Applying for Canada Study Permit outside Canada

What is a Study Permit?

A study permit is an official authorization issued by a designated officer, enabling foreign nationals to pursue their education in Canada.

Study Permit Validity and Program Completion

A study permit becomes invalid 90 days after completing the study program. Program completion is confirmed upon receiving a notification from the educational institution.

Study Permit Requirement

In most cases, foreign nationals must obtain a study permit to study in Canada. However, exemptions may apply, such as for family members of accredited foreign representatives or members of designated armed forces.

Activities Exempt from Study Permit

Certain activities, like attending preschool, distance learning programs, or non-academic courses of general interest lasting six months or less, do not require a study permit.

Applying for a Study Permit

Before applying for a study permit, obtain a letter of acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). This letter, issued by the Canadian institution, is crucial for completing the study permit application.

DLI Verification and Quebec-Specific Information

Check if your chosen school is on the Designated Learning Institution List (DLI). For those intending to study in Quebec, an attestation of issuance for the Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) is required.

CAQ Changes for Quebec Study

As of March 15, 2023, the CAQ will be issued as an attestation of issuance in an online file. Paper copies sent before this date remain valid.

Study Permit Requirements

Apart from the acceptance letter, applicants must meet Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) requirements, demonstrate financial support, exhibit good conduct, and fulfill health criteria.

Study Permit Conditions

Study permit holders must stay enrolled at a DLI and make reasonable progress. Conditions may include restrictions on studies, educational institutions, location, and more.

Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) and Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

Certain countries’ citizens may need a TRV or eTA to enter Canada. These are official documents demonstrating compliance with entry requirements and are typically issued alongside the study permit.

Note: Check the official government sources for the most up-to-date information on study permits and related requirements.

Family Member Definitions

  • Spouse: Refers to either person in a legally recognized marriage, irrespective of gender, in the country of occurrence or in Canada. Proxy, telephone, fax, internet, or similar non-physical marriages are not considered valid.
  • Common-law Partner: Describes a person in a committed conjugal relationship, of any gender, living together continuously for at least one year. Evidence of shared residence, financial and emotional support, children, or public representation as a couple is required.
  • Dependent Children: Includes children under 22 without a spouse or common-law partner, or those 22 and older dependent on parents due to a mental or physical condition.

Applying for Family Members

  • Family members must complete individual application forms, but submissions can be made together online or at a Visa Application Centre (VAC) with a single payment receipt.
  • Spouses, common-law partners, and children must meet all temporary residence requirements.

Children’s Education in Canada

  • Children can attend school in Canada and must apply for a study permit simultaneously with the primary applicant. If joining later, they should also apply for a study permit.

Custodianship for Minors

  • Children aged 17 or less require a custodian when studying alone. Custodians must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, residing in Canada and aged 19 or older.
  • Custodianship is not mandatory for minors traveling with one parent or an authorized guardian.

Minors Traveling Alone

  • Minors traveling alone need to provide contact information for a custodian (if applicable), details about the school they will attend, and parental consent, including a notarized custodianship declaration if applicable.
  • Proof of custody and the other parent’s consent are required if the child is subject to a custody order.

Working While Studying

  • International students with a study permit may work on or off-campus based on conditions specified in their permit.
  • Co-op or internship programs are allowed only if integral to the academic or vocational training program, requiring a co-op work permit.

Work Opportunities for Spouses or Common-law Partners

  • Spouses or common-law partners of full-time students at a designated learning institution may apply for an open work permit. Each person must complete their own work permit application.
  • Applications for family members can be submitted together online or at a Visa Application Centre (VAC) with a consolidated payment receipt.

Medical Requirements

  • If your stay in Canada is for six months or less, a medical exam is usually not required.
  • For stays longer than six months, a medical exam is necessary if you have lived temporarily for six months or more in certain countries or territories within the year before your planned entry to Canada. This requirement applies even if your country does not require a visa for entry.
  • A medical exam is mandatory for certain occupations, including health services, work with children, and agricultural occupations in specific countries.
  • You and your family members may need a medical exam to come to Canada, and details can be found in the Medical examination requirements for temporary residents.
  • You can choose to have an upfront medical exam by contacting a Panel Physician, or you can wait until your application is reviewed and medical instructions are provided by the visa office.
  • Upfront medical exams can speed up processing but are at your own cost and do not affect the final decision. Proof of completing the medical exam must be submitted with your application.

Biometric Requirements

  • Biometric information, including fingerprints and a photo, may be required. If applying from within Canada, you must provide biometrics.
  • Biometrics are typically valid for 10 years. If you provided biometrics in a past application and they are still valid, there’s no need to submit them again for the current application.
  • Check the validity of your biometrics using the Check Biometric Status Tool.
  • You can give biometrics after submitting your application, receiving a biometric instruction letter, and paying the necessary fees.
  • If submitting the application in person at a visa application centre (VAC), you may have the option to book an appointment to give biometrics simultaneously.
  • Biometrics must be given at official biometric collection service points, and processing of your application begins after the biometrics are received.Applying for a Study Permit from Abroad