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In Canada, in order for foreign nationals to legally study, they must obtain a study permit. Once a study permit has been obtained by a foreign national and they wish to either renew their study permit to continue their studies or to change their study permit to go to a different designated learning institution, they must properly apply to do so. This is essential especially if the study permit will expire. Additionally, a foreign national must ensure that they do not overstay their authorized visit. Therefore, in this article, I will explain what a study permit entails and how to proceed with renewing or changing your study permit to study and remain in Canada.
A study permit must be obtained prior to arriving in Canada to study. A study permit essentially allows the foreign national student to study in Canada temporarily. It is important to note that a study permit is a requirement set out by the government of Canada in order to assess potential students that wish to come to Canada to study.
In order to renew your study permit in Canada, you must submit a new study permit application before your current study permit expires. It is advisable to do this at least 30 days prior to your study permit expiring to avoid any unexpected delays or complications. Keep in mind, you may submit your new study permit application online to help with processing times. It is important to note that if your study permit has already expired, unfortunately, you will not be able to renew your study permit. If your study permit has expired, you must leave Canada. There are certain circumstances which may allow you to extend your stay in Canada; however, you will not be authorized to continue studying in Canada until you receive a new study permit.
Much like renewing your study permit, in order to extend your study permit in Canada, you must submit an application to extend your stay in Canada as a student. You must also submit this application at least 30 days prior to the expiration of your study permit. Please note that Immigration Canada cannot authorize an extension of your study permit beyond the expiry date listed on your foreign passport. Additionally, if you apply to extend your study permit prior to the expiry of your current study permit, then you will be able to remain in Canada and must maintain the same conditions set out on your initial study permit until you receive a decision on the extension of your study permit.
In order to change a study permit, there are two options that can ensue. The first option is changing the designated learning institution that you are attending and the second option is changing your study permit to another type of permit, such as a work permit. For the first option, if you would like to change the designated learning institution that you are attending, you do not have to apply for a new study permit or change the conditions of your study permit. In fact, the Canadian government permits you to continue using your current study permit so long as it is still valid. This can differ depending on if there is a specific designated learning institution listed on your study permit.
On the other hand, for the second option of changing your study permit to another type of permit, such as a work permit, it is important to recognize that you cannot do any of the activities set out on the original study permit. Specifically, if you have come to Canada on a study permit and are now applying for a work permit, you must stop studying once the study permit has expired. Once the permit has expired, you may not work or study until you receive your work permit. If the work permit application is refused, then you will need to leave Canada.
Once you have submitted your application to renew or extend your study permit, it is important to acknowledge that you will be considered to be on “implied status” until a final decision has been made on your application. In other words, you will still have authorized status in Canada until a decision has been made. Please note you should keep a copy of your original study permit until you receive your new permit. Additionally, it is advisable to keep a copy of any documents proving you have submitted a renewal or extension of your study permit as well.
Another very important fact to consider is that if you unintentionally lose your status in Canada due to incompliance with the conditions set out on your study permit, you may have the option to apply to restore your status in Canada. The restoration period would start the day you lose your status in Canada and you must submit your restoration of status within 90 days or you will permanently lose your status in Canada and will have to exit the country.
If you would like apply to renew, extend or change your study permit but are unsure how to do so, it is important to take all of the aforementioned information into consideration before applying. Study permit applications are difficult to pursue on your own, especially if you are renewing, extending or changing your study permit. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to apply. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients renew, extend and change their study permits. If you believe that you may be eligible to apply, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice.
With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!