The Restrictions on Student Visas in Canada You Should Know About

Canada is renowned for its world-class education system and multicultural environment, making it a top destination for international students seeking quality education. However, like many countries, Canada imposes certain restrictions on student visas to ensure that foreign students maintain their status and contribute positively to the Canadian society and economy. In this article, we will delve into the various restrictions of student visas in Canada and how students can navigate them successfully.

Understanding Student Visas in Canada

Before discussing the restrictions, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of what a student visa entails. In Canada, international students typically obtain a study permit, which serves as their student visa. This permit allows them to study at designated learning institutions (DLIs) in Canada. However, it comes with certain limitations.

Restricted Work Hours

One of the primary restrictions of a Canadian student visa is the limitation on work hours. While studying in Canada, international students are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions and full-time during scheduled breaks, such as winter and summer holidays. This restriction is in place to ensure that students prioritize their studies while also gaining some work experience.

Financial Sufficiency

To obtain a Canadian student visa, applicants must prove their financial sufficiency. They need to demonstrate that they have enough funds to cover tuition fees, living expenses, and return transportation. This requirement ensures that students can support themselves financially during their stay and do not become a burden on the Canadian social system.

Full-Time Enrollment

Another restriction is the requirement for students to maintain full-time enrollment at their designated learning institution. Failing to do so could result in the revocation of their study permit. Full-time enrollment typically means taking a minimum number of courses each semester as defined by the institution. This requirement ensures that students are actively pursuing their education.

Restricted to Designated Learning Institutions

International students can only study at institutions designated by the Canadian government. These institutions must meet specific quality and educational standards. While this restriction guarantees a high standard of education, it limits students’ options when choosing where to study.

Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Eligibility

Many international students aspire to gain valuable Canadian work experience after completing their studies through the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) program. However, not all study programs make students eligible for this permit. To qualify, students must graduate from a designated learning institution and meet other specific criteria. This restriction can influence a student’s choice of study program. Speak to a immigration lawyer Toronto if you wish to learn more about post graduate work eligibility.

Health Insurance Requirements

Healthcare in Canada is primarily publicly funded, and international students are required to have health insurance coverage. They must enroll in the provincial or territorial health insurance plan or obtain private health insurance. This ensures that students have access to necessary healthcare services while studying in Canada.

Cultural Adaptation and Integration

Beyond the legal and financial aspects, international students should actively engage in cultural adaptation and integration. This involves participating in local activities, joining student clubs or organizations, and interacting with Canadian students and communities. This not only enriches the overall experience but also helps in building a sense of belonging and support network, which can be invaluable during your time in Canada. Additionally, it can lead to better cultural understanding and communication skills, which are assets when seeking employment or contributing to Canadian society in the long run.


Canada’s restrictions on student visas are in place to maintain the integrity of its education system and immigration processes. While these restrictions may appear challenging, they are manageable with proper planning and adherence to the rules. By staying informed, managing finances, maintaining full-time enrollment, and exploring work and post-graduation opportunities, international students can make the most of their Canadian educational experience while complying with visa restrictions. Canada’s welcoming environment and world-class education are well worth the effort.