How to get a Visa to study English abroad

Before you go to any country to study English, you need to get a Visa.  There are different kinds of Visas.  For example, if you plan to study for more than 6 months, you need a Study Permit, also known as a Student Visa.  You must apply for this permit in your own country or at least outside the country where you want to study.  For example, if you are already in Canada, you can cross the border and apply in the United States.  A Visitor’s Visa will allow you to study for only 6 months.  If you want to study and work at the same time, you need a Working Holiday Visa.  Again, you can apply for one in your home country or outside the country where you want to work and study.  A Working Holiday Visa also allows you to study English but only for 6 months.  To study longer than that, you can fill out a form at the nearest Immigration Office and pay about $125.  So if you’re planning to come to a city like Vancouver and seriously study and learn the language well, you need to be here for at least a whole year and probably more.  Therefore, you really need a Student Visa.  To get one, take your passport and a letter of acceptance from the ESL school you are going to attend to a Canadian Visa Office outside of Canada.  You also have to show that you’re taking enough money to live in Canada for the time you are studying and have enough to buy a ticket back home.  Apply for the permit a few months before you plan to go so you have it before you leave.

Click on the audio recording below to hear the above lesson.


permit a government paper that gives you permission to do something
apply:  fill out an application form
at least:  not less than
border:  the line between two countries
fill out:  write information on a form

Pronunciation Exercise:  Listen and repeat the vocabulary above on the audio file below.


Always be polite to people that you need help from.  Ask questions if you don’t understand something.


Student:  I’d like to apply for a Student Visa, please.
Clerk:  Sure.  Would you please take a seat in the waiting room and someone will be with you shortly.
Student:  Thanks.


Clerk:  Xiao Wong?
Student:  That’s me.
Clerk:  Would you come with me, please.  I understand you want a Student Visa.
Student:  That’s right.  I’ve been studying English in Vancouver for 6 months with my Visitor’s Visa, and I would like to stay longer and keep studying.
Clerk:  I think we can help you.  May I see your passport?  Do you have something from the school that says you are a student there?
Student:  Yes.  I’ve got my report card from last term and also my original letter of acceptance.
Clerk:  Let me see the letter.  Okay.  This will take 24 hours to process.  Come back tomorrow at this time and your Student Visa will be ready.
Student:  Thank you for your help.
Clerk:  You’re welcome.
© 2012 Ambien Malecot