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Top Tips for International Students in Canada [Infographic]

We have just successfully hosted our first scholarship at the firm and received many great applications.  

Thank you everyone who applied!  Your submissions were great, if you did not win this year please apply again next year.  

Congratulations to Amanda Bergmann for the best submission for Shim Law’s scholarship and our $1,000 award.  Below is Amanda’s infographic detailing the top tips for international students in Canada.  

Top Tips for International Students in Canada

Welcome to Canada! Bienvenue au Canada! 

Canada has one of the best educational systems in the world and a degree from a Canadian University or College opens many professional opportunities.  Shim Law is here to help you successfully navigate your study abroad experience in Canada from beginning to end.    

Deciding Where to Study

City or Country? Engineering or Arts? Canadian schools offer a range of high-quality experiences for whatever you are looking for.

It is important make sure your chosen school is a Designated Learning Institution (DLI).  Only DLIs can support a study permit in Canada. Obtaining an acceptance letter from a DLI is the first step to coming to Canada as a student.

Applying for a Study Permit

1.  Determine If You Need a Permit

Most students need a permit. However, you may not if you are studying for less than 6 months, or meet other exceptions.  

2.  Complete All Required Forms

Make sure to fill in every box in every single required form.  Incomplete applications can lead to delays.  Provide additional explanations if necessary. 

3.  Collect all Supporting Documents

You will need a proof of acceptable from your school, a valid passport and proof of financial support.  You may need more legal documents if they are required. 

4.  Submit All Your Documents

Depending on where you are located, you can submit the application online, in person at Visa Application center or by mail.  Processing times will vary depending on how/where you apply.  You may also be asked to complete an interview. 

5.  Obtain Acceptance

Congratulations, you have received approval to study in Canada!  If applicable, you will also receive your electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), allowing you to travel to Canada.  Your passport will be stamped and you will receive your study permit at the border. 

You Will Need a Valid Immigration Status

A study permit allows you to study in Canada, but it does not grant legal status to be in Canada.  If you do not have an immigration status already, consider applying for a Temporary Residence Permit or if your spouse is a Canadian or Permanent Resident – complete a spousal sponsorship

Remember:  Double Check Your Answers and Documents

Applications that are incomplete will be returned to the applicant, which can cause delays and study interruptions.  In a worst case scenario, if the IRCC (Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada) believes you are leaving valuable information from your application, you may be found guilty of misrepresentation and barred from Canada for up to 5 years. 

At Shim Law, we will work to help ensure that your application meets IRCC’s high standards.

Working While Studying

When studying in Canada, you should take advantage of the ability to be able to work while you’re an international student.  If your goal is to achieve a permanent residence status, your working hours can be put towards your application.  Learn more about express entry here.    

On Campus or For School

Students with valid study permits may work up to 20 hours per week on campus.  In addition, students may complete off-campus internships or co-ops if it is required for their program and does not exceed 50% of class time. 

Off Campus

If you wish you to work off-campus, you must apply for a Work permit.  To be eligible, you must be enrolled as a full-time student in a program at least 6 months long.  You may work up to 20 hours per week.

Be aware that working without a valid Work Permit where one is required is an offence under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and can lead to you being asked to leave Canada. 

Options for Your Family

Canada has a few options for your immediate family members to live in Canada while you study.  They may be eligible to attend school or work in Canada as well. 

For visiting options, family members can apply for a Visitor Visa up to 6 months long.  We strongly recommend that you contact our Immigration Consultants or Immigration lawyers to explore what options are available for you and your loved ones. 

Plan for The Long Term

School is often a means to a means to an end.  Make sure you set yourself up for success by envisioning where you want to end up and plan on how to get there. 

Post-Graduate Work Permits (PGWP)

Students eligible for a PGWP may work up to 8 months – 3 years depending on the length of your program in Canada after graduating.  To be eligible, you must have graduated from a full-time program at a DLI that was at least 8 months long.  You have 90 days to apply after you complete your program.  For those who are not eligible, you may still apply for a general Work Permit

Permanent Residence

There are many avenues for skilled immigrants to settle permanently in Canada.  Depending on your education, language skills (and other factors), you may be eligible for Express Entry or a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

Please seek one of our experienced immigration staff members to assist in your application and explore further options on your future life in Canada.  Our immigration staff have personally experienced immigration themselves as our team has come from all across the world.  We will professionally guide you on your way to immigrate to Canada and can offer our services in up to 10 different languages.  

Contact us today by booking a consultation online or calling us at (403) 476-2011. 

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About Shim Law

Shim Law is a multicultural law firm that provides legal services to clients in Calgary and around the world. With lawyers fluent in up to 20 languages, we can provide accurate legal representation regardless of language barriers. Our practice areas include family law, real estate law, and more.

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