How to Get a Study Permit in Canada

By Tess Campbell Modified on June 25, 2021
Tags : Academics

Find out everything you need to know about study permits in Canada


Are you interested in studying in Canada? It's difficult to keep track of everything you need to know when applying to study in a different country, but our goal is to make this process simple for you! This article addresses all the questions you might have about how you can get a study permit.

1. What is a study permit?

A study permit allows foreign nationals to study at designated schools in Canada.

It can be difficult to understand the difference between a student visa and a study permit. Technically, Canada doesn't offer student visas. When you apply and are accepted for a study permit in Canada, you receive either a visitor visa or an electronic travel authorization which will grant you entry into the country.

Your study permit is valid for the length of your study program, plus an additional 90 days so you can prepare to leave Canada or apply to extend your stay.

2. How do I apply?

You can either apply for a study permit online or download the application and submit it to your Visa Application Centre. If you are located outside of Canada, you will submit your downloaded application to your local Visa Application Centre. If you are located within Canada, you will submit your downloaded application to the Visa Application Centre located in New York.

To complete your application, you will need:

  • To pay the $150CAD study permit fee
  • An acceptance letter from a designated learning institution, a school approved by the government to host international students
  • A valid passport or travel document
  • Proof you can support yourself, and any family members who come with you, while you're in Canada
  • Letter of explanation to help the visa officer understand you and your goals
  • Biometrics collection (biographical data, fingerprint collection, and a photograph)
    • find out here if you need to give biometrics
    • Requires a fee of $85CAD per person

3. Do I qualify for a study permit?

In most cases you will need to have a study permit to attend post-secondary education in Canada.

Take this short questionnaire to see if you need to apply for a study permit!

4. About your study permit

With a study permit, you must:

  • Always be enrolled at a designated learning institution
  • Make progress toward finishing your study program
  • Respect the conditions listed on your study permit
  • Stop studying if you no longer meet the requirements
  • Leave Canada when your permit expires

5. Want to study in Quebec? How does this change your application process?

If you want to study in Quebec for longer than six months you will need a study permit and a Certificat d'acceptation du Qu├ębec (CAQ). Your school will give you the details on how to apply for the CAQ.

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