Study permits: Refugees and protected persons

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Refugee protection claimants and studying in Canada

Most refugee claimants have no legal status in Canada, but are allowed to remain in the country while waiting for the determination of their claim. They are usually subject to an unenforceable removal order. They cannot take advantage of the exemption from the requirement for a study permit in the case of a short-term course or program of study [R188(1)(c)], since the course or program of study in such cases would need to be completed within the period of authorized stay—which is non-existent for them.

However, pursuant to R215(1)(d) and R215(2)(d), they and their family members may apply for a study permit after entering Canada if they are subject to an unenforceable removal order. In order to do so, they must meet the requirements of R216(1), which is usually possible by virtue of R216(2).

Persons making a claim for refugee protection in Canada with an existing temporary resident status do not lose their existing status. These persons may therefore attend a short-term course of study without a permit so long as they complete the course within the period of their authorized stay.

Their existing status may allow for an in-Canada study permit application if, for example, they hold a work permit [R215(1)(c)]. If they lose their temporary resident status (see A47 for loss of temporary resident status), they may apply for a study permit.

Persons making a claim for refugee protection are exempt from the requirement to provide biometric information when applying in Canada for a study permit.

Protected persons studying in Canada

Pursuant to R215(1)(g), protected persons, within the meaning of A95(2), may apply for a study permit from within Canada. However, they must meet all the conditions required of study permit holders as identified in R216(1). The requirement to leave Canada at the end of the authorized stay is satisfied by virtue of R216(2).

Protected persons are exempt from the requirement to provide biometric information when applying in Canada for a study permit.

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