When students want to study in Canada, they always need an ETA or a visa (in the form of a study permit). A visa is necessary if you plan to study for more than 6 months.
When do you need to apply for a study permit?
You can apply for a study permit. A Study Permit is used in conjunction with the ETA Canada programme. To check in on a flight to Canada, you will always need an ETA. If you get a study permit, you will get an ETA immediately. There are advantages to applying for a study permit.
The study permit allows you to work
If you simply have a Canada ETA and do not have a study permit, you are not allowed to work in Canada part-time. It is sometimes possible for universities to give students a way to earn money by working on or off campus. With a study permit, you can work on campus for up to 20 hours a week. It is also possible to work off-campus provided you have a work permit.
With a study permit, it is possible to study in Canada for an extended period
Are you visiting Canada on an ETA and do not have a study permit? In this situation, you do not have a study permit for a period longer than 6 months. Thus, an 8-month study programme cannot be divided into 2 trips of 4 months. Furthermore, you are not allowed to enrol in any part of a study programme that lasts longer than 6 months.
There is an exception to this restriction for exchange tourists. When the exchange programme is shorter than 6 months, you can follow it without obtaining a study permit. The exchange programme can also be part of a longer-term study programme.
An ETA allows you to stay in Canada for a short period for research purposes
Are you going to Canada for training, research or an exchange that will last less than 6 months in total? Then all you need is an ETA. No visa or study permit is required. You must be an Irish, an English or other national of a nation on the official list to be eligible for an ETA Canada. This list includes all EU member states, as well as the Norway, Australia and Switzerland.
Make sure your ETA does not expire before your study permit expires.
If you intend to leave Canada for the duration of your stay, for example, for a holiday in Mexico, remember that you must have a valid ETA in order to continue your studies in Canada. It is conceivable that your study permit will remain valid even though your ETA has expired. For example, it is likely that you have started using a new passport. In this case, you must apply for a new individual ETA.