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Study Visa

Canada has an exceptional education system that is world-class and sees several students coming to the country each year to either study in short-term courses or long-term in post-secondary institutions. In recent years, we have seen academic institutions put value in bringing in International Students as they value the diversity of being a world-renowned educational institution with students from around the globe.

If you are interested in studying in Canada, the first step, after you have been accepted to a school, is obtaining a Study Permit. Studying in Canada can often be the first stage on a road toward obtaining permanent residence


To apply for a Study Permit, students must first enroll and be accepted to study at a Canadian educational institution. In addition to the Study Permit, students may need a Temporary Resident Visa and/or an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization), depending on their country of citizenship or residence.



Anyone who wishes to apply for a student visa must be able to:

  • Show that their intention is to study, and they will return home after their studies finish.

  • Have met the admission requirements and been accepted into a Designated Learning Institution for study.

  • Be able to prove that they have significant financial support to be able to pay for their schooling and living expenses while a student at the institution.

  • Must be a law-abiding citizen with no criminal record and not be a risk to the security of Canada.

  • Must be in good health and willing to complete a medical examination.

If your study permit application is approved, then you will receive a Letter of Introduction (LOI) that needs to be presented to an immigration officer on arrival. 

Foreign national who doesn’t need a study permit

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) states that a foreign national does not require a study permit under the following conditions:

  • The applicant’s study program is for 6 months or less and will be completed within the authorized period of their stay

  • The applicant is a minor child studying at pre-school, primary or secondary school level (this includes dependent children of temporary foreign workers)

  • The applicant is a family member or member of the support staff of a foreign representative authorized by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade to perform diplomatic duties as a consular officer, representative or a foreign ambassador or a member of the United Nations or any international agency which Canada is a member of

  • The applicant is employed in the armed force of a designated country part of the Visiting Forces Act or accompanying them as a civilian

  • The applicant is an Indian under the Registered Indian Act.

Extend a Student Visa or change conditions

As an international student, extending or renewing your Study Permit is essential to maintain your legal status in Canada. If you want to extend your stay in Canada as a student, you must apply for renewal at least 30 days before your current permit expires. If you apply after your study permit has expired, then you must restore your status within 90 days. 


Restore your status as a student

You may apply to restore your status as a student within 90 days of losing it. You may only apply if you have continued to meet the requirements under which you were allowed to enter and stay in Canada, and you have met all the conditions imposed on your permit.

After you apply to restore your status, you may stay in Canada until a decision is made on your application, but you are not allowed to study until your status has been restored.

There is no guarantee that your application to restore your status will be accepted. On your application, you must provide full details of all the facts and circumstances that caused you to lose your status.

Working on campus and off-campus while studying

As an international student, a study permit in Canada allows you to work on campus without the need to apply for a work permit. You are eligible to work on campus while studying only if your study program is for a period of more than 6 months and will lead to a degree, diploma or certificate.

Having a study permit also authorizes you to work off-campus for 20 hours per week during the academic season and full time during scheduled breaks.

Co-op Work Permit / Intern Work Permit

Many Canadian colleges and universities offer work experience as part of their curriculum. Foreign students who wish to participate in a co-op or internship program must apply for a work permit as well as a study permit.

To qualify for a Co-op Work Permit:

  • The student must have a valid study permit

  • The intended employment must be essential to complete the program of study

  • The program of study must be offered by a designated learning institution and be part of the academic, vocational or professional training program offered.


Students must apply prior to the expiration of the study permit. Also, applicants are ineligible for this work permit if they are studying English or French as a second language (ESL/FSL), or they are studying general interest or preparatory courses. To be valid, internship or co-op employment cannot exceed 50% of the total program of study.

Students participating in a co-op or internship program can work at a job that is related to their program of study and gain work experience while attending school. Once they have completed their studies, students can apply for a Post-Grad Student Work Permit, to continue their work and residency in Canada.


Post Graduate Student Work Permit

As the Canadian government is looking to retain talent that has already been trained locally, there is a Post Graduate work permit available which is a first step to the Canadian Experience Class path to Permanent Residency. The Permit itself can be offered up to the length of the program but with a maximum duration of three (3) years.


The following are the requirements for the Post Graduation Work Permit:

  • Must be 18 years old at the time of application.

  • Must be currently holding a valid study permit.

  • Must have graduated from an approved educational institution where you have studied full-time for at least 8 months prior to the application (900 hours).

  • You must apply for the work permit within 90 days of receiving (written) confirmation that you have met the requirements and are qualified to graduate from the program.


It is important to note that you will not be eligible if you:

  • Study in a program that is less than eight months long.

  • Participate in a Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Program funded by the Global Affairs Canada (GAC).

  • Participate in a Government of Canada Awards Program funded by GAC.

  • Receive funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

  • Participate in the Equal Opportunity Scholarship, Canada-Chile.

  • Participate in the Canada-China Scholars Exchanges Program.

  • Participate in the Organization of American States Fellowships Program.

  • Participate in a distance learning program from abroad or from within Canada.

  • Have previously been issued a Post-Graduation Work Permit following any other program of study.


The Post Graduate Work Permit will allow you to work in Canada and gain valuable Canadian experience that will build on what you have studied in school. Ultimately, this is the first step to being able to qualify for Permanent Residence under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

Spousal Open Work Permit

As Canada sees the need to ensure that families are together, this visa has been created to allow spouses or partners of people working or studying in Canada to have their spouse or partner with them in Canada and the ability to work. An open work permit is generally granted for up to 2 years and will allow spouses to work for any employer, in any profession (unless it is regulated).

If the Applicant wishes to accompany someone who is studying in Canada:

  • Their spouse/partner must be on a valid study permit.

  • Be enrolled and attend school as a full-time student.

  • Be studying at an eligible Post-Secondary Institution.

  • Be medically admissible and have a clean criminal record

If the Applicant wishes to accompany someone who is working in Canada:


  • Their spouse/partner must be on a valid work permit.

  • Their spouse/partner must be working in a high-level skilled job as per Canadian Government Regulations.

  • Their spouse/partner must have a valid work permit of at least 6 months.



Canadian Experience Class (Express Entry)

The program seeks to provide a pathway for people who are already working in Canada as Temporary workers or students who have graduated from Canadian programs to offer them the option of making Canada a long-term permanent home.


To be eligible under this program, you will need to be a Temporary Worker who has a minimum of 2 years of full-time work experience in Canada or a student who has graduated from a Canadian Post-Secondary Institution and has worked for at least 1 year full-time in Canada.

You will also need:

  • to have gained your experience on proper work or study permits and under the allotted time limit to qualify under this program.

  • to apply within one (1) year of finishing your job in Canada.

  • to have worked in a Managerial; Skilled, or Technical job

  •  to meet all the requisite language benchmarks in English or French.

  • to live anywhere in Canada except Quebec.

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