Recently, the Canadian Federal Court ruled that it is not necessary for students applying for a Canada study visa to have paid the tuition fees in full at the time of application. This decision was made after the student appealed against the rejection of his study visa because he had not yet fully paid his tuition fees.
Background to the court’s decision
The decision to waive the payment of the (full) tuition fees as a requirement to apply for a study visa was taken following the Canadian Federal Court’s decision in the Tehrani v. Canada case. The study visa of the applicant was denied after he had already been admitted to a Master of Science in Project Management at the Northeastern University College of Professional Studies in Toronto. The reason the visa application was rejected was that the Canadian immigration service was not convinced that the applicant would leave Canada after his study visa expired. This decision made by the Canadian immigration service was based on the marital status of the applicant, his family ties in Canada and the fact that he had not fully paid his tuition fees.
The federal court has stated that an applicant only has to prove that he or she has started a course of study and has the financial means to pay for it in Canada. Thus, the applicant does not have to have paid the tuition fees in full.
Affordable education and sufficient housing
The Canadian government considers it important that education be affordable and that there be sufficient housing for international students wanting to study in Canada. The decision of the federal court ensures that it will become easier for international students who want to study in Canada but cannot yet fully pay the tuition fees upon applying for a study visa.
It is good to know that students who travel to Canada for studies lasting less than six months do not, in most cases, require a study visa. They can often easily apply for an eTA Canada online.
Canada sees an increase in international students
Canada is a popular destination for international students because of the high level and affordability of its education, especially in comparison to other destinations. In addition, Canada offers a wide variety of postgraduate study opportunities that make it easy to find a job in the country afterwards.
In recent years, the number of study visas granted by the Canadian immigration service (Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada, IRCC) has risen sharply. For example, 551,405 international students travelled to Canada on a study visa. The countries from which the most study visa applications were submitted in 2022 were India, China and France. At the end of 2022, over 807,750 international students with a valid study visa were registered in Canada.
Work opportunities for international students
Upon completing their studies in Canada, international students have a number of opportunities to work in the country and gain valuable work experience. For example, international students can be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) after completing a study program at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada. With the PGWP, they can work in Canada for a period equal to the length of their study program, up to three years.
They can also choose to apply for a work permit through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). Various provinces in Canada have PNPs that allow international graduates, among others, to obtain permanent residency. A requirement for these programs is usually that applicants have a job or work experience in a specific profession in demand in the program.
Opportunities for obtaining permanent residency
In addition, international students can decide on a Canadian Experience Class, or CEC. This is an immigration program administered by the federal government that allows everyone with Canadian work experience, including international students, to apply for permanent residency. International students who have completed their studies in Canada and have gained work experience can become eligible for this program.
Finally, there is the possibility of submitting an application for the Express Entry System. This is a federal immigration program that makes it possible to obtain permanent residency. Several economic immigration programs fall under this system, including the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) and the Canadian Experience Class. International students who have gained work experience in Canada may be eligible to create an Express Entry profile. Those with an Express Entry profile are likely to receive an invitation to apply for permanent residency.
With an eTA to Canada for a short study program
If you are planning to study in Canada and your study program does not exceed six months, you can easily apply for an eTA Canada instead of a study visa. The advantage of an eTA is that this travel authorisation can easily be applied for online. You can do so by completing an online application form, which often only takes a couple of minutes. Once the eTA Canada is granted, you can make an unlimited number of trips to Canada within the 5-year validity period. You can stay up to six consecutive months in Canada per individual trip. Do you want to stay in Canada longer for a study program or training? In that case, you have to apply for a study permit.
What is a study permit??
A study permit, in theory, is an addition to the eTA Canada and offers the possibility to stay in Canada for eight consecutive months to study in the country. A study permit also allows you to work 20 hours a week on campus in addition to studying to earn some extra money. It is not permitted to work off campus with a study permit; to do so, you have to apply for a work permit.