Study Permit: What is it and what you need to know

Published on September 28, 2023

Study Permit: What is it and what you need to know


Deciding to study in Canada, Study Permit is a crucial part of your entire Canadian study application process. Having a clear understanding of the Study Permit ensures you have the necessary legal authorization for your educational journey here.

What is a Study Permit?

A Study Permit is a document issued by the Canadian government that allows you to study at schools or universities in the country. It is an essential part of studying in Canada, ensuring that you have the legal permission to pursue your education.

The sample of Study Permit allows to study in Canada

Study Permit duration

The duration of your Study Permit usually depends on your academic program. It can range from a few months to several years, depending on the type of program and school you choose. 

  • Grades 1-8: Valid for 1 year
  • Grades 9-12 or post-secondary education: Valid for the duration of your program
  • Quebec: Valid for the duration specified in the Quebec Acceptance Certificate (Certificat d’Acceptation du Quebec - CAQ) as required by the province of Quebec

Differences Between Study Permits and Canadian Study Visas

 Study PermitCanadian Study Visa
DurationBased on the duration of study stated in the Letter of Acceptance (LOA)1 to 4 years, depending on the program
PurposeAllowing to stay and study in CanadaAllowing to enter Canada
Issued byCanadian Customs at the first Canadian port of entryCanadian Embassy/Consulate in your home country
ExtensionWithin CanadaOutside Canada
Fees$150 CAD

Canadian Study Visa: $125 USD

IOM Administrative Fee (15 USD)

Biometrics: $85 CAD

How to Obtain a Study Permit for Studying in Canada

A Study Permit is typically issued at the first Canadian port of entry upon your arrival in Canada, following these five steps:

Step 1: Proceed to the Arrivals/Customs area at the airport to complete your entry into Canada.

Step 2: Join the line designated for "Non-Canadian Citizens" to wait for your turn to go through customs.

Step 3: When meeting with customs, you need to complete the Study Permit application form and present the following documents:

  • Passport with a valid visa
  • Letter of Introduction from the Canadian consulate
  • Official Letter of Acceptance (LOA)
  • Proof of payment for tuition fees
  • Relevant academic documents, such as transcripts and diplomas
  • Proof of Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) if applying under the SDS program
  • Health examination certificate and prescription for any required medications
  • Acceptance letter to the province of Quebec (CAQ) if you are heading there

Step 4: Participate in an interview to confirm details such as your purpose in Canada, the school and program you will attend, your accommodation plans, and the source of funds for living expenses.

Step 5: Once you have completed the first four steps, you will receive your Study Permit. 

Double-check all personal, academic, and time-related information. If you notice any errors, contact customs officers immediately for assistance and corrections. Before leaving the airport, make sure you have all your personal documents to avoid any future inconvenience.

Necessary Procedures for Extending Your Study Permit

When Do You Need to Extend Your Study Permit?

Study Permits should typically be extended 3-4 months before they expire. If you receive a new Letter of Acceptance from your school near the end of the academic year, you can apply to extend your Study Permit. The fee for extending a Study Permit is $150 CAD.

What Documents Are Required for Extending a Study Permit?

To extend your Study Permit, you'll need the following documents:

  • Passport with a valid visa
  • Current Study Permit
  • Transcripts from your most recent academic semesters
  • Official Letter of Acceptance (LOA)
  • Timetable for the upcoming semester (if available) or your previous academic semesters' timetables
  • Proof of payment of tuition fees for the next semester
  • Confirmation of a minimum balance of $10,000 CAD

It is possible to extend your Study Permit online at no additional shipping cost, which can expedite the processing and approval.

Three Important Notes About Study Permits

1. Always adhere to the regulations of your Study Permit, including attending classes for the required number of hours and maintaining lawful status in Canada. Do not take more than 150 days of vacation per year. Regular absences and poor academic performance can potentially affect the outcome of future Study Permit extensions.

2. Avoid extending your Study Permit when your passport is near its expiration date because the Study Permit cannot exceed the passport's validity. In such cases, it is advisable to renew your passport first.

3. Your record may be negatively affected if you allow your Study Permit to expire while you are still studying, which could impact future applications for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) or permanent residency in the future.

  1. Conclusion

A Study Permit plays a crucial role in allowing you to stay in Canada for educational purposes. Understanding the process and complying with regulations are essential for a smooth and successful study abroad journey in Canada.

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