- Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, international students wishing to come to Canada should regularly review Canada’s travel requirements and restrictions for international students.
- Before applying for a study permit, you must have an acceptance letter from a school, university or college in Canada.
- This means you need to find a school or program, apply to the program(s) of your choice, and receive an acceptance letter from a school, college, or university in Canada.
- Before applying for a study permit, you need: Letter of acceptance from a designated educational institution (DDI) Valid passport or travel document Facility A designated school is a school approved by a provincial or territorial government to welcome international students.
- All primary and secondary schools in Canada are designated educational institutions.
- If you plan to attend a post-secondary school, such as college or university, make sure that school is on the list.
- If you are required to take certain courses before being admitted to your program (conditional acceptance), you will receive a study permit for the duration of these courses.
- Once the college or university accepts you into your chosen program, you must apply to extend your permit.
Apply for a study permit
We suggest you apply for a study permit as soon as you have a letter of acceptance from a Canadian college or university. It can take up to 3 months to get a study permit, depending on the country where you are applying.
You may need to give your biometrics (fingerprints and photograph) when applying for a visitor visa, study permit or work permit for Canada. If you need to give your biometrics with your application, you will have to go in person to the Visa Application Centre (VAC) closest to you.
If you’re required to give your biometrics, don’t submit your study permit application by mail. Instead, please submit it at the VAC when they collect your biometrics.
What to do after you apply for a study permit
You can check the status of your study permit application on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website. The information is updated daily. First, you need to set up an account on the site.
Sometimes, the processing centre will ask you to send more information. Learn more about the application process.
How to apply for a travel or work visa
Not everyone needs a travel or work visa, but before you arrive in Canada, you should determine whether your plans require you to get a travel or work visa.
Stays less than 6 months
If your time in Canada will be less than 6 months, you’ll need one of the following visas as an international student:
- A travel visa in your passport if you expect to study in Canada for less than 6 months
- An ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) if your passport is from a designated country
Work visa during your studies and beyond
If you are attending a post-secondary program in Canada, and you want to work,you can. International students with a study permit may work part-time (less than 20 hour a week) without a work permit. If you want to work full-time or be part of a work placement while studying, you’ll need to apply for a work permit. Your spouse or common law partner can also apply for a work permit.