Study permit: How to apply

Get your documents ready

Before you apply for a study permit, you need:

  • an acceptance letter from a designated learning institution (DLI)
  • a valid passport or travel document
  • proof you can support yourself, and any family members who come with you, while you’re in Canada

Find out which documents you need before you apply for a study permit.

You need to give your biometrics

In most cases, you now need to give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics) after you apply. Find out where biometrics fits in the application process.

If you’re already in Canada and need to leave the country to give biometrics

If you’re in Canada and you apply for an initial study or work permit, and you received a biometrics instruction letter from us, you may need to leave Canada to give biometrics.

Do NOT travel to the United States (U.S.) to give your biometrics. You must already be legally in the U.S. or an overseas territory of the U.S. to go to an Application Support Center.

Instead, go to a visa application centre (VAC) in any other country that you can legally enter, such as your home country, to give your biometrics.

Venezuelan passport holders

You may need to complete extra steps when you fill out your application.

How to apply

Generally, you must apply for a study permit before you come to Canada. Some people can apply for a study permit from within Canada. In some cases, you can apply when you arrive in Canada at the port of entry. Make sure you understand which option is available to you.

How applying online helps you

  • No courier fees or mail delivery time – we get your application instantly.
  • Your applications may be processed more quickly.
  • It helps you make sure your application is complete before you submit it.
  • You can quickly submit more documents online (if we ask you to).
  • You get updates on the status of your application directly in your online account.

Get the instructions

Answer a few questions to get the next steps for your situation.

You need to enable Javascript to be able to use the tool.

Apply online from outside Canada

Get your study permit faster through the Student Direct Stream

Do you live in China, India, Morocco, Pakistan, the Philippines, Senegal or Vietnam? You might be able to get your study permit faster by applying online through the Student Direct Stream.

Step 1: Make sure you have what you need

To apply online, you’ll need:

  • a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents, and
  • a valid credit or debit card.

Step 2: Read the instruction guide

Even if you apply online, you should read the instruction guide before you complete your application. The guide will explain how to complete each field on the form.

Step 3: Prepare your answers for the online tool

Before you can upload your forms, you must answer some questions. We use your answers to create a personalized document checklist for you.

Step 4: Know the fees you have to pay

In most cases, your fees will include:

  • processing fees for you and anyone you include on your application
  • biometrics

We’ll ask you to pay your fees at the end of your application.

Third-party fees

Depending on your situation, you may need to pay third parties for:

You won’t pay these fees in your online account. You’ll pay them directly to the third party.

Biometrics fee

In most cases, you should pay a biometrics fee when you submit your application. Otherwise you may experience delays. The biometrics fee covers the cost of collecting fingerprints and a digital photo. Find out if you need to give your biometrics.

Step 5: Create your online account or sign in

If you need an eTA or visa

If you need an electronic travel authorization (eTA) or visa, we’ll issue it automatically at the same time as your study permit. You don’t need to apply separately or pay another fee.

You need an account to apply online. You can use your account to:

  • pay your fees
  • submit your application
  • check your status
Create an account or sign in

Apply on paper from outside Canada

Get your study permit faster through the Student Direct Stream

Do you live in China, India, Morocco, Pakistan, the Philippines, Senegal or Vietnam? You might be able to get your study permit faster by applying online through the Student Direct Stream.

Step 1: Get the application package

The application package includes an instruction guide and all the forms you need.

Read the guide carefully before you complete your application. We won’t refund your application fee, so make sure you’re eligible for a study permit before you apply.

Get the application package.

Step 2: Complete your application and attach your documents

Make sure you include all the documents we ask for. Your application may be delayed if information or documents are missing. The document checklist in the application package lists all the documents to include.

Answer all questions carefully, completely and truthfully.

Third-party fees

Depending on your situation, you may need to pay third parties for:

If you need to use any of these services, you’ll pay these fees directly to the third party.

Step 3: Pay your application fees

If you need an eTA or visa

If you need an electronic travel authorization (eTA) or visa, we’ll issue it automatically at the same time as your study permit. You don’t need to apply separately or pay another fee.

In most cases, your fees will include:

  • processing fees for you and anyone you include on your application
  • biometrics

You’ll need to pay your fees before you submit your application. Our instruction guide can help you understand which fees apply to you and show you how to pay them.

Biometrics fee

In most cases, you should pay a biometrics fee when you pay your application fees. If you don’t, you may experience delays. The biometrics fee covers the cost of collecting fingerprints and a digital photo. Find out if you need to give your biometrics.

Submit your application

Select the country/territory you will be applying from to find out where to submit your application. You can choose your country of nationality or the country/territory where you have been legally admitted:

Apply online from inside Canada

Step 1: Make sure you have what you need

To apply online, you’ll need:

  • a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents, and
  • a valid credit or debit card.

Step 2: Read the instruction guide

Even if you apply online, you should read the instruction guide before you complete your application. The guide will explain how to complete each field on the form.

Step 3: Prepare your answers for the online tool

Before you can upload your forms, you must answer some questions. We use your answers to create a personalized document checklist for you.

Step 4: Know the fees you have to pay

In most cases, your fees will include processing fees for you and anyone you include on your application.

We’ll ask you to pay your fees at the end of your application.

Step 5: Create your online account or sign in

You need an account to apply online. You can use your account to:

  • pay your fees
  • submit your application
  • check your status
Create an account or sign in

If you can’t apply online

You can submit a paper application if either:

What to do if you can’t apply online

You need to apply as though you’re outside Canada

You can’t apply from inside Canada. Even though you’re physically in Canada, you need to follow the instructions for applying for a study permit from outside Canada. This may mean you’ll need to leave Canada for an interview or to complete other steps of your application.

Select “Outside Canada” to find out how you can apply for a study permit.

Apply at a port of entry

Before you come to Canada

If you’re a lawful permanent resident of the United States, and you want to apply at an airport, you must get an Electronic Travel Authorization before you board your flight to Canada.

When you arrive at the port of entry

Tell the officer that you want a study permit. The officer will check:

  • your passport or other travel document
  • that you meet the eligibility requirements
  • that your medical certificate is valid, if you need one

If you’re eligible for a study permit, the officer will issue one to you. If you’re not eligible, the officer will refuse your study permit. If your permit is refused, you may still be able to enter Canada as a visitor.

You can’t apply at a port of entry

You can’t apply for a study permit at a port of entry. You need to apply from outside Canada.

Select “Outside Canada” to find out how you can apply for a study permit.

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