Do I need a study permit to study in Canada?
Most students need a study permit to study in Canada.
How do I apply to study in Canada?
You must have a letter of acceptance from a school, college, university or other educational institution in Canada before you can apply for a study permit.
In most cases, you must apply for a study permit before coming to Canada. You can apply at the Canadian visa office responsible for your country.
When should I apply for my study permit?
You should apply as soon as you receive your letter of acceptance from the educational institution.
What is a temporary resident visa?
A temporary resident visa is an official document issued by a Canadian visa office. It is placed in your passport to show that you have met the requirements for admission to Canada as a temporary resident. Depending on your citizenship, you may need a temporary resident visa to enter Canada.
How do I get information on studying in Quebec?
To study in Quebec, you first need to get a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (certificate of acceptance) from the province of Quebec. Then you can apply for a study permit from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
How do I pay the fee for a study permit?
You must pay a processing fee with your application. The fee will not be refunded, even if your application is refused. Check the website of the visa office where you submit your application to find out how you can pay the fee. In most countries, you can pay in the local currency.
How do I renew my study permit while I am in Canada?
If you want to renew your study permit, you must apply before the permit expires. If your study permit has expired, you must leave Canada. In some cases, you may be able to apply for restoration of status. However, you are not allowed to study until your status has been restored.
How do I get a copy of a lost study permit?
If you lose any immigration document issued by the Government of Canada, you can get it replaced. You must complete an application and pay a fee. Contact the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Call Centre. There is a fee for replacing immigration documents that have been lost, stolen or destroyed.
Am I allowed to return home for a visit or travel outside Canada during my studies?
If you leave Canada and want to return, you must have:
- a valid passport or travel documents
- a valid study permit if you are returning to study in Canada and
- a valid temporary resident visa if you are a citizen of a designated country for which Canada requires a visa.
If you are a citizen of a designated country and you travel to a country other than the United States, Greenland or Saint-Pierre et Miquelon, you will need a multiple-entry visa to re-enter Canada. If your temporary resident visa has expired or if your visa was only valid for a single entry, you must re-apply for a temporary resident visa at a Canadian visa office outside Canada before you can re-enter Canada.
I am already in Canada and have a valid study permit. I would like to change my school or program of studies. What do I need to do to modify my study permit?
If you are a student at the primary school level and you are moving on to high school or if you are a high school student and you are moving on to post-secondary studies, you need to submit an application to modify your study permit at the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Case Processing Centre in Vegreville, Alberta.
However, if you are enrolled in a post-secondary program (doing studies after the high school level), you may change your school, level, program and field of studies without applying for a new study permit. You don’t need to apply for a change to the condition of your study permit either. You may continue to use your study permit as long as it is valid.
Work permits for students
How do I find out if I can work while studying in Canada?
Foreign students can work in Canada during their studies, and after they graduate. In most cases, you will need to apply for one of the student-related work permits, which are required if you want to work in a co-op/internship placement, off campus, or after graduating from your studies (Post-Graduation Work Permit Program)
Can I still work in Canada even if I don’t apply under a student-related work permit program?
If you are not eligible or do not want to work under a student-related work permit program (such as the Off-Campus Work Permit Program, On-Campus Work Program, Post-Graduation Work Permit Program, or Internship/Co-op Program), you can apply for a work permit to work in Canada during or after your studies under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. It is illegal for you to work in Canada without a valid work permit.
If I receive an off-campus work permit for how long is it valid?
Your work permit will generally be valid for the same period as your study permit. It will allow you to work off campus until you complete your studies, as long as you still comply with the program requirements and with the conditions of both your work permit and study permit.
Is there a fee to apply for an off-campus work permit?
Yes, the fee is C$150.
If I am eligible and the institution where I study is participating in the program, can I apply for a job off campus right away, or do I have to wait until I receive my off-campus work permit?
You can apply for a job right away, but you cannot legally work off campus in Canada until you receive an off-campus work permit. If you begin to work off campus before you receive an off-campus work permit, you could become ineligible to participate in the Off-Campus Work Permit Program. It is illegal for you to work in Canada without a valid work permit.
Are there any restrictions on where I can work or the type of job that I can apply for under the Off-Campus Work Program?
You will be able to work anywhere in Canada as long as you remain a full-time student with a satisfactory academic standing while classes are in session and you comply with the conditions of your work permit.
In some cases, there may be restrictions on the type of job you can hold. For example, you may be required to undergo a medical examination for some occupations, such as:
- workers in the health services fields
- teachers of primary or secondary schools or other teachers of small children
- domestic workers or live-in caregivers
- workers who give in-home care to children, the elderly or individuals with a disability
- day nursery employees and
- some agricultural workers.
If you have questions, contact the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Call Centre
Are there any restrictions on how many hours I can work once I receive my off-campus work permit?
Once you receive your off-campus work permit, you can work up to 20 hours per week off campus while classes are in session. You can work full time during scheduled breaks, including summer or winter holidays and reading weeks.
While classes are in session, you must be studying full time and retain satisfactory academic standing to keep your off-campus work permit.
What must I do to extend my stay or change my status (for example, from a full-time student to a full-time worker)?
To make any changes in your immigration status or to extend your stay in Canada, you must submit an application to change conditions or extend your stay in Canada.
Why is the Off-Campus Work Permit Program not available to foreign students when they start their studies?
The likelihood of students quitting their study program is highest during the first few months of study. Citizenship and Immigration Canada wants to ensure that work permits are issued to legitimate students. When they apply, these students will be required to prove they have been studying full time for six of the last 12 months at a participating institution.