The Canada Study Permit is a document that allows international students to study at designated learning institutions (DLIs) for 6 months or more in Canada.
For more information about study permits, visas, or anything else regarding your visit to Canada, get in touch with one of our trusted legal experts on +1 844 290 6312, or contact us online.
- What is the Study Permit?
- Eligibility Requirements For the Study Permit
- What Documents Do I Need for the Study Permit?
- Letter of Explanation
- Proof of Acceptance
- Québec Acceptance Certificate
- Proof of Financial Support and financial requirements
- How to Apply for a Study Permit
- After You Apply
- How Can Total Law Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Canada Study Permit?
The study permit is a document that allows foreign nationals to study in Canada at designated learning institutes (DLI) as international students.
Study permits must be applied for outside of Canada and before you travel.
A Canadian study permit itself is not a visa and does now allow entry into Canada. If you wish to study in Canada, you will also require a visa such as a Visitor Visa or Electronic Travel Authorization to gain entry into Canada. However, the Canadian government will usually issue you with one of these if they approve your application for a study permit.
You may also be eligible to attain a study visa faster through the Student Direct Stream if you are based in one of the eligible countries.
A study permit costs CAN$150 to obtain.
Eligibility Requirements For the Study Permit
In order to be eligible to apply for a study permit, international students must:
- Qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller
- If you’re under 18, you don’t have to be fully vaccinated. However, you do need to study at a designated learning institution (DLI) with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan.
- Be enrolled at a DLI
- Prove you have enough money to pay for:
- your tuition fees
- living expenses for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada
- return transportation for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada
- Obey the law, have no criminal record and get a police certificate (if required)
- Be in good health and get a medical exam (if required)
- Prove to an officer that you will leave Canada when your study permit expires
While studying in Canada on a study permit, you must also:
- Make progress towards completing your program
- Respect any conditions listed on your study permit
- Stop studying if you no longer meet the requirements
In addition to this, there may also be extra conditions placed on your study permit, such as:
- Whether or not you’re allowed to work in Canada
- Whether or not you’re allowed to travel within Canada
- The specific date you must leave Canada
- Where you can study (a specific DLI listed on your permit)
- Whether or not you need an immigration medical examination
What Documents Do I Need for the Study Permit?
You will need the following supporting documents to apply for a study permit:
- Proof of acceptance from a DLI
- Proof of identity in the form of:
- A valid passport or travel document
- Two recent passport-size photo (with the name and date of birth of the person written on the back of each photo)
- Proof of financial support
You may also need the following for your study permit application:
- A letter of explanation
- A Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ)
- A custodian declaration (minors only)
- Other documents
What is the Letter of Explanation?
This letter will help the visa officer understand you and your goals. It explains:
- Why you want to study in Canada, and
- That you understand your responsibilities as a student
You should include this letter if you decide to apply for a study permit, even if you don’t have to get a study permit for your program.
Proof of Acceptance for a Study Permit
You must include an electronic copy or the original copy of your school’s acceptance letter with your study permit application.
If you have received conditional acceptance, this means that you may need to take prerequisite courses. For example, these might be language courses in French or English. You must complete these courses before starting your main course of study.
If this is the case, the Canadian government will only issue your study permit for the length of those courses plus one year. Once you’re accepted into your main program, you’ll need to apply for a new student permit to extend your stay as a student.
Québec Acceptance Certificate
If you want to study in Quebec for longer than 6 months, you will need a Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) issued by the Gouvernement du Québec.
If your application for a CAQ has been approved by the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI), but you’re still waiting to get the CAQ, you can apply for your study permit with the approval letter from the MIFI. You don’t need to wait for the CAQ to apply.
If you plan to study in Quebec for less than 6 months, you can apply for a study permit without a CAQ.
For more information about the CAQ and for studying in Quebec, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Canadian law specialists on +1 844 290 6312, or contact us online.
Financial requirements for the Canada Study Permit
When applying for a Study Permit, you must prove that you can support yourself and your accompanying family members when travelling to Canada.
You can do this with any of the following:
- Proof of a Canadian bank account in your name, if you’ve transferred money to Canada
- Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) from a participating Canadian financial institution
- Proof of a student or education loan from a bank
- Your bank statements for the past 4 months
- A bank draft that can be converted to Canadian dollars
- Proof that you’ve paid tuition and housing fees
- A letter from the person or school giving you money
- Proof of funding paid from within Canada, if you have a scholarship or are in a Canadian-funded educational program
For advice on the financial requirements or any other criteria for the Canadian Study permit, reach out to our immigration lawyers on +1 844 290 6312 or contact us online.
How much is needed to meet the financial requirements?
Below are tables outlining what the minimum funds are that you will be expected to have to support yourself (and family members) as a student based on the province your school is located:
|Persons Coming to Canada||Amount of funds required per year (doesn’t include tuition)||Amount of funds required per month (additional to the tuition)|
|You (the student)||CAN$10,000||CAN$833|
|First family member||CAN$4,000||CAN$333|
|Every additional accompanying family member||CAN$3,000||CAN$255|
|People Coming to Canada||Amount of funds required per year (doesn’t include tuition)||Amount of funds required per month (doesn’t include tuition)|
|1 person under the age of 18||CAN$6,569||CAN$547|
|1 person aged 18 or over||CAN$13,134||CAN$1,095|
|2 people aged 18 or over||CAN$19,264||CAN$1,605|
|2 people aged 18 or over and 1 person under the age of 18||CAN$21,579||CAN$1,798|
|2 people aged 18 or over and 2 people under the age of 18||CAN$23,290||CAN$1,941|
How to Apply For a Study Permit
You can apply for a study permit online or through a paper application. Study permits cost CAN$150 per person to obtain.
However, it is strongly recommended that you apply online, due to the potential delays associated with Study Permit paper applications.
If applying for the study permit online, you must have access to a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents to upload, and a valid credit card to pay the fee.
You must be ready to submit as many of the required documents needed to provide a complete Study Permit online application. Your study permit application may be delayed if you don’t submit all the documents needed for it.
The time it takes to get a study permit application approved may vary depending on how many applications the Canadian government has to process at any one time.
However, on average, study permits may usually take a few months to get approved.
You can check how long your study permit application may take to get approved using the Canadian government’s online application processing time checker.
What to Expect After You Apply
The Canadian government will process your study permit application and check all the necessary documents. If they decide it’s incomplete, they may contact you to request any missing documents or return the application to you.
Missing documents can be uploaded through your online account or through the Canadian government’s online form.
They may also ask you to:
- Go to an interview with our officials in your country
- Send more information
You may also need to get a:
- Medical exam (if required)
- Police certificate (if required)
As part of your study permit application, you may be required to give your biometrics in the form of fingerprints and a photograph.
This is usually done at a local visa office – visa application centre (VAC). These are located in numerous countries internationally.
Canada Study Permit Application Approval
If your application is approved, you will receive your study permit at the port of entry when you arrive in Canada, or in the mail, if you’re already in Canada.
If you applied for your study permit from outside Canada, you’ll also receive a port of entry letter of introduction that says you’re allowed to study in Canada. This letter is not your study permit.
You need to bring this letter with you and show it to a border services officer when you arrive in Canada. You will also receive an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to enter Canada.
If you’re from a country where you need an eTA, the letter of introduction will include information about your eTA. Your eTA will be linked to your passport and is valid for 5 years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. It’s important that you travel with the passport you used when you applied for your study permit.
If you’re from a country where you need a visitor visa, the visa will be placed in your passport. It’ll show if you can enter Canada once or multiple times. You must enter Canada before your visa expires.
Study Permit Canada Application Refusal
If your Study Permit application is refused, you will receive a letter explaining why.
Your application may be refused if you did not:
- Show proof that you have enough money to support yourself while studying in Canada
- Pass your medical exam, if you needed to get one
- Convince the visa officer that your main purpose in Canada is to study
- Convince the visa officer that you’ll leave Canada at the end of your study period
You can choose to appeal the decision or resubmit your Study Permit application for a study visa directly after the application is refused.
If you’re unsure as to why your application was refused, or need additional help with appealing your application refusal, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our legal experts on +1 844 290 6312, or contact us online.
How Can Total Law Help?
If you wish to study in Canada as a foreign national, it’s essential that you have all the necessary knowledge and materials needed to successfully attain your study permit without hassle.
Luckily, Total Law can help. We are a team of specialist immigration lawyers who can help with your study permit, visa, residency, or any other type of application. We are experts in immigration and are dedicated to providing each and every client with the assistance and support they need to get their application approved.
For more information about how we can assist you and your study permit application, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on +1 844 290 6312, or contact us online.
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Frequently Asked Questions
It’s recommended that you apply at least six months in advance for an application to a primary or secondary school, and at least one year in advance for any post-secondary programs in colleges, universities or other further education institutions.
You should always aim to submit your study permit application as soon as possible in case there are any delays in getting it processed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
You can apply for a study permit extension at least 30 days before your valid study permit expires. A study permit extension costs CAN$150 and can be applied for online much in the same way as your original study permit application.
If you or the other parent are not accompanying your minor children or child to Canada, you’d need to get a Custodian Declaration document.
This Custodian Declaration document must be included if the person coming to study in Canada is considered a minor and would live with and be supported by a custodian during their time of study.
The two pages of the Custodian Declaration form must be notarized and then included with your study permit application.
The custodian, who must be a legal resident in Canada, must sign the first page, and the parents or legal guardians of the minor child in the child’s home country must sign the second page.