I am a refugee claimant. Can I study?

There are some cases in which you will need a study permit in order to study.

If you are a refugee claimant on a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) such as a visitor visa or work permit, you can do a short-term course while your temporary resident visa is valid. If you take a course that is more than 6 months long, you will need to apply for a study permit.  Refugee claimants who do not have a valid Temporary Resident Visa also need to apply for study permits.

If you have a valid study permit, you can legally study at a post-secondary institution.

Post-Secondary Education 

Canadian colleges and universities offer a wide range of programs. Depending on the type of program, you may receive a diploma or degree upon completion.  Admission for post-secondary programs in Canadian vary and depending on the type and duration of the program, they can be expensive.

In most cases, refugee claimants will have to pay international fees until they have been designated as a refugee or protected person; you should check with your school for their rules. You may be eligible for certain scholarships and grants, but the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) is limited to Canadian Citizens, Permanent Residents and designated refugees and protected persons.

Can my children study?

It is important to know that all children aged 6-18 can attend school, regardless of their immigration status or the immigration status of their parents. This is outlined in the Education Act, the law that governs public schools in Ontario.

If you are having trouble registering your children for school, you may want to get help from a community agency or a community legal clinic.

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Last updated: July 13, 2016 4003705