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Navigating Your Canadian Study Permit: Understanding the Conditions

Canadian Study Permit

Annually, Canada welcomes thousands of international students, who arrive in the country through issued study visas and Canadian study permit; with specific conditions that they must uphold during their studies.

Understanding the landscape of these conditions is crucial for a seamless academic journey. Below, we will delve into a comprehensive summary of the study permit conditions. It’s important to note that the specific conditions relevant to each student’s case can be found on the permit document issued to them by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

General Conditions:

Generally, there are many conditions that may be included on a study permit, ranging from work authorization to travel capabilities and start/end dates for the permit. General examples of these conditions include:

  • Being enrolled at a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI) – exemptions apply
  • Displaying active pursuit of one’s studies – exemptions apply
  • Informing the Canadian government any time a student changes their post-secondary school
  • Ending one’s studies if they no longer meet the requirements of being a student
  • Leaving Canada when your permit expires

Work Conditions:

Most international students pursuing a Canadian education want to make money simultaneously. If allowed by the conditions of their work permit, students can either work on or off campus. Note: In either case, students can only begin working when they start their studies, not before. Temporarily, until December 31 this year, certain international students can work more than the usual 20 hours per week.

On-Campus Work:

To work on campus, international students must be full-time, have a valid study permit, and possess a Social Insurance Number (SIN). In any of the following cases, international students must stop working on campus:

  • On the day the student stops studying full-time (except when in their final semester, assuming they meet the other requirements)
  • When their study permit expires
  • If they are on authorized leave from their studies
  • If the student is switching schools and they are not currently studying

Off-Campus Work:

To work off-campus, international students must be full-time at a DLI, be enrolled in a post-secondary academic, vocational, or professional training program, have a valid study permit, and possess a Social Insurance Number (SIN). In any of the following cases, international students must stop working off campus if:

  • Their study permit says they aren’t authorized to work off-campus while they study
  • They are only enrolled in an English or French as a second language (ESL/FSL) program
  • They are only taking general interest courses
  • The student’s situation changes, and they no longer meet all of the requirements to work off-campus

Travel Conditions:

Canada allows foreign students to travel freely outside of Canada during their study permit’s validity period. Re-entering Canada with a valid study permit requires certain conditions, including having a valid passport or travel document, attending a Canadian DLI, and meeting all other re-entry requirements for Canada. It’s crucial to note that a study permit is not itself a travel document.

Consequences for not Meeting Study Permit Conditions:

Failure to meet study permit conditions may result in consequences such as losing student status, being asked to leave Canada, and being required to wait six months to apply for a new Canadian study permit, visitor visa, or work permit. Future immigration application results/decisions can also be impacted by not following study permit conditions and/or working or studying in an unauthorized manner.

Exemptions from Study Permit Conditions:

Certain study permit holders are exempt from having to prove that they are enrolled at a Canadian DLI or actively pursuing their studies. Individuals exempt from this condition include people with refugee status in Canada, the spouse or dependent child of a Canadian study or work permit holder, and those studying in Canada under an exchange agreement between Canada and another country.

Understanding and adhering to these conditions is not only crucial for maintaining student status but also for a successful academic journey in Canada.

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