Studying in Canada
As a nation, Canadians place great emphasis on learning and higher education, having established a system with extremely high standards. In fact, a Canadian degree or diploma is highly regarded in business, government and academia around the world. Canada is also regarded as one of the best places to live in the world, and is highly ranked particularly for education, health care, social security, and lifestyle. As a country of immigrants, Canada encourages multicultural diversity and promotes the mix of ethnic backgrounds that have immigrated over the years.
International students who want to study in Canada will benefit from a wide array of community colleges and accredited universities in virtually every discipline imaginable. For some, studying in Canada may be a path to acquiring work experience, as a stepping-stone to immigration. But importantly, a student must be accepted to a Canadian education institution before applying for a study permit. Also, because provinces (and territories) administer education, it’s necessary to be familiar with various pre-requisites, options and admission requirements.
Obtaining an official Study Permit
Immigrants to Canada have alt limitless opportunities for study - from academic, to vocational, to professional. Each stream requires a Study Permit, which must be secured before entering the country. There are cases, however, like short-term programs (less than six months) that do not require a permit. For study longer than six months, a Study Permit is suggested prior to arrival.
Working in Canada while studying
Its permissible to study and work while attending an educational institute. With a Study Permit, students can work on campus without a Work Permit (this is for the institution or for a business on campus). To work off campus, students must have a Work Permit (part-time during regular academic sessions or full-time during the breaks). Changing employers is allowed at any time.
Internship and/or Co-op Programs
Students who decide to partake in a program that combines “work with study” will require both a Work Permit and Study Permit. Here, a Work Permit can be obtained by proving that the work experience is key to the study program. And while there are various requisites for this stream of study, students must ensure that the work component doesn’t exceed 50% of total program.
Students can work after graduating
On completion of studies, it’s possible for a student to attain a Post-Graduation Work Permit. This will make it possible to acquire Canadian work experience, and may be helpful for those who are applying for Canadian permanent residency. In this program, students must graduate from an accredited, degree granting, educational institution (college, university, or CEGEP institute).
Work Permits available to spouses
Full-time students enrolled in a recognized post-secondary institution may have a spouse apply for a Work Permit. With the valid Work Permit, a spouse is allowed to work in any occupation and is permitted to change jobs when necessary. The Work Permit would be valid for the period of time that the student’s Study Permit covers. There are some official restrictions that apply.