After you apply: study permit

1. You will need to give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics)

After you send us your application, we’ll send you a letter if you need to give your biometrics. Most study permit applicants need to. The letter will tell you how and where to go. You have up to 30 days to give your biometrics (in person).

  • If you applied online
    • The letter is sent to your account message box within 24 hours of applying. You’ll get an email to let you know you received a new message.
  • If you applied by mail
    • The letter is sent to you by mail about two weeks after we get your application. The timing of your letter depends on various factors including the speed of your postal service.

Find out more about biometrics such as exemptions and how often you need to give, how to give and where to give your biometrics.

2. We process your study permit application

We’ll check your application to make sure you have all the necessary documents. If it’s complete and you need to give biometrics, we’ll send you a letter that tells you so.

If it’s incomplete, we’ll return your application without processing it.

We may also ask you to:

  • go to an interview with our officials in your country, or
  • to send more information.

Updating your application

If you move or change your address, telephone number or any other contact information after you apply, you must tell us.

If we approve your application

We will send you:

  • a letter of introduction to confirm. This letter isn’t your study permit. You need to show it to the immigration official when you arrive in Canada.
  • an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or a visitor visa (temporary resident visa) to enter Canada:
    • if you are from a country where you need an eTA, the letter of introduction will include information about your eTA. Also, the eTA will be:
      • linked to your passport. It is important that you travel with the passport you used when you applied for your study permit.
      • valid for five years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.
    • if you are from a country where you need a visitor visa, the visa will:
      • be in your passport. You must enter Canada before it expires.
      • show if you can enter Canada only once (a single-entry visa) or if you can enter Canada multiple times (a multiple-entry visa).

If we refuse your application

We will send you a letter explaining why. Reasons we may refuse it include if you didn’t:

  • show proof that you have enough money to support yourself while studying in Canada
  • pass the medical exam if you needed one
  • convince the visa officer that your main purpose in Canada is to study
  • convince the visa officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your study period.

If you have questions about why you were refused, contact the visa office that sent the refusal letter.

Waiting for a decision

Your study permit can expire while you are waiting for a decision on an extension. In this case, you still have temporary resident (student) status.

This is known as implied status, and it lasts until you get a decision on your application (as long as you don’t leave Canada). You can keep studying under implied status.

Travelling outside Canada while waiting for a decision

You can leave Canada and come back. Your study permit is not a visa. You need a valid visa or eTA to return, unless you are coming back from a trip where you visited the United States or St-Pierre and Miquelon only.

When you return:

  • You can come back as student if your permit is still valid.
  • You may be allowed to come back as a visitor, if we are still processing your study permit extension.
    • You can’t study until we extend your study permit. The officer at the border may ask you to prove you have enough money to support yourself in Canada.
  • You may be allowed to come back as a student, if we extended your study permit while you were away.
  • You may be asked to apply for a new study permit if you are a national or a permanent resident of the U.S. or a resident of Greenland or St. Pierre and Miquelon.
  • It is possible that you will not be able to enter Canada.

The officer may ask you for a copy of the application, the fee payment receipt, and other documents to prove you applied for an extension.

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