Most foreign residents looking to pursue an education in Canada for a period exceeding six months will need to apply for a Canada study permit. Study permits are usually valid for the term of the educational program plus an additional 90 days. This extra time allows the student to either leave Canada or apply to prolong their stay.

What are the requirements for a Canadian study permit?

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You can file for a Canada study permit if you fulfill the following requirements:

  • you are enrolled at a designated learning institution (DLI);
  • you can show that you have the means to afford your tuition, supplies, day-to-day living costs, and the trip back to your country of origin;
  • you have no criminal history and can prove it by undergoing a police check;
  • you are in near-perfect health and can prove it by undergoing a health exam;
  • you can prove your intent to leave Canada after your permit runs out.

Some categories of foreign students do not need a permit in order to pursue an education in Canada. These categories include:

  1. Participants in short-term educational courses. You can study in any Canadian school without a permit if your program or course lasts no more than half of a year. A permit is required when taking prerequisite courses (these are the classes you pass prior to starting a longer educational program).
  2. Relatives or employees of accredited foreign representatives. Family and staff of foreign delegates certified by Global Affairs Canada can enroll in longer-term courses without a study permit.
  3. Foreign military. Members of foreign armies on official duty in Canada do not need a study permit.
  4. Legal minors. Generally, kids do not require a permit to enroll in school programs.

How to apply for a Canadian study permit?

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Make sure you have a valid travel document and an acceptance letter from a DLI before you file your application. Those planning on starting a course in a college or university in Quebec will also need to make sure that their chosen school is additionally certified by the Quebec government.

Applying for a Canadian study permit can be done through a local visa application office or via an online application on the CIC website. File your application as soon as you receive the letter from your school: getting approved for a permit can take up to three months depending on your country of origin.


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