Switch a visitor VISA to a study permit | International Students in Durham Region and the GTA
Updated: May 11
Oftentimes, those who come to Canada for the purpose of travel have a positive experience and choose to extend their time here by studying. Our clients often ask us: How can I switch my Visitor Visa for a Study Permit? First, we always clarify that you cannot exchange your current status in Canada for another. In other words, you cannot simply “switch” a Visitor Visa to a Study Permit. However, as a Visitor, you can submit an application for a Study Permit.
Study Permits are one of the most common types of applications we handle for clients in the Durham Region. With so many reputable high schools, colleges, and universities located in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Southern Ontario is a popular location for international students to study.
We also handle study permit applications for post-secondary students. Within the Durham Region, we have assisted in applications for students who attend Ontario Tech University (University of Ontario Institute of Technology/UOIT), Durham College, and Trent University. Within the GTA, we have also assisted students who go on to attend Centennial College among other schools.
WHO NEEDS A STUDY PERMIT?
It is important to note that there are a few exceptions to the rules in terms of who is required to obtain a study permit to study in Canada. If you plan to study in Canada for a period of 6 months of less, you can do so with a Visitor Visa. You may also not require a study permit if you are:
A family member or staff member of a foreign representative to Canada;
A member of a foreign armed force in Canada on official duties;
A Registered Indian; or
A minor (i.e. child in kindergarten, child with refugee status or parents with refugee status, are already in Canada with a parent who is allowed to work/study in Canada).
Regardless of whether you can study with a Visitor Visa or you require a Study Permit, you must have legal status in Canada.
HOW TO APPLY FOR A STUDY PERMIT ON A VISITOR VISA
If you apply for a Study Permit on a Visitor Visa, you are likely applying for a study permit within Canada. To apply for a Study Permit within Canada, you must ensure you meet the eligibility requirements.
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS TO APPLY FOR A STUDY PERMIT FROM WITHIN CANADA
Once you are confident that are eligible and you require a study permit, you must download the application package and begin the process of completing your forms, retrieving the required documents from the school you will attend (i.e. proof acceptance, proof of enrolment, etc.), and securing copies of personal identification documents (i.e. passport, marriage license or certificate, etc.).
CANADA STUDENT VISA RULES
Our clients are often concerned with the Canada student visa rules, or the conditions they must adhere to while in Canada to maintain a valid study permit.
As a study permit holder, you must:
be enrolled at a designated learning institution (DLI)
show you’re actively pursuing your studies by:
being enrolled full-time or part-time during each academic semester (excluding regularly scheduled breaks)
making progress towards completing your program’s courses, and
not taking authorized leaves longer than 150 days from your study program
inform IRCC any time you change post-secondary schools
end your studies if you no longer meet the requirements of being a student, and
leave Canada when your permit expires
The Canada student visa rules are also specific to conditions listed on your study permit. These conditions could pertain to the level of studies you can attend, whether you’re allowed to work as a student, if you need to report for medical procedures, whether you’re allowed to travel within Canada, and the date you must stop studying.
WHERE TO STUDY
Trinity College School (TCS) is a private day and boarding school located in Port Hope, Ontario. Established in 1865, TCS is one of the oldest educational institutions in Canada. This school offers day school for students in Grades 5 to 8 and boarding school for students in Grades 9 to 12.
LAKEFIELD COLLEGE SCHOOL
Lakefield College School is a private day and boarding school located in Lakefield, Ontario. It has an esteemed list of Alumni, including Prince Andrew, Duke of York. This school offers international students the opportunity to immerse themselves in a rigorous, yet rewarding academic program in a small, supportive community.
Albert College is an independent day and boarding school located in Belleville, Ontario. Founded in 1857, it is the oldest co-ed boarding school in Canada. International students comprise 30 percent of the senior school population at Albert College, with students from over 25 countries.
TRAFALGAR CASTLE SCHOOL
Trafalgar Castle School (TCS) is located in Whitby Ontario. It is an internationally known private day and boarding school for girls and young women. The boarding program at TCS is popular amongst international students in grades 7 to 12.
UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES
ONTARIO TECH UNIVERSITY (FORMERLY UNIVERSITY OF ONTARIO INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY)
The University of Ontario Institute of Technology, now referred to as Ontario Technology University is located in Oshawa, Ontario. This school is home to over 600 international students who study in a variety of programs ranging from Social Sciences and Humanities to Business to Engineering and more.
Centennial College is an applied arts and technology school located in Scarborough, Ontario. Centennial is another popular school of choice for international students who comprise over 9,000 people in the school’s student body.
Trent University has campuses located in both Oshawa and Peterborough, Ontario. Trent University is known for its small class sizes and Oxbridge college system. Trent offers a wide variety of programs for international students, including arts, sciences, and business programs.
Durham College is located in Oshawa, Ontario. This school offers dozens of programs for international students and offers both on-campus and off-campus accommodations. Tuition at Durham College is also relatively affordable for international students in comparison to other Colleges in Ontario, making it another popular choice.
Calver and Associates is a leading provider of Canadian Immigration services in Durham Region. We serve clients in Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, and beyond. Our Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant has over 10 years of experience in Canadian Immigration law and over four years of experience serving those in the Oshawa area.
We can provide assistance with applications for both temporary and permanent residency in Canada. We handle applications for study permits, permanent residency, family class sponsorship, visitor visas, work permits, and Canadian citizenship. We also handle criminal inadmissibility cases by developing remedies for refusal.