Work or Study in Canada

Study Permit


A study permit is an official document issued by the IRCC that authorizes foreigners to attend designated learning institutions (DLIs) in Canada. The majority of foreign nationals are required to obtain a study permit in order to pursue their studies in Canada. It is crucial to have all the necessary documents in place before applying for the permit, and it is recommended to submit your application before arriving in Canada..


  • are enrolled at a DLI ( Designated Learning Institution )
  • Demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to cover
    • your tuition fees
    • living expenses for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada and
    • return transportation for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada
  • Abide by the law, have a clean criminal record, and obtain a police certificate if necessary.
  • In good health and get a medical exam (if required) and
  • Demonstrate to an official that you will depart from Canada upon the expiration of your study permit

Your responsibilities

While studying in Canada you must

  • Work towards successfully finishing your program.
  • Follow and abide by any conditions specified on your study permit.
  • Stop your studies if you no longer meet the criteria.

Depending on your case, there may be conditions on your study permit such as

  • if you’re allowed to work in Canada
  • if you’re allowed to travel within Canada
  • the specific date you must leave Canada
  • where you can study (a specific DLI listed on your permit)
    • You must change your DLI in your IRCC secure account before you can study at a different DLI.
  • whether you need an immigration medical examination


( Latest Update )

Revisions to financial criteria effective from January 1, 2024

Our financial prerequisites for study permit aspirants have been modified. This adjustment is applicable to fresh study permit submissions received on or after January 1, 2024. The revised figures align with updated cost-of-living standards. These criteria will be adapted annually in correspondence with Statistics Canada's updates to the low-income threshold.

You and each family member who comes with you to Canada must have

    • two recent passport-size photos
      • The name and date of birth of the person should be written on the back of each photo.

You must prove that you can support yourself and the family members who come with you while you are in Canada.

You can prove your funds with

    • proof of a Canadian bank account in your name, if you’ve transferred money to Canada
    • a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) from a participating Canadian financial institution
    • proof of a student or education loan from a bank
    • your bank statements for the past 4 months
    • a bank draft that can be converted to Canadian dollars
    • proof you paid tuition and housing fees
    • a letter from the person or school giving you money, or
    • proof of funding paid from within Canada, if you have a scholarship or are in a Canadian-funded educational program

If your country uses foreign exchange controls, you must prove that you’ll be allowed to export funds for all of your expenses.

Minimum funds needed to support yourself as a student (and family members who come with you)

All provinces except Quebec

You may also need

    • This letter helps the visa officer to understand you and your goals. It explains
    • why you want to study in Canada
    • that you understand your responsibilities as a student

If you opt to apply for a study permit, it is advised to enclose this letter, even if your program does not necessitate a study permit.

    • If any of these scenarios pertain to you, a medical examination may be required:
    • You plan to stay in Canada for more than 6 months.
    • You recently spent time in certain countries.
    • You plan to work in certain jobs where public health must be protected.


In most cases, it is necessary to obtain a study permit before arriving in Canada. However, some individuals may be able to apply for a study permit while already in the country. In certain circumstances, it is possible to apply for a study permit when entering Canada at a border crossing. It is important to be aware of the options that are available to you.

Applying ONLINE 

When seeking a study permit, it is required to submit an online application, regardless of whether you are located outside of Canada or already within the country. The only circumstances under which you are allowed to apply using a paper application include having a disability that hinders online application, or if you possess an identity or travel document for non-national residents, refugees, or stateless individuals.


3 Option on WHERE you can Apply

  • Outside Canada
    • If you ARE applying with a family member that needs a work permit.
    • Make sure you have; 
    • Prepare your responses for the online tool as you will need to provide answers to some questions before you can upload your forms. These answers will be used to compile a personalized document checklist for you.
    • Fees
      • Fees for processing your application and for any additional individuals included, as well as biometrics.
      • Typically, it is recommended to pay the biometrics fee at the time of submitting your application to avoid any potential delays. This fee is for the collection of fingerprints and a digital photo. Verify if providing biometrics is necessary in your case.
      • You may be required to make payments to third parties depending on your circumstances for:
    • Create your online account or sign in

      • An account is required to apply online. You can utilize your account for the following purposes:
        •  making fee payments
        • submitting your application
        • tracking the status of your application

Note: You will not make these payments through your online account; instead, you will pay them directly to the third party.

  • If you are NOT applying with a family member that needs a work permit.
    • Make sure you have;
      • Before submitting your online application, it is advisable to review the instruction guide. This guide provides detailed explanations on how to fill out each section of the form.
  • Inside Canada 
  • At a port of Entry

After Procedure

Processing Wait Time 

  • 10 weeks (The processing time mentioned does not account for the time needed to provide biometrics. )

What you’ll need to do 

    • To prevent any delays in processing, it is advisable to schedule your biometrics collection appointment as soon as possible.
  • Your application will then be reviewed to ensure all required documents are included. If the application is incomplete, it may be returned without processing or additional documents may be requested.
  • You may also be asked to:
    • attend an interview with immigration officials in your home country
    • provide further information
  • Additionally, you may need to undergo a:
    • medical examination (if necessary)
    • obtain a police clearance certificate (if necessary)
    • If you are unable to provide all the necessary documents with your initial application, you have the option to submit any missing documents through your online account or our web form. Please note that your study permit application will not be processed until all required documents have been received. It is important to submit all required documents promptly to avoid delays in processing.
  • Updating your application 
    • If there are any changes to your address, phone number, or contact details after you have submitted your application, it is essential to update your application with this new information.
    • A new method is available to monitor the status of your application. Utilize the application status tracker to receive updates regarding your application progress. To set up an account, you will require your unique client identifier (UCI) and application number.
    • Application Status Tracker


If you got APPROVED

  • Your study permit will be issued:
    •  at the port of entry upon your arrival in Canada, or
    •  mailed to you if you are already in Canada.

If you submitted your study permit application from outside of Canada

Before you begin studying in Canada, you will receive a letter of introduction to serve as permission to study in the country. This letter is separate from your study permit.

When arriving in Canada, you must present this letter to a border services officer. Additionally, if necessary, you will be issued an electronic travel authorization (eTA) or a visitor visa to enter Canada.

For those requiring an eTA, details about this authorization will be included in the letter of introduction. The eTA will be linked to your passport and is typically valid for up to 5 years or until your passport expiry date.

If you are from a country requiring a visitor visa, the visa will be stamped in your passport, indicating whether it permits a single entry or multiple entries to Canada. You must enter the country before the visa expiration date. Lawful permanent residents of the United States should travel with a valid green card (or equivalent document) and a valid passport from their country of nationality.


If you got DENIED

In the event that your application is denied, you will receive a letter detailing the reasons for the refusal.

Your application may be declined if you fail to provide:

  • a valid letter of acceptance
  • evidence demonstrating sufficient financial support while studying in Canada
  • successful completion of any required medical examinations
  • assurance to the visa officer regarding your primary intention to study in Canada
  • assurance to the visa officer that you will depart Canada upon completion of your studies

Should you require further clarification on the reasons for refusal, it is recommended to reach out to the visa office that issued the refusal letter.

Additional Information and resources