Study in Canada without a study permit
Most international students need a study permit to study in Canada. However, can you study in Canada without a study permit? Some exceptional situations allow foreign nationals to study in Canada without a permit.
- Your status
- The nature of the studies
- No permit because of the regulations
- Minor children
- Applying for a study permit even if you don’t need one
- Let us help!
You may study in Canada without a permit if you fall under any of the following categories:
The rest of this article is about foreign nationals only.
Sometimes the nature of the studies exempts a person from a study permit. Here is a list:
- Courses for self-improvement or general interest
- Pre-school programs (i.e., pre-kindergarten)
- Auditing courses (i.e., you only attend the class, but you do not take the exams or get credit)
- Distance learning
Distance learning is a bit tricky. If you are outside Canada, you may attend online training or distance training without a study permit. However, it would be best if you considered the following:
- If part of the program is inside Canada and in person, you need a study permit.
- Generally speaking, distance learning does not qualify you for PGWP or similar benefits. Nonetheless, check out special measures because of COVID-19.
The immigration Regulations, IRPR, exempt a few groups from obtaining a study permit, namely:
- Private staff and family members of diplomats and similar foreign representatives. Of course, GAC assists with the determination of who qualifies for this option.
- Members of the armed forces who are visiting Canada under the Visiting Forces Act! However, their family members may still need a study permit to study in Canada.
- Registered Indians
- The duration of the course is less than six months. Of course, they must complete the whole program in less than six months.
You cannot break down a lengthy educational program into smaller pieces and then take them without a study permit.
Most minor children may study in Canada without a permit. The Immigration Act, IRPA, defines which minors may study without a permit. Since this is a lengthy subject, I have published another article for it.
If the duration of your studies is less than six months, you may still apply for a study permit. Of course, there are some benefits in holding a study permit:
- College or university students who hold a study permit may work on the campus of the school. Unfortunately, working off-campus is only available if the duration of studies is more than six months.
- When holding a study permit, you may later apply for another study permit from inside Canada.
Immigration officers are aware of these benefits. Therefore, you still need to convince them; you will leave Canada at the end of your authorized stay. Also, keep in mind that officers only issue a study permit if you are studying at a Designated Learning Institution.
Whether you intend to study in Canada without a study permit or apply for a study permit, fill out the following form. Of course, you may alternatively book a consultation session with me.
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This article provides information of a general nature only. Considering the fluid nature of the immigration world, it may no longer be current. Of course, the item does not give legal advice. Therefore, do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. Consequently, no one could hold us accountable for the content of these articles. Of course, if you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. Alternatively, if you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment.
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