FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
is a study permit?
is the official document issued by an officer that allows someone who is not a
Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada to study in Canada.
require a study permit?
not a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of
Canada or a family member of a foreign
representative accredited to Canada or a member of the armed forces of a
country that is a designated state for the purpose of the
Forces Act, you must obtain a study permit to study in Canada. The
Division of Foreign
Affairs issues an acceptance to everyone who has diplomatic, consular, or
official status in Canada and their family members. If you have this approval,
you do not need a study permit to take courses in Canada.
courses do not require a study permit?
study permit is
not needed for:
any program of study that is six months or less that can be completed within
the period authorized upon entry into Canada;
courses that are not academic, professional or vocational in nature;
courses included in tour packages as a secondary activity for tourists; and
nursery schools or kindergartens
If your program of study is six
months or less but you intend to continue your studies in another program
you should apply for a study permit before coming to Canada. This will allow
you to apply to extend your stay as a student from within Canada. Otherwise,
if you do not hold a study permit you will have to apply for one outside
should I apply?
time required to process an application to study in Canada may vary at
different visa offices. You should apply as soon as you receive your letter of
acceptance from the educational institution.
are the requirements I must meet?
must show the officer that you meet the requirements of the Canadian
Immigration and Refugee
and Regulations and that you will be in Canada
for a temporary stay. You must also:
satisfy an officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your studies
have been accepted by an educational institution;
prove that you have enough money during your stay in Canada to pay for:
- tuition fees;
- living expenses for yourself and accompanying family members; and
- return transportation for yourself and accompanying family members;
be law abiding and have no record of criminal activity (you may be asked to
provide a Police Clearance Certificate);
not be a risk to the security of Canada;
produce any additional documents requested by the officer to establish your
complete a medical examination, if required.
documents do I need to apply for a study permit?
Complete the application form, and include the documents listed below.
Important: Although the documents listed
below are normally needed in support of your
local requirements may also apply. You must satisfy
an officer that you will
Visit the local Web site of
the visa office responsible for your area or contact their office to verify
all required documents, before submitting your application.
Proof of acceptance
for attendance at a university, college or technical institution, a letter
from the educational institution to show:
- the name of the institution;
- confirmation of your acceptance and/or registration as a student;
- the course of study;
- the duration of the academic program; and
- the latest date you may register.
for attendance at a primary or secondary school, a letter from the school
board having jurisdiction for the school you are attending (or for private
schools, a letter from the school itself), indicating:
- the name of the school;
- the level of study; and
- the duration of the course.
Proof of identity
a valid passport or travel document that guarantees re-entry to the country
that issued it (citizens and permanent residents of the United States, St.
Pierre and Miquelon, and Greenland do not require a passport but do require
proof of status and citizenship such as a national identity card or an alien
registration card); and
two recent passport size photos for you and each accompanying family member
(the name and date of birth of the person should be written on the back of
Proof of financial support
evidence that you can support yourself and accompanying family members while
you study in Canada. Such evidence may include:
- proof of a Canadian bank account in your name if money has been
transferred to Canada;
- your bank statements for the past four months;
- a bank draft in convertible currency;
- proof of payment of tuition and residence fees;
- for those with a scholarship or those with a Canadian funded educational
program: proof of funding paid from within Canada;
if foreign exchange control measures exist in your country, you must provide
proof that you will be permitted by the exchange control authorities of your
country to export funds for all of your expenses.
addition, note that:
if you are not a citizen of the country in which you are applying, you must
provide proof of your present immigration status in the country of
if the government that issued your passport or travel document requires a
re-entry permit this must be obtained before you apply for a Canadian visa;
additional documents may be required
there additional documents required if I'm attending an educational
institution in Quebec?
you will also require a
deacceptation du Quebec (Quebec Certificate of Acceptance, or CAQ)
issued by the
Ministere des Relations avec les citoyens et de Immigration (MRCI).
educational institution will give you all necessary information about the
procedures that apply in Quebec. If the country where you are living is served
by the Quebec Immigration Service (SIQ), you should apply there for your
Certificat deacceptation du Quebec (Quebec Certificate of Acceptance,
Otherwise, you should apply for your CAQ at the Regional office of the
Ministere des Relations avec les
(MRCI) that serves
your educational institution in Quebec. The Regional office
will contact the
Canadian Embassy or Consulate nearest you to confirm the approval of the CAQ.
following persons who plan to study in Quebec do
require a CAQ:
students chosen under a Canadian government assistance program for
students enrolled in a program of study for six months or less; and
students enrolled in a general interest course in a private school.
Children under 19 years of age who are travelling alone must have
information (name, address, phone number) about the person or school who
will be responsible for them. If the child is the subject of a custody
order, proof of custody and the other parent's consent must also be
provided. Minors travelling without their parents require a letter of
permission from the non-accompanying parent(s) and a letter from their
custodian in Canada.
there any conditions on my study permit?
officer may impose, vary, or cancel conditions on your study permit. These may
include one or more of the following:
the type of studies or course you may take;
the educational institution you may attend;
the location of your studies;
the time and period of your studies.
the time and place at which you shall report for medical examination or
the time and place at which you shall report for the presentation of
evidence in compliance with applicable conditions
the prohibition of engaging in employment
the duration of your stay in Canada
my spouse or common law partner and dependent children accompany me to Canada?
They may either accompany you to Canada or they may join you at a later date.
Family members are the immediate members of your family. Your husband, wife or
common-law partner is your family member. A common-law partner is a person of
the opposite or same sex who is currently cohabiting and has cohabited in a
conjugal relationship with you for a period of at least one year.
Dependent children may be your own children or those of your spouse or
be under the age of 22 and not a spouse or common-law partner; or,
have depended substantially on the financial support of a parent and have
been continuously enrolled and in attendance as full-time students in a post
secondary institution accredited by the relevant government authority since
before the age of 22 (or since becoming a spouse or a common-law partner, if
they married or entered into a common-law relationship before the age of
have depended substantially on the financial support of a parents since
before the age of 22 and unable to provide for themselves due to a medical
Children included in the application must meet the definition of "dependent
children" both at the time the application is made and, without taking into
account whether they have attained 22 years of age, at the time the visa is
issued to them.
spouse or common law partner and children must meet all the requirements for
temporary residents in Canada. They must satisfy an officer that they are
genuine temporary residents who will be in Canada for a temporary stay. They
may be required to provide evidence that they are law abiding and have no
criminal record. If your family member applies for a TRV, they must also meet
all the conditions to obtain a visa.
Include them on your application by providing their names and other
information in the appropriate space on the application form.
You may be required to provide
a marriage certificate and birth certificates for any accompanying family
members. If you are in a common-law relationship and your common-law partner
will accompany you to Canada, you
required to complete the enclosed form,
Common-Law Union (IMM 5409). Also provide
evidence outlined on the form to support
your family members wish to follow you to Canada at a later date, they must
make a separate application for admission.
my children attend school?
accompanying children may be able to study in Canada. They must apply for a
study permit at the same time of your application. If they intend to join you
later they must obtain a study permit before coming to Canada to join you.
I or my family members need a medical examination?
some cases you will require a medical examination. If a medical examination is
required, you will be informed by an officer who will provide instructions on
how to proceed. It may
three months to
the processing of
I leave, then re-enter Canada?
order to return to Canada, you must be in possession of a valid passport or
travel document. You also need to hold a valid study permit if you are
returning to study in Canada.
you are a citizen of a country that requires a temporary resident visa to
travel to Canada, you will also need to be in possession of a valid entry visa
to return, unless:
you are returning to Canada following a visit only to the United States or
St-Pierre and Miquelon; and
you return before the expiry of the period initially authorized for your
entry or any extension to it, either as a visitor, student or worker.
Possession of these documents does not guarantee re-entry. All persons must
establish that they meet all of the requirements of
Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations before being
to enter or re-enter
Citizens of the U.S. do not require passports or travel documents to enter
or return to Canada. Permanent residents of the U.S. do not require
passports or travel documents if they are entering or returning to Canada
from the U.S. or St. Pierre and Miquelon.
However, both must provide documentary proof of citizenship or permanent
residence, such as a national identity card or an alien registration card.
Working in Canada while you study
I work during my stay in Canada?
Generally, foreign students are not allowed to work while studying in Canada.
However, there are some exceptions for full-time students at publicly funded
or degree granting institutions who may apply for work permits. (A full-time
student is a person whose program of study is at least 15 hours of instruction
per week, leading to a diploma, unless otherwise defined by an educational
institution.) A work permit is issued if it is established that:
not apply to
accounting students, medical interns or medical residents); or
the intended employment is an essential and integral part of your course of
the intended employment is related to an approved research or training
you hold a study permit and have become temporarily destitute through
circumstances beyond your control or beyond the control of any person whom
you are dependent on for financial support to complete your term of study.
You must show proof that you are not
able to obtain the
money needed for daily expenses and that it is a temporary situation.
you have successfully completed a community college or university program in
Canada and wish to work for a maximum of one year in employment related to
your course of study. Applications must be submitted within 90 days of the
completion of your course and you must hold a valid study permit before you
Spouses and common-law partners of full-time students at publicly funded or
degree/diploma granting institutions can apply for an open work permit. For
further details refer to the guide
Applying to Change
Conditions or Extend Your Stay in Canada
guide may be obtained by visiting our Web site or you can contact a Call
Centre listed under the
Some study permits are arranged with the Canadian International Development
Agency (CIDA). These students must obtain an approval letter from CIDA to be
eligible for a work permit related to their course of study.
students need a work permit to work on campus?
full-time student attending a degree-granting post-secondary institution does
not need a work permit when the employment offered is on the campus of the
college or university where the student is registered full-time, for as long
as the study permit is valid. The employer may be a private contractor
operating on the campus.
there medical restrictions on the work I seek?
there are some restrictions on the jobs you can take based on the following
if you have passed an immigration medical examination, you may work in any
type of job;
if you have passed an immigration medical examination with some restriction,
you may work but you may not take a job involving child care, primary or
secondary teaching or health services;
if you come from a country that Health Canada says has a high rate of
serious communicable diseases, you may not work in certain agricultural
jobs, childcare, primary or secondary teaching and health services fields,
unless you have passed an immigration medical examination.
Where do I Apply?
Please submit your application to the Canadian visa office responsible for
your area for processing. You should consult the local Web site or office
regarding accepted methods of submitting applications. (i.e. general mail, in
person, by courier etc.)
application will be reviewed to ensure it has been completed correctly and
contains all of the required documents for processing.
After reviewing your application, an officer will decide if an interview is
necessary. If so, the officer will inform you of the time and place.
your application is approved, you will receive a letter of introduction
confirming the approval. This letter is not your study permit. When you arrive
in Canada, you must show this letter to a Canadian officer at the Port of
Entry. The officer will determine whether you may enter Canada and how long
you may stay. You will be issued a study permit at this time. You must
leave Canada on or before the date on your study permit, set by the officer or
have your status extended by an officer in Canada.
If you move or
change your address, telephone or fax number before your application has
been processed, you must advise us of this new information by contacting the
visa office where you submitted your application
When you apply
for your study permit, there is no guarantee of acceptance. We do not
recommend that you make any final steps, such as purchasing plane tickets or
quitting your job, until your study permit is approved.
Temporary Resident Visa Exemptions
who do not require a visa to visit Canada include:
to change at any time
citizens of Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Bahamas,
Barbados, Belgium, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Denmark,
Finland, France, Republic of Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel
(National Passport holders only), Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg,
Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway,
Papua New Guinea, Portugal, Republic of Korea, St. Kitts and Nevis, St.
Lucia, St. Vincent, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Solomon Islands,
Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Slovenia, Switzerland, United States, and Western
persons lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence who
are in possession of their alien registration card (Green card) or can
provide other evidence of permanent residence;
British citizens and British Overseas Citizens who are re-admissible to the
citizens of British dependent territories who derive their citizenship
through birth, descent, registration or naturalization in one of the British
dependent territories of Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman
Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St. Helena or
the Turks and Caicos Islands;
persons holding a valid and subsisting Special Administrative Region
passport issued by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative
Region of the People's Republic of China; and
persons holding passports or travel documents issued by the Holy See.