How to obtain a Student Study Permit to Study in Canada

More than 90,000 students come to study in Canada every year and even more come to Canada to learn just English or French. Foreign students bring a rich culture to our classrooms. Your knowledge and skills are welcome in Canadian schools.

To study in Canada, you may need a study permit or a temporary resident visa, though not everyone must have these documents. Before you can apply for a study permit, you must have been accepted at a recognized school, university or college in Canada.

To be eligible to study in Canada

  • You must have been accepted by a school, college, university or other educational institution in Canada.
  • You must prove that you have enough money to pay for your:
    • tuition fees;
    • living expenses for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada; and
    • return transportation for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada.
  • You must be a law-abiding citizen with no criminal record and not be a risk to the security of Canada. You may have to provide a police certificate.
  • You must be in good health and willing to complete a medical examination, if necessary.
  • You must satisfy an immigration officer that you will leave Canada when you have completed your studies.

Applying for Study Permit

You can download and print the forms you need by visiting Application Kit to Study in Canada

This kit has all the required information and application forms required to complete your application for study permit. Once you have completed the application form be sure you include the receipt for the processing fee. Submit the application form to the visa office that is responsible for the country or region where you live.

After applying for Study Permit

Processing times vary depending on the Canadian visa office where you submitted your application. The visa office will review your application to make sure you have completed it correctly and that you have included all of the required documents. If your application is incomplete, it will not be processed - it will be returned to you.

If your application is complete, the visa office will review it and decide if an interview is necessary. If so, the officer will inform you of the time and place.

If your application is approved:

If your application is approved, you will receive:

  • A letter of introduction confirming the approval. This letter is not your study permit. Bring the letter of introduction with you to show to immigration officials at the point of entry when you arrive in Canada.
  • A temporary resident visa (TRV) if you are from a Designated Countries for which Canada requires a visa. (You can find a List of Designated Countries.) The TRV will be in your passport. The expiry date on this visa indicates the date by which you must enter Canada. You must enter Canada before your TRV expires. The TRV will also indicate if you can enter Canada only once (a single-entry visa) or if you can enter Canada multiple times (a multiple-entry visa).

Arriving in Canada to Begin Your Education

When you arrive in Canada, you will be met by an officer from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) at a point of entry, such as an airport. The CBSA is responsible for border and point of entry activities in Canada.

You should be ready to show the following documents:

  • a valid passport or travel document;
  • the letter of introduction from the visa office that you received when your study permit was approved (This letter contains your permit reference number. The officer will need this letter to issue your study permit.);
  • a valid temporary resident visa (if required);
  • a copy of the letter of acceptance from the school at which you are permitted to study;
  • proof that you have enough money to support yourself during your stay in Canada; and
  • letters of reference or any other documents recommended by the visa office where you applied.

If there are no problems at the point of entry, the officer will let you enter Canada and will issue your study permit. You should:

  • check the study permit to make sure that your personal information is accurate; and
  • check the expiry date on your study permit. You must leave Canada by this date.

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