Choosing to study in Canada means **cue epic music** getting hold of a Canadian study permit (a Canadian visa, essentially).  A Canadian study permit will allow you to stay in the country for the duration of your course. If your course lasts for less than six months, you’re one of the lucky few; you won’t need a visa arrangement. Those on courses which last longer than six months, however, should read on to learn more about the process of applying for a Canadian study permit – don’t worry! It’s a lot easier than you think…

The good news

One of the best things about having a Canadian study permit, besides being able to study and live in the country, is the fact that you can work on-campus throughout your course. Given the expense of global higher education, this can be an extremely welcome benefit! At some institutions, you can even work off-campus thanks to your study permit, so it’s worth discussing this with your chosen university. Whatever course of study you’re following, it may be worth applying for a permit as soon as you’re accepted onto your course – it really will pay off!

Think digital

As in the case of any serious document, the application process is pretty intense and can be quite long term. If you apply for a Canadian study permit offline, you can expect to have quite a long wait before you hear any news about it. You could also apply online, and if you do this it will take half as much time as it would if you go through the paper channels. As with most activities nowadays, online is the way to go! When you are making a serious application, the online application is generally seen as being the quickest and most efficient route towards receiving the results you need. For further information on both paper and online applications, take a look at the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.

If you’re applying online, be ready to make scans of all the important documents you need to make the application go through. You should gather all documents together beforehand, so you’re ready to get them scanned. If you don’t have a scanner at home (and not everyone does) take it to a local stationery store and do it there. If you have a smartphone, there’re plenty of scanner apps that do the job too. So it shouldn’t be too hard to get this part of your electronic application taken care of.

Before you can do any of this though, you have to have a letter of acceptance from your university. It has to be a standard and recognised letter. You need to ask your university that has given you the place for this letter; they will know what to do. Once you have got your letter, you can then formally start the process towards applying and receiving your Canadian study permit.

Get your hands on an application package

Then, go to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website and apply for an application package. These packages are available either from the website or from your local consulate.

Either way, you’ll have to answer questions about yourself and your study options so that it can be determined whether or not you’re eligible for a Canadian study permit. Remember that this is essentially a visa application, so certain are going to protocols apply.

Once you have satisfied all of these particular parameters and requirements, you’ll receive a code for the website and then you can make an application online. If you’re not making an application online you will still have to use the website to arrange for posting the documents or visiting the appropriate office to deliver the application.

Studying in Canada will open up a whole world of culture and excitement, and applying for the student permit should not be an issue. Get it done as soon as you get your application accepted and you should be able to arrange things quickly. Like all things concerning your student experience, planning and preparation is key. The more prepared you are, and the earlier your application, the quicker you can get on with enjoying your course- and enjoying Canada!

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