Student Direct Stream: After you apply
1. You need to give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics)
Once you pay your fees (including your biometrics fee) and submit your application, we’ll send you a letter that says you need to give your biometrics (if you need to). The letter will tell you how and where to do this. You need to bring this letter when you give your biometrics. You also need to bring your valid passport. You have up to 30 days to give your biometrics in person.
If you didn’t pay the biometrics fee, we’ll send you a letter asking you to do this first. You can only get the instruction letter if you pay the biometrics fee.
2. We process your study permit application
Once we receive your biometrics, we’ll be able to process your study permit application. We process most Student Direct Stream applications within 20 calendar days after we receive your biometrics, if you meet the eligibility.
If your application doesn’t meet the eligibility for the Student Direct Stream, we’ll review it as a regular study permit. You won’t get faster processing if this happens.
Find out how long it takes to process a regular study permit application.
If we approve your application
We’ll send you:
- a letter of introduction
- This isn’t your study permit. You need to show this letter to the officer when you arrive in Canada.
- an electronic travel authorization (eTA) or a visitor visa (temporary resident visa), depending on which you need to enter Canada
If you need an eTA
Your letter of introduction will have information about it. Your eTA will be electronically linked to your passport and will be valid for 5 years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. Make sure you travel with the passport you used to apply.
If you need a visitor visa
We’ll ask you to send your passport to the nearest visa office so we can attach your visa to it. Your visa will be in your passport and will show if you can enter Canada once or multiple times. You must enter Canada before your visa expires.
Getting your study permit
When you arrive at the port of entry, an officer will make sure you meet the requirements to enter Canada. If there are no problems, the officer will then print your study permit and give it to you. Make sure you have all the documents you need to enter Canada with you.
Your study permit is normally valid until the end of your school program. If your passport expires before the end of your study program, your permit will only be valid until your passport expiry date. If this happens, you’ll need to apply to extend your study permit once you have a new passport.
If you have questions or there’s a mistake on your study permit, ask the officer before you leave.
If we refuse your application
We’ll send you a letter explaining why you were refused. If you have questions, contact the office that sent the refusal letter.
Credit cards and prepaid cards
We accept credit cards and prepaid cards from:
- American Express®
- UnionPay® (for online applications only; debit cards not accepted)
If you use a prepaid credit card, keep it for at least 18 months after you pay to make refunds easier. Find more on prepaid cards.
We also accept all Visa Debit cards. The card you use doesn't have to be in your name. The cardholder’s name will appear on the receipt but it does not need to match your application.
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