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Canada S-1 and SW-1 Visa for Oversea Students

Canada S-1 and SW-1 Visas are student visas for Oversea Students who intend to study in Canada. S-1 Visas are for students with an optional co-op program whereas SW-1 visas are for students who have a compulsory co-op program and must work at some point in their study program.


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If you want to study in Canada, you will be issued one of these student visas. Let’s take a closer look at how you can qualify and easily get one of these visas

What is a Student Visa?

A student visa, also known as a study permit, is a type of Visa issued to Overseas Students who wish to study in Canada. This visa permits one to live, study and work in Canada. The student visa comes in two types:

  • SW-1 Visa, and
  • S-1 Visa

SW-1 Visa

An SW-1 visa is a student permit issued to Overseas students with a compulsory co-op program in their course. SW-1 visa holders are required to work while studying in Canada. The SW-1 visa includes a co-op work permit, which allows them to work in Canada.

The co-op work permit usually matches the duration of the student visa.

Overseas students with an SW-1 visa don’t need to apply for co-op work permits before they can work in Canada as students. This is because the SW-1 already mandates you to work as a student. 

SW-1 visas are usually issued to students enrolled in courses that require practical knowledge. To gain this practical knowledge, they are required to work in companies where their course-related functions are performed.

S-1 Visa

An S-1 Visa is a student permit issued to students who have an optional co-op or internship in their program. An optional co-op program gives a student the opportunity to choose whether to work or not work in Canada. With a Canada S-1 Visa, you cannot work immediately In Canada.

If you need to start working with an S1 visa, you are required to apply for a co-op work permit. Fortunately, you won’t be charged extra to get the co-op work permit.

Please note that having an S-1 visa doesn’t restrict you from working in Canada as a student. All you’re required to do is get a co-op work permit at no extra cost.

Canada S-1 and SW-1 visas are quite similar. The only difference between these student visas is that SW-1 comes with a compulsory co-op program whereas S-1 visa comes with an optional co-op program.

Eligibility Requirements for Canada S-1 and SW-1 Visas

To be eligible for these Student Visas, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be enrolled at a designated learning institution (DLI)
  • If you’re coming from abroad, your DLI must be on the list of DLIs with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan.
  • You must prove that you have enough money to pay for tuition fees, and other expenses during your stay in Canada
  • You must be willing to obey Canadian laws
  • You must have no criminal record 
  • You must show prove that you’re in good health
  • You are required to prove to an officer that you will leave Canada at the expiration of your study permit.

What are the Required Documents for S-1 and SW-1 Visa?

Before applying for a Canada S-1 or SW-1 visa, ensure you have the following documents.

  • An Acceptance Letter from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI)
  • Your Valid Passport 
  • Proof of fund showing that you can pay your tuition and support family members coming to Canada with you.
  • Other supporting documents like:
  • Custodian report
  • Medical report
  • Police clearance
  • Proof of identity

How to Apply for Canada S-1 and SW-1 Visas

You can apply for the S-1 and SW1 visas following these steps:

  • Get all the required documents ready
  • Ensure you have all the required documents with you before applying for the study permit. 

Apply online or offline

There are two ways you can apply for a Canada Student Visa. You can either apply online or on paper by visiting an application center in your home country. Most foreign students prefer online applications. However, if you have any problem with the online application, you can use the offline. 

If you need help with the online application, Immigly.com is willing to help you. 

How Long Does it Take to Process Canada S-1 and SW-1 Visas

After successfully applying for the study permit, It takes about 3 months for your visa to be ready. The processing time depends on your country of residence.

Validity of Canada S-1 and SW-1 Visas

Canada S-1 and SW-1 Visas are valid as long as your study program is ongoing. The study permit expires at the end of your program. However, you are permitted to stay up to 90 days in Canada from the expiration date of your student visa.

Can the S-1 and SW-1 Visas be Extended?

Yes, Canada S-1 and SW-1 visas can be extended. You can apply for an extension if you do not finish your course before the date stated on your student visa.

If you have questions about any of the Canadian student visas, kindly write to us in the comments section below.

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