Canada Student Visa
The Canadian immigration service has a reputation for bureaucracy, just like many other countries, and applying
for a Canada student visa, known as a study permit in Canada, before embarking on your LLM program can feel complex and difficult.
However, the system is fairly straightforward for many international students, as Canada hosts around 200,000 international students every year, and the forms can often be completed entirely online.
Here is our simple step-by-step guide to getting a student visa for Master of Laws study in Canada.
How to apply
Potential LLM students can apply for their Canada Student Visa either online or in paper format. Check the CIC website or with your local Canadian embassy for a Study Permit Pack and this will provide you with the method of application that is best for you. If you are applying online, then you'll need a scanner or camera to upload documents, and a credit or debit card to pay the necessary fees.
When to apply
Basically if you want to study an LLM in Canada as an international student then you should apply for your study permit as soon as possible. You need to have a letter of acceptance from a Canadian university or law school before you apply, and you should check the processing times before you send off your Canada student visa application. These can be as little as one week and up to six weeks, and there are ways that you can speed up the process if you come from some countries. If you are resident in China, India, the Philippines or Vietnam, then you can apply through the Student Direct Stream, which is a little quicker. Otherwise, you have to apply through the regular study permit application route.
Correct application procedure
Once you've gathered together the documentation you need for the online application it is fairly simple. First, you will also have to answer a few questions about yourself and this will let you know if you qualify for online application. If you do qualify, then you will be sent a personalised check-list that is valid for 60 days, and if you don't then you will have to apply with a paper application form. Some students may then be asked to attend an interview at their nearest Canadian Embassy, but not all.
The documentation you need depends on the country you are applying from, but all students need a letter of acceptance from the Canadian university they are attending. Students are required to provide evidence that they have enough funds for their studies, and this is at least $10,000 to $11,000 per year of study in addition to funds for tuition fees and for your return journey home. Students who have not completed their education in English must have valid English Test Scores. In addition to this, students from Europe, the Middle East and Africa are required to provide fingerprints and additional photographs.
Arrival in Canada
When you arrive in Canada you will need to show the passport that you made your Canada student visa application with to the Canadian Border Control, unless you come from the island of St Pierre Miquelon or the United States. You will also need to provide proof of your finances and your letter of acceptance from the Canadian law school or university. Students who come from countries that require a visa for residency or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) will also need to have these, the eTA is connected to your passport number and isn't a physical permit. These are issued to you at the same time as your study permit and it is vital that you enter Canada with the same passport you applied for your study permit with – so check your passport expiration date before starting the application process.
As with most countries, there are restrictions on the number of hours students can work outside of their studies. It is usually restricted to 20 hours per week for study permit holders who are in full-time study, and you can work during the school holidays as well. You will need to get a Social Insurance Number from the Canadian Government before you start working. Once you have completed your course study permit holders have 90 days to either leave Canada or to apply for a post-graduation work permit, which is valid for up to three years.Find an LLM in CANADA