Do I need a study permit? How do I apply?

If you are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, then you might need a study permit to study in Canada.

Important note: Several new regulations came into place for international students June 1, 2014.

If you plan to study in a short-term program for 6 months or less, you do not need a study permit. You may do this while holding a visitor visa. But, you can apply for a study permit if you want to.

It is a good idea to apply for a study permit if you think you might want to study in another program after you complete the first program. If you already have a study permit, you can apply to extend your permit from inside Canada as long as you are still enrolled in school. However, if you do not have a study permit , you will have to apply for one outside of Canada, with some exceptions.

If you plan to study in a program for more than 6 months, you need a study permit.

What do I need to apply?

To apply for a study permit, you need:

  • An acceptance letter from a designated learning institution;
  • Proof of identity (such as a passport or travel document) for you and any family members who come with you to Canada;
  • To be a law-abiding citizen without a criminal record;
  • Proof that you have enough money to pay school fees and support yourself and any family members who come with you while you study; and,
  • To assure an immigration officer that you and any family members who come with you will leave Canada after you finish your studies.

Depending on your citizenship, you might also need:

  • To pass a medical exam; and/or
  • To get a temporary resident visa (or "entry visa").

Where do I apply?

You have to apply through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

For More Information

  • Studying in Canada - Information from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for people planning to come to Canada as international students.
  • Avoiding Delays with Your Study Permit – This webpage outlines important tips which may help speed up your study permit application. From Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
  • International Students - This webpage has information about coming to Ontario as an international student, and working while you study and after you graduate. From the Ontario Immigration website.
Last updated: July 12, 2016 4001155