This article describes the visa requirements for students interested in booking an English course at a language school in Canada. All students, including students from visa waiver countries, must apply for a Canadian Study Permit for English courses longer than 6 months.
There are two categories of students:
- Students from countries that need a visa: These students need to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) for courses with a duration of 6 months or less. For longer courses, a Study Permit is required. Find out if you need a visa to enter Canada »
- Students from visa waiver countries (e.g. EU countries): These students do NOT need a visa for courses of less than 6 months. For longer courses, a Study Permit is required. Find out if you are from a visa waiver country »
2. Who needs a visa?
All students, even students from visa waiver countries, must apply for a Canadian Study Permit for English courses longer than 6 months. All students who are NOT from a visa waiver country must ALWAYS apply for a visa to enter Canada.
3. Visa types
Temporary Resident Visa: For courses lasting for 6 months or less
A student who is studying in Canada for 6 months or less and need a visa to enter Canada must apply for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), which is the equivalent of a visitor visa. The student does not need a Study Permit to enroll in a program that is 6 months or less, although the student may do so if he/she prefers. The Letter of Acceptance from the school will help to obtain approval, but is not mandatory to have it for the application (it is enough to receive the digital copy of it for the application).
A student who is intending to study in Canada for longer than 6 months must apply for a Study Permit before traveling to Canada. It is necessary to take a full-time intensive course in order to get a study permit.
A student who already has a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), is already in Canada, and wants to extend the course for more than 6 months, may apply for a Study Permit from within Canada.
If the student is studying in the Province of Quebec, the student must obtain permission to study from the governments of Quebec and Canada by applying for a Certificate of Acceptance of Quebec (CAQ) in addition to the Study Permit. Visit the Immigration Quebec website for more information »
4. Requirements for visa applications
- Proof of financial means (or support)
- Letter of acceptance from the school
- Letter of explanation for visit to Canada
- May also need: a medical exam
- For Student Permits in the Province of Quebec: Certificate of Acceptance of Quebec
- Invitation from from a family member or friend living in Canada
- Proof of ties to home country
- Proof of plans to leave Canada (flight ticket)
5. Frequently asked questions
How can I get a Canadian visa?
If you plan to study in Canada for 6 months or less, you can do so with a temporary resident visa. You do not need a study permit if you plan to study for 6 months or less. If you plan to study in Canada for more than 6 months, you have to apply for a student permit.
The school will provide a letter of acceptance to support your temporary resident visa or student permit application. Your letter of acceptance will be sent to you after we receive full payment for your course. For more information about obtaining a Canadian visa, please visit the Canadian Citizenship and Immigration website, or visit the Canadian Embassy in your region.
6. Useful links
- Find out if you need a Canadian visa »
- Learn more about the Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) for Canada »
- Learn more about applying for a Study Permit »
- Learn more about Canadian visas »
- See a list of required documents for getting a visa to study in Canada »
- Learn more about studying in Quebec from the Immigration Quebec website »