News report | | 03-10-2023 | ±4 minutes reading time

Canada is becoming increasingly popular with international students. The relatively liberal Canadian immigration law in comparison to countries like the USA is the main reason for this. To be allowed to stay in Canada, a travel authorisation is required. For students, holding either an eTA or a study visa (study permit) will do in most cases.

International students more likely to opt for Canada

In recent years, Canada has become relatively more appealing to international students than the USA, according to a publication in Forbes magazine dated 9 August 2023. The number of international university students in the USA was 15% lower in the year 2020/2021, compared to the year 2016/2017 (a drop of 164,727 international students). Meanwhile, the number of international students in Canadian universities and colleges increased by 46% during the same period (an increase of 117,037 international students).

Quality and multicultural education

Studying in Canada has many advantages. One is that Canadian education is both available in English and French. Moreover, Canada has multiple highly acclaimed universities and colleges. Several Canadian universities rank highly in the annual QS Rankings, listing universities worldwide according to the quality of education and a number of other factors. The University of Toronto ranks highest of all Canadian universities (ranking at 21 out of a 1498), followed by Montreal’s McGill University and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, which hold the 30th and 34th place, respectively.

In order to be admitted to a study program at a Canadian university, a certain level of language fluency is required. The TOEFL test (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is a language proficiency test used by many different universities to test the English language competency of international students. A good test result indicates that the student has sufficient command of the English language. Please note, however, that French, rather than English, is spoken in some parts of Canada. Prospective applicants for studies in Canada are therefore advised to check their language skill levels accordingly.

An eTA for your stay in Canada

Using an eTA, it is possible to follow a short study programme in Canada with a duration of up to 6 months. Although the eTA has a validity period of 5 years, you may use this travel authorisation for a stay of up to 6 consecutive months per trip to Canada only. However, over the course of these 5 years, an unlimited number of trips to Canada are allowed.

The eTA application can be submitted quickly and easily through The application procedure is swift and the eTA has an average delivery time of just 3 days.

eTA for studies in Canada

Minimum time period between two separate stays in Canada

There are no clear rules on the minimum duration that one should stay outside of Canada before returning to the country on the same eTA. Instead, the border security assesses this for each traveller individually. Reusing the eTA just a few days after a stay of 6 months might seem suspicious. Therefore, you are advised to stay elsewhere for at least several weeks or months before you return to Canada.

Differences between an eTA and a study permit

If you want to study in Canada for more than 6 months, you need to apply for a study permit. This study permit, however, is not a stand-alone visa. Apart from a study permit, you will always need an eTA or visa. When the study permit is issued, an eTA or visa is granted at the same time. Which of these two travel authorisations is issued, depends, in part, on the duration of study.

If you intend to stay in Canada for less than 6 months and your study program has a duration of no more than 6 months, you do not need a study permit, but an eTA is sufficient. Please keep in mind that you will need to meet all other eTA requirements for this. You need to provide less information to apply for an eTA than for a study permit application. For Canadian study permit applications, you can be asked about your income and financial situation, for example. Also, the immigration services can request for information about a possible criminal record or your medical situation.

Another difference between an eTA and the study permit is that a study permit allows for a limited number of hours per week of paid employment. With the eTA, it is not allowed to work in Canada.

Apply for your eTA Canada here is a commercial and professional visa agency, and supports travellers in obtaining, among others, the eTA Canada. acts as an intermediary and is in no way part of any government. You can also apply for an eTA directly with the immigration service (7 CAD per eTA, via However, not with our level of support. If you submit your application via, our support centre is available to you 24/7. We also check your application before submitting it to the immigration authorities on your behalf. If we suspect any errors or omissions while doing so, we will personally contact you to ensure that your application can still be processed quickly and correctly. To use our services, you pay us 7 CAD in consular fees, which we pay to the immigration service on your behalf, as well as € 25,18 in service fees as compensation for our services, including VAT. Our services have saved many travellers from major problems during their trip. Should an application be rejected despite our support and verification, we will refund the full purchase price (unless an application for a previous eTA Canada was rejected for the same traveller). Read more about our services here.