Studying in Canada has become more accessible due to a new temporary public policy introduced on June 27, 2023. This policy allows certain foreign workers to pursue studies in Canada without the need for a study permit.
In this article, we will dive into the eligibility criteria, benefits, and key details of this groundbreaking policy.
Under this policy, you may be eligible to study without a study permit while you work if you meet one of the following conditions:
- Hold a valid work permit issued on or before June 7, 2023, or
- Possess a letter authorizing you to work while your work permit extension application is being processed, with the letter issued on or before June 7, 2023.
- Quebecers can also study with the need for a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ). This exemption aligns with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada’s temporary public policy.
Eligibility for Permanent Residence Programs
If you’re a full-time worker studying under this policy, note that your work experience won’t count toward certain eligibility criteria, but your studies may positively impact other programs.
Ensure you study at a designated learning institution (DLI) offering post-graduation work permit-eligible programs.
Duration of Study
- If eligible and holding a valid work permit on June 7, 2023, you can study without a study permit until the earliest of your work permit’s expiry date or June 27, 2026, when this public policy expires.
- If you had a work permit application in progress on June 7, 2023, the same timeline applies, and you can study without a permit until the specific dates mentioned.
Who Doesn’t Need Permit?
- No study permit is required for programs lasting six months or less.
- Courses can be part-time or full-time.
- Completion within the six-month period is essential.
- Visa extensions are not granted for short-term programs.
Family or Staff of Foreign Representatives
Family members or staff of foreign representatives accredited by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) may not require a study permit. To confirm your eligibility, your embassy can contact GAC on your behalf.
Members of Foreign Armed Forces
If you’re a member of a foreign armed force from a country designated under the Visiting Forces Act (VFA) and are in Canada on official duties, you don’t need a permit.
However, you should possess a letter of acceptance from Canada’s Department of National Defence. Note that family members may need study permits unless they meet specific criteria.
Registered Indians in Canada
Minor Children in Canada
In some cases, minor children in Canada do not require a study permit. Exceptions include refugee or refugee claimant children, children of Canadian citizens or permanent residents, and those attending preschool, primary, or secondary school while accompanied by a parent with study or work authorization.
Temporary Residents and Asylum Seekers
These courses help newcomers integrate into Canadian society.
Settlement and Integration Courses
If you’re participating in settlement and integration courses provided by a provincial or territorial government, you generally do not need a study permit.
These courses are designed to help newcomers settle into Canada.
Co-op Work Placement
Employer-Specific Work Permit Holders: If your co-op employer or occupation differs from your current employer or occupation, you need a new work permit. Otherwise, you can maintain your original work permit for co-op work.
Study Permit Holders with Co-op Work Permit
If you have both a study permit and a valid co-op work permit, you’re eligible for additional study programs. Ensure you adhere to the conditions of your current study permit and the length of your existing co-op work permit.
When to Apply for a Study Permit
Learning institutions may request proof of your eligibility to study without a study permit. You can provide one of the following documents:
Your valid work permit:
- The work authorization letter issued when applying for your work permit extension.
- An email from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada confirming your eligibility.
Understanding whether you need a study permit to study in Canada is crucial for a smooth academic journey. While many international students must obtain a study permit, these exceptions provide flexibility for specific groups.