Tip 1: In order to gain full benefit of your Canadian education, choose your study program wisely.

Tip 2: Getting your application prepared or reviewed by an expert can help in avoiding errors which can lead to potential refusals. Scroll down to see common reasons for study permit application refusal.

What is a study permit?

A study permit is a document which is required to study in Canada. It allows the individual to study at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada.

If the study permit application is approved, a Port of Entry (POE) letter of introduction is issued along with an electronic travel authorization (eTA) or a visitor visa (temporary resident visa) to enter Canada. Upon arrival, an officer at the port of entry will examine your documents and may give you your study permit.

Which documents will I need for my study permit application?

Though the list is specific to your situation, some basic documents which are required are:

  • Letter of acceptance from a Designated Learning Institute (DLI)
  • Proof of identity: valid passport and other related documents
  • Proof of financial support: it should show sufficient funds to cover tuition fees and living expense for the first year
  • Letter of Intent
  • Visa office specific documents
  • Other documents to strengthen your application

Important Note: The document list above is not complete. It is highly recommended to include documents, in addition to above-mentioned documents, to make your application stronger.

We can help you to prepare a complete list of documents specific to your situation.

What is the processing time for regular study permit application?

If you submit your application under regular stream, processing time may vary significantly depending on where you are applying from (your current country of residence). Approximately, it can vary between 2 to 16 weeks.

If you want your application to be processed faster, check whether you can apply under Student Direct Stream (SDS).

What is Student Direct Stream (SDS)?

Student Direct Stream (SDS) allows the applicant to get their study permit application processed faster, in as less as 20 calendar days, provided they submit the biometrics as quickly as possible when requested and meet the other eligibility requirements.

This application must be submitted online. Paper applications do NOT get processed under SDS.

The applicant must meet the following criteria in order to get their application processed under SDS:

  • Must be a legal resident of 1 of the following countries:
    • India
    • China
    • Pakistan
    • Morocco
    • The Philippines
    • Senegal
    • Vietnam
  • Have a letter of acceptance from a designated learning institute (DLI)
  • Residing outside of Canada when you apply
  • Have proof that you have paid your first year’s tuition fees
  • Have a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of CAN$10,000
  • Give medical exam, if applicable
  • Get police certificate, if applicable
  • Have the most recent secondary or post-secondary school transcript
  • IELTS 6 or higher in each skill
  • Other visa office related documents

Important Note: The document list above is not complete. It is highly recommended to include documents, in addition to above-mentioned documents, to make your application stronger.

We can help you to prepare a complete list of documents specific to your situation.

What conditions are imposed on me as a study permit holder?

Conditions imposed can vary based on your situation, but generally, study permit holders are subjected to following conditions:

  • Must be enrolled at a Designated Learning Institute (DLI)
  • Actively pursue your studies and make progress towards completing the program
  • must not take authorized leave longer than 150 days from your program of study
  • inform Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) if you change your post-secondary school
  • leave Canada when your study permit expires
  • If allowed to work, other work-related restrictions.

Complying with the conditions imposed on your study permit is in your best interest because it can ensure that your future applications (for example post-graduate work permit, PGWP) submitted to IRCC will not be negatively impacted.

Am I allowed to work while on the study permit?

Generally speaking, if your study permit allows you to work, you can work up to 20 hours per week during your academic terms and full-time during scheduled breaks.

Is it possible for my spouse and dependent children to come with me to Canada while I study there?

Yes, your spouse may be issued a spousal open work permit while you study in Canada. Its duration will most likely be equivalent to the duration of your study permit. It will allow your spouse to work in Canada without any restrictions.

Your dependent children can also come with you and study at a pre-school, primary or secondary school, provided you or your spouse hold a valid study or work permit. If you know that your child will be studying in Canada, it is best to obtain a study permit for the child as well. Note that letter of acceptance from a school is not required in this case since you will be accompanying your child while holding a valid study or work permit.

If your child is already in Canada, they can study without a permit until they reach the age of majority according to the province of residence. If your child doesn’t have a study permit, valid visitor status must be maintained. They will need to obtain a study permit in order to continue studying when they reach the age of majority.

It is important to note that if you are planning to bring your family together with you, there will be burden to provide additional convincing documentation to show that you will leave Canada at the end of your permitted period of stay. The visa office has discretion to refuse your study permit application if he/she thinks that you will not leave Canada when your permit expires.

When does a study permit expire?

Generally, a Canadian study permit expires:

  • On the day specified on the study permit (Expiry date on study permit), or
  • 90 days after you complete your studies, if you complete your study program early and still have validity left on your study permit.

If your study permit has expired and you are still in Canada, you will have to restore your status.

Study Permit Refusals – Reasons and What to do?

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) may refuse a study permit application if:

  • your financial proof (documentation) was not enough to show that you have enough money to support yourself while studying in Canada
  • visa officer is not convinced that you will leave Canada by the end of your studies
  • visa officer is not convinced that the applicant’s main intention is to study in Canada
  • the applicant does not pass the medical or criminal admissibility requirements of Canada

When the application gets refused, the visa officer will issue a letter (refusal letter) explaining the reason behind the refusal.

In most cases, you should be able to resubmit the refused application provided all the refusal reasons are addressed. After carefully re-examining the entire application and the documentation corresponding to the refusal reason, changes or additional documentation can be included to address the refusal reason. We advise that professional help should be sought. Ask us if you need help!!

Study Permit Extension

In the event that you are unable to complete your studies before your study permit expires, you will have to Extend Study Permit in Kelowna in order to continue studying.

We can answer any questions/concerns you may have regarding your application or complete your application if you don’t feel comfortable dealing with forms and the required important supporting documentation.

Stay in Canada after completing your studies

After completing an eligible program offered by an eligible institution, you can apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). You may be issued a PGWP valid for 3 years if your program length was 2 years or more. If your program length was between 8 months and less than 2 years, your PGWP may be equivalent to the length of your study program. If your program length is less than 8 months, you are not eligible for a PGWP.

Skilled work experience (NOC 0, A or B) gained while on the PGWP can help you in qualifying for a Permanent Resident (PR) stream such as Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC), Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC), or certain Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) streams.