How to Study in Canada from Portugal
Many students from Portugal say to us “ I want to study in Canada”. Here we cover everything you need to know about how to study in Canada and options to Work and Study in Canada as a Portugal Citizen.
Why Study in Canada from Portugal?
Canada has one of the most generous immigration programs in the world. This level of open offerings for people from Portugal to gain entry, permanent residency and Canadian Citizenship are unsurpassed. The Canadian Study Permit program and the Canadian residency pathways for you and your family are no exception.
Apart from the Canadian Education system being among the best in the world, your time spent studying in Canada gives you access to permanent residency pathways after Graduation. This means you can move from Portugal to Canada Permanently if you choose.
However, you don’t have to wait until after you graduate to enjoy the benefits of Studying in Canada, under the Study Permit as a Polish citizen you can also work part time in Canada while undertaking your studies!
This option not only gives you international experience and a means to help support yourself financially, it also gives you extra credit points through the Canada Experience Program path to gaining permanent residency in Canada after Graduation if you so choose.
So when it comes to answering the question Why Study in Canada? The answer includes:
● access to some of the best education institutions in the world
● ability to work as a Polish Citizen in Canada
● simple process of application open to Polish students
● a clear and popular path to long term visa options for permanent residency in Canada.
Very few student visa offerings are so generous. With all these benefits, Canada should be considered a viable option for applicants from Portugal.
What is a study permit in Canada?
A Canadian Student Visa or Educational Visa is called a Canadian Study Permit. The study permit is a document the Canadian Government issues that allows foreign students from Portugal to study at designated learning institutions (DLI)’s in Canada. Portugal nationals need a study permit to study in Canada. The time to apply is before you travel to Canada.
Requirements for a student permit for Canada for a Polish National?
The following are the documents needed to apply For a Canada Student Visa as a Polish Citizen
● Valid Portugal Passport. (make sure it is valid beyond the term of the visa you seek)
● Proof of Acceptance by a Designated Learning Institution in Canada.
● Proof of Funds in Portugal (see below for the minimum funds requirements)
● Passport Size Photographs.
● An Immigration Medical Examination (IME)
● English Language Proficiency Exam Score where required
● Statement of Purpose for Travel (being to study)
● Credit Card
Do I need a visa to study in Canada for less than 6 months?
No, as a Polish citizen you don’t need a study permit if your course or study program in Canada is for less than 6 months. However, you must complete your course or program within the time you’re allowed to stay in Canada.
If your main reason for coming to Canada from Portugal is to study for more than 6 months, you must apply for a study permit. If you do plan on studying for more than 6 months in Canada, it is essential you apply for your Study permit before you leave for Canada.
As a Student from Portugal do I need a sponsor for my education in Canada?
No, as a Polish Citizen, you don’t need someone to sponsor your studies in Canada. To be eligible for a Study Permit, you must: be enrolled at a designated learning institution (DLI), prove you have enough money to pay for your tuition, fees, and living expenses for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada. If you can meet the criteria in the application process, the student visa permit process should go smoothly for you as a Polish Citizen
Canada is open for international higher education and tries it’s best to welcome students from all over the world including from Portugal to live and work in Canada during their studies and in many cases then move on to become permanent residents of Canada. So focus on the application documents and criteria and we look forward to welcoming you in Canada without any requirement for a sponsor.
What bank balance required to prove financial support for a Canadian student visa to be issued to a Polish student?
Canadian student visa requirements include a proof of funds component to show that arriving students can support themselves.
The current financial requirement for an arriving Polish student is deemed to be CA$10,000 (~US$7,650) for every year of your stay (CA$11,000/~US$8,400 if you’re applying to study in Quebec). Please note this amount is on top of your tuition fees.
What is the age limit for Canada student visa from Portugal?
There is an age limit range to be granted a student educational visa to Canada. To obtain a Canadian Study Permit as a Polish student, you must be between 18 years of age and 35 years of age.
Canada Student Permit Minimum Age is 18 Years
Canada Student Permit Maximum Age is 35 Years from Portugal
The age is taken from the date of your birthday turning 18 and until the day before your 36th Birthday. You can of course study in Canada above the age of 35, however, you will need to do so under a different Canada visa pathway.
Is an interview required for a Canadian student visa application?
No, Citizens of Portugal are not generally required to have an interview.
Typically, there are no interviews for study permits. An interview can be requested at the discretion of the appointed visa officer. If this is the case,your visa officer will be in contact with you directly to make the arrangements.
Is the medical examination compulsory for a Polish applying for a Canadian Student Permit?
The medical examination component of the study permit application is compulsory for all Portugal applicants seeking a Canadian student visa.
When should I apply for my Study Permit?
You should apply for a study permit as soon as you receive your letter of acceptance (LOA) from your chosen institution.
To apply for your Student Permit fill in our Free Visa Assessment to obtain details on the fastest and most cost effective application path for your specific circumstances as a citizen of Portugal.
Can I Work and Study in Canada as a Polish Student?
There are 2 categories of visa for students wishing to study in Canada from Portugal
1- the SW-1 Visa or study permit which is the Study Work Visa for students and is given to students who have a compulsory work, internship or co-op program within their nominated study program.and
2 – the S-1 Visa or study permit is for all other students in standard education programs that have and optional work or co-op program or none at all. This is the study permit given to the majority of Polish Students looking to study in Canada.
Can I work in Canada with a standard s1 student permit visa?
It is important to note that the S1 Canada student visa does allow the permit holder from Portugal to work part time through their studies. You do not need an SW-1 visa to be allowed to work. The S-1 Study permit allows Overseas students from Portugal to work either off campus or on campus in Canada. A valid Study Permit will authorize 20 hours of a part-time job during semesters. During the vacation period, full time work is permitted.
The main test is that the work does not impact on Study being the main reason the student is in Canada. Therefore the time limits on the work allowed to be conducted by a student permit holder from Portugal is part time during semesters (with the limit being 20 hours per week) with full time hours being permitted during term breaks only, because there are no classes to be impacted during those dates.
How much can a student from Portugal earn in Canada?
The total amount is really up to the student, so long as they can prove they earned that income within the hour limits placed upon them by their visa (part time in semester and full time only in semester breaks).
The average Part Time For salary for Students from Portugal is $37,050 per year or $19 per hour. Entry level positions start at $27,300 per year while most experienced workers make up to $62,985 per year. These are considered great earning rates for student workers when compared to the global options. Many students from Portugal start to look for Part Time Jobs in Canada before they arrive.
Can I work Full Time as a student in Canada?
No. Your study permit does not allow this outside of your nominated course of Study. As a Polish Citizen, you will be eligible to work off-campus for up to 20 hours per week while classes are in session. During scheduled breaks, like the summer or winter holidays and spring break, you’re allowed to work more than 20 hours up to full time hours. But strictly only during these times.
You can start your work hours only after your study course commences. If you arrive in Canada from Portugal earlier than this, you can not work during that time. Your course must have commenced before you start your part time work.
Do not break this rule. If you are caught working beyond the allowed hours on your Canadian work and study visa you can have your visa cancelled. It is not worth it. The program in Canada is very generous with it’s offerings, so be sure to follow the allowed work hours on your particular visa.
Do you need IELTS to be granted a study permit for Canada as applicant from Portugal?
Canadian Immigration does not require IELTS for the study permit application. However, as a Polish speaker, most high level post-secondary Canadian teaching institutions will require you to provide proof of your language proficiency in order for you to be offered admission. IELTS is just one of the accepted exams. Please contact your preferred institution for their student application IELTS requirements for Citizens of Portugal
What is a Canadian Study Permit Number?
A Canadian Study Permit Number is a document number that appears on official immigration documents and your Polish Passport. For study permits. It is usually printed in black ink with the letter “F” (for study permits) followed by 9 numbers.
You will be issued your Study Permit Number when you are granted your Canadian Study Permit. Your study permit number will not match your application tracking number (the number you receive when you submit your application from Portugal for a study permit to use to track the progress of your application) so please do not put your application number on any documents asking for your Study permit number.
If your actual permit has not yet been issued and you are still in Portugal, you just need to wait until it is to know what your actual number is.
What is the difference between a study permit and a student visa?
A Student Visa allows you to enter Canada as a Polish Citizen. And the Study Permit gives you the permission to stay in the country. So that is why you will be issued with a student visa and a Canadian Study Permit.
What is the cost of the Canadian Student Permit from Portugal ?
$150 Canadian per person
Proof of Financial Support requirement for Canadian Study Permits
What amount of funds are required for a Polish Student to be granted a Canadian student visa?
To be granted a Canadian student visa, all students, including Polish applicants must also include proof of funds to support themselves during their studies. Please note this is required regardless of if you plan to work part time to help support yourself during your study in Canada.
At present this is deemed to be CA$10,000 (~US$7,650) for every year of your stay (CA$11,000/~US$8,400 if you’re applying to study in Quebec) on top of your tuition fees.
Timeframes fro a Canada Student Visa from Portugal
How long does it take to get a Canadian student visa when applying from Portugal?
It is normally very fast to apply for a Canada Student Visa from Portugal. It takes around 15 days but you should leave around 1 month to 6 weeks for the Visa procedure just in case some extra documentation is requested by Canadian Immigration.
Usually 15 days are enough as there are no Interviews for the Canadian student visa and permit. Please do not schedule flights from Portugal to Canada until after you have been granted your visa.
If you have an unconditional letter from an educational institution in Canada, you need to apply for your study visa and permit at least 3 months before you intend to travel to Canada as a Polish Citizen.
It is always in your best interest to leave more time when applying from Portugal. It is common that the Canadian Government will request an extra document here and there.
You need to remember that a student visa to Canada for many leads to a path to becoming a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident, so Canadian Immigration likes to do things thoroughly, which can sometimes take a little extra time. The Canada Student Visa process is fair and Citizens of Portugal are not generally subjected to extra labels of security.
Why is my Canadian student visa application taking longer than expected?
If Portugal documents submitted are complicated to check, such as financial information or documents provided through Polish language archives, then it may take a while before Canadian Immigration officers can verify all the information you have submitted with your application.
Canadian officials need to ensure the data and documents provided in Polish and translated are valid and authentic.
Do I need to provide my biometrics for a Canada student visa?
As a Polish Citizen, fingerprints and a photo are required when applying for a Canadian visitor visa, work or study permit or permanent residence in Canada. Your fingerprints and photo will be required for identification purposes in the immigration application process. These are called “Biometrics”.
How long is your biometric data valid?
Because you are from Portugal, your Biometric data is valid for 15 months. It is common for applicants to attend multiple biometrics appointments over the course of requiring visa extensions or upgrading to other visas or permanent residency over the course of their time in Canada.
What happens for Polish applicants at the biometric data stage of your Canada student visa and permit application?
After you pay the biometrics fee and submit your application in Portugal, you will receive a letter that will tell you that you need to give your biometrics. The letter will give you the details of where in Portugal you need to go to give your biometrics. You have 30 days to attend and submit your biometric data.
There are a set number of locations approved as locations to give your biometrics:
● visa application centres (VACs) in Portugal
● application support centers (ASCs) in the United States and its territories
● as of December 3, 2019, at designated Service Canada offices (SCOs)
You will need to make an appointment before you go to any of the locations either at home in Portugal or in Canada to give your biometrics.
What is the Student Direct Stream (SDS) for Student Permit Applications from Portugal?
It is a fast-track program to process open to Citizens of Portugal for study permit applications within 20 calendar days. It is available to only residents of a select group of countries.
Are Polish Citizens eligible for the Student Direct Stream to fast track their applications?
The Canadian SDS fast track stream for student permits is only available to residents of India, China,, Pakistan, Morocco, the Philippines, Senegal and Vietnam. Candidates from each of these nations also need to meet additional criteria, including scoring at least a 6.0 on each skill (reading, writing, listening, speaking) of the IELTS Academic Level test, and a GIC of $10,000 CAD.
What is the Designated Learning Institution list (DLI) and is my desired Canadian institution on the list?
A DLI is an institution that is approved by the province or territory to host international students from Portugal. To find out if the institution you are applying for is on the DLI, please check the Designated Learning Institution list via the Canadian Government search function here.
Can I change my course, institution of program during my allocated visa period?
Yes you can change. In these circumstances you can use the same visa or study permit you have already been granted so long as it is still within it’s valid dates. You simply have to inform the IRCC that you have changed and provide them with the updated details of your institution, program and course.
When does my study permit expire?
Your study permit remains valid until 90 days after the end of your course.
This applies even if you finish your course early. It is 90 days from date of graduation – even if your visa still has a valid date after that.
If your study is not finished by the date of expiry of your study permit – you will need to follow the guide on this page to extend your study permit or convert it into another pathway to Canada from Portugal.
Study Permit Extensions for students from Portugal
Many Polish students find they need to extend their Study Permit while undertaking their studies in Canada. Below we discuss what is required and the most common questions to ensure your study permit extension happens in a smooth manner.
Can a Polish Student extend their Canadian study Permit?
Yes, as a Polish Citizen you can extend your student visa study permit.
When should I extend my study permit / student visa?
As a Citizen of Portugal You will need to extend your study permit before it expires. To do this Canadian Immigration requires you submit your application at least 30 days before your current study visa expires. It is advisable to seek an extension 60 days before the expiration date of your current permit in case extra information is required for your extension. It is always better to have more time to handle any information requests.
What is required to extend my Canadian Study Permit?
You will require a quite extensive list of documents for your student visa extension. Some documents you will already have from your original application, some documents will require you to obtain an updated version.
Canadian Study Permit Extension Requirements for Polish Students
Documents fall into 4 categories plus the required fee
1 – Proof of Student Status ( you will need 1 or more of these documents)
● Enrollment certificate and transcript from your Institution’s Registrar Office
● ELIP enrollment letter and transcript from CELD (ELIP students and graduates only)
● Letter of Acceptance from your institution (if you haven’t started your academic program yet)
● Transcripts from other Canadian institutions (if you have studied at multiple institutions during your study permit validity period)
2 – Proof of Identity Documents ( you will be required to provide ALL 3 of these documents)
● A valid passport from Portugal
● A valid study permit
● Recent Canadian passport-size photo
(please note that you can only be granted a study permit to the validity of your passport, this is an issue if your passport is soon to expire. If your expiry date is looming on your passport please consider renewing your passport before applying for your student permit extension)
3 – Proof of Financial Support (you will be required to provide 1 or more of these documents)
● proof of a Canadian bank account in your name
● proof of a student/education loan from a financial institution
● your bank statements for the past four months
● a bank draft in convertible currency
● proof of payment of tuition and accommodation fees
● a letter from the person or institution providing you with money
● proof of funding paid from within Canada if you have a scholarship
4 – Medical Report
● A medical report may be required if you have done a medical exam within the last 12 months or have lived in a designated country that requires a medical exam for more than 6 months in the past 12 months. These medical reports can be obtained inside Canada.
Plus the Fee of CAD $150.
What is the cost of the Canadian Student Permit Extension?
An extension of your study visa is the same fee as your original application, being $150 Canadian per person
Travel while on my Student Permit in Canada
Can I go back home to Portugal or travel outside Canada while studying?
Yes. You are able to leave Canada during your studies. These can be trips to return home to Portugal to visit family or for other holidays to any country of your choosing. Your student visa allows you to come and go from Canada as you please. When re-entering Canada from Portugal, you will need to prove you are currently enrolled in your institution. Please speak to your Education provider about a document to prove your enrollment is current before you leave Canada on your trip. It is always good practice to check your visa will still be valid upon your date of return, and if not you may need to extend your visa before you leave on your trip.
Can I bring my family with me to Canada on a student visa?
Yes, from Portugal you may be able to bring your spouse or common-law partner, and dependent children, with you to Canada. They may be eligible for a study or work permit, or a visitor visa. You must submit their applications online when you apply for your study permit.
You will not be able to bring extended family with you from Portugal. You can not bring your parents or your siblings with you. You are only allowed to bring your partner and dependent children on your student visa.
However, there may be other avenues and visas available for your extended family – There are nearly 80 different Visa options to Canada from Portugal, your family may be eligible for one or more of them.
To find out Canada Visa options for parent, grandparent and further extended family take the Free Visa Assessment
If you are planning on taking advantage of the Canadian permanent residency paths for students who have studied and or worked in Canada on a Study Permit, many further options will open up for you. Again take the free visa assessment to find out what options are available in your specific circumstances.
Can I get a Canadian Permanent Residency after I Study for 2 years in Canada?
Yes, you can. Via the program of Canadian Experience Class.
Canadian Experience Class fro Polish Citizens
One of the greatest draw cards and reasons why Polish students chose to study in Canada is the CEC program. This visa offers Polish students who have been studying under a Canadian Study Permit a direct path to Permanent Residency in Canada.
The reason being is that the Canadian Government sees Portugal students who have spent some years in the Canadian Education System in Canada, and have lived and worked here, make great candidates to become long term Canadian residents and eventually citizens of Canada.
Students from Portugal who have studied at least for two years at an accredited college or university on a full-time basis are eligible to apply for permanent residency in Canada under the CEC Visa program.
Study in Canada from Portugal: The CEC Visa for Polish Citizens one of the most sought after Permanent Residency Immigration paths in the world today. Citizens of Portugal are welcomed to join the program and choosing to work and study in Canada under a study permit is the starting point.