Canada study permit
IRCC has cleared up the confusion about Canada study permit rules for short courses. Source: Christina Morillo/Pexels

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has confirmed that international students may enter the country for short courses on a Canada study permit. The PIE News reports that IRCC responded to a query by Languages Canada, which represents institutions offering English and French education to international students. Languages Canada pointed out that students can only come to the country with a Canada study permit; a temporary resident visa or electronic travel authorisation is insufficient.

This confusion arose because the document to apply for a Canada study permit does not offer the option for short courses under six months. On top of that, the official government website states that international students do not need a study permit to do a short course of under six months. Yet it recommends obtaining a study permit anyway, in case you decide to work part-time or extend your stay.

How to complete your application

A statement to Languages Canada reads: “IRCC is aware that there is an issue in the [eligibility] questionnaire which does not present applicants the option to apply for a study permit if they plan to study for less than six months and do not require a temporary resident visa. We are currently working to address this issue. In the meantime, applicants who wish to apply for a study permit for a short-term programme can indicate during the eligibility questionnaire that they intend to stay in Canada for longer than six months. This will generate their document checklist for a study permit application. When they complete the application, the applicant should include their actual dates of study which reflect that [they] intend to study for less than six months.”

According to Diego Sanchez, international promotion and marketing manager at Languages Canada, a significant number of international students come to Canada for short courses. “In 2019, we welcomed 150,000 students. Two-thirds of those students came on programmes of less than six months,” he explained. “A student could be considering coming, for let’s say, four months. But then they’re told, ‘no, you can’t’. This may mean they decide not to come at all or they might just go somewhere else … So this is really a crucial factor, to be honest.”

Short courses in Canada cost anywhere between 5,000 to 15,000 Canadian dollars. You can obtain certificates in human resource management, communication, business administration, software engineering, and the French language, among others.