Keystone logo

Study Law in Canada 2024

Study in Canada

What Is a Law Degree in Canada?

To become a lawyer in Canada, individuals need to enroll in the proper educational formats and work through a series of programs until the desired level of education is obtained. In most cases, the law degree in Canada will take about four years to complete within a university program. You also will need to obtain, at a minimum a Bachelor of Laws degree and it must come from a school of law that's recognized.

The law educational process is one that is based on obtaining training for practical use. Students will need to sit for the LSAT test, a test that ensures the student has a full understanding of the components of Canadian law in order to work in this field.

Law Higher Education in Canada

For those who wish to obtain a law degree in Canada, the good news is that it is possible to do so. There are many Canadian law schools and most of them do allow for international students to enroll. Prior to considering this, though, individuals should focus on what you'll learn.

First, there is competition to get into well respected law schools in Canada. For this reason, individuals will need to have a high grade point average and prove themselves as a worthy choice for the best schools. The LSAT is a standardized test that is taken to measure some skills that are necessary for students to have in order to enter into law school. It is often a benchmark to determine if the student should be considered. Community involvement, personal statements, and work experience can all contribute to whether or not the school will accept the student.

Once the student is enrolled, he or she will complete four years of education at any of the country's numerous law schools, Some of these include McGill University, The University of Montreal, the University of Manitoba, University of British Columbia, and Queen's University, all of which have special law schools, called the Faculty of Law.

Students will complete their education in the law school, achieving all necessary credit to pass the requirements of the school. Then, he or she will need to sit for the Bar exam. This is a very difficult law test administered by the Canadian Bar Association. It also requires background checks. Students must pass this test in order to have a license to practice in the country.

Looking at the future of law in the country, there is a growing need for well educated and dedicated attorneys in the country. For those international students who wish to enroll in this type of school, the good news is that there are numerous program options available. It is important to obtain a student visa in order to enroll in these programs, but the university itself can help the student to achieve these necessary documents.

Change currency

Basic monthly living cost

  • Rent in a shared flat

  • Share of utilities

  • Internet subscription

  • Local transportation


Sample lifestyle cost

  • Fast food combo

  • Cinema ticket

  • Pint of local beer


About Canada

Canada is a large country that's modern in most aspects of daily life. The country, the second largest by area in the world, is bordered to the south by the United States. As one of the wealthiest countries in the world, the area is perhaps one of the most intriguing options for those who wish to practice law in a modern, diverse country. Canada, an English and French speaking country, offers plenty of opportunities for educational travelers looking to expand their horizons and achieve their law degree.

Essential Facts about Canada

- The capital of Canada is Ottawa, located in the province of Ontario.

- Canada has two official languages--English and French. Nearly 60 percent of Canadians speak English while 20 percent speak French. Other languages commonly spoken in Canada due to its high level of multicultural diversity are Cantonese, German, Punjab and Italian.

- The legal system in Quebec is based on a system of civil laws supported by French law; the rest of Canada adheres to the English common law system.

- Canada contains an estimated two million lakes which covers around eight percent of its total landmass.

- The maple leaf is Canada's national symbol and is displayed prominently on the country's flag.

- The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (colloquially called "The Mounties") are both a national and federal police force that is known for riding decorated horses as they patrol areas of Canada.

What Is the Law System in Canada?

The Canadian legal system was built on the British common law system. Since Canada was once a colony of England, many of the influences of this timeframe are present in Canada's diverse law system. It is a bi-jurisdictional system and there are components of public and private law present. The federal government has jurisdiction over specific areas of the law whereas most laws are affected by province rules. The country's constitution is supreme law. Canada has a parliament, much like what is present in Britain. There is an appellate process present as well.

Visa Requirements

In order to study in Canada longer than 6 months, you need to obtain a Canadian study permit, which serves as a Canadian student visa for the duration of your stay.

What type of Visa do you need?

Visa name

Canadian study permit

Price and currency

CAD 150

Who can apply for the visa?

Most foreign nationals must apply for a study permit. A study permit, once issued, allows a foreign national to study in Canada at an approved institute for the duration of the specified course or program. In some cases, you do not require a study permit to go to school in Canada:

  1. If the course or program you intend to study is less than 6 months in duration.
  2. If you are a family member or staff of a foreign representative to Canada.
  3. If you are a member of a foreign armed force. However, you will still need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to Canada.

Where can you make the application?

Online/paper application

You can apply for a Canadian study permit either online or through a paper application, which can be obtained from the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website.


How to make the application?

1. You must first obtain a standardized letter of acceptance from a recognized higher education provider.

2. The next stage is to get a Canadian student visa application package, either from the CIC website ( or by contacting your local visa office, or the Canadian embassy or consulate in your home country.

3. In order to get your application package, you’ll need to answer a few questions about yourself on the CIC website. These questions will determine whether you are eligible to apply online for a Canadian student permit, and what documents you’ll need to provide. If you are found eligible, you will receive a personal checklist code, valid for 60 days, which you will need in order to submit your application online. Make sure to print out the page containing your code for future reference. The page will also include an application guide, an estimated tuition fee amount, a list of documents you will need to submit with your application, and guidelines for your next steps.

4. When you are ready to apply, create a MyCIC account, where you will enter your personal checklist code. You will then receive your personal document checklist which allows you to upload and send your documents to CIC.

5. Once you have your documents and application form ready and have paid your fees, you can submit your completed application to CIC.

6. Some applicants may have to attend an interview at their local visa office.

7. When your application is approved, you’ll receive a letter of introduction, while students from countries that require an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) and/or a temporary residence visa will be issued these if required. The eTA will be linked to your passport. It is important that you travel with the passport you used when you applied for your study permit. The eTA will be valid for five years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.

8. Present these along with your passport, proof of your finances and your letter of acceptance (and any other documents that you’ve been advised to take) to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) in Canada, who will then issue your Canadian study permit and allow you access into Canada. The required documents for the student visa in Canada include:

  • Completed application form;
  • The original letter of acceptance from the university;
  • A valid passport/travel document, which also allows you to return to your home country. If you live in the U.S.A., this is not necessary;
  • Two recent passport-size photographs, with specifications of name and date of birth on the back;
  • Proof of financial support during your studies that represent: tuition fee + 833 CAD/month (for all provinces, except Quebec) or tuition fee + 917 CAD/month (Quebec);
  • A letter of explanation;
  • If you intend to study in Quebec, you will also need a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec, English and French translations for your document, a statement from the translator, and a certified copy of the original documents;
  • Proof that you paid the study permit fee (150 CAD).

When should you apply?

Processing times vary. It depends on the type of application you submit, and where it is processed. Paper applications typically take about twice as long as online applications. It’s always recommended to check the processing times well in advance:

Once you have a Canadian study permit, you can apply to renew it from within Canada if you decide to continue your studies.

Processing time

Work opportunities

You can work on or off-campus for up to 20 hours during university semesters and full-time during breaks such as the winter or summer holidays, without the need for a work permit. To qualify, you must have a valid study permit and be a full-time student. You will also need a Social Insurance Number (SIN) from Service Canada to work in Canada or to receive benefits and services from government programs. Your study permit will become invalid 90 days after you have completed your study program, so you’ll need to acquire a post-graduation work permit if you want to stay in Canada after your studies and seek work. This is valid for three years.

Hours per week


Why do you need this type of visa?

A Canadian student visa may be refused if the visa officer suspects that the applicant’s purpose in going to Canada was misrepresented - if a course of study was not the real reason an individual was applying. Even more probable, the proof of funds provided may be insufficient for the expected expenses of tuition, food, rent, etc, or may not be clearly adequate for a claimed course of studies.