Study permit: About the process
Changes to impaired driving and cannabis-related crime laws
New penalties for impaired driving and cannabis-related crimes may affect your immigration status in Canada. If you commit one of these crimes, you may not be able to come to or stay in Canada.
What is a study permit?
The study permit is a document we issue that allows foreign nationals to study at designated learning institutions (DLI) in Canada. Most foreign nationals need a study permit to study in Canada. Make sure you have all the documents you need before you apply. You should apply before you travel to Canada.
Note: Your study permit is not a visa. It alone doesn’t allow you to enter Canada. You may also need a temporary resident visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTA). If so, we will issue it as part of your study permit application.
Get your study permit faster through the Student Direct Stream
Do you live in China, India, the Philippines or Vietnam? You might be able to get your study permit faster by using the Student Direct Stream. As of April 30, 2019, you must apply online.
How long can you stay in Canada with a study permit?
A study permit is usually valid for the length of your study program, plus an extra 90 days. This extra time lets you prepare to leave Canada or apply to extend your stay.
- If you can’t finish your courses before the date on your permit, you must apply to extend your stay as a student.
If you finish your studies early, your permit will stop being valid 90 days after you complete your studies (no matter what day is printed on the study permit).
You have completed your studies either
- on the date you get the first notification from your school (such as an email, letter, transcript, etc.) or
- when you get your degree, diploma or certificate.
You must prove provide proof of the date you got one of these.
Note: If you can’t prove the date you were first notified by your school, we will use the earliest issue date on the document. We may need to confirm this date with your school.
If your school asked you to take some courses before they will accept you into the main program (conditional acceptance), we will only issue your study permit for the length of these courses. When you get accepted into the main program, you can apply to extend your stay as student from within Canada.
Can you go back home while studying?
If you plan to leave Canada during a scheduled break (such as the summer, or winter holidays and spring break), you may need to show proof you are enrolled in your school when you return to Canada. If you came here on:
- a visa, you also need to make sure it is still valid.
- an electronic travel authorization (eTA), and you leave and return to Canada by air, you will need to make sure it is still valid.
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