Applying for a Canadian Study Permit

by Taiwo Olalere

Are you thinking of pursuing your post secondary education overseas? Well, you are not alone. Many people leave their country of origin to pursue studies overseas for various reasons. These reasons include but are not limited to the following: political instability in the country of origin, poor quality of educational facilities and rampant school strikes. This has resulted in millions of people leaving their country to study overseas.

Each year, Canada grants temporary entry to over 130, 000 foreign students to attend Canadian educational institutions. This is not surprising given that Canada offers foreign students a high quality education, competitive foreign tuition fees, and a low crime rate when compared to other destinations such as United States, United Kingdom, or Australia.

The tragic event of September 11 and the imposition of stringent security barriers in the United States has also made Canada a destination of choice.

For prospective students, the process of applying for a Canadian study permit can be cumbersome when they fail to observe the requirements of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and its regulations. This article seeks to provide general information on some of the key areas concerning application for Canadian study permit.


Under Canada’s immigration law, an applicant for a study permit must establish that he/she has been accepted into a program at a Canadian educational institution. This is established through a written documentation from the educational institution at which they intend to study. The written documentation can be either an unconditional letter of acceptance or a conditional letter of acceptance. Unless there is serious doubt as to whether registration will be allowed, Citizenship and Immigration Canada treats these two kinds of letters of acceptance the same way.

Problems can arise in situations where the past record of an educational institution is questionable.


An applicant must establish that they have sufficient and available financial resources, without working in Canada, to pay

a) their tuition fees for the course or program of studies they intend to pursue,
b) maintain themselves and any family members who is accompanying them to Canada and
c) pay the costs of transporting themselves and their accompanying family members to and from Canada.

The type of evidence provided by an applicant to establish sufficiency and availability of financial resources may differ depending on the applicant’s personal circumstances or situation. Examples of this may include bank statements from the applicant and / or sponsor, statutory declaration of willingness and ability to support from the sponsor, etc.


This is usually the most problematic area for most applicants.

The first thing one has to first bear in mind is that a study permit is issued for a temporary purpose i.e. to study for an authorised period in Canada. After the completion of the program of studies, an applicant is required to depart Canada.

Applicants therefore, must be able to establish that they have the intention to leave Canada at the end of their authorised period of studies. The onus is on the applicant to establish to the immigration officer that the purpose for which he/she is seeking entry to Canada is temporary. The immigration officer will assess the application and supporting documentations to determine if the applicant has sufficient ties to his / her home country. Ties to home country may include family members, business interest or employment, real property, etc.


In order for an application for a study permit to be successful, the applicant must not be inadmissible to Canada. Applicants can be found inadmissible for reasons such as medical inadmissibility, serious criminality, organized criminality, security grounds, human or international rights violations, financial reasons or misrepresentation.


Applicants have to keep in mind that immigration staffs are overwhelmed by the volume of various applications for temporary resident visas and permanent residence received at Canadian High Commissions. Hence, applicants should make sure their application for study permits, including supporting documents is complete before submitting them. If they are unsure of the process, it is better to seek the advice of a Canadian immigration lawyer.

Mr. Taiwo Olalere who is a Canadian immigration lawyer wrote this article. He can be reached at or through his web site at Canadian Immigration Lawyer.

Please note that the content provided in this publication is general information only. It is not intended as nor should it be regarded or relied upon as legal advice or opinion. You should consult with an immigration lawyer for specific advice on your situation. Please note as well that the presentation of information in this publication or your use or reliance upon the information above does not establish a lawyer-client relationship between you and Olalere Law Office and any person associated or working for Olalere Law Office.

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What are the requirements for study permit in canadian embassy,nigeria.

Femi October 25, 2008 - 10:50 am

Thanks lawyer for those information but I have a question regarding ties. What kind of ties can a 20 year old present if he is not yet married and does not have any real property home. I will be very happy to receive a response from you.

Anonymous February 15, 2006 - 9:14 am

succinct and solid, i dey come Uvic soon

Anonymous October 18, 2005 - 7:40 am

Lawyer olalereu are an exellent lawyer.D information u gave is very specificobjective superb.More gresse 2 ur elbow.From adegoke A O.

Anonymous May 14, 2005 - 1:56 am

Thanks so much for the information, I was thnking of making it to Europe of America but with this, I think I should consider Canada for study.

jenny May 4, 2005 - 9:12 pm

hey you did well thumbs up it very explicit and thraight forward so i hope it's legitimate

Anonymous May 4, 2005 - 5:53 pm

generally, a lot of people are too keen on studying in u.k,and with this new info, things are looking up for nigerians wanting to study abroad.thank you.

Nnaji May 4, 2005 - 8:12 am

Good information. Thank you


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