Over the past decade, there has been a significant increase in the number of individuals moving to Canada to further their education. Canada is indeed one of the top ten destinations for International Students, as it provides advanced quality and affordable education; working opportunities – during and after a study programme; and a multicultural society that allows students to experience diversity, along with an appreciation of different cultures. Canada is ranked number three in best countries for education and number one for best quality of life according to usnews.com’s best countries ranking.
Although the application process may appear easy and straightforward, there are mandatory requirements to be fulfilled by all applicants. It is therefore important for applicants to familiarize themselves and ensure the correct process is followed.
Here are five useful tips on the application process for study permits.
1. Before Applying:
Do your research. Research is very important especially before applying because each province in Canada oversees its education system, and consequently, the requirements vary per province. Applicants must ensure that that the Designated Learning Institution (DLI) (school) they have chosen is approved to enroll international students.
Once an applicant has identified and selected a DLI / school of interest, a formal application for admission is required. Applicants must contact the respective school(s) for further information and clarification of the application process.
Again, different schools have different requirements, therefore this clarification is crucial. Applicants could request clarification on entry requirements; tuition fees; confirmation on if a deposit or full tuition is required; and the refund policy if the study permit is refused.
A study permit is mandatory if the intended programme is over six months. It is important to start the application process early; preferably a year before resumption. The Lagos and Accra visa offices are usually very busy as they process large volumes of applications. Early submission also gives time for reapplication if one’s application is rejected. You can apply online or at registered visa application centres.
The decision to engage an immigration lawyer or consultant is at the discretion of the applicant. However, it is important to ensure that the immigration lawyer or consultant is licensed by the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC). This can be verified by searching the ICCRC website for the respective name(s).
Consultants assist with the application process - helping applicants avoid common mistakes and sharing tips from their experience. Consultants, however, do not receive any preferential treatment from the immigration council. Do not be afraid to ask the consultant questions to ensure they are licensed and experienced.
To apply for a study permit, an acceptance letter from the designated learning institution (DLI) and valid passport is required. Applicants must meet the following requirements:
● Proof that there is enough money to pay for tuition, living expenses and return transportation for the self and family (if accompanied by family).
● Applicants must be law-abiding citizens with no criminal records and may be asked to present a police certificate.
● Applicants must be in good health. Residents of Nigeria are required to complete a medical examination.
● Evidence to convince the immigration officer that applicant will leave Canada at the end of the programme.
It is important that your application is complete, accurate and truthful, as misrepresentations - even in the slightest form - could lead to a ban from Canada for a number of years or for life. Incomplete applications will also be returned.
4. Most Common Reasons for Refusal
● Proof of funds: If the ICRC is not convinced that the funds provided will be sufficient
● Medical Grounds
● Lack of clarity about purpose in Canada
● Inability to show that applicant will return home upon completion of studies.
5. After Approval is Received
After the applicant has successfully met all requirements, the immigration council will issue an approval letter. Applicants can then proceed to book flight tickets to Canada. At the point of entry, the approval letter is required to be presented to an immigration officer to issue the study permit.
Applicants will also need to provide the admission letter from the Designated Learning Institution, proof of funds and any other documents requested.
All conditions listed on the study permit must be respected. Be mindful of expiry dates on the permits and visas and notify CIC if you change institutions.
Upon arrival, it is important to connect with the Nigeria High Commission to facilitate integration.
Important clarification: A Study Permit is not a visa.
As a full-time student, you may be eligible to work on or off campus - usually for up to twenty hours per week during the term, and full time during holidays.
● Information is power; do your research.
● Apply for your study permit on time, best practice is a year before school starts
● Double check your application and documents before submitting for accuracy.
● Avoid Misrepresentation
● Follow the law and conditions
Todun Consulting can help with the application process, contact us.
Omolajipe Faleyimu is the Principal Consultant at Todun Consulting and is a Certified Human Resource Professional (CHRP) and a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC).
She moved to Canada as an International Student in 2006. Passionate about information accuracy, Omolajipe took a keen interest in Immigration and has since then helped several clients achieve their immigration goals.
She has an in-depth understanding of the immigration rules and process and takes extra effort to educate her clients on the process.