Get a study permit — Find out what to do after you apply

Note: You will be able to have your sex marked as X (unspecified) on your documents. Until then, once you are in Canada, you can apply for a supporting document that says your sex should be X. Find out more.

Check the status of your application

Processing times vary depending on where you applied. See the status of your application.

The visa office will review your application to make sure you:

  • completed it correctly and
  • included all the documents we need.

If your application is incomplete, we may refuse it.

If your application is complete, the visa office will review it and decide if you need an interview. If so, the officer will tell you the time and place.

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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