graduateshotline logo
Last Updated: May 10, 2022

Canadian Study Permit

Canada is one of the most popular study destinations in the world for international students with over 450,000 study permits being issued in 2022 alone. The country is mainly popular due to the high quality of education it provides along with the opportunity international students have to stay back in the country and work after completing their education. It is also one of the affordable study destinations when compared to places like the UK. Candidates will easily be able to procure admission to the universities here after which they will be able to apply for a study permit.

The study permit is issued by the Government of Canada and is not considered a visa. Candidates will mostly require a visitor visa or an eTA(electronic travel authorization) which is issued along with the study permit required. The study permit issued by the country is provided only to candidates who have enrolled in a program at one of the designated learning institutions in the country for international students.

Choosing a Course

Candidates will be able to find innumerable programs at undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels in this country. The language of instruction for most programs is English owing to the number of international students applying year after year. But at the same time, there are plenty of educational programs offered in French. The best programs are offered in the fields of- The programs that one can do while in the country include-

Difference Between Study Permit and Student Visa

A study permit that is issued by the Government of Canada is not the same as a student visa issued by the country. The main difference between the two is that a study permit is issued to candidates only after they have received admission at one of the designated institutions in the country. But having a study permit might not be enough to enter the country. Students are required to get a visitor visa or an eTA to enter the country based on the passport they hold.

Validity of Study Permit

Candidates who have been issued their study permits will not have to reissue the same during their stay in the country. A study permit will be valid through the entire duration of the educational program they have enrolled for. Apart from this, the permit will be valid for another 90 days during which candidates will have the option of procuring a job or leaving the country.

Those who have received conditional acceptance from universities and require prerequisite programs before enrolling in the original program will be provided with a study permit that has the duration of the course. They will also have an additional year before which they will have to get accepted as a student. Upon enrolling in the official program, these candidates will have to extend their study permit.

Who Needs to Apply for the Canadian Study Permit?

To apply for a study permit for Canada, one will have to be fully vaccinated as long as they are above 18 years of age. Candidates will have to also be enrolled in a designated learning institution for foreign nationals since they will be required to produce proof of admission acceptance as part of the study permit application.

All students are required to have a study permit to study in Canada as long as they are not Canadian citizens. Candidates will either require an eTA or a visitor visa along with their study permit to enter the country. Those who require only an eTA are people from countries like- Candidates who will require a visa to enter Canada will include people from countries like-

Cost of Canadian Study Permit

Candidates who wish to apply for a study permit will have to pay a fixed amount as the processing fee. The cost of applying for a study permit in Canada is C$150 which is also the cost of extending the study permit while in the country.

Steps to Applying for a Canadian Study Permit

Candidates will be able to apply for a study permit by either going to the visa application center in their country or online by visiting the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website. Since the processing time of the study permit is around 3 months, candidates will ideally have to apply for the permit as soon as they are accepted into a university.

The steps to applying for a Canadian Study Permit are as follows-

Apply to a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada

The first step to apply for a study permit is to get accepted into a university in Canada based on the program they wish to enroll in. Canada has a list of Designated Learning Institutions that foreign students can apply to. Only candidates that have been accepted to one of the universities on this list will be able to apply for a study permit in the country. They will have to receive the acceptance letter officially and submit the same as part of their study permit application.

To apply to an educational institution, they will require their educational transcripts, letters of recommendation, language proficiency proof, and a statement of purpose along with other additional requirements as specified by the university.

Language Proficiency Requirement

Since most of the programs that are offered in Canadian universities will be taught in either French or English, students will have to prove their proficiency in the same. Most universities will have a specific grade the student has to achieve for enrolling. All students will require an English proficiency proof which can either be IELTS or TOEFL. These tests ought to be taken separately before one applies to a university of their choice.

The proof of language proficiency has to be submitted to both the educational institution and as part of the study permit application.

Financial Resources to Cover Cost

Another factor that students will have to deal with include stating their financial resources which can prove that they can sustain themselves during their stay in the country. The student will have to prove that they have the essential funds for both their education and accommodation in the country irrespective of whether or not they get to do a part-time job in the country. The amount they have to show will be around C$10,000 per year or roughly C$833 per month apart from the tuition they have to pay. The documents they can provide as proof for the same include-

Letter of Explanation

Students will have to submit a letter of explanation along with their study permit application. This letter can include the reasons for choosing to study in the country along with a declaration that the student recognizes their duties as a student in the country. It will be ideal for candidates to convince the officers of their intention to not permanently stay in the country since permits are often refused for not indicating reasons for leaving the country after completing one’s education.

Apply for Study Permit Online

Once all these documents have been collected, the candidate will be able to apply for the study permit online by creating an account on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website. Candidates will have to upload all necessary documents and pay a processing fee of $150. They will then be able to check the status of their application. The processing time for the study permit application is dependent on the country from which the candidate has applied.

Candidates who have disabilities or those who cannot access the online portal due to technical difficulties will be able to apply offline though this can take more time in being processed.

Documents Required to Apply for Canadian Study Permit

Candidates will be able to apply for a Canadian study permit either online or by submitting the paper application along with the necessary documents. They will be able to apply either while they are outside the country, while they are inside the country, or at the port of entry depending on the option they are eligible for. The documents that one must submit for processing the study permit include-

Steps for Extending Stay in Canada

A study permit that is issued by the government of Canada will be valid for the entire duration of the program they have enrolled in along with an additional 90 days during which they will be able to enroll in other educational programs or seek jobs. Those who wish to study further will be able to apply for an extension of their study permit at least 30 days before the expiry of their current study permit.

The extension will be processed within a maximum of 60 days and costs C$150. Candidates whose study permits have expired will have the option of applying for a new study permit or restoring their status as temporary residents, as well. The steps involved in extending one’s study permit include-

Working While Studying in Canada

Candidates who have a study permit will be able to take up part-time jobs while staying in the country. They will be able to take up both on-campus and off-campus jobs based on availability with most candidates being able to procure jobs in the service industry. A study permit will have the details regarding the work one can do while studying which can be different for different people. The main condition for being able to work while studying is that students will be able to take up part-time jobs only if they are currently studying. Those who are on authorized leave will not be able to work in the country.

Generally, students with a study permit are allowed to work for 20 hours or less in a week only. Some candidates will not be eligible for work while studying especially if they have enrolled in language programs, or if they are taking prerequisite programs or general interest programs. Such candidates who still wish to work will have to apply for a separate work permit. Candidates will not be able to take up full-time jobs while studying unless they have a separate work permit.

Appealing Study Permit Refusal

If a candidate has applied for a study permit and it was refused, they will not have any set ways of appealing for reconsidering the same. In such cases, candidates will be able to apply for a Judicial Review that includes enquiring whether the Federal Court can review the decision. But this does not often guarantee that they will eventually get the study permit.

The best course of action one can take is to reapply for the study permit by cross-checking the application for any errors that could have been the cause of the rejection.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the general validity of a study permit in Canada?

Canadian study permits are provided for the entire duration of the program the candidate has enrolled in. Candidates will have an additional period of 90 days after the completion of the program during which they will be able to apply for jobs within their field of study.

What is the Student Direct Stream?

The Student Direct Stream is a system that has been introduced recently by Canada for students from countries like China, India, the Philippines, and Vietnam to apply directly for a study permit. The requirements for applying through this system can be different from the general study permit requirements especially when it comes to language requirements.

What is the processing time for a Canadian Study Permit?

A Canadian Study Permit is generally processed within 90 days after the application has been submitted. This duration is dependent on the nationality of the candidate but the duration will mostly be 90 days or less if there are no missing documents in the application.

Should one separately apply for a visa with the study permit?

Candidates are required to apply for the Canadian Study Permit upon whose issuance they will also be provided with either a visitor visa or an eTA depending on their nationality. They will not have to separately apply for these additional documents.

Is there an age limit to get the Canadian Study Permit?

Foreign nationals who wish to study in Canada will be able to apply for a study permit only if they are between the ages of 18 and 35. This requirement is only for programs that have a duration exceeding six months.

Can one apply for a Study Permit if they have a study gap?

The year gap that is accepted by universities in Canada can vary from one university to another. But in general, students with a year gap of 2 to 5 years will be able to get admission and a study permit depending on the program they have chosen and their academic merit.

Student visa




Australia/New Zealand


Asian Countries