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Study Permit


If you want to study in Canada, this is the guide for you. It includes tips on how to get a study permit and how long you can stay in Canada as an international student.


Get a study permit

There are two ways to apply for a study permit:

  • Apply online. If you are eligible and can provide all of the required documents through your application, you can submit your paperwork online at

  • Apply at a visa office. If you cannot provide all of the required documents through your online application, or if there is something missing from your file, you will need to visit a visa office in person and submit all of the requested documentation there (if applicable). You can find out which offices accept applications by visiting

Extend your study permit

If you want to stay in Canada for longer than the end date on your study permit, you need to apply for an extension before it expires. An extension gives you more time to complete your studies and can be applied for at the same time as your study permit. If approved, this means that after completing your studies, you will be able to work in Canada while waiting for a decision on a permanent resident visa application (if required), without having to leave the country and re-apply.

You should also consider applying for an open work permit if:

  • Your educational institution doesn’t offer classes during winter break or summer vacation periods; or

  • You have been given permission by an employer but not by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC); or

  • You have applied for a new course that IRCC hasn’t yet approved (whereas they will only process requests once they get confirmation from their provider).

Work while you study

There are no restrictions on work during your study. You can work on or off campus, full-time or part-time. When you start an off-campus job, you will need a Social Insurance Number (SIN) number from Service Canada.

Your employer may ask for proof that you are allowed to work in Canada and have the right to be in Canada as a student: for example, a letter from the International Student Office confirming your status as a student at UBC Okanagan could be used as proof of your right to work.

You may want to check out some of these resources if you want more information about working while studying:

  • Study Permit: If you are studying on campus, keep this document with your other immigration documents when applying for jobs off campus; it proves that your institution has approved your participation in an academic program leading towards a degree or diploma at another educational institution.* Work Permit: If you receive this document from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), keep it with other immigration papers when applying for jobs off campus.* Proof of Canadian Citizenship (such as Birth Certificate)

Work after you graduate

If you have recently graduated from a Canadian post-secondary program, you can apply for a post-graduation work permit. A valid study permit is required in order to apply for this type of work permit. In addition, you must have a job offer from a Canadian employer and an employer who will provide you with training and mentoring during the duration of your employment.

How long can you stay in Canada

You can stay in Canada as long as you want. You can stay until you finish your program, or after that if you want to continue studying at another institution. Your study permit expires when your school has finished issuing credit for your completed course(s), or earlier if it no longer meets the requirements laid out by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

In most cases this means that a student can be in Canada without needing to renew their status with CIC for up to four years from the time they first arrive in the country. Students should note, however, that these rules are not set in stone—they may vary from one immigration officer to another, so always check with an immigration lawyer before making any assumptions about whether or not it’s possible for you to remain in Canada after completing school there!

Subsection: Know how long to stay in Canada

If you are an international student, it is important that you know how long to stay in Canada. The visa length depends on the program of study that you choose and the country where you live. For example, if you are a citizen of a country other than one of those listed below:

  • China

  • India

  • Iran

  • Iraq

  • Mexico (excluding Baja California)

You have to apply for a study permit for six months. If your course takes less than 6 months then your visitor’s visa will be valid for the same period as your course duration. If not, then the visitor’s visa will expire after six months or when you complete your studies whichever comes first.

To be eligible to study in Canada, you must have been accepted by a designated learning institution (DLI). You must also show that you have enough money to pay for your tuition, living expenses and return transportation for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada. Applicants need a valid passport or travel document. After being approved, applicants receive a Canadian study permit.

To apply for a study permit, you must:

  • Be accepted by a DLI to study at least 6 months of full-time studies (or equivalent).

  • Show that you have enough money to pay for your tuition fees, living expenses and return transportation for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada.

  • Have a valid passport or travel document. To be eligible for a student visa, you need to be enrolled in an educational institution that has been designated by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) as one that meets its standards. These institutions are called Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs). You can use IRCC’s list of DLIs in Alberta on their website:

The Canadian government has made it easier than ever for international students to study in Canada. If you are interested in studying here, contact us today and we’ll help you get started!

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