FAQs About Getting a Visa
Will I need to attend an interview?
After reviewing your application, a visa officer will decide if an interview is necessary. If so, the officer will contact you directly to set up a time and place for an appointment.
What happens when I arrive in Canada?
When you arrive in Canada, you must inform officials at the port of entry that you are an international student picking up your study permit. At that point, you will show the letter issued by the Canadian visa office in your country of origin to an immigration officer, who will issue your study permit. Please note that study permits are not issued by customs officers. The immigration officer at the port of entry will determine whether you may enter Canada and how long you may stay. You must either leave Canada on or before the date set by the immigration officer or have your status extended by an immigration office in Canada.
May I change schools?
You may change institutions and/or program of study to others at the same level. Applications for changing schools can be obtained from the nearest Canada Immigration Centre. However, if the terms and conditions on your study permit state that you are required to attend a specific school, then if you wish to change schools, you must apply for a new study permit and provide the appropriate documentation. This may be done while you are in Canada.
May I work during my stay in Canada?
You may work on campus at the institution where you study without a work permit, if you are a full-time student at a publicly-funded post-secondary institution or a private institution authorized by provincial statute to confer degrees. You require a work permit if the intended employment is an essential and integral part of your course of study (this does not apply to accounting students, medical interns or medical residents); or if the intended employment is related to an approved research or training program.
Off-campus work is an option for students studying at certain publicly-funded post-secondary institutions in Quebec, Manitoba and New Brunswick. Negotiations are underway to make off-campus work more widely available in other provinces.
International students who graduate from a publicly-funded post-secondary institution in the metropolitan regions of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, and who find employment in their field of study, may apply for a work permit for up to one year of post-graduation employment in Canada. Students who graduate from a publicly-funded post-secondary institution outside of these areas, and who find employment in their field of study outside of these areas, will be eligible to work for two years instead of one.
For more information about work opportunities for international students in Canada, please visit the Citizenship and Immigration website at: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/study/work-opps.html
May I leave Canada and return?
Yes. However, should your student authorization expire while you are out of Canada, you may not be allowed to return to study. If you initially required a visitor visa in addition to a study permit, you will be able to return to Canada providing your visa, passport and study permit are valid.
How do I obtain an extension of my student authorization?
If you wish to extend your study permit, you can do so within Canada. Contact the nearest Canada Immigration Centre at least two months before the expiry of your study permit, and ask for an application to be mailed to you. All applications for study permits from within Canada must be mailed to and processed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada's central processing centre in Vegreville, Alberta.