Study Permit Canada (Detailed Guide)

Study Permit Canada (Detailed Guide)

A study permit in Canada is an official document issued by the Canadian government that authorizes international students to study at designated learning institutions (DLIs) within the country also referred to different Canadian universities & colleges in the nation. This permit is required for foreign nationals intending to pursue academic or vocational programs lasting more than six months in Canada which can be their degree or diploma as per the stream which they’ve chosen.

To be eligible, students must have an acceptance offer from a DLI, and the study permit must be obtained before commencing studies. The permit outlines the terms and conditions of the study, including the duration of stay and any authorized work opportunities. International students must adhere to the regulations outlined in their study permits to ensure legal compliance while pursuing education in Canada.

Student Visa in Canada Requirements

Eligibility requirements

  • Travel Document: Ensure possession of a valid passport or another legally recognized travel document of the international student as he is going to study in a different nation.
  • Acceptance Letter: Obtain an acceptance letter from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) as it is required for applying for a Canadian study permit in the specific college or university.
  • Proof of Financial Support: Demonstrate adequate funds to cover various expenses, including student fees for the first year of study as specified by the DLI, all living expenses for the initial year in Canada for both the student and accompanying family member(s), and the cost of transportation from Canada to the home country.
    • These funds should be verifiable and available in liquid form, held in the account of the principal applicant, spousal applicant, a family relative, or a close friend.
  • Medical Exam: In most cases, upon receipt of a study permit application, visa officers may request the student and accompanying family member(s) to undergo a medical examination.
  • Criminal Record: In certain cases, visa officers may ask for police clearance certificates after receiving a study permit application to ensure that the applicant does not pose a risk to Canadian security

Your responsibilities in Canada

While enrolled in a Canadian educational program, it is compulsory to:

  • Make consistent progress toward the successful completion of your designated program ( your degree or diploma ).
  • Adhere to any conditions which are imposed or stipulated on your study permit.
  • Cease studying if you no longer meet the established requirements.

Depending on your case, additional conditions on your study permit may include specifications such as:

  • Permission to engage in employment within Canada.
  • Authorization for travel within the country.
  • A designated date by which you must exit Canada.
  • A designated learning institution (DLI) where your studies must be pursued, as indicated on your permit

How to Apply Student Visa in Canada

  1. Acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI): Obtain acceptance from a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI) by applying to the educational program of your choice.
  2. Gather Required Documents: Collect necessary documents, including a valid passport, acceptance letter from the DLI, proof of financial support, medical examination results (if required), and a police clearance certificate.
  3. Create an Online Account: Create an online account on the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.
  4. Complete the Application Form: Fill out the study permit application form online, providing accurate and complete information.
  5. Pay the Application Fee: Pay the required application fee through the online portal. Verify the current fee on the IRCC website.
  6. Submit the Application: Submit the completed application online. Ensure all required documents are attached and the information is accurate.
  7. Biometrics: Depending on your nationality, provide biometrics (fingerprints and a photo) at a designated Visa Application Centre (VAC) or biometric collection point.
  8. Wait for Processing: Allow time for the study permit application to be processed. Processing times vary, so check the IRCC website for updates.
  9. Receive Approval and Letter of Introduction: If approved, you will receive a Letter of Introduction, which is not your study permit but is required to obtain it upon arrival in Canada.
  10. Travel to Canada: With the Letter of Introduction, travel to Canada. At the port of entry, present the letter to immigration officials, who will issue your study permit.
  11. Activate Your Study Permit: Once in Canada, ensure your study permit is activated. Comply with any additional conditions listed on the permit

Note: Please be aware that your study permit does not serve as a visa. Depending on your country of citizenship, you might need a travel visa to enter Canada through the Port of Entry (POE).

  • Visa-Exempt Countries: Residents of these countries do not need a visa to enter Canada. You can directly proceed to the Port of Entry to obtain your study permit. However, it’s important to note that an electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) may still be required for travel to Canada.
  • Non-Visa Exempt Countries: Residents of countries not exempt from visas will need a visa to enter Canada. Upon the approval of your study permit application, the visa officer will mail you a travel visa, allowing you to travel to Canada.

*If you are currently legally present in Canada, you have the option to apply for a study permit from within the country. Upon approval, the study permit will be sent to your designated address

Studying in Quebec Canada

Quebec, a province in Canada, has specific considerations and processes for obtaining a study permit. Here’s an overview of the key points related to a Quebec study permit which you need to know if you’re planning to study in the province of Quebec if you want.

1. Acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI)

Similar to other Canadian provinces, you must first receive acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Quebec. Ensure that the institution is recognized by the Quebec government & in whichever university or college you’re living in.

2. Apply for a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ)

Before applying for a study permit in the Designated Learning Institution (DLI) of Quebec, international students planning to study in Quebec need to obtain a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ). This is a document issued by the Quebec government, and it is a prerequisite for applying for a study permit.

3. Gather Required Documents

Collect the necessary documents for both the CAQ and the study permit. This includes a valid passport, acceptance letter from the Quebec DLI, proof of financial support, and any other documents required by the immigration authorities.

4. Apply for the Study Permit

Once you have the CAQ, proceed to apply for the study permit through the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.

5. Pay the Application Fees

Pay the required fees for both the CAQ and the study permit.  The Application fee for the study permit in Canada is around CAD 150 with a biometric charge which is around CAD 85.

6. Biometrics and Medical Exam

If applicable, provide biometrics and undergo a medical examination as part of the study permit application process.

7. Wait for Processing

Allow time for the processing of both the CAQ and the study permit. Processing times can vary, so it’s advisable to check the respective processing times on the official websites.

8. Receive Approval and Documents

If approved, you will receive the Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) and the study permit. These documents are crucial for your legal stay and studies in Quebec.

9. Travel to Quebec

With the approved CAQ and study permit, you can travel to Quebec. Ensure you have all the required documents when entering Canada

Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQs )

How long does it take to obtain a study permit in Canada?

The average processing time for a Canadian study permit is 9 to 11 weeks. The countdown begins as soon as Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) receives your complete application.

What is a Difference between a student visa and a study permit:

A study permit grants permission to study in Canada & in their colleges as well as universities which are also known as Designated Learning Institutions (DLI), whereas if we talk about a visa or electronic travel authorization (eTa), then it is necessary for entry in the country. Upon approval of a study permit application, the IRCC issues either a visa or eTa, depending on the required document & your file of application.

Can I change institutions or programs on my study permit?

Students can switch fields of study or educational institutions within Canada without requiring a new study permit, provided the permit doesn’t specify this information.

However, changing the level of education (e.g., from primary school to high school or from high school to university) necessitates a study permit modification. For those applying to institutions in Quebec, ensuring alignment with the authorized level of study in the CAQ is crucial.

Financial requirements for a study permit in Canada?

To secure a study permit, applicants must demonstrate access to $20,635 in funds, in addition to covering their first-year tuition and travel expenses.

Fast-tracking study permit through Student Direct Stream (SDS)?

Depending on your location, the Student Direct Stream (SDS) offers a faster route for study permit processing, aiming to handle most applications within 20 calendar days. However, it’s essential to note that a study permit alone does not grant travel permission to or entry into Canada


Subscribe to our Newsletter

Immigration Topics