A study permit is a written authorization issued by an officer allowing foreign nationals to study in Canada at designated learning institution (DLI). A foreign national must obtain a study permit in order to study in Canada.
Before applying for a study permit at a Canadian visa office, you must first get a letter of acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI).The letter must be issued by the Canadian institution (e.g. school district, University, etc.) on official letterhead, show the exact amount of tuition fees you are required to pay, the anticipated starting and finishing dates and the date by which you need to register. Once you have your acceptance letter, you can complete and submit an application for a study permit.
Requirements for study permit
In addition to providing an acceptance letter from a DLI, you must demonstrate to the officer that you:
- meet the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, including leaving Canada at the end of your studies;
- have satisfactory proof of financial support for the duration of your studies in Canada (don’t need to show more than one year of financial support if a multi-year program)
- are law-abiding and have no record of criminal activity (you may be asked to provide a Police Clearance Certificate);
- have sufficient ties to your home country to return at the conclusion of our studies
As a study permit holder, you must remain enrolled at a DLI and make reasonable and timely progress towards completing your program. Failing to do so may lead to your removal from Canada. For post-secondary study permit holders, the DLI will report your continued academic enrolment and status to us.
Family member definitions
Your family members include your spouse or common-law partner, your dependent children and any children that are their dependent children may join you in Canada while you are in a study permit.
Your spouse or common-law partner meet all of the requirements for temporary residence in Canada and is eligible for an open work permit.
Your children may attend school in Canada. You must apply for their study permit at the same time as your own. If they intend to join you at a later date, they must also apply for a study permit before coming to Canada.
Working in Canada while on a study permit
Yes, as an international student, you may work under any Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s work programs for students, if you meet certain eligibility requirements.
As long as you have a valid study permit and are a full-time student enrolled at a post-secondary DLI (university, community college, collège d'enseignement général et professionnel (CEGEP), publicly funded trade or technical school, or private institutions authorized by provincial statute to confer degrees) you may work on campus. The employer may be either the school or a private contractor operating on campus.
You are allowed to work off campus without a work permit for up to 20 hours a week during a regular academic session and full-time during regularly scheduled breaks, provided that:
International students may work as part of a co-op program only if work is an essential part of an academic, professional or vocational training program offered by a DLI. To be able to work, you will need a co-op work permit.