International students require a Canada Study Permit (and accompanying student’s visa) in order to study in any of Canada’s Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs). Canada is the best and most desirable destination for many international students from all over the world. If you are interested in studying in Canada, you will need to be well informed about the Canada study permit and the processes. You may also be able to work part time in Canada while studying.

There are many steps involved with applying for a Canadian study permit and the processes vary from country to country. Our step-by-step instructions will guide you on how to apply for a Canadian study permit. It will inform you of the processing times, as well as other useful information necessary for a successful application.

What is Canada Study Permit?

Basically, a Canadian study permit is a document usually issued to international students who come to study in any designated learning institution in Canada. This document grants you legal authorization or permission to study in Canada.

In addition, when applying for a permit, you should be aware that there are certain conditions and requirements that must be met when submitting the application for a study permit. Hence, before applying you need to make sure all documents are ready and intact.

You should also know that your Canadian study permit is not a Canadian visa. A student visa authorizes you to come to study in Canada. While, on the other hand, a study permit gives you the authorization to stay in the Country. It also depends on your country of origin. If your country is included in the Visa Exempt Countries, you do not require a visa to enter Canada. A foreign student can also extend a study permit whenever it expires. You are given an extra 90 days to either apply for an extension or leave Canada.

Documents requirements for Canada Study Permit

In order to obtain a Canadian study permit, a prospective foreign student must:

  • Have obtained a Letter of Acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution in Canada.
  • Show prove of an adequate fund to cover tuition fees and other living expenses.
  • Prove to the Canadian immigration officer that will leave Canada at the end of their authorized stay.
  • Be admissible to Canada. In other words, they must have a clean criminal and/or medical records. The applicant may also be required to provide a police certificate to prove their status.

There are other additional requirements, depending on the student’s circumstances or country of origin.

Apply for Study Permit from Outside Canada

No matter where you are staying, you might be able to apply for a study permit from outside Canada.

Although, the COVID-19 crisis has affected travel plans for most foreigners including international students. Canada has put in place special measures to help students begin their studies outside Canada while travel restrictions are in place.

To apply for a Canadian study permit, you may need to visit any Canadian visa office close to you. But first, you must get a letter of acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI).

The acceptance letter must be issued by the Canadian institution (e.g. college, university, etc.) on official letterhead, indicate the exact amount of tuition fees you need to pay, the expected starting and finishing dates, and the date by which you want to register.

Once you have your letter of acceptance, you can complete and submit an application for a study permit.

Apply Study Permit from Within Canada

You can apply for a study permit from within Canada. In some cases, you can apply when you arrive in Canada at the port of entry (POE). You can also apply as a visitor. It is however advisable to apply online as it is processed faster and you get updates and information on the application status directly in your online account.

When you apply, you should submit the following documents:

  • the acceptance letter issued to you by the DLI you will be attending.
  • as many of the documents required for a complete application as possible.
  • a letter of explanation for any missing documents due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you can not apply online because of issues that may be relating to disability, you can apply on paper. The application processes for foreign students living abroad and for those residing in Canada are generally the same.

Extend Study Permit In Canada

For renewing or extending a study permit, foreign students need to have a valid study permit. If in case, your study permit expires before completion of your studies (program) then you need to apply for a renewal of your study permit. Normally, you should apply at least 30 days before your current study permit expires. Candidates can lodge their applications via mail or online.

If on the other hand, you have completed your study program, you may be eligible to apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP). You may check our resource page on applying for PGWP.

Some students may also decide to change their status to a visitor if they are no longer studying or apply for PGWP. But do take into account that, there’s a timeframe for these processes, which is usually 90 days, after which you can no longer renew your status.

Obtaining Work Permit After Study In Canada

If you plan to stay in Canada after your graduation, there are a number of programs that you can apply for.

Basically, a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) will allow you to obtain valuable work experience in Canada, which in turn boosts your chances for a Canadian Experience Class (CEC) visa. The PGWP can be issued for the length of your program of study, for up to three years duration.

For instance, let’s say you completed a two-year master’s degree program, you could be eligible for a three-year work permit if you meet the conditions. If you completed an eight-month certificate program, you may be qualified for a Canadian work permit that is valid for no more than eight months.

The Canadian Experience Class visa gives international graduates the opportunity to make a smooth transition from temporary to Canadian permanent residence.

This is open to candidates who understand Canadian society and can contribute to economic growth. Knowledge of English or French, as well as qualifying work experience, is very essential.

FAQs about Canada Study Permit

Q. How to apply for a study permit extension in Canada?
A. You must apply online to extend your Canada study permit. However, before applying for an extension, you should ensure your school is on the designated learning institution list. See the resource page on how to apply.
Q. What is the Canada study permit extension processing time?
A. Processing times for an extension usually take 57 days. It could take longer depending on the period when the application was received.
Q. What is study permit processing time in Canada?
A. In most cases, the processing times may take 90 days. Sometimes, it takes quite a long while for officers to verify documents. You may use the Student Direct Stream your permit faster.
Q. How to apply for a work permit in Canada after study?
A. You may apply for a postgraduate study permit after graduation if you are eligible. You have about 180 days to apply for a work permit if you have the following documents: your degree, transcript, an official letter from your school of graduation.
Q. Can I study with an open work permit in Canada?
A. You are not permitted to study with an open work permit. If you wish to study in Canada you will need to get a study permit. But, if you are in Canada with an open work permit, then you may apply for a study permit before your work permit expires.
Q. Can my spouse or dependent children come with me to Canada?
Yes. your spouse, common-law partner, or dependant can come with you to Canada if they met all the eligibility requirements for temporary residents to Canada and can prove to the immigration officer they will stay beyond the authorized expiry date.
Q. How long can I stay in Canada after my study permit expires?
A. Your study permit expires 90 days after you conclude your studies. Before your permit expires, you must ensure you change your status or faces the risk of being deported. You can either renew your study permit or apply for a temporary resident visa or visitor visa.
Q. What is the document number on the study permit in Canada?
A. Most recent visitor records like work permits or study permits usually have a document number. The document number is normally found on the top right of your study permit. It is a letter displayed in nine numbers (e.g.F123456789) on the top right.
Q. How to amend a study permit?

A. You only apply for amendments if there is an error made on your study permit, maybe a visa officer.

If for instance, you were eligible to work when you entered Canada but your permit did not state that you “may work”, you will need to correct or amend your permit before you can work in Canada. As quickly as possible you have to apply for an amendment if you are eligible.