will require an institution that is able to host you. What makes a school qualified to do so is having been approved as a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) by a provincial or territorial government.
A great example would be the University of Toronto, McGill University in Montreal, or Algonquin College in Ontario.
It is also important to mention that based on the specific immigration path students have ahead of them, schools and institutions are able to provide PGWP. If this is not taken into account, those students will be required to leave Canada after finishing their post-secondary study.
Validity Period of School Study Permit
A study permit is usually valid for the length of your study program, plus an extra 90 days. The 90 days lets you prepare to leave Canada or apply to extend your stay.
- If you receive a conditional acceptance to Canadian program and are required to complete prerequisite courses, your study permit will be valid for the length of the period of these courses and an additional year. Once accepted in the program of study, an extension to your study permit is required (you will need to apply for this).
- If the study program you enrolled in ends before your study permit expires, the permit will be valid 90 days after your last day of school despite what is indicated on your permit. (This can be proved by a completion letter, transcript, degree or diploma issued by your school).
Extending a Study Permit
In certain circumstances, where your permit expires before you complete your studies, you will be required to extend your study permit. If you fail to do so, you will have to terminate your stay immediately and exit the country.
Some of the reasons for which you may want to extend your study permit is:
- you have not completed your program yet
- you are applying for a post-graduate work permit (PGWP)
- you switched programs and your new program is longer than the original program which will require you to stay longer
- you had to do a prerequisite course before enrolling in the main program–(Pathway Program).
- you transferred to a different institution (Transfer Program).
If you receive a conditional acceptance to a program and are required to complete prerequisite courses (such as language courses; English or French) before you enroll in the main program you have applied for, this is referred to as a Pathway Program.
A transfer program, generally speaking, is when a student begins studying at one institution and finishes at another. This can occur in the form of moving from university to another, starting off at a college then finishing off at a University, work toward receiving both a college diploma certificate as well as a university degree simultaneously, or getting into the first choice institution after completing a first year elsewhere at a different one.
If you choose to do so for one reason or another (saving money, being closer to home, smaller classes, flexible start dates, easier entrance requirements) simply plan ahead to ensure that the credits you earned will be transferred.
Eligibility to apply for Post Graduation Work Permit
If you wish to work in Canada after completing a college or university program, besides earning your diploma or degree from Designated Learning Institute (DLI), you will need to meet a few criteria.
After receiving your final marks, you have 180 days to apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP). Your study permit should have been valid at some point during the 180 days.
In addition, the following must also be met:
- Completion of a study program at a college or university (DLI) that was at least 8 months long and that led to a degree, diploma or certificate.
- As a student you maintained full-time status in Canada during each semester of your study program.
Changing College and University
If for a valid reason you are changing schools (eg: moving up to the next education level or program) you have to ensure that you still meet your study permit conditions which entail that you are still enrolled in a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) and that you are actively studying in Canada.
All changes must be updated on your study permit profile.
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