If you are planning to study in Canada for less than 6 months, you may study as a "Visitor" (temporary resident status) in non-degree programs only; longer-term studies and studies within a degree program require you to have a Study Permit. Students from some countries may also require a Temporary Resident Visa (see below). We strongly suggest that you come to Providence with a Study Permit because you will want to stay once you have experienced Providence and having a Study Permit will enable you to work on campus. Obtain an application kit for a Study Permit from Citizenship and Immigration Canada or at any Canadian Visa Office in your country. Apply as soon as possible because processing times for Study Permits can range from two to eight weeks depending on the location of the Canada Visa Office.
To obtain a study permit, you will need to have the following documents:
- A valid passport (recommended) or driver's license and birth certificate.
- Your "letter of acceptance" from Providence University College and Seminary.
- Proof that you have enough money to support yourself (and any dependents) for your first year in Canada (bank statements, letters from people supporting you financially, etc.).
- A letter from your sponsoring organization, if you are being sponsored
The study permit will cost $125 CAD. If your spouse or family is accompanying you, they must have proper identification as well (passports or driver's license and birth certificates). Your children (under 18 years old) will not need study permits to attend school in Canada as long as a parent holds a valid study permit. A study permit does not allow you to work in Canada except on the campus of the school where you are studying full time.
Providence University College and Seminary has agreements with the Canadian Government that allow Providence international students to obtain Work Permits to help support themselves while studying in Canada. After studying for only 6 months in the University College or the Seminary you may qualify for an Off-Campus Work Permit, which will allow you to work part time during your studies and full time during any scheduled holidays. Use this opportunity to explore and work in Canada during the 4-month summer holiday break. Once you graduate from Providence you may also be eligible to obtain a 3-year Post Graduation Work Permit to work anywhere in Canada. Other available Work Permits include a Spouse Work Permit, which allows the spouse of a full time Providence student to work and support the family. Work Permits are also available to help complete degree programs that require work experience, an internship, or a practicum. Providence will provide information whether or not you will need a Work Permit as part of your program. If you have a Study Permit you may work on the Providence campus without a Work Permit.
The cost of the work permit is free because it is required for your studies. You will, however, be required to complete an immigration medical examination in order to be able to work with children or in health care settings. For more information, see the International Student Services Coordinator. Please note that this work permit only allows you to do work that is required for your academic program.
After six months of full time study you may be eligible for an "off-campus" work permit. This work permit costs $150 CAD and will allow you to work part time off campus during the school term and full time during any scheduled breaks and holidays.
Temporary Resident Visa
A temporary resident visa (TRV) is an official document issued by a visa office abroad that is placed in your passport to show that you have met the requirements for admission to Canada as a temporary resident (either as a visitor, student, or worker). A TRV is not the same as a Study Permit, these are two separate documents for two different purposes. A TRV is a shiny sticker placed in your passport and is either a single or multiple entry visa. The expiry date on the visa shows the deadline date that the applicant has to enter Canada. This is not the last day that you are allowed to stay in Canada. The TRV does not need to be renewed when it expires unless you are planning to leave and then re-enter Canada. Depending on your citizenship a temporary resident visa may not be required. Refer to Applying for a Temporary Resident Visa to determine if you require a temporary resident visa to enter Canada.
Many countries require a Transit Visa if you are going to be travelling through them on your way to Canada. If you are travelling through other countries on your way to Canada, be sure to ask your travel agent if you need Transit Visas for those countries.
When applying for a Study Permit students from designated countries will be required to pass an immigration medical examination performed by a designated medical practitioner. For students coming from countries where this examination is not required for their Study Permit a medical examination may still be necessary before an internship, practicum, or field education service with children or in medical settings can begin. Students coming from a designated country should wait to apply for a Work Permit until after the medical examination is passed. This can be done after they arrive in Canada.
For more information see:
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Consulate Genaral of Canada (Buffalo)
Canadian Embassy in Washington D.C.
American Consular Services