Who doesn’t need a permit to study in Canada

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As Canada plans to limit the number of international study permits over the next two years, you might wonder if you can study in Canada without one. While most need a study permit, according to IRCC, there are some exemptions!

  • Short-term Courses: You don’t need a study permit if you’re coming to Canada for a program that lasts 6 months or less.
  • Family/Staff of Foreign Representatives: You may not need a study permit if you’re a family or staff member of a foreign representative to Canada that has been accredited by Global Affairs Canada (GAC). Your embassy can contact GACto find out if you need one.
  • Foreign Armed Forces: Members on official duty under the Visiting Forces Act don’t require a study permit.
  • Registered Indians in Canada: If you have Registered Indian status, no permit is required.
  • Minor Children: Minor children don’t need a study permit if
    • they’re refugees or refugee claimants
    • their parents are refugees or refugee claimants
    • their parents are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada
    • they’re in Canada attending preschool, primary school or secondary school, and they are accompanied by a parent who has authorization to study or work in Canada
    • they’re in Canada unaccompanied, and they’re attending preschool, primary school or secondary school
  • Temporary residents and asylum seekers taking French language and culture courses in Quebec
  • Temporary residents taking settlement and integration courses
  • Workers with Valid Permits: If you have a work permit issued on or before June 7, 2023, you may be eligible to study without an additional permit.

Benefits of Holding a Study Permit

Despite these exemptions, obtaining a study permit offers significant advantages, particularly for minor children in Canada who can get a secondary school co-op work permit, access to social services, and seamless transitions in their educational journey without needing to change their permit status.

If students planning to work while studying, they will need a study permit. Only registered full-time students with a study permit at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) are allowed to work during their studies. Students without a study permit, they cannot work while they are studying in Canada. In this case, they must apply for a work permit.

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