In majority of the cases, international students are required to apply for a study permit in order to study in Canada. However, there are certain situations whereby foreign students may be exempt from this requirement.
Short-Term Study in Canada
If your study program is for six months or less, then you do not require a study permit. The courses may be taken on a full-time basis or part-time, but must be completed within the six- month period. Your visa will not be extended for the sole purpose of completing a short-term study program.
Foreign nationals already in Canada who now wish to study must apply for a study permit from outside Canada. You may be exempted from applying if the course is short-term and can be completed within the original period of stay as indicated upon their entry to Canada.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada recommend that foreign nationals who intend to work on campus or continue their studies in Canada after completing their initial program apply for a study permit.
Minor children may study at a pre-school, primary, or secondary level in Canada without a study permit. This exception applies to children of temporary students or workers, as well as Canadian citizens and permanent residents, but does not apply to children of temporary residents not authorized to work or study in Canada (i.e. visitors).
Family Members and Private Staff of Diplomats
Family members or members of private staff of foreign diplomats and foreign accredited representatives are not required to obtain a study permit. For this category of exception, family members include:
- Spouse or common-law partner
- Dependant child of the individual or their spouse/common-law partner
- Dependant child of a dependant child
Members of Foreign Armed Forces in Canada
Members of the armed forces of a country designated under the Visiting Forces Act also do not require a permit to study in Canada.