Study permits: Assessing the application
This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.
New instructions exist for study permit applications for Saudi Arabian nationals. Additional proof of funds is now required from some Saudi Arabian students who apply for a new study permit or study permit extension.
The following documents must be provided with a study permit application for both new applications and renewals:
- Application for Study Permit Made Outside of Canada form [IMM 1294] (overseas) or Application to Change Conditions, Extend my Stay or Remain in Canada as a Student form [IMM 5709] (inland);
- Family Information form [IMM 5645], if applicable;
- Schedule 1 – Application for a Temporary Resident Visa Made Outside Canada form [IMM 5257], if applicable;
- Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union form [IMM 5409], if applicable;
- Custodianship Declaration form [IMM 5646], for applicants who are minors;
- Use of a Representative form [IMM 5476], if applicable;
- Letter of acceptance (outside of Canada), or letter of enrolment or transcript (renewals) from a designated learning institution (DLI)Footnote 1;
- Proof of financial support;
- Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) or letter of approval from the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI) for a CAQ for applicants destined to Quebec;
- Application processing fee payment, and if applicable, biometric process fee payment;
- Proof of identity:
- original valid passport, or
- photocopy of the information/biodata page of the applicant’s passport;
- Two recent passport-sized photographsFootnote 2 (applicant’s name and date of birth should be written on the back of the photos); and
- Proof of completion of upfront medical examination from the panel physician (optional).
Reviewing the application package for completeness
Officers should check to ensure all documents are completed properly and enclosed with the application package as per the Document Checklist (IMM 5483) (PDF, 297.34 KB).
In addition, officers should verify the following:
- check to ensure that the application form has been properly completed and signed by the applicant;
- determine whether a fee is required and that payment has been included with the application;
- for initial and new study permit applications, review the original letter of acceptance (or the scanned copy in the case of applications submitted through e-Apps) to make sure that it is issued by a DLI and that it covers all the basic necessary information. See the Loss of designation status section when the letter of acceptance on file was issued by an institution that appears to no longer be designated;
- for study permit renewals, review the letter of enrolment or transcript, or the letter issued by the DLI to ensure that the student is in compliance with their study permit conditions (e.g., enrolled and actively pursuing studies);
- review the financial documents to determine if adequate financial resources are available to support the applicant and any accompanying family members for the first year of the course of study. Applications for extensions to the Case Processing Centre in Edmonton (CPC-E) must meet the same requirement;
- verify that the applicant has a valid passport or travel document upon presentation of their application;
- for both initial and new study permit applications, and applications for study permit renewals, verify that the applicant has a valid CAQ, if they are destined to a DLI in Quebec.
If the documents are incomplete because they fail to meet the requirements of section 10 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, processing of the application cannot be initiated. Officers will return the application and documents to the client with a written request for the missing information.
If the application fee has not been included or is incorrect, the application should be returned unprocessed to the applicant with a request that it be resubmitted with the correct fee.
Proof of identity
Applicants must provide proof of identity such as a passport, a travel document or official identity document, or photocopies of the following pages: identity pages, date and place of issue, and validity date.
Persons exempt from a passport requirement should provide an acceptable personal identification such as citizenship document, national identification document or birth certificate.
Note: Applicants are not required to have a passport valid for the entire duration of their course of studies, but the validity of the permit cannot go beyond the passport expiry date [R179(c), R181(2) and R183(2)(c)].
Students are required to demonstrate financial sufficiency for only the first year of studies, regardless of the duration of the course or program of studies in which they are enrolled. In other words, a single student entering a four-year degree program with an annual tuition fee of $15,000 must demonstrate funds of $15,000 to satisfy the requirements, and not the full $60,000 which would be required for four years. Officers should be satisfied however that the probability of funding for future years does exist (i.e., parents are employed); scholarship is for more than one year. Applications for extensions made to CPC-E must also meet this requirement.
In assessing the adequacy of a student’s financial resources, officers may exercise discretion in the documentation they request from applicants. In situations where student applicants generally pose a very low risk regarding funds, officers may choose to limit or waive routine requirements for documentary evidence. Low-risk applicants are more likely to be exempted from the requirement to obtain a temporary resident visa. Based on the known incidence of indigent and non-bona fide applicants, reliability of financial documentation, and so forth, individual visa offices are best placed to determine whether routinely requiring banking documentation and/or more extensive financial background information is necessary to ensure program integrity. Students from developed countries who are both visa exempt and from socio-economic backgrounds similar to Canada might only be required to state their available funds.
Conversely, in some very high-risk environments, requiring and systematically verifying substantial history of funds and supplementary individual or family financial and employment documentation may be necessary to ensure that only genuine students capable of supporting their program of studies are accorded study permits.
Officers may take into consideration such sources of funds derived through scholarships, fellowships, assistantships and the like, as well as financial support or support in kind that may be available from relatives in Canada. International students in Canada are ineligible for benefits under the Canada Student Loan program.
Assessing available resources
All provinces except Quebec
The following base amounts will help to assess financial sufficiency. The base amount for students includes all requirements related to transportation and maintenance, including the cost of books, equipment, and supplies. The size of the community where the student is destined is not a consideration. Some provinces are examining the possibility of imposing fee differentials to children accompanying parents who are in Canada for study or work purposes. Officers should keep abreast of future changes when assessing funds required for the family stay in Canada.
- Student base: $10,000 for twelve-month period, prorated at $833 per month, plus cost of tuition.
- Spouse/common-law partner/first family member base-$4,000 for twelve-month period prorated at $333 per month.
- Dependent child/subsequent family member base-$3,000 for twelve-month period per dependent child of any age, prorated at $255 per month.
Foreign exchange controls
Foreign exchange control measures are in effect in many countries. Where students are dependent on such controlled funds, they should be required to present one of the following:
- a letter from a Canadian financial institution stating that funds necessary for the entire upcoming academic year are on deposit in the applicant’s name;
- a bank draft in convertible currency for an amount equal to the funds required for the upcoming academic year and made payable jointly to the educational institution and the applicant; or
- written assurance from the applicant’s bank that sufficient funds are on deposit and from the foreign exchange control authorities that the applicant will be permitted to export a sum adequate for maintenance costs in Canada.
Six-month ban [R221]
The first step in processing an application is to determine the admissibility with regard to section R221.
A FOSS or GCMS check will provide a case history. If the applicant is not described in R221 and there is no inadmissibility then proceed with assessing their documentation.
If the applicant has lost their status while in Canada (see section 47 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act for loss of status), determine whether the “six-month ban” on the issuance of a study permit applies.
If the applicant has engaged in unauthorized work or study in Canada or has failed to comply with a condition of a permit, officers cannot issue a study permit unless a period of six months has elapsed since the applicant ceased engaging in the unauthorized work or study, or since the applicant failed to comply with a condition that was imposed on them. See section R185 for details on the conditions that may be imposed on a temporary resident.
However, it is to be noted that there is no requirement to wait for the passing of six months prior to the issuance of a study permit if the unauthorized work or study in which the applicant engaged was unauthorized because of non-compliance with any of the following conditions [R221(b)]:
- period authorized for their stay [R185(a)];
- type of work permitted to engage in, or prohibited from engaging in, in Canada [R185(b)(i)];
- the employer for whom they were permitted to work or for whom they were prohibited to work [R185(b)(ii)];
- the location of the work [R185(b)(iii)];
- the type of studies or course[R185(c)(i)];
- the educational institution[R185(c)(ii)];
- the location of the studies [R185(c)(iii)];
- the times and periods of the studies [R185(c)(iv)].
- The six-month ban does apply to the issuance of a study permit when the work or study was unauthorized because the applicant did not comply with the following conditions imposed :
- the times and periods of the work [R185(b)(iv)];
- in the case of a member of a crew, the period within which they had to join the means of transportation [R185(b)(v)];
- area within which they were permitted to travel or prohibited from travelling in Canada [R185(d)];
- times and places at which they must have reported for medical examination, surveillance or treatment, or the presentation of evidence of compliance with applicable conditions related to medical requirements [R185(e)(i) and R185(e)(ii)].
If the “six-month ban” applies on the issuance of a study permit and six months have not elapsed, officers should refuse the application and proceed as follows:
At an overseas visa office
Officers should advise the applicant of the date when the six-month ban ends in order for the applicant to be eligible for a study permit.
If six months have elapsed, or if the applicant has failed to comply with one or more conditions imposed on them, other than the ones leading to a six-month ban, then officers may issue a study permit to the applicant, provided the applicant meets all the requirements for the issuance of a study permit at the time of the application and the applicant is not inadmissible.
At a port of entry
Advise the applicant of the date when the six-month ban is due to end in order for the applicant to be eligible to apply for a study permit.
The applicant may become the subject of a report alleging that they are inadmissible pursuant to section A41.
If six months have elapsed, or if the applicant has failed to comply with one or more conditions imposed on them, other than the ones leading to a six-month ban, then officers may issue a study permit to the applicant, provided the applicant meets all the requirements for the issuance of a study permit at the time of the application.
At an inland office
The lapse of six months would not apply in the case of inland applications because the applicants would first have to get their status restored prior to being issued a study permit.
In certain circumstances, it may be necessary to interview the applicant. Reasons that may warrant the need for an interview include
- questions or doubts concerning applicant’s reasons for wishing to come to Canada, the arrangements made for their care and support, and their ability or willingness to leave Canada;
- circumstances when the officer needs more information or clarification before finalizing an application:
- For example, for study permit renewals, when the officer needs more information to determine whether the applicant is in compliant with their study permit conditions (e.g., be enrolled and actively pursuing studies at a DLI);
- suspicions that the foreign national may be a victim of human trafficking (see chapters OP 20 and Temporary Resident Permits (TRPs)).
Once the application and documentation have been reviewed, officers will need to determine whether the applicant
- is inadmissibleFootnote 3;
- requires a temporary resident visa (not applicable inland);
- requires an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA);
- is bona fide;
- is from a country or territory whose nationals are required to provide biometric information;
- is from a country classified under the Visitor Information Transmission category as described in the chapter IC 2;
- requires a medical examination;
- is in need of a work permit.
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