Applying for a Canadian study permit allows applicants to include their family members on the application, enabling them to join the applicant in Canada. An accompanying spouse can potentially obtain an open work permit, granting the flexibility to work for any Canadian employer. Minor children may also have the opportunity to study in Canadian elementary and secondary schools.

In most cases, international students require a study permit. However, if their program in Canada lasts for six months or less, they might not need a study permit. There are also exceptions for minor children and other individuals who may be exempt from requiring a Canadian study permit.

How to Obtain a Study Permit

It is crucial to initiate the study permit application process immediately upon receiving the letter of acceptance. Study permit processing times can vary, and applicants may encounter delays, especially during busy periods, such as the summer months. To estimate study permit processing times by country, applicants can refer to the provided link.

To be eligible for a Canadian study permit application, prospective students must:

Obtain a letter of acceptance from a designated learning institution, which is a prerequisite for submitting a study permit application.

Demonstrate sufficient financial support to cover the first year of tuition fees, living expenses, and return transportation to their home country.

Secure a Certificat d'acceptation du Quebec (Quebec Acceptance Certificate or CAQ) if they plan to study in Montreal or elsewhere in the Province of Quebec.

Maintain a clean record, as applicants with a criminal background or those posing a security risk may face refusal. IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) might request a police clearance certificate.

Be in good health. An applicant may be asked to undergo a medical examination by IRCC.

Convince the immigration officer that they intend to leave Canada at the end of the authorized study permit stay.

Applicants may also be required to submit supporting documents, including passports, passport photos, marriage certificates (if applicable), and any additional documents specified by specific visa offices.

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Fast-Track Option: Student Direct Stream (SDS)

International students residing in specific countries can expedite their study permit processing through the Student Direct Stream (SDS). This option is available to residents of countries like India, China, the Philippines, Pakistan, Vietnam, Morocco, Senegal, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Antigua and Barbuda, Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The processing standard for most SDS applications is 20 calendar days.

To be eligible for the SDS, applicants must meet several criteria, including having a letter of acceptance from a Canadian designated learning institution, living outside of Canada when applying for the study permit, demonstrating proof of tuition payment for the first year of study in Canada, having a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) from a participating Canadian bank of $10,000 CAD, obtaining a Certificat d'acceptation du Quebec if studying in Quebec, and more.

Financial Support

To qualify for a Canadian study permit, applicants must prove they have sufficient financial resources to cover their first-year tuition fees and living expenses, as well as those of their accompanying family members. Acceptable forms of financial proof include Canadian bank account statements, Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs), proof of student or educational loans, bank statements, bank drafts, proof of tuition and accommodation fee payments, and more. Family members or friends can also submit letters confirming their support for the applicant during their studies.

Study Permit Renewal

Students may need to renew or modify their study permits during their studies in Canada. The process varies depending on the specific situation, such as changing institutions, programs, or levels of study. While some changes don't require a new study permit, applicants must inform IRCC of such changes.

Options After Graduation

Study permits generally expire 90 days after graduation, irrespective of the date printed on the permit. International graduates can apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) to gain Canadian work experience, which may facilitate Canadian permanent residence applications through programs like the Canadian Experience Class and specific Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) streams. Alternatively, graduates can change their status, apply for different work permits, or seek other options to maintain legal status in Canada. It's crucial to update one's status with IRCC within 90 days of graduation to avoid losing status.

Button with Hyperlink Example Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I need a study permit?

Generally, foreign nationals require a study permit to study in Canada, but there are exceptions, such as programs lasting less than six months.

2. Can I apply for a study permit if I am already in Canada?

In many cases, you should apply for a study permit as though you are outside Canada.

3. When must I apply for a study permit?

You should apply for a study permit as soon as you receive your letter of acceptance (LOA).

4. How long does it take to process my study permit application?

Processing times vary, and they are faster for those eligible under the Student Direct Stream (SDS).

5. What is the Student Direct Stream?

The SDS is a fast-track program for processing study permit applications within 20 calendar days and is available to residents of specific countries.

6. Can I bring my spouse and/or children with me?

Yes, you can include your spouse/common-law partner and dependent children in your application.

7. How do I know if I need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)?

The requirement for an eTA depends on the country issuing your travel document or passport.

8. How do I know if I need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)?

The need for a TRV also depends on the country issuing your travel document or passport.

9. Can I legally work in Canada with a study permit?

Yes, if your study permit allows, you can work on or off-campus, with specific restrictions.

10. Can I change institutions with the same study permit?

If you are at the post-secondary level, you can change institutions without a new study permit, but you must inform IRCC. However, if you move from elementary to high school or high school to a post-secondary institution, you must apply for a change in study permit conditions.

11. Can I transfer to a designated learning institution (DLI) in Quebec?

Moving to a DLI in Quebec from another province or territory typically requires obtaining a Certificat d'acceptation du Quebec (CAQ).

12. When does a study permit expire?

A study permit generally expires 90 days after the end of the program. Extensions or renewals may be required, depending on specific circumstances.

13. When do I need to apply to extend my study permit?

You should apply for an extension at least 30 days before your current study permit expires.

14. Can I go back home while studying?

Yes, you can leave Canada during your studies, but you must maintain the validity of your visa or eTA when returning.

15. How can I stay in Canada after I graduate?

Eligible graduates can apply for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) to gain Canadian work experience. There are also other options to maintain legal status if you choose not to apply for the PGWP

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