Student Visa vs. Study Permit in Canada

Getting a student visa is an essential part of the application process for international students who are looking forward to study in Canada. You will not be allowed to enter Canada, let alone go to school, if you don’t have a visa. However, a visa is not the only important document that allows international students to begin studying in Canada.

Surprisingly a study permit allows a foreign national to study at designated learning institutions in Canada. Seems easy, right? The problem is many people cannot differentiate between the terms “student visa” and “study permit”. In fact, they’re two very different things!

A Student Visa is a valid permission to enter into Canada . This is a conditional authorization, which means that even if you have a student visa, the border security officer has the authority to stop you to enter into the country.

However, Study Permit gives you the authority to stay in the country. It explains in details about your purpose: like what is your reason, why you are here, what course level you are studying, what is the duration, and if there are any restrictions in terms of work.

The Canadian Government doesn’t actually issue a Student Visa. After getting a student visa when your study permit is approved, you’ll also receive a visitor visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTA), either of which will grant your entry into Canada. The Government of Canada has mentioned in their website that, your final approved study permit will be issued by a border services officer. The officer will check your permit reference number, which should be found in the letter of introduction sent by the visa office when they approved your study permit request to issue your approved study permit. Remember to check your study permit that must contain your correct personal information and expiry date.

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