The level of literacy in Canada is very high, almost 96%. Special emphasis has been laid on education by the government of Canada. The education system is divided into three tiers: Elementary education, Secondary education, and Higher education.
Higher education in Canada begins after compulsory secondary education. Students, depending on their skill sets and capabilities, pursue studies which are both professional and vocational in nature. Biochemistry and Computer Science have been among the fastest growing disciplines at the Bachelor’s level in the last five years, followed by Nursing, Sociology, and Psychology. Canadian Universities’ research and teaching strengths are in areas such as Computer Science, Business (Including MBA), Health Sciences, Law, Ocean Studies, Natural Resources, and Agriculture.
Canada has two national languages: English and French, and offers English as a Second Language (ESL) and French as a Second Language (FSL) programs for students wishing to learn either or both languages.
Full-time students registered in a degree or diploma-granting course are allowed to work on the campus of the institution at which they are registered without the need for employment authorization. The Off-Campus Work Permit Program allows foreign students at some publicly-funded educational institutions in Canada to work off-campus while completing their studies. The post-graduation work program allows graduating students to gain work experience in their field of study, and offers lucrative professional opportunities in Information Technology, Telecommunications, Medicine, Education, and Law.
Student visas in Canada are called study permits, and all overseas students are required to obtain it. While making an application for a student visa one must also meet the requirements of the Canadian Immigration Act and Regulations. For course duration of six months or less, one does not need a student visa. Since 2005, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) introduced a policy for international students in post-secondary studies as per which the students can now transfer between programs and institutions without applying for a change in the conditions of their visa. If the student has a valid visa for training or studying at the post-secondary level, they can transfer between public and private institutions.
There are benefits to having a student visa for Canada. It allows you to work part-time on the campus at which you are registered as a student, and apply to renew your student visa from within Canada.
If you are going to a private institution your student visa may have different conditions. One such condition states that unless you have a student visa work permit you are prohibited from engaging in employment in Canada. If you later transfer to a public university or college, you would acquire student work visa and become eligible for on-campus employment and other employment provisions. You do not need to change your student visa to become eligible for on-campus employment, as your registration at an eligible institution is sufficient.
The first and foremost condition for applying for a student visa is to get an admission offer; you need to prove that there is a university that has accepted you and you are going to join it.
You must demonstrate that you have sufficient financial resources to pay tuition fees, maintain yourself, and to pay return transportation costs without engaging in employment in Canada.
The usual minimum requirement is at least CAN $10,000 (INR 4.6 lakh) plus the cost of tuition for a twelve-month period, cost of transportation to and fro from Canada. This amount ($10,000) is the base amount considered adequate to cover all costs, other than tuition, for one person for a twelve-month period, but if the local cost of living is higher than average more money is required to get your student visa.
You need to satisfy the visa officer that you will return home at the end of the studies.
Canadian High Commission
New Delhi – 110 021