Study permit: Who can apply

Exemptions ending for certain travellers entering Canada

Effective January 15, 2022, 00:01 (EST), some foreign national travellers who were previously allowed to enter Canada without being fully vaccinated will now be required to be fully vaccinated in order to enter Canada. There will also be changes to testing and quarantine exemptions for certain travellers, regardless of citizenship, entering Canada.

Find out if you can enter Canada

Eligibility requirements

You can come to Canada to study if you

Get your study permit faster through the Student Direct Stream

If you’re a legal resident in certain countries, you may be able to get your study permit faster by applying online through the Student Direct Stream.

Your responsibilities

While studying in Canada you must:

  • make progress towards completing your program
  • respect any conditions listed on your study permit and
  • stop studying if you no longer meet the requirements

Depending on your case, there may be conditions on your study permit such as

  • if you’re allowed to work in Canada
  • if you’re allowed to travel within Canada
  • the specific date you must leave Canada
  • where you can study (a specific DLI listed on your permit) and
    • You can’t study at a DLI other than the one listed on your permit.
  • whether you need an immigration medical examination

Who doesn’t need a permit to study in Canada

Most foreign nationals need a study permit to study in Canada. The cases below are exceptions.

Family or staff of foreign representatives

You may not need a study permit if you’re a family or staff member of a foreign representative to Canada that has been accredited by Global Affairs Canada (GAC). Your embassy can contact GAC to find out if you need one.

Members of foreign armed forces

If you’re a member of a foreign armed force on official duties in Canada, you don’t need a study permit. If your family members, including minor children, want to study in Canada, they may need one.

Registered Indians in Canada

You don’t need a study permit if you have Registered Indian status in Canada, even if you’re a citizen of another country.

Minor children in Canada

Minor children don’t need a study permit if:

  • they’re in kindergarten
  • they’re refugees or refugee claimants
  • their parents are refugees or refugee claimants, or
  • they’re in pre-school, primary or secondary school, and they’re already in Canada with a parent who has a work or study permit

When minor children reach the age of majority (18 or 19 years old, depending on the province or territory), they must apply for a study permit if they want to keep studying. Learn more about minors studying in Canada.

Temporary residents and asylum seekers taking French language and culture courses

You don’t need a study permit to take French language and cultural integration courses in Quebec (linked page is available in French only). To be eligible for the courses, you need to be a temporary resident or asylum seeker in Canada.

Why get a study permit if you don’t need one?

There are 2 reasons you may want to get a study permit even if you don’t need one:

1. Continue studying

If you already have a study permit and your study situation changes, you can continue studying in Canada while your permit is valid.

Example: If you’re transitioning between levels of study (primary, secondary and post-secondary), you don’t need to apply for a new study permit if your current study permit is still valid.

If you apply to extend your permit before it expires, you have maintained your status and can continue studying while you wait for your new study permit. If your study permit extension is refused, you must stop studying.

2. Work on- or off-campus

If you have a study permit and you’re registered as a full-time student at a DLI, you may be able to work on-campus or off-campus. If so, your study permit will include a condition that says you’re allowed to work while studying.

If you don’t have a study permit, you can’t work while you’re studying in Canada. In this case, you need to apply for a work permit.

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