Free Answers to the Top-25 FAQs about Studying University in Canada

We offer here free answers to the Top-25 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about studying University or College in Canada. We are your door to Study in Canada!

We are experts helping International Students to study in Canada

Since 2008, we help International Students from all over the world to come to study in Canada, from Grade School to College and University. Review our website for more details on the services we offer for International Students.

1) Why Study in Canada?

Canada is among the Top 3 Education destinations in the World for International Students (IRCC)

Even during Covid, 530,540 international students attended School in Canada in the 2020 school year (CBIE). International student enrolments in formal programs in Canada more than tripled over a 10-year period (Statistics Canada).

Canada in in demand with International Students

 There is great demand to study un Canada.  

The top reasons are:

  • Canada’s quality of life and quality of education
  • Its reputation as a safe country, and
  • Its tolerant, non-discriminatory society

Other great reasons to study College or University in Canada are that:

  • Canada offers more affordable Tuition and Cost of Living costs than the U.S., the United Kingdom, Australia, and other countries.
  • Students can also work part-time in Canada while they study in an accredited program at a designated Post-Secondary institution (DLI).
  • Most Post-Secondary international students may also be eligible to obtain a Post-Graduation Work Permit for up to 3 years.
  • Canada offers clear paths for qualifying graduates of Canadian Post-Secondary programs to apply for Permanent Residence.

2) How can Clearport Help Me?

Depending on the services you request through one of our Memberships or an Immigration Consultation, we can help you through various steps: searching and choosing a School and Study Program that fits your needs; preparing and submitting a School Application to meet School and Program requirements; getting a Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from your School of choice; securing living arrangements; preparing a Study Permit Application; preparing a Post-Graduation Work Permit Application; when the time comes, preparing a Permanent Residency Application. You choose the service and value that you want.

Student Memberships

You can watch a brief video (click on the image below) about the process of studying in Canada through Clearport:

Our Online Tools and our Education Consultants help International Students with the process of choosing a School and Study Program and much more.

Two different Clearport Student Memberships (Basic Student Membership and Concierge Student Menbership) give you the services you need and the value you want.

  • Basic Student Membership: Includes access to our Online Tools, and to our database with almost all Canadian Colleges & Universities as well as their Study Programs, with descriptions, length, requirements, costs, and key dates. Our Online Tools give you the filters to help you instantly search and filter our database to find the School and Program that best match what you want. Simplify your School Search and Application, and save time vs doing all the School search and application on your own. Does not include assistance for the Study Permit application process (you can upgrade later to our Concierge Membership to get assistance for your Study Permit Application).
  • Concierge Student Membership: You get access to our Online Tools but also to our Education Consultants, who will give you personalized service. If you opt for our Concierge Student Membership, our Education Consultants will schedule a One-on-One Call with you to understand your needs and preferences. They will search the Schools and Programs for you and make recommendations based on what you want, saving you time and costly mistakes. They will prepare your School Application, gather from you the necessary Documents, and submit the Application to the School. Once the School accepts you in principle, you will pay your Tuition and School fees to obtain your final Letter of Acceptance. Our Education Consultants will then transfer you to one of our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants to prepare a Study Permit Application. After your application is approved and your Study Visa is issued allowing you to travel to Canada, our Education Consultants will assist you in making your living arrangements. We will prepare for you a Travel Package with the documents you will need to show the Immigration Officer at the Port of Entry to receive your Study Permit. With our Concierge student Membership, you also receive 24/7 Emergency Support for our Education Consultants while you study in Canada. All the convenience and peace of mind you need in one single place. From School Selection to Study Permit and more!

Become a Clearport Student Concierge Member to Study in Canada

Immigration Consultation

If you are unsure whether applying to Study or to Work in Canada, or want to have specific Immigration information and assistance, our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCIC’s) can help with the process of applying for a Study Permit, a Post-Graduation Work Permit, and related Government applications and immigrations processes. Booking an Immigration Consultation can help define your situation and best strategy.

Book an Immigration Consultation and they will guide you with qualified, professional Immigration Advise.

Book an Immigration Consultation to Canada

An Immigration Consultation can save you time and money by providing the professional guidance you require from a well-prepared, certified Team of ICCRC-regulated consultants.

Please beware of advice from “immigration consultants” that are not regulated or in good standing. Only a Certified Canadian Immigration Consultant in good standing with the ICCRC can offer consultancy services for applications to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)

Regulate Canadian Immigration Consultant Insignia

Verify Status with ICCRC: link to ICCRC site

Rui Jiang, RCIC # R530523

Dongkai Li, RCIC # R522600

3) What are the Levels of Canadian Post-Secondary Schools and Study Programs?

In Canada, any studies beyond Grade 12 (when secondary-school programs conclude in Canada) or beyond the 2-year CÉGEP program in the case of Quebec, are considered Post-Secondary.

Studies at the Post-Secondary level in Canada are offered by Vocational Schools, Colleges and by Universities. Students at the Bachelor’s (or baccalaureate) level are known as Undergraduates.

Undergraduate Studies:

  • Vocational Degrees (also “Career Diplomas”): Typically, 10 to 24 months. They offer Job-Specific technical training to prepares students to work in the “trades” (i.e., occupations in construction, mechanics, but also in technology, justice, cosmetology, education, etc.). Vocational Degrees focus on skills and certification in a certain field, giving priority to practical career-specific skills to rapidly prepare students to enter the workforce.
  • Bachelor’s Programs / Degree: Normally require 3 to 4 years of full-time study. For regulated professions such as Law, Medicine, Education, and Social Work, an internship is generally required and, in some cases, additional years of formal study.

Graduate Studies:

  • Master’s Programs / Degree: Typically require 2 years of study after completion of a Bachelor’s degree.
  • Doctorate Programs / Degree: Usually require, at minimum, completion of a Bachelor’s degree, plus 3 years of study and research, and completion of a Dissertation.

Diploma and Certificate Programs:

Many Universities and most Colleges and Technical Institutes offer Diploma and Certificate programs, both at the Undergraduate and Graduate levels. Generally speaking, University Diploma and Certificate programs require 1 or 2 years of study, but they vary greatly from one Institution and Province to another.

Post-Secondary Education System in Canada

4) How do I Choose the Right Canadian University / College and Study Program for Me?

There are more than 200 public and private Post-Secondary Educational Institutions in Canada, from Universities and University Colleges, to Colleges, Institutes of Technology, Polytechnics and Specialized Institutes, offering more than 10,000 Study Programs. They are distributed across all Provinces of Canada, and the Provincial Governments are in charge of Education.

There are a number of factors to consider before choosing: Content and Length of the Study Program, Degree Awarded, Campus Location and Size, Tuition and other School Fees, Cost of Living in that City, Enrollment Requirements (i.e., English, previous Math level, etc.), Post-Graduation Employability, and many more. With a Student Concierge Membership, we can help you make the right choice according to your needs, budget, and preferences.

5) How Much Does it Cost to Study in Canada?

Statistics Canada reports that average Tuition fees in Canada are significantly more affordable than those in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia. When combining Tuition and Cost of Living costs, Canada is also much more affordable than the U.S., the United Kingdom, and Australia.

Cost of Studying and Living in Canada vs USA, UK, and Australia

The costs above are averages, and Canada offers even more affordable options.

Become a Clearport Basic Student Member and -with our online tools- you can choose on your own, or become a Student Concierge Member and we will recommend a Study Program that fits your budget and preferences.

6) Are there Scholarships to Study in Canada?

Yes, there are Scholarships for International Students in Canada, depending on what you want to study, your country of origin, and other factors. However, in many cases Scholarships and Bursaries are only available after you have paid for your Tuition.

7) Will I be Approved to Study in Canada?

Demand to study in Canada is strong and has consistently grown over the years (it grew 97%+ between 2014 and 2019). Study Permits are issued at the Port of Entry and are always issued at the discretion of the Officer. Your chances of approval are high if you meet requirements, can cover your Tuition Fees, have funds to cover your Cost of Living while in Canada, do not have any cause for inadmissibility, and your Study Permit application has been professionally prepared.

Please be aware that certain countries have higher rejection rates due to a number of factors. Key reasons for applications being refused include the lack of reliable documents to demonstrate the applicant’s ability to support living expenses while in Canada, or the applicant’s lack of ties to country of citizenship (i.e., properties or employment opportunities to return to).

If you believe you are in this situation, book an Immigration Consultation and we might be able to help you understand what you can do about this.

8) What is a DLI (Designated Learning Institution)?

The Government of Canada grants Designated Learning Institution (DLI) status to any school that is allowed to admit International Students. Primary and Secondary schools in Canada are all DLIs; however, not all Post-Secondary Institutions are DLIs. The Government of Canada adds and removes Post-Secondary Institutions from the list of DLIs based on them meeting requirements. You can check here the list of approved DLIs.

An important factor to consider is that Post-Graduation Work Permits can only be obtained after graduating from certain Post-Secondary Study Programs offered by DLIs.

9) Do I Need IELTS to Study in Canada?

It depends on the Educational Institution you plan to study at. Each Post-Secondary Institution in Canada establishes its own English (or French) proficiency requirements, as well as the Language Exams it accepts, so it is important to find out early what those requirements are. Pathway programs are offered by some Colleges and Universities: you can start studying English (or French) at the College or University, and enroll in your Degree Program once your English (or French) grades meet the requirement.

Become a Member and use our SRT English Assessment and Improvement Tool. It will tell you how you would score in other popular English Tests (like IELTS, TOEFL, TOEIC), where do you have gaps, give you a free Personalized Online Learning plan to improve, and then let you test again to measure your progress.

SRT English Assessment and Improvement Tool

10) What Documents do I need to apply for a Study Permit?

Minimum documents include:

  • A Valid Passport, ideally expiring after the date in which you plan to complete your studies.
  • Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from the School you want to attend. It confirms you have been accepted in your Study Program and that you have covered your Tuition and other School Fees.
  • Proof of Funds. The purpose of these documents is to demonstrate that you have enough funds available to support your expenses while studying in Canada (and those of spouse and/or children that are coming with you), at least for your first year of studies. These expenses include housing, food, and other non-school expenses, which will vary depending on location of studies and your spending habits and needs. Proof of funds can be Bank and/or Investment Statements (last 3 months), Savings Statements, Payroll Receipts, and other official banking or investment documents.Example of Proof of Funds-Bank Statement
  • Personal Identity documents, such as Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate.
  • Academic Documents. Those showing the maximum level of Education you have completed prior to coming to Canada.
  • Others as required in the Document Checklist for your country of Citizenship and/or residence.

Your application must be submitted in English (or French), and a certified English Translation of these documents will need to be provided with your application.

11) Do I need a Canadian Study Visa, a Study Permit, or Both?

You need both.

You can apply for a Study Permit once you have a Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from a Post-Secondary Designated Learning Institution (DLI) and a completed Study Permit application with the required documents.

When you apply for a Study Permit, you will first be issued a Study Visa (Citizens of a few countries do not need a Study Visa). A Canadian Study Visa is a travel document that allows you to travel to Canada for the purpose of studying in Canada and -as long as your Study Visa is valid- exit the country and come back. A Study Visa is a Temporary Resident Visa, or TRV. Study Visas are issued by the Canadian Embassy, a Canadian Consulate, or a Canada Visa Application Centre (VAC) in your country or a country near you. You might also need to obtain an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization) before traveling to Canada.

A Study Permit is issued at the Port of Entry (the first airport you arrive in Canada) and establishes the conditions of what you are allowed to do while in Canada, and for how long. A Study Permit allows you to study at a specific program in a specific College or University for a certain time. It may also allow you to work part-time while you study.

Both Study Visas and Study Permits are issued at the discretion of the Officers of the Government of Canada.

12) How Long Does it Take to get a Study Visa?

This depends on where you live (your country of residence), and can vary significantly between countries and from time to time, depending on demand. In some cases, Study Visas can be processed in as little as 2 weeks, but in others it can take much longer. Become a Concierge Student Member and apply early!

13) What is the School Application Process?

School Application Process

1. Choose a Study Program and School.

2. Apply to the School and pay for your Tuition.

3. Get Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from your School (must be a DLI). Without it, you cannot apply for a Study Permit.

Remember, our Basic Student Membership and Student Concierge Membership can help you choose the Study Program and School that are right for you. With our Student Concierge Membership, we will recommend Study Programs / Schools based on your preferences, budget and needs, will prepare a professional School application, submit it to the school, and follow through to your Letter of Acceptance: we do all the work for you!

14) What is the Study Permit Application Process?

Study Permit and Permit Process:

1. Check that you are admissible to Canada: For example, that you do not have a criminal record or other background that would make you inadmissible into the country.

2. Check that you meet eligibility requirements:

  • Proof that you have completed the minimum pre-requisite level of Education (your Diploma / Title and Grade Transcript); and
  • Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from a DLI; and
  • Proof of Funds; and
  • Other supporting documents, according to your country of Citizenship and residence.

3. Prepare Application: With our Student Concierge Membership, one of our In-House Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants will prepare and review with you the application before submission, so that you know it has been professionally prepared.

4. Submit your Application. This can be done online or in paper. We can help.Specimen of Canada Study Permit

5. Plan your Travel. Once your Study Permit application is approved, you will receive a “Port of Entry Introduction Letter” by the Government of Canada and your Study Visa will be issued. This means that you are approved to travel to Canada to study. We can help you to plan your trip, starting with making final living arrangements and preparing a Travel Package with the documents you will need to present at the Port of Entry.

Your Study Permit will be issued at the Port of Entry.

Become a Student Concierge Member. We will prepare a professional Study Permit application and help you gather all the necessary documents.

15) When do I Need to Apply to School?

Deadlines to apply to be enrolled in a Study Program vary by school and by program. Apply early, as many Study Programs have a limited number of spaces, and schools scrutinize more your application if you apply late (close to the end of the admission period), and the Study Program has more demand than available spaces.

16) Can I Work While I Study in Canada?

In short, yes, you can work part-time while you study, up to 20 hours per week during each study terms, and full-time during vacations and official school breaks.

If your Letter of Acceptance (LOA) states that Work Experience (such as a Co-op or Internship) are part of your Study Program, you may be able to work more than 20 hours per week during each term, in which case you may be issued a Study Permit and a Work Permit.

In any case, these documents will precise if you are allowed to work off- or on-campus and how many hours per week.

Working part-time while you study can help you cover some of your expenses. Become a Clearport Study-Work Concierge Member and we will help you in every step, from choosing your program to preparing and submitting your School and Study Permit applications.

17) Can I Bring My Family With Me While I Study?

If you have a spouse (you are married or live in a common-law union), you may want to bring your spouse with you when you come to study in Canada.

Study in Canada with your Spouse and Children

And if you have children, you and your spouse may want to bring them, too!

All this must be clearly indicated in your Study Permit Application, and the Visa Officers will take it into consideration. Remember, if you apply to bring your spouse and/or children with you, you will need to provide Proof of Funds demonstrating that you have enough funds available to cover not only your personal living expenses, but also those of the family members that come along with you.

You can see here the amount of funds required by the Government of Canada by number of family members.

18) Can My Spouse Work in Canada While I Study?

If your Study Permit Application includes your spouse and children, and if it is approved, your spouse will receive an Open Work Permit to work full-time in Canada, and -depending on their age- your children will receive Study Permits to study Grade School.

You can book an Immigration Consultation with our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants to learn more.

19) What Are the Conditions of a Canadian Study Permit?

Your Study Permit comes with certain conditions, which you must respect.

  • You must be enrolled at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI), in a Study Program that is 8 months or longer.
  • You must not take any leaves from your Study Program (even if they are authorized by the School) longer than 150 days.
  • If your Study Permit allows you to work part-time, you must comply with the conditions stated in your Study Permit (i.e., where are you allowed to work, number of hours per week, etc.).
  • If you receive a Work Permit additionally to your Study Permit, you must comply with the conditions stated in both your Study Permit and your Work Permit.
  • You can only stay in Canada as long as permitted in your Visa and/or Study Permit, and to continue to study in Canada after its duration you must apply to renew or extend your Study Permit before it expires.

20) Do I Need a Letter of Intent to Study in Canada?

Yes. Your Study Permit Application must include your Letter of Intent, stating what are your plans to study in Canada and your goals afterwards, and that you agree to leave Canada once your Study Permit has expired. This does not prohibit you to apply for a new Study Permit or for a Post-Graduation Work Permit once you graduate from your Study Program.

Become a Student Concierge Member and we will assist with the preparation of your Study Permit Application, including your Letter of Intent.

21) Can I Change Study Programs or Schools?

Yes, once you have a Study Permit, you can change your Study Program and even your School any time. We can guide you to use the right procedure and steps.

22) Can I Study English as a Second Language (ESL) or French (FSL) in Canada?

Yes. Public and Private Post-Secondary institutions offer English as a Second Language (ESL) and French as a Second Language (FSL) programs, many of them as Pathway programs in which you can start studying ESL or FSL at the College or University of your choice, and then enroll in your Degree Program once ESL or FSL grades meet the program requirements. We can help you finding the rich Study Program and School.

23) Where do I apply for a Study Permit?

If you are not a Citizen of the country where live in, you must apply in the country you live in (or the closest country designated by the Government of Canada) and include in your application proof of your immigration status in your country of residence.

24) Am I Covered by Canada’s Health Care System?

All International Students in Canada must have Health coverage in Canada, which is provided by Health Insurance Plans obtained through your school of choice in Canada. This Health Insurance is usually paid when you pay your Tuition Fees.

Canada-International Students need Health Care Insurance

25) Can I Stay in Canada After I Graduate?

Yes. You can apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) after you graduate, and you must do it immediately after graduating. A PGWP will allow you to stay in Canada and work for a length of time equal to the length of the Study Program you graduated from (with a limit of 3 years).

Canada-Apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit after graduating

25) Can I Apply for Permanent Residence if I Graduated for a Canadian College or University?

Yes. After working in Canada for a minimum of 1 year (or equivalent number of hours), you can apply for Permanent Residence in Canada.

Stay after studying and Live in Canada

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