Will studying by distance allow me to get a Canadian permit?

Will studying by distance allow me to get a Canadian permit?

Jamaicaa To Canada

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

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Dear Mr Brown:

I am interested in studying in Canada. However, I want to know whether an online/distance learning programme would help me become a Canadian resident, and would I be granted the study permit?

– PW


Dear PW:

Foreign nationals are required to obtain a study permit for engaging in academic, professional, vocational or other education or training programme that is more than six months in duration in Canada. A study permit may be issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada to authorise a foreign national to study at an educational institution in Canada for the duration of the programme of study, while setting out conditions for the student.

Notable courses for which a study permit is not required include:


•Courses of general interest or self-improvement; and

•Distance learning.

By definition, distance learning does not require one to be in Canada. Accordingly, a study permit cannot be issued for this type of course.


Mixed programmes

Some distance-learning courses include an in-Canada portion to the programme, such as the writing of final examinations. A study permit is required for the in-Canada portion of the programme if the overall course of study is greater than six months. In that case, the duration of the study permit would be for the duration of the in-Canada portion only.

Perhaps you could consider studying in Canada, as you can work part-time during your studies and full-time after your studies. There is also an opportunity to apply for permanent residence.

Please note that you must study physically in Canada for Canadian experience to assist you with becoming a resident. I never recommend distance learning because, in my experience, it is always best to decrease the chance of anything negatively affecting your application.

Please visit jamaica2canada.com for additional information on Canadian permanent residence programmes, including Express Entry, the Study and Work programme, visitor’s visas or appeals, etc.


– Antonn Brown, BA, (Hons), LLB, MSc, RCIC, is an immigration counsel, education agent and managing director of JAMAICA2CANADA.COM — a Canadian immigration & education firm in Kingston. Send questions/comments to jamaica2canada@gmail.com

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