What is a Canadian Study Permit?
Every year, over 130,000 students come to Canada to study. In order to do so, they must obtain a study permit issued by the Canadian government. This permit, which is a type of Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) allows students to study in Canada for a temporary period of time, and typically indicates the educational institution they are attending and course of study. To qualify, an applicant must fit a certain set of requirements.
Canada Student Visa Requirements and New Rules for International Students 2023
There are several eligibility requirements for those looking to immigrate to Canada for study. In order to qualify for a study permit, you must:
- Satisfy an officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your studies
- Have a letter of acceptance from an educational institution (must be enrolled at a designated learning institution)
- Prove that you have money for the duration of your stay in Canada to pay for tuition fees, and living expenses for yourself and accompanying family members.
- Be law-abiding and have no record of criminal activity
- Not be a risk to the security of Canada
- Be in good health (complete a medical examination, if required)
- Prove to an officer that you will leave Canada once your study permit expires
Note: You may need to produce any additional documents requested by the officer to establish your admissibility.
How Do I Get a Canadian Study Permit?
To get a Canadian study permit, you must first apply to a designated learning institute. Once accepted, you may proceed to apply for a study permit. Along with the application itself, you will be required to submit certain documentation, as well as meet all requirements set by the Canadian government.
Common Canada Study Permit Questions
What Is the Processing Time for a Canada Study Permit?
Canadian Study Permit Processing Times depend mostly on the applicant’s country of residence. Typically a Canadian study permit can be processed between 1-16 weeks. Visit our page on Canada Visa Processing Times for 2021 to learn more.
How Long Can I Study in Canada?
Generally, you can stay in Canada for the duration of your study permit. Look at your permit and it will tell you when it expires. In some cases, you can apply for an extension.
What If I Am Refused a Study Visa?
An applicant can be refused for a number of reasons. He or she may lack proof of sufficient funds, or proof that they will stay for only a temporary basis. If this happens, it is important to take a close look at the application to understand what went wrong. From here, an individual may be able to reapply and oftentimes have success the second time around if all issues are fixed.
Can I Work While on a Study Permit?
Yes, but only under limited circumstances such as when:
- Your employment is on-campus;
- The international student is the recipient of a scholarship;
- The work has been certified as being an integral part of the program of study;
- The work consists of academic research or a post-doctoral fellowship;
- The work takes place after graduation in a field related to the program of study.
Spouses of international students are eligible to work temporarily in Canada.
There are other ways to work while on a study permit depending on where you study in Canada.
Do I Always Need a Study Permit to Study in Canada?
No. You do not require a Study Permit when:
- You take a French or English language training course that is no more than three months in duration; or
- You are the spouse or dependent child; a diplomatic or consular officer; a representative of a foreign country; or a representative of the United Nations or any other intergovernmental organization of which Canada is a member.
Can I Extend My Study Permit?
Yes you can. You will need to file Form IMM 1249. This immigration visa form is used by individuals who want to file for an extension of their study permit in Canada. Individuals submit form IMM 1249 to change conditions or to extend their stay in Canada as students. This application is for temporary residents who reside currently reside in Canada as students.
Note: Individuals holding valid current temporary resident status can apply for an extension of their stay, provided they apply at least 30 days before the expiry date of their current status.
Your Responsibilities as a Student in Canada
You must make sure to do the following while studying in Canada:
- consistently take steps toward the completion of your program
- abide by any terms specified in your study permit
- if you no longer meet the requirements, you will no longer be allowed to study in Canada
Depending on your circumstances, your study permit may include conditions such as
- if you are permitted to work in Canada
- if you are permitted to travel within Canada
the precise date by which you must depart Canada
- where you can learn (a specific DLI listed on your permit)
- before you can study at a different DLI, you must change your DLI in your IRCC secure account.
- whether an immigration medical examination is required
Study Permit to Permanent Residency
Many international students in Canada finish their studies with the hopes of obtaining work and remaining in Canada permanently. In certain Express Entry categories, students may be eligible for permanent residence without any work experience. Often though, students will apply for work and then a work visa to stay temporarily. After having gained academic and work experience in Canada, they may have more options to apply for Canadian permanent residency.
Applying for the Student Direct Stream (SDS)
Those foreign nationals from a specific list of countries have the ability to apply for the Student Direct Stream (SDS) which is ultimately for faster, more efficient study permit processing.
Check out more information about the Student Direct Stream!
Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) with Online Courses
The Post-Graduate Work Permit Program gives international student graduates the opportunity to work in Canada for up to 3 years after their studies. Due to Coronavirus, this temporary policy was announced that graduates are able to apply for the PGWP even with online courses.
Learn more about the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program!
How Long Can I Stay in Canada?
1. If you’re taking prerequisite courses
If your school asks you to take courses before they accept you into the main program, your study permit will be valid for the length of those courses, plus 1 year. When you get accepted into the main program, you must then apply to extend your stay as a student.
2. If you’ll finish your studies after your study permit expires
If you don’t finish your courses before the date on your permit, you must apply to extend your stay as a student. If you don’t, you’ll need to stop studying and leave Canada.
3. If you finish your studies before your study permit expires
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’ve completed your studies on the date your school first notifies you by a completion letter, transcript, degree, or diploma.
Turning a Visitor Visa to a Student Visa
If you are in Canada visiting, you can apply for a student visa while you’re in Canada.
You can qualify to apply if you’re currently in Canada and one of these applies:
- you have a valid study or work permit
- your spouse, common-law partner or parent has a valid study or work permit
- you’re a minor child in primary or secondary school
- you’re an exchange student or visiting student
- you completed a short-term course or study program required to be accepted at a DLI
- you or your spouse, common-law partner or dependent child has a temporary resident permit (TRP) valid for 6 months or more
- you’re being sponsored to immigrate and you already applied for permanent residence (if you’re eligible)
- you or your spouse, common-law partner or dependent child are subject to an unenforceable removal order
- you’re the spouse, common-law partner or dependent child of:
- an athlete on a team based in Canada
- a member of the media
- a member of the clergy
- military personnel on duty in Canada or
- an accredited foreign representative
- you’re a refugee claimant in Canada or a family member of a refugee claimant in Canada.
Learn more about Canada Tourist Visa Requirements.
Why Study in Canada?
Canada is one of the greatest country destinations for international students. The educational standard and quality of living in Canada is one of the best. We’ve written several articles on why you should study in Canada.
*Visit our Canada Student Visa News page to learn more about new rules for international students in Canada in 2023.*
Resources for Prospective Students in Canada
If you are interested in studying in Canada, you will first need a letter of acceptance from an educational institution, meaning you will need to apply to the university directly. Canada offers great opportunities for higher learning at a number of institutions. Here we have highlighted some options to serve as a starting point in deciding where to apply.
Why Hire Us to Help You With Your Canada Student Visa Forms
Studying in Canada is an amazing experience for any student. Canada has one of the highest standards of education in the world. If you want to ensure your best chances at getting an approval on your student visa application, then we recommend you consult with us before submitting. We have helped thousands and thousands of students successfully enter Canada on a study permit, and we can help you too!
We Can Help Your Canada Study Permit Application!
The first step towards your studying in Canada is getting an assessment of your case. Fill out our immigration assessment form and we will get back to you within 24 hours to discuss your eligibility and options.Call us today at 1.866.449.5904 for an assessment to see if you are eligible to move to Canada, or fill out our online assessment form.