What is a study permit?
The study permit is a document issued 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.
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.
You can come to Canada to study if you
- are enrolled at a DLI
- prove you have enough money to pay for
- your tuition fees
- living expenses for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada and
- return transportation for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada
- obey the law, have no criminal record and get a police certificate (if required)
- are in good health and get a medical exam (if required) and
- prove to an officer that you will leave Canada when your study permit expires
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
Get the right documents
You need these documents to apply for a study permit:
- proof of acceptance
- proof of identity, and
- proof of financial support
You may also need
- a letter of explanation
- a Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ)
- a custodian declaration (minors only), or
- other documents
- If we request documents from you for an application in progress.
Proof of acceptance
Your school must send you a letter of acceptance. Include the original or electronic copy of your letter with your study permit application.
Proof of identity
When applying for your study permit, you and each family member who comes with you to Canada must have
- a valid passport or travel document
- Online applicants: Upload a copy of the information page of your passport when you apply online.
- If you’re approved, you must then send us your original passport.
- two recent passport-size photos
- The name and date of birth of the person should be written on the back of each photo.
Proof of financial support
You must prove that you can support yourself, and the family members who come with you, while you are in Canada.
You can prove your funds with:
- proof of a Canadian bank account in your name, if you've transferred money to Canada
- Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) from a participating Canadian financial institution
- proof of a student or education loan from a bank
- your bank statements for the past 4 months
- a bank draft that can be converted to Canadian dollars
- proof you paid tuition and housing fees
- a letter from the person or school giving you money, or
- proof of funding paid from within Canada, if you have a scholarship or are in a Canadian-funded educational program
Minimum funds needed to support yourself as a student (and family members who come with you):
|Persons coming to Canada
|Amount of funds required per year (doesn’t include tuition)
|Amount of funds required per month (additional to the tuition)
|You (the student)
|First family member
|Every additional accompanying family member
If you and 2 family members want to come to a province (other than Quebec) for a year, you will need
- living expenses: $10,000 (for the student)
- living expenses: $4,000 (for the first family member)
- living expenses: $3,000 (for the second family member)
|People coming to Canada
|Amount of funds required per year (doesn’t include tuition)
|Amount of funds required per month (doesn’t include tuition)
|1 person under the age of 18
|1 person aged 18 or over
|2 people aged 18 or over
|2 people aged 18 or over and 1 person under the age of 18
|2 people aged 18 or over and 2 people under the age of 18
If your country uses foreign-exchange controls, you must prove that you'll be allowed to export funds for all of your expenses.
Letter of explanation
This letter helps the visa officer to understand you and your goals. It explains
- why you want to study in Canada and
- that you understand your responsibilities as a student
You should include this letter if you decide to apply for a study permit, even if you don’t have to get a study permit for your program.
Québec Acceptance Certificate
If you want to study in Quebec for longer than 6 months, you need a Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) issued by the Gouvernement du Québec. Your school can give you all the details on how to apply for the CAQ.
If your application for a CAQ got approved by the ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI), but you’re still waiting to get the CAQ, you can apply for your study permit with the approval letter from the MIFI. You don’t need to wait for the CAQ to apply.
If you plan to study in Quebec for less than 6 months, you can apply for a study permit without a CAQ.
Custodian declaration (minor children)
If the minor requires a custodian, you must include the Custodianship Declaration form (PDF, 1.02 MB) with your application. It has 2 pages that must be notarized (certified by a notary) and then included with your study permit application.
The custodian in Canada must sign the first page, and the parents or legal guardians of the minor child in the child’s home country must sign the second page.
Check the visa office instructions for your country or region for local requirements.
If you aren't currently in your home country, you may have to prove your immigration status in the country you apply from.
If the government that issued your passport or travel document needs you to have a re-entry permit, you must get one before you apply for a Canadian visa. You may also need other documents.
If we request documents from you for an application in progress
- We’ll contact you to request the supporting documents.
- This will happen in the next few months.
- You’ll have 30 days from the date we contact you to submit the information.
- Start collecting your documents.
- Do this before we contact you. It can take time to get certain documents.
- Check the last email we sent you to confirm what you need to submit.
- Don’t travel to another city or country to get the supporting documents.
- We’ll consider extending your deadline if you have a reasonable explanation that shows you’re affected by COVID-19.
If you’re applying for a study permit, you must apply online, whether you’re outside of Canada or already in Canada.
You’re only eligible to apply on paper if you
- have a disability that prevents you from applying online
- hold an identity or travel document for non-national residents, refugees or stateless persons
After you apply
We process your study permit application
We’ll check your application to make sure you have all the necessary documents. If it’s incomplete, we may return your application without processing it, or request the missing documents.
We may also ask you to:
- go to an interview with our officials in your country, or
- send us more information
You may also need to get a:
If you weren’t able to submit all the required documents with your application, you can submit the missing documents through your online account or our web form.
We won’t process your study permit until you’ve submitted a complete application. Waiting to submit documents will cause delays in processing.
Updating your application
If you move or change your address, telephone number or any other contact information after you apply, you must update your application.
If we approve your application
You’ll get your study permit
- at the port of entry when you arrive in Canada or
- mailed to you, if you’re already in Canada
If we refuse your application
We’ll send you a letter explaining why.
We may refuse your application if you didn’t
- show proof that you have enough money to support yourself while studying in Canada
- pass your medical exam, if you needed to get one
- convince the visa officer that your main purpose in Canada is to study or
- convince the visa officer that you’ll leave Canada at the end of your study period
If you have questions about why you were refused, contact the visa office that sent you the refusal letter.