Study permit in Canada

Introduction

Study in Canada as an international student.

Study permit Introduction

A study permit is a document issued by the IRCC allowing a student to study at a school in Canada. All individuals interested in becoming an international student in Canada at one of the designated learning institutions must apply for a study permit to be authorized to enroll into their studies. A visa officer determines at their own discretion if a person will be issued a study permit. It is important to apply for a study permit before coming to Canada.

Before applying for a study permit an applicant must first be accepted to study at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI).

Only when a foreign national is accepted by a DLI to study in Canada, then the person is eligible to apply for a study permit. While a student is studying in Canada, they might also be eligible and apply to work during their studies as well as after their graduation.

An individual may also need a visa or eTA to enter Canada which will be approved if a person is eligible for a study permit.

Study permit Eligibility and Requirements

A foreign national can study in Canada if meeting the following requirements: –

  • a person is enrolled at a DLI,
  • have sufficient amount of funds to pay for tuition fees, living expenses and have enough funds to return back home (for all family members accompanying),
  • have no criminal record – a police certificate might be required,
  • be in good health condition – a medical request might be required,
  • satisfy an officer that they will leave Canada after an authorized stay is no longer valid.

In some cases, a study permit is not required: –

  • Minor children in Canada with at least one parent having valid work or study permit (until their 18 years of age depending on the province or territory after they are 18 years of age, they must apply for a study permit)
  • Family or staff of foreign representatives (refer to Global Affairs Canada (GAC) for more details)
  • Members of foreign armed forces (family members may need a study permit)
  • Registered Indians in Canada (even if they are citizens of another country)

Even if a study permit is not required a person might have to obtain one if they want to continue their studies while meeting the requirements and to be able to work on or off-campus.

Due to Covid-19 people who would like to study in Canada for 6 months or less are also required to obtain a study permit and visit a DLI with Covid-19 readiness plan which is approved by the province or territory. These individuals would not be eligible to travel to Canada if they do not have a study permit and their DLI is not listed.

To be issued a study permit a person must also follow the responsibilities while studying in Canada. Students must progress and complete their intended studies, obey the conditions applied on the study permit and stop studying if they no longer meet the requirements.

Some foreign nationals are eligible to receive their study permits faster if they fall under the Student Direct Stream (SDS).

Eligibility and Requirements

Firstly, a person must be accepted by a DLI to apply for a study permit

Process

Processing time for the issuance of a study permit varies from country to country

Study permit status Process

An individual needs to apply online for their study permit before coming to Canada or within Canada in some cases. Some individuals may obtain their study permit at the port of entry.

Once a study permit is issued it is usually valid for the length of a study program with additional 90 days letting an individual to have enough time to prepare for arrival or extension of their stay.

If students do not study for 90 days in Canada, their study permit will automatically no longer be valid, no matter what date is on their study permit. Only few exemptions are applicable i.e., medical leave, etc.

An individual should apply for a study permit online in most cases. If a study permit expires before the study program finishes, an individual is encouraged to apply for the extension of their study permit, or they must leave Canada after their valid stay and will not be able to finish their studies.

A person may leave Canada during their studies however, they need to show proof of their enrollment when returning to Canada while having a valid TRV or an eTA upon entering.

Supporting documents

Get the right documents ready before submitting an application for a study permit

Study permit Supporting documents

To apply for a study permit a person must have the following documents: –

  • a letter of acceptance with all required information regarding the study program
  • a valid passport (or travel document) and 2 recent photos (a digital photo if applying online)
  • proof of financial support (bank portfolio for the past 3-4 months, receipts of paid tuition fees and housing, letter of support from a financial supporter and evidence of their funds, proof of student loan from a bank, and other acceptable evidence as financial support).

In addition a person might be required to submit the following as well: –

  • letter of explanation (why a person wants to study in Canada and other factors)
  • custodian declaration for minor children
  • for Quebec a Certificat d’acceptation

An individual must have minimum funds to support themselves as a student and their family members accompanying them to Canada.

The applicant needs to submit all relevant and required documents and follow the document checklist. For any additional questions, the applicants may visit their visa office website to complete their application.

A person might be requested to submit other required documents by the visa office.

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