If you wish to pursue studies in Canada you should obtain a study permit. Provided that you become enrolled in an approved program of study at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI), you will be issued a study permit that will allow you to reside in Canada for the full duration of your study program. Although in some cases you may not require a study permit to undertake studies in Canada, it is highly recommended that you do so regardless.
Some international students may enjoy a faster study permit application process if they apply under the Student Direct Stream. Study permit applications submitted under this stream are typically processed within 20 calendar days. To *find out whether you qualify for faster processing*, you may view our detailed breakdown of the Student Direct Stream.
The study permit is a document that allows international students to study at designated learning institutions in Canada. It costs CAD $150 and the processing time varies by country. Most foreigners that wish to study in Canada are required to obtain a study permit as soon as a letter of acceptance is received. If you are planning to attend a Canadian study program that will exceed six months, you will need a study permit. If you plan to study in Canada for a period of six months or less, you do not need a study permit, however it recommended that you do so either way. You may apply either online or on paper through the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) website.
It is important to note that your study permit is not equivalent to a temporary visa. In other words, on its own, your study permit does not allow you to enter Canada. Depending on your country of origin, you will require either a temporary resident visa (TRV) or an electronic travel authorization (eTA) to be able to enter Canada. Whichever is applicable to your situation will be issued as part of your study permit if your application is accepted.
A study permit is typically valid for the length of your study program, plus an extra 90 days. The extra time is provided so that you may prepare to leave Canada, or submit an application to extend your stay. If you are unable to complete your study program before the date on your permit, you must apply to extend your stay as a student. If you complete your study program early, your permit will be terminated 90 days after the date of completion, regardless of initial expiration date.
Your study program will be considered complete either:
Please note: you must provide proof of the date either of these were received.
If you received a conditional acceptance that requires you to take some courses prior to receiving an official acceptance, you will be issued a study permit only for the duration of these courses. You will then apply to extend your stay as a student from within Canada if/when you are accepted into the main program.
If you plan to leave Canada and return home while studying, you may be required to show proof of your enrollment at a DLI upon re-entry. If you came to Canada on a visitor visa or electronic travel authorization, you must ensure that it remains valid.
International students must meet a list of requirements both prior to obtaining their study permit and after being issued one. In other words, there are many responsibilities that come with study permits, and conditions that students must meet on a constant basis.
First, prospective students must determine whether they are qualify for a study permit. You are eligible to study in Canada if you:
In order to retain your status as an international student once you have qualified for and obtained your study permit, you must meet various requirements. As a study permit holder, you are required to:
To prove that you are actively pursuing your studies, you must:
A leave not exceeding 150 days will be considered authorized if:
your school has authorized a leave from your study program in cases of
If your program start date is deferred by you or your school, you will be required to commence your studies the following semester and obtain an updated letter of acceptance. It is important to note that you are not permitted under any circumstances to work on or off campus during an authorized leave.
Certain conditions are assigned to study permits on a case-by-case basis. In other words, depending on your circumstances, your study permit may stipulate conditions such as:
As an international student, you may be asked to prove that you are meeting the conditions of your study permit. This may happen if CIC has any reason to believe you are not meeting them, or as part of a random check. In such cases, you may be asked for official documents from you school that confirm:
Additionally, you may be asked to provide other relevant documentation, including:
If it is found that you have not met the conditions stipulated on your study permit, you may be asked to leave Canada. Additionally, you may be required to wait 6 months before you can apply for a new study or work permit, or visitor visa. Furthermore, violations to the terms of your study permit can have negative impacts on applications you submit in the future.
There are certain special cases in which international students are allowed to undertake studies in Canada without meeting specific study permit conditions. In other cases, foreigners may not be required to obtain a study permit at all.
As a study permit holder, you are typically required to meet all of the stipulated conditions in order to retain your status as a student. Under certain circumstances, however, you will be exempt from some study permit conditions. Specifically, you will not be required to prove that you are enrolled at a DLI or that you are actively pursuing your studies if you:
You will also be exempt from these conditions if you or your family member (spouse or dependent child) is/are:
Most foreigners are required to obtain a study permit in order to study in Canada. In some cases, however, there are certain exemptions (see below).
You can study at any school in Canada without a study permit if:
If you are a family or staff member of a foreign representative to Canada that is accredited by Global Affairs Canada (GAC), you may not be required to obtain a study permit. Your embassy can contact GAC to determine whether you may become a student in Canada without one.
If you are a member of a foreign armed force visiting Canada on official duties, you are not required to obtain a study permit. If your family members would like to study in Canada, however, they may need to obtain one in order to do so. Please be aware that this includes minor children.
If you are a citizen of another country and have Registered Indian status in Canada, you are not required to obtain a study permit.
Minor children may study in Canada without a study permit if they:
Please note: Minor children that are studying in Canada without a study permit will be required to apply for and obtain one if they wish to continue their studies once they reach the age of majority.
We strongly advise that you apply for a study permit regardless of whether you require one because it will enable you to:
If you obtain a study permit before you enter Canada, you will be able to renew it continuously. As long as you apply for the extension before your study permit expires, you will retain implied status and be able to continue your studies while awaiting the new permit. Conversely, if you do not have a study permit, you may apply for one from inside Canada but will not be permitted to begin studying until you receive it.
Our website is equipped with all of the information you may require, whether it be related to *studying in Canada as a minor*, *working in Canada as an international student* or *continuing employment after study program completion*.
Join our Email Alerts