Find out if you need a study permit

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To find out what you need to study in Canada, select the situation that best describes you and your study program.

You’re studying for 6 months or less

You don’t need a study permit. You can apply to study at the school of your choice without a study permit if:

  • your studies aren’t part of a longer study program and
  • you’ll complete your studies within the amount of time we approve you to stay in Canada
    • This is usually 6 months after you enter

However, you may want to get a study permit, even if you don’t need one.

Your study permit isn’t a visa

If we approve your study permit application, we’ll also automatically give you either a visitor visa (temporary resident visa) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), depending on your passport or travel document. This is what allows you to enter Canada.

You’re studying in Quebec

You must also apply for a Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ).

Find out if you need a visa

Citizens of the USA

You don’t need a visitor visa or an eTA to enter Canada. However, you must carry proper identification and meet the basic requirements to enter Canada.

Permanent residents of the USA

If you’re entering Canada by air, you need an eTA. Otherwise, you don’t need a visitor visa or an eTA to enter Canada. Regardless of how you travel to Canada, carry valid proof of U.S. lawful permanent residence status, such as a valid Green Card.


You’re studying for more than 6 months

You need a study permit. You should apply for your permit before you travel to Canada to study.

To apply for a study permit, you need:

Learn more about what you need to study in Canada.

Your study permit isn’t a visa

If we approve your study permit application, we’ll also automatically give you either a visitor visa (temporary resident visa) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), depending on your passport or travel document. This is what allows you to enter Canada.

Find out if you need a visa

If you’re studying in Quebec

You must also apply for a Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ).

Apply for your study permit

Citizens of the USA

You don’t need a visitor visa or an eTA to enter Canada. However, you must carry proper identification and meet the basic requirements to enter Canada.

Permanent residents of the USA

If you’re entering Canada by air, you need an eTA. Otherwise, you don’t need a visitor visa or an eTA to enter Canada. Regardless of how you travel to Canada, carry valid proof of U.S. lawful permanent residence status, such as a valid Green Card.


You’re a minor child or applying for a minor child

Minor children need a study permit if:

  • they’re applying from outside of Canada and
  • they’ll be studying for more than 6 months

This includes minor children who come to Canada with parents who got their study or work permit approved before coming to Canada.

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.

Minor children need a valid passport or travel document to come to Canada.

Learn more about what you need to study in Canada.

Their study permit isn’t a visa

If we approve their study permit application, we’ll also automatically give them either a visitor visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), depending on their passport or travel document. This is what allows them to enter Canada.

Find out if they need a visa

Citizens of the USA

You don’t need a visitor visa or an eTA to enter Canada. However, you must carry proper identification and meet the basic requirements to enter Canada.

Permanent residents of the USA

If you’re entering Canada by air, you need an eTA. Otherwise, you don’t need a visitor visa or an eTA to enter Canada. Regardless of how you travel to Canada, carry valid proof of U.S. lawful permanent residence status, such as a valid Green Card.

If the minor child is coming to Canada alone

They must also have:

If they’re studying in Quebec

They must also apply for a Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ).

Apply for a study permit

When minor children don’t need a study permit

Minor children don’t need a study permit if any of the following are true:

  • they’re studying for 6 months or less
  • they’re going to kindergarten
  • they or their parents are refugees or refugee claimants

Minors also don’t need a study permit if:

  • they’re already in Canada with a parent who has a work or study permit, and they want to go to preschool, primary or secondary school or
  • neither of their parents are present in Canada

However, they should still get a study permit. With a study permit, minors can:

Minors who don’t have a study permit must have valid visitor status during their stay in Canada. This means they must have an unexpired visitor visa (temporary resident visa) or electronic travel authorization (eTA).

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. This is why we encourage you to get a study permit for a minor, even if they don’t need one right away.

Apply for a study permit

You’re a member of a foreign armed force or have Registered Indian status in Canada

If you’re a member of a foreign armed force of a country that’s a designated state, or you have Registered Indian status in Canada, you don’t need a study permit. You can apply to study at the school of your choice.

However, you may want to get a study permit, even if you don’t need one.

A study permit isn’t a visa

Even though you don’t need a study permit, you still need a valid passport or travel document. Depending on your travel document, you also need either:

Having one of these allows you to enter Canada.

Find out if you need a visa

Citizens of the USA

You don’t need a visitor visa or an eTA to enter Canada. However, you must carry proper identification and meet the basic requirements to enter Canada.

Permanent residents of the USA

If you’re entering Canada by air, you need an eTA. Otherwise, you don’t need a visitor visa or an eTA to enter Canada. Regardless of how you travel to Canada, carry valid proof of U.S. lawful permanent residence status, such as a valid Green Card.


You’re a family or staff member of a foreign representative in Canada

You don’t need a study permit if you’re:

  • a staff member of a foreign representative or
  • the family member of someone who is one

and

If you or they aren’t accredited, you do need a study permit.

Your embassy should contact GAC to find out if you or they are accredited.

Contact GAC

A study permit isn’t a visa

Even though you don’t need a study permit, you still need a valid passport or travel document. Depending on your travel document, you also need either:

Having one of these allows you to enter Canada.

Find out if you need a visa

Citizens of the USA

You don’t need a visitor visa or an eTA to enter Canada. However, you must carry proper identification and meet the basic requirements to enter Canada.

Permanent residents of the USA

If you’re entering Canada by air, you need an eTA. Otherwise, you don’t need a visitor visa or an eTA to enter Canada. Regardless of how you travel to Canada, carry valid proof of U.S. lawful permanent residence status, such as a valid Green Card.


You’re already in Canada on a work permit and want to stay to study

If you’re already in Canada on a work permit and you want to start studying, follow the steps for extending a study permit.

If you’re studying in Quebec

You must also apply for a Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ).

Apply to extend your stay in Canada

You want to extend your study permit

You have 90 days after you complete your studies to extend your study permit.

You should apply to extend it at least 30 days before it expires. You may want to extend it earlier than this if you know you’ll continue studying in Canada.

Learn more about when to extend your study permit.

If you’re studying in Quebec

You must also apply for a new Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ).

Apply to extend your stay in Canada
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