Who is a student?

According to the I.R.P.R: A foreign national is a member of the student class if authorized to enter and remain in Canada as a student.

Where do the majority of international students come from?

The top ten countries that send the most students to Canada are:

  1. India dominates the list, with 217,410 students in Canada in 2021, which was equal to 48% of the top 10 countries combined.
  2. The people’s Republic of China in the second category sent 105,265 students which were equal to 23% of all top countries combined.
  3. France, 26,630, 6% of the top 10 countries
  4. Iran, had 16,900 students, 4% of the top 10 countries
  5. Vietnam, had 16,285 students, 4% of the top 10 countries
  6. South Korea, had 15,805 students, 3% of the top 10 countries
  7. The Philippines, had 15,545 students, 3% of the top 10 countries
  8. The United States of America, has 14,325 students, 3% of the top 10 countries
  9. Nigeria, had 13,745 students, 3% of the top 10 countries
  10. Mexico, had 11,550 students, 3% of the top 10 countries

Total Students from these 10 countries: 453,460

Top 10 origin countries of study permit holders in Canada 2021
 Top ten origin countries of study permit holders with a valid permit in Canada in 2021
 Country# of students% of students
2People’s Republic of China105,26523%
6Korea, Republic of15,8053%
8United States of America14,3253%
 Total of Top 10 Countries453,460100%

Please note this is not a list of all countries that send international students to Canada, this is only a list of the top ten countries which send the most students.

What do international students study in Canada?

Business, management, and public administration is the most popular category of post-secondary education in Canada. In the 2019-2020 cohort, 116,049 international students were enrolled in this area of education which is 30% of the top 14 categories of education.

The second most popular category is Architecture, engineering, and related technologies where 62,184 persons were enrolled in 2019-2020, which is 16% of the top 14 categories.

The third one is Social and behavioural sciences and law, with 41,580 international students which were 11% of the total.

The fourth category was Mathematics, computer, and information sciences, where 41,067 international students studied were enrolled which is again 11% of the total top 14 categories.

Where do the majority of international students study in Canada?

According to this map developed by the Canadian Bureau for International Education; 47% of international students chose Ontario as their destination. Not surprisingly, it is also a popular destination amongst first-time immigrants.

On the second rank is British Columbia where 22% of all international students studied.

Quebec is third where 15% of the international students went.

How to get admission in a Canadian university as an international student?

Since university admission is not an immigration matter, therefore, a lot of immigration consultants and lawyers cannot help you get admission in colleges/ universities. However, once you get admission, immigration lawyers and consultants can help you get a visa, apply for PGWP after studying, and with your PR application.

Since I also have experience in college/university admissions, therefore I will provide you with fundamental information on how to get admission in Canadian universities.

University Admission Checklist

In order to get admission in a Canadian university, you will need to prepare the following documents well before you apply.

  • Degree or diploma: 1 to 2 years before applying
  • Official transcript: 1 to 2 years before applying
  • Entrance Test (G.R.E, G.M.A.T etc.): 6 months to 1 year before applying
  • Notarization and translation of documents if needed: 2 months to 3 months before applying
  • Statement of purpose: 1 month to 3 months before applying
  • What is your story (introduction, the program you are applying for, etc.)? 1 paragraph
  • What inspires you? 1 paragraph
  • Major achievements: 1 paragraph
  • Why do you want to study at this university? 1 paragraph
  • What do you hope to achieve? 1 paragraph

Submit your application as soon as the school begins accepting the application. Follow the intake schedule of the school, and never wait until the last day of the application window.

What is a study permit?

A study permit means a written authorization to engage in academic, professional, vocational, or other education or training activities in Canada, which is issued by an officer to a foreign national.

How to get a study permit as an international student?

Please remember, before thinking about a study permit, you first need to get admission in your preferred school or university, only then you are eligible to apply for a study permit.

Here is the study permit process from the very first step:

  • Prepare all documents necessary for university admission,
  • Apply to a particular program or programs. Please note I always encourage students to apply to several universities and apply to several departments, not only one. Once you get admission offers, then you can select one and reject the rest.
  • Receive a pre-offer letter,
  • Pay the tuition fee and receive a final offer letter (also called a Letter of Admission)
  • Apply Online for a study permit application.
  • Receive a letter of introduction/visa acceptance letter from IRCC
  • Submit your passport for a visa,
  • Submit a copy of your visa to your school,
  • Make travel arrangements to Canada (airline tickets, accommodation, etc)
  • Submit your proofs of admission, and support documents at the port of entry (Canada border)
  • Receive your study permit (plus a work permit in case of co-op) at the border.
  • Update your school or university with your arrival.
  • Attend school or university as per your academic calendar that the school will share with you.

Study Permit Application Checklist

You will need the following documents to apply for a study permit.

Submit the following Application Forms:

  1. Application for Study Permit Made Outside of Canada (IMM 1294).
  2. Family Information Form (IMM 5707)
  3. Use of a Representative (IMM 5476) (if you have a representative)

Submit the following Visa Office Requirements (the office where you are applying from), let us assume that we are applying from Australia, in this case, you will need the following documents that are required by the Sydney visa office:

  1. Schedule 1 Form (Application for Temporary Resident Visa – IMM 5257)
  2. Proof of immigration status in Australia
  3. Letter of Admission from the university
  4. One page Study Plan (please do not prepare 2 pages, try to compress every important point into 1 page)
  5. Transcript of the last educational program
  6. Certificate/Degree of last educational program
  7. Police Certificate from the previous country of residence (if needed)
  8. Police Certificate from current country of residence
  9. Following is a list of Support documents that you need to submit along with your application:
  10. Study Permit application fee (pay online).
  11. A scanned version of the information page of the applicant’s valid passport.
  12. Digital Photo (not older than 6 months)

You need the following document as Proof of financial support:

  1. Bank Account 1: List of Transactions from the last 6 months, also show the balance in CAD.
  2. Bank Account 2 (if any): Bank statement for the last 6 months
  3. Guaranteed Investment Certificate (G.I.C) if you are applying under the Student Direct Stream.
  4. Show the following financials in tables and submit them with your submissions/cover letter:
    • Savings
    • Educational Expenses
    • Living Expenses
    • Savings minus all expenses (remaining savings by the end of the educational program)
  5. Letter of employment from your current employer(s).
  6. And finally a career plan (1 page)
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