Foreign applicants who receive a ‘Letter of Acceptance’ from a Canadian DLI school can start preparing an application for a study permit. A complete application package consists of forms and supporting documents. Many study permit applications are refused because insufficient supporting documents were provided. Frequently, applicants neglect so called ‘Study Plan’ as well as documentation proving their genuine intent to study in Canada. Although these documents are not always mentioned in the checklist, they often mean the difference between a study permit approval and refusal.

Country-Specific Requirements

Study Permit Canada Requirements may be different for applicants based on their country of citizenship or residence. Therefore, as the first step, applicants need to verify the country-specific requirements for a study permit.

For example, if you are a Chinese citizen living in your home country, you will need to follow the requirements for applicants from China. However, if you are, an applicant originally from India residing in the United Kingdom, you may choose to apply based on the requirements for either India or the United Kingdom. It is advisable to compare the requirements and choose those that are easier to fulfill. Also, the processing times can be compared and the faster processing country can be chosen.

Study Permit Requirements - Forms

Document checklist [IMM 5483]

Application for a Study Permit made outside of Canada [IMM 1294]

Family Information Form [IMM 5707]

Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union [IMM 5409] (only applicable if you have an accompanying partner who is not your wife or husband)

Custodian Declaration [IMM 5646] (only applicable if the applicant is a minor)

Application for Temporary Resident Visa – [IMM 5257B] (If you have answered “yes” to any of the background information questions on the application form [IMM 1294])

Use of a Representative [IMM 5476] (This form applies only when you are using a representative to help you with the application)

Authority to release personal information to a designated individual [IMM 5475] (This form applies only when you are giving another person the right to inquire about the status of your application. This person will not however be able to represent you and conduct business on your behalf with IRCC)

Mandatory Supporting Documents

Supporting documents may differ based on the office that is processing your application. Always check the country-specific instructions.

– Letter of Acceptance from the Canadian School

– MIDI’s Approval Letter (for applicants destined to a school in Quebec)

– Proof Financial Support*

– Past Educational Certificates

– Language Test Results

– Proof of Employment (if applicable)

– Previous Passports

– Documentation for students-minors
– Etc.

*(Country-specific checklists often detail what specificaly is required. Among these are: bank statements/Guaranteed Investment Certificate, parents’ tax returns, scholarships or other financial support, reference letters from individuals providing financial support, etc.)

Study Plan

Study Plan is an overlooked component of a Study Permit Canada Application. What is a Study Plan than? It is a document (e.g. Letter), in which the applicant explains why he/she wants to study in Canada. Why he/she wants to study at the specific school and why the chosen program.

The goal of the Study Plan is to explain how the studies will benefit the student’s career in the future. Most importantly, it should present how the studies will improve the person’s opportunities end employability in his/her home country. It should explain what ties the applicant has to his home country and why it is unlikely that he/she would overstay his/her status in Canada.

It is critical to understand that officers review each Study Permit Canada Application with the aim to find out whether the applicant’s intentions are genuine. Applicants must present evidence that he/she wants to truly study in Canada (*some foreign nationals use a study permit only as a ticket to Canada and do not pursue studies). Furthermore, the officer must believe that the applicant will return to his/her home country at the end of the studies. In other words, the officers want to be confident that the applicant will not break immigration rules by staying longer than permitted.

Regardless whether the applicant intends to apply for a Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) and permanent residence after the completion of studies, evidence must be provided to document that if the person is not approved, he or she will not stay in Canada illegally.

Evidence of Genuine Intent

The evidence of genuine intent goes hand-in-hand with the Study Plan. In essence, all that is mentioned in the Study Plan should be supported by material evidence as attachments to the application.

If the applicant claims that he/she would like to study a Master’s degree in geology because of previous studies of geology at the bachelor level, the undergraduate diploma and transcripts should be attached to the application. When the applicant argues that the studies will help with his/her career at the family business, documentation should be provided that proves the existence of the company and the nature of the business. The evidence should clearly show the link between the studies and the type of employment the applicant is seeking. If the applicant is planning to study hotel management, it might be irrelevant for the family’s construction business, etc. In the case the applicant has traveled before, provide evidence to show your good immigration record and so on and so forth.

The variety of evidence can be vast and it is not specifically prescribed by the Study Permit Canada Checklist. However, it is important to note that officers may decide your case with the evidence provided. They do not need to ask for additional documents. The duty is on the applicant (You) to provide the relevant information and documents at the time of submission.