Life as an international student in a new country is fascinating, but it can also be overwhelming. You are often away from friends and relatives for the first time and find comfort in a new culture and the academic system can be more difficult than you thought. Sometimes, without clear guidance or access to the right information, students do not realize that they are falling victim to a mismatch until they struggle to keep their grades high or to make friends and feel at home is a challenge. This is the question, “Can we change college in Canada after obtaining a visa?” arrives.
The decision to pursue an international education is an investment and Canada is home to international students. Tuition for international students in Canada ranges between $ 17,000 and $ 27,000 per year, depending on the level of study and the choice of program. A Canadian education is significantly more affordable compared to the cost of studying in other English-speaking countries. But these costs are not insignificant enough to take lightly.
The good news is that high schools in Canada offer a clear and easy credit transfer system that allows international students to change schools without wasting significant time or money. Many schools in the same province have hinge agreements that allow students to move seamlessly from one school to another. Often, these agreements extend to public and private institutions located in other provinces. Here are some answers to the question “Can we change college in Canada after we get a visa?”
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Can we change colleges in Canada after obtaining a visa?
Change of Schools or Curricula by international students
Foreign students attending postgraduate programs in Canada may need to change schools or study programs at the same college or university. The current immigration rules allow this, under the conditions set out in the study permit and provided that the reason for the change is reasonable. The student must demonstrate that he or she is making reasonable progress toward completing his or her course or curriculum.
It is important to remember that there is a time limit for moving from one school to another. If you decide to change schools and stop studying at your university, you must start or continue your studies at the new school within 150 days. If you fail to do this, you must apply to Immigration Canada to change your status, for example, as a visitor or leave the country immediately. The reason for such strict requirements is that failure to continue your studies within 150 days will be considered non-compliance with the terms of your study permit. All study permit holders must actively pursue a study program while in Canada.
The following guidelines, recently published by Immigration Canada, will help you evaluate the question “Can we change college in Canada after obtaining a visa?”. In compliance with the term of your study permit.
Full-time study versus part-time study
You will be considered compliant even if you are studying part time. However, part-time studies may make you ineligible for open leave after graduation. To obtain a work permit in Canada, you must have studied full-time in Canada.
Obtaining leave from studies
If you have to take leave to study due to a medical condition, pregnancy, emergency, death or illness of a family member or other serious reason, your leave should not exceed 150 days. If the permit is longer, you must change the terms of your stay in Canada.
Change the start date of your studies
Sometimes, you may need to postpone or move your program start date to the next semester. In such a case, your educational institution must approve the new start date. A new Letter of Acceptance is usually required. The new start date must be within 150 days, otherwise you will have to change your status or leave the country.
Change of status and how it affects your future studies
Suppose you could not start your studies within 150 days and you had to apply to change your status and you were finally issued a guest file. If your previous study permit is still valid, you can continue your studies at any time. However, if you are transferring from college / university to another, you must update the DLI (Designated Learning Institution) number on your online Immigration Canada account. If you are transferring from one program to another at the same college / university, you do not need to report the change to Immigration Canada.
Spouses and children of full-time students
If the spouse of a foreign full-time student has an open work permit, the work permit remains valid even if the student’s spouse changes his / her status to that of a visitor.
Similarly, if the full-time student (parent) changes her status to a guest, children are allowed to continue their studies without a study permit, as long as the parent’s previous study permit is still valid. If the study permit has expired, children must apply for their own study permit from within Canada.
During any study leave, including school closures, study leave holders may not work on or off campus as they are no longer full-time students.
If you are found not to be complying with the terms of your study permit, you may be issued an exclusion order. Working or studying without a permit will also adversely affect future immigration applications. For example, a subsequent study / work permit may not be issued until six months have elapsed since you stopped working or studying without a permit or did not comply with the terms of your study permit.
International students in need of counseling may have access to counseling support on campus or speak to professional services that offer free educational counseling services. A university transcript may seem daunting, but it’s not really that complicated if you work with a specialist who has helped many other students to get into better programs. The best thing you can do is not wait until it’s too late and contact a specialist to save time, money and unnecessary stress!
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