Study Permit in Canada
Study Permit in Canada
Why do you need a study permit to study in Canada?
A study permit is a document the Canadian government issues to allow foreign nationals to study in Canada. The study permit allows you to study at a designated learning institution (DLI). Most foreign nationals planning to study in Canada must first get a study permit.
Keep in mind that a study permit is not the same thing as a visa, and the study permit itself does not allow you to enter Canada. You may also need a visitor visa or electronic travel authorization (eTA) to enter Canada. If the Canadian government approves your study permit, they will issue that to you as well.
You will probably need a study permit if you are a foreign national wishing to study in Canada, although there are certain exceptions. You must be accepted at a DLI before submitting your Canada study permit application. All primary and secondary schools in Canada are automatically designated, but you must consult the DLI list to be sure that a school at the post-secondary level is appropriately listed.
How to get a study permit
An application for a study permit in Canada is discretionary. A successful applicant must meet the relevant requirements associated with obtaining a study permit, including the pertinent financial requirements.
Canada study permit requirements include the following materials:
- Proof of acceptance: You need an acceptance letter from a DLI to apply for a study permit.
- Proof of identity: You can use a valid passport or travel document as your proof of identity.
- Proof of financial support: You need to show proof that you can support yourself as well as any family member who accompanies you while you are in Canada.
You may also need to provide additional materials, such as:
- Letter of explanation.
- Custodian declaration (only for minors).
- Certificat d’acceptation du Quebec (CAQ), if you are planning to study in Quebec.
Make sure you also check local requirements for your country or region to see if you need to include other documents with your application.
What is the process to apply?
The Canadian government encourages students to apply for their study permit online. You can get started by getting an application package, which includes an instruction guide, and by gathering the required acceptance letter, passport, and financial proof. You should ensure you submit all appropriate fees and supporting documents when you submit your application.
You must pay a C$150 fee for a study permit. The processing time once you have submitted your Canada study permit application can vary depending on your country. You may also need to give biometrics to complete your application.
The Canadian government will then process and either accept or refuse your application. If your application is refused, you will receive a letter explaining why. If your application is approved, you will either get your study permit mailed to you (for applicants already in Canada) or at the port of entry when you arrive. Keep in mind that if you applied from outside Canada, you must bring the letter of introduction you receive from the Canadian government in order to receive your study permit at your chosen port of entry.
Renewing your study permit in Canada – Update
Students with an essential purpose can now enter Canada if they are attending a school that has a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by the province. You must be planning to attend a study program that is active and has not been cancelled or suspended.
Canada Study Permit Frequently Asked Questions
Can I apply for a student visa inside Canada?
Many students must apply for their study permit before travelling to Canada. Some applicants may be eligible to apply for the permit from within Canada. In certain cases, students can apply at the port of entry upon arriving. Consulting with an immigration lawyer can help you figure out which option is available in your case.
Study permit and student visa Canada: What is the difference?
A study permit is not the same thing as a visa. Foreign nationals may need either a visitor visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTA) to enter Canada. Your study permit alone will not allow you to enter the country. However, if the Canadian government approves your study permit, they will issue the visitor visa or eTA that you need subject to approval by a Canadian port of entry.
If you apply for your study permit from outside of Canada, you will receive a port of entry letter of introduction stating that you can study in Canada. You will need to bring this letter with you when you travel to Canada and show it to the border services officer. Your letter of introduction will also include information about your eTA if you come from a country where the eTA is required. If you come from a country where you need the visitor visa instead, you will get the visa in your passport.
Can I work while on study permit?
Most post-secondary students are permitted to work on- or off-campus during their studies. While you usually will not need a separate work permit, you will need to make sure you meet all requirements and check the conditions on your study permit. Students with a study permit in Canada can typically work for around 20 hours each week while classes are in session, and may work full-time when their program is not in session. For the year 2023 some study permit holders can work more than 20 hours a week. A Co-op work permit is also available depending on the school at which one is pursuing studies.
What do I need to do if my student visa expired?
If your study permit is expiring and you want to keep studying, you need to extend your permit through the Canadian government. You should apply to extend a study permit at prior to the current permit expiring, though the government recommends you apply further in advance.
If your study permit already expired and you have applied to extend it before it expired and you have not yet received a decision, you can stay in the country under “implied status.” You can continue your studies until you receive a decision.
However, if your study permit expired and you have not yet applied to extend, you have lost your status. You cannot continue or restart studying until the government restores your status and extends your study permit. Students have 90 days to apply to restore their status and extend a study permit in Canada. You will need to pay a C$200 fee to restore your status in addition to the C$150 fee for a new study permit.
How we can help
The lawyers at Chaudhary Law Office can guide you if you are planning to come to Canada for your studies. The experienced lawyers at our Toronto-based firm will help you navigate the processes and requirements associated with an application for a study permit in Canada. Contact our office today for an appointment for legal consultation.
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