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Get a study permit as an international student in Canada



In order to study in Canada as an international student, you must get a study permit. A study permit is a document of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issues that allow foreign nationals to study at designated learning institutions in Canada.



Get a study permit for Canada



To be eligible for a study permit, you must meet several criteria. This includes:

  • getting an acceptance letter from a designated learning institution in Canada

  • proof that you have enough money to pay your tuition fees, living expenses and return transportation (for yourself and your dependents)

  • be in good health

  • have no criminal record

  • satisfy an immigration officer that you will leave the country at the end of your stay.



Schools you can attend as an international student


Study permits are only offered for designated learning institutions, which is a school approved by a provincial or territorial government to host international students. Confirm which schools are considered designated at the IRCC website.



Applying for a study permit online or at a visa application center 

In most cases, you can apply for a study permit online. You can also get assistance at a visa application center. Here is a database of visa application centers around the world. A study permit is usually valid for the length of your study program, plus an extra 90 days. This extra time lets you prepare to leave Canada or apply to extend your stay. If you can’t finish your courses before the date on your permit, you must apply to extend your stay as a student. If you finish your studies early, your permit will stop being valid 90 days after you complete your studies (no matter what day is printed on the study permit).


You may also need a temporary resident visa if you’re coming to study

Note that a study permit is not a visa. It alone doesn’t allow you to enter Canada, so you may need a temporary resident visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTA). If so, it will be issued as part of your study permit application.

When you can study in Canada without a study permit

There are, however, some situations where you can study at any school in Canada without a study permit, for example, if:

  • your course or program is for six months or less

  • your studies aren’t part of a longer program

  • you complete all your studies within the time you are approved to stay in Canada.

After your studies are complete

If, after studying in Canada, you decide you would like to apply for permanent residency, you can try to apply via the Express Entry program or a provincial nominee program, described below.

 You will also like need to apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit, to allow you to work in Canada while you apply for permanent residency.



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