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Study permits - New Online Applications

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) just released an operational bulletin introducing the VESPA (Visa Exempt Study Permit Abroad) program. Applicants from a limited list of countries can now file their study permit applications online, to be reviewed by the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville, AB (CPC-V). Until now, all study permit applications were processed by overseas visa offices.

Applicants must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible to apply:

  • Must be a citizen of and residing in one of the following countries (no need for it to be the same country. Example: a US citizen can be resident in the UK and still apply):
    • Australia
    • Barbados
    • Denmark
    • Finland
    • Germany
    • Iceland
    • Ireland
    • Italy
    • Japan
    • New Zealand
    • Norway
    • Sweden
    • UK
    • USA
  • Be over 16 years old
  • Be exempt from medical requirements
  • Not have any accompanying family members
  • Pay the fee online
If CPC-V cannot make a decision based on the application alone (eg. need to interview client), then the file is sent to the overseas visa post for conclusion. Any decision from CPC-V is communicated electronically to the client. 

It will be interesting to see how many cases CPC-V is actually able to process (and will process) to conclusion. It is a very busy centre in Canada. They already forward the bulk of their in-Canada applications to local CIC offices! Hopefully this makes the process a bit less painful for a handful of applicants who are eligible to use the service!

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