What You Need to Know - Frequently Asked Questions
Generally foreign nationals who want to study in Canada for more than 6 months are required to apply for a study permit before coming to Canada online or through a Visa Application Center.
American citizens have the option to submit a paper application for a study permit at a border crossing when they travel to Canada.
There are certain exemptions to the study permit requirement.
Depending on your citizenship, you may need an eTA or a visa (TRV) in addition to the study permit. Your eTA or visa will be issued to you at the same time as your initial study permit. You do not need to apply separately or pay an additional fee.
US citizens are exempt from eTA and visa requirements.
Students transitioning from a Canadian high school (secondary institution) to the University, no longer require a new study permit to attend the University if your current study permit is still valid.
If you are a co-op student and work is a required part of your program, you have to apply for co-op work permit and obtain it before your work term starts.
Processing times is subject to change. It indicates the number of calendar days it takes CIC to process a complete application.
You are responsible for keeping track of the expiry dates of your passport, study and work permits, and other legal documents. You should never let your study permit expire.
You have to apply from inside Canada to extend your permit at least 3 months before the expiry date. If your study permit is expiring because your passport is expiring, you have to renew your passport first by contacting the closet consulate or embassy of your country. This may take between 1 and 6 months.
Please note that study permit is not a travel document. Depending on your citizenship, you may need an eTA or a visa in addition to the study permit to return to Canada.
Valid study permit holders can apply online for Visa from inside Canada (recommended) well in advance before they make plans to travel out of Canada or from outside Canada before they return.
Those who are required to have an eTA to return to Canada, your eTA is linked to your passport and is valid for up to five years or until your passport expires (whichever comes first). Check whether you have a valid eTA before returning to Canada. You can apply for eTA online.
If you are completing a degree program, you are eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) when you apply within three months from completing the requirements of your program with a valid study permit.
Please note that PGWP is a one-time opportunity and you can apply for it only once regardless of the number of degree programs you have completed in Canada. PGWP is not a travel document. Depending on your citizenship, you may need an eTA or a visa in addition to the PGWP to return to Canada.
Federal and provincial governments in Canada offer over 60 different programs to foreign nationals in Canada and abroad to immigrate and become permanent residents. The right program depends on candidate’s qualifications and circumstances. If you are interested to become a permanent resident, please visit CIC and learn about the common PR categories on ISC website.
Legal Status & Study, Work, and Co-op Permits FAQs
Your study permit may include a clause that enables you to work on- and/or off-campus without a work permit if you meet the eligibility requirements. In this case, please note that you are only allowed to work up to 20 hours a week off-campus during regular academic sessions. If your study permit does not include this clause, please book an appointment with an immigration advisor at firstname.lastname@example.org who will help you amend it or change conditions on it. For more information on the work permits available, the types of work available to them, and your eligibility, please see: International Student Centre - Work Permits.
If your study permit has a clause that enables you to work on- and/or off-campus, then you may use it to apply for a SIN. If not, then you need to book an appointment with an immigration advisor at email@example.com to amend the clause.
It is important to ensure that your study permit never expires while you still need it. Check the expiry date, and make sure you renew it at least two to three months before the expiry date. You are highly recommended to renew your study permit in Canada. The application package and additional details can be found here: Extending your Study Permit within Canada. If you require assistance, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to book an appointment with an immigration advisor.
The Government of Canada’s website has useful information on the entire process of applying for a PGWP, starting from eligibility, to fees, to pre- and post-application. Please see Work in Canada after you graduate: Applying for a post-graduation work permit for more information. If you require assistance, please contact email@example.com to book an appointment with an immigration advisor.
If you are thinking of dropping a course or withdrawing from an entire term (e.g., for a gap year), pay particular attention to how this can affect your legal status. Failing to do so may have negative consequences on your legal status, eligibility to work on- and off-campus, and future immigration applications including your PGWP. For more information, please see: Immigration - Part-time, Suspension, or Leave. Please book an appointment with an immigration advisor before making your final decision to learn about the potential consequences on your legal status.
If you need support with any of your permits, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to book an appointment with an immigration advisor.