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Study in Canada as an international student

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Apply to study in Canada as an international student, extend your study permit and find out about working while you study or after you graduate.

You need a study permit

Due to COVID-19, if you want to study in Canada, you must

  • get a study permit, and
  • attend a designated learning institution (DLI) with a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by its province or territory

You won’t be able to travel to Canada if you don’t have a study permit or your DLI isn’t on the approved list.
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)

What you get depends on your passport or travel document. This is what allows you to travel to and enter Canada.

If you’re studying in Quebec

You must also apply for a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ). You can submit your study permit application before you get your CAQ. In this case, you need to show us proof that you’ve applied for a CAQ.

How To Get Work Permit

The study permit is a document we issue that allows foreign nationals to study at designated learning institutions (DLIs) in Canada. Most foreign nationals need a study permit to study in Canada. Make sure you have all the documents you need before you apply. You should apply before you travel to Canada.

study in Canada as an international student

Your study permit is not a visa. It doesn’t let you enter Canada. You may also need a visitor visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTA). If we approve your study permit, we’ll issue one to you with your study permit.

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.

How long can you stay in Canada with a study permit?

A study permit is usually valid for the length of your study program, plus an extra 90 days. The 90 days let you prepare to leave Canada or apply to extend your stay.

1. If you’re taking prerequisite courses

If your school asks you to take courses before they accept you into the main program (you have conditional acceptance), your study permit will be valid for the length of those courses, plus 1 year. When you get accepted into the main program, you must then apply to extend your stay as a student in Canada.

2. If you’ll finish your studies after your study permit expires

If you don’t finish your courses before the date on your permit, you must apply to extend your stay as a student. If you don’t, you’ll need to stop studying and leave Canada.

3. If you finish your studies before your study permit expires

If you finish your studies early, your permit will stop being valid 90 days after you complete your studies, no matter what day is printed on the study permit.

You’ve completed your studies on the date your school first notifies you by completion letter, transcript, degree, or diploma.

You must provide proof of the date your school notifies you, or the date you get your degree, diploma, or certificate. If you don’t have proof, we’ll use the earliest issue date on the document. We may confirm this date with your school.

Can you go back home while studying?

If you leave Canada during your studies, you’ll need to make sure you meet all the requirements to return to Canada at this time. To find this out, you have 2 options:

Visa to travel to Canada

Most people need a visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to travel to Canada – not both. Some people may only need their valid passports. Answer a few questions to see what’s right for you.

What travel document do you plan to use to travel to Canada?
  • Passport
  • Alien’s passport for stateless persons
  • Permit to re-enter the U.S. (I-327)
  • U.S. Refugee travel document (I-571)
  • Other refugee travel documents for non-citizens

Click the NEXT button for the next question.

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