Once you obtain a letter of acceptance from a designated learning institution such as a university or college, you need to submit an application to IRCC to obtain a study permit.
An applicant for a Canadian study permit may include his or her family members on the application, so that they may accompany the applicant to Canada. An accompanying spouse may be able to obtain an open work permit, enabling them to work for any Canadian employer, and minor children may be able to study at Canadian elementary and secondary schools. To learn more, click here.
Most international students require a study permit. You do not need a study permit if your program in Canada is for six months or less. In addition, minor children and other individuals may be exempt from requiring a Canadian study permit. To learn more about studying in Canada without a study permit, click here.
Canada has special immigration measures in place due to the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. These measures are providing more flexibility to immigration applicants who are experiencing disruptions due to the pandemic. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has stated that it will not reject incomplete applications during the coronavirus pandemic. Study permit applicants who are unable to obtain all necessary documentation because of coronavirus disruptions can still go ahead and submit their applications to IRCC. IRCC will keep incomplete study permit applications open until applicants are able to provide the remaining documents. CanadaVisa’s coronavirus page contains the latest news and frequently asked questions (FAQs).
It is important to apply for a study permit immediately upon receiving the letter of acceptance. Study permit processing times vary, and applicants may see delays during busy times — particularly during the summer months.
To view an estimate of the study permit processing times per country, click here.
In order to be eligible to submit an application for a Canadian study permit, a prospective student must:
The applicant may also be required to submit the following supporting documents:
You can get your study permit faster through the Student Direct Stream (SDS) if you live in one of the following countries:
IRCC’s processing standard for most SDS applications is 20 calendar days. Applications must be submitted online.
Citizens of these countries must be residing in the country to be eligible for the SDS (e.g., they cannot be residing in another country if they want to apply for a study permit through the SDS).
To be eligible for the SDS, you must meet the following requirements:
Applicants for a Canadian study permit are required to prove they have enough money to cover the first year of tuition fees. They also need to have the financial resources to support themselves, and any accompanying family members, each year.
Financial resources may be proven with the following information:
Family or friends of the applicant may also submit letters confirming that they will support the applicant during his or her studies.
The following table show the amounts that a student is required to possess (all amounts in Canadian dollars):
|Number of people||All provinces except Quebec|
|Single student||Tuition plus $10,000 for a 12-month period (or $833 per month)|
|For one accompanying family member add:||$4,000 for a 12-month period (or $333 per month)|
|For each additional family member, add:||$3,000 for a 12-month period per dependent child of any age (or $255 per month)|
In Quebec, the financial requirements for prospective students are different. In addition to tuition fees, a prospective international student is required to show that he or she has the following funds, dependent on his or her situation.
|Number of people||Total amount required|
|One person under age 18||$6,487|
|One person age 18 or older||$12,971|
|Two persons age 18 or older||$19,024|
|One person over age 18 and one under age 18||$17,432|
|Two persons over age 18 and one under age 18||$21,310|
|Two persons over age 18 and two under age 18||$23,000|
If an application is approved, the prospective student will receive:
After obtaining a study permit, students may need to renew or change the study permit during the course of their studies in Canada. To learn more about renewing, extending, or changing the conditions of a study permit, click here.
If a student at a post-secondary institution wishes to change institutions, study program, or level of study he or she does not need to apply for a new study permit. However, he or she is required to update IRCC upon changing institutions. For example, a student may move from Bachelor level to Master's level, or from Geography to Philosophy, or from a college to a university, without applying for a new study permit. He or she does not need to apply for a change to the condition of the study permit. A student may study in Canada as long as the study permit is valid.
However, an international student moving from elementary school to high school, or from high school to a post-secondary institution, is required to apply for a change in the conditions of the study permit.
Study permits expire 90 days after graduation, regardless of the date printed on the study permit itself. It is extremely important that international graduates update their status with IRCC within 90 days of graduation, or they risk losing status in Canada.
Many graduates are eligible to apply for a Post-graduation Work Permit (PGWP). The PGWP allows the holder to work for any employer anywhere in Canada for up to three years after graduation. Work experience gained on a PGWP may help facilitate an application for Canadian permanent residence, especially through programs such as the Canadian Experience Class and certain Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) streams. Click here to view the list of Canadian immigration options you can pursue after studying in Canada.
If an international graduate does not apply for a PGWP, he or she may do the following to maintain legal status in Canada:
Foreign nationals are usually required to apply for a study permit if they wish to study in Canada. However, there are exceptions.
If the program you are joining is less than six months long, you do not need a study permit.
If you are a family member of a foreign diplomat, or if you are a member of staff of a foreign diplomat, you do not need a study permit to study in Canada.
Family members include spouses and common law partners and dependent children.
In addition, if you are a member of foreign armed forces of a country that is a designated state under the Visiting Forces Act, you do not need a study permit. To find out if your country is listed as a designated state, please click here.
Processing times may vary depending on different visa offices. They are faster for those who are eligible under the Student Direct Stream. To find out processing times for your local or regional visa office, please check the processing times here.
To find out if you need an eTA depending on the country issuing your travel document or passport, please follow this link.
To find out if you need an TRV depending on the country issuing your travel document or passport, please follow this link.
A DLI is an institution that is approved by the province or territory to host international students. To find out if the institution you are applying to is a DLI, please check the DLI list.
Yes you can. You do not need to change your study permit if you are changing institutions or programs. However, you need to let IRCC know if you have changed your institution.
If you wish to move to a DLI in Quebec from another province or territory, you are required to obtain a Certificat d’acceptation du Quebec (CAQ).
A study permit expires 90 days after the end of your program.
If you are taking prerequisite courses, your study permit will expire 1 year after the end of those courses. After that, if you are accepted into your main program, you will be required to apply to extend your stay as a student.
If you do not finish your program before the date on your study permit, you will be required to apply to extend your stay as a student.
If you finish your program early, your study permit will expire 90 days after that, regardless of the date on your study permit.
Eligible graduates may apply for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) in order to stay in Canada and obtain Canadian work experience.
To find out if you would be eligible for the PGWP, follow this link.
If you are not eligible, or if you choose not to apply for the PGWP, you must maintain legal status in Canada by:
International graduates would usually be eligible for the PGWP as long as: