Study permit outside Canada

Last updated: 15 days ago

A study permit is official permission from an officer to study in Canada. Study permits expire 90 days after your program ends. Your program is complete when your school notifies you.

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What is a study permit?

The study permit is a legal document that the IRCC issues to foreign nationals so they can attend designated learning institutions (DLIs) in Canada. Most foreign nationals who wish to study in Canada must get a study permit. Before applying, make sure you have all the necessary paperwork. Applying is a must before entering Canada.

Your study permit is not a visa. You cannot enter Canada using this. An electronic travel authorisation (eTA) or a visitor visa may also be required. If IRCC approves your study permit, they will provide you with one.



While studying in Canada, you must:

Depending on your circumstances, your study permit may have restrictions such

Typically, a study permit must be requested before traveling to Canada. A study permit application can sometimes be made from within Canada. You may be able to apply in some circumstances at the port of entry when you enter Canada. Make sure you are aware of the options you have.


Applying online

If you’re applying for a study permit, you should apply online, whether you’re outside of Canada or already in Canada.

Applying requires that you provide

You can submit a paper application if you have a disability that prevents you from applying online or if there is a technical issue with the online application.

You must present a current Quebec Acceptance Certificate or evidence that you applied for one if you intend to study in Quebec. You do not need a CAQ to apply for a study permit if you intend to study in Quebec for less than six months.


Applying at the port of entry

Generally speaking, you shouldn't submit a study permit application at a Canadian port of entry. You should apply for a study permit online before traveling to Canada.

At present time, only specific individuals are eligible to apply at the port of entry. If you're a citizen, you might be able to apply at the port of entry.

If you satisfy one of these conditions, you must have all the paperwork necessary to submit an application for a study permit with you when you cross the border. Your eligibility to enter Canada as a student will be determined by the border services officer who welcomes you.


Extending your stay and study permit

If you want to stay longer in Canada, you must apply online.

If your study permit is about to expire

You have three choices if you are a student:

  1. You might be able to extend your study permit if you want to keep studying.
  2. If your studies program was successfully finished, you might be qualified to apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) or a work permit.
  3. You can request to have your status changed to visitor.

Before your study visa expires, you must apply for one of these choices; else, you might have to leave Canada.

If your study permit has expired

If you don't request to extend your study permission before it expires, you will no longer be considered a student in Canada. You may be able to restore your status.

If you’re a visitor who needs a study permit

If you are already in Canada as a visitor, you can apply for a study permit online. You cannot begin studying until you have obtained your study permit.


Working as a student

As of 1 September 2020, in order to work in Canada as a student, you will be required to have obtained a work permit.

Co-op work permits

Numerous international students are pursuing their studies online while the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing. If your employer and school are in agreement, you can either

While IRCC is processing your study permit and co-op work permit applications, you may continue to work if you are employed outside of Canada.

How to apply for a co-op work permit


Student Direct Stream

You might be able to obtain your study permit more quickly if you apply online via the Student Direct Stream if you are a legal resident of certain countries.

In order to be qualified for Student Direct Stream's expedited processing, you must:

You could also be required to produce additional documentation, depending on where you are applying from. Make sure you submit all the paperwork that the visa office needs to process your application.

IRCC may ask you for more supporting documentation for your application. Your application will take longer to process in this scenario.


Applying from inside Canada? Check out visa processing time for study permit from inside canada

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