Certain situations allow a student to pursue studies in Canada without first applying for a study permit.
The most common situations for study without a permit are:
- Short-term studies (less than 6 months)
- Minors already physically present in Canada
Short-Term Study Without a Permit
If you want to complete a course of study in Canada that is less than 6 months long (as a rule), then you may enter Canada as you normally would with a visitor in order to complete the course.
In this situation, you still need to meet all the requirements to enter Canada as a temporary resident. This includes having the proper travel document:
- Temporary Resident Visa (Visitor Visa) if required, or
- Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) for people from visa-exempt countries like UK, Australia, Japan, etc.
- No additional requirement for American citizens
Students without a permit also need to be able to show that they meet the other requirements for entry including:
- No criminal record
- Enough money to support themselves without working
- No dangerous health conditions
- Will leave Canada at the end of their stay.
Study without a permit does NOT allow the student to work in Canada, regardless of their level of study. However, if the student wants to work while they study, they should apply for a study permit.
Students who are currently studying without a permit are allowed to apply for a study permit while they are in Canada if they decide that they would like to change their program of study or take an additional course or program.
Minors Present in Canada
Almost all minors who are present in Canada can study without a permit at the pre-school, primary school, and secondary school levels.
Minors can study if their parents are not in Canada.
If their parents are in Canada, then they can study if their parents are on essentially any status but visitor. This includes:
- Parent can legally work in Canada
- Parent can legally study in Canada
- Parent is a refugee claimant
- Parent is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident