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What you need to know about Study Permit


Few places in the world can offer what Canada can! Canada is a country booming with opportunities, a welcoming and safe place with a high standard of living. Recognized world-wide for its outstanding quality of education, it’s no wonder why Canada has become so attractive for international students looking to study. To learn about the process of making the right education choice for your future as an international student studying in Canada, continue reading below.

What is a study Permit?

A study permit allows you to study at a designated learning institution within Canada if you are a foreign national. The Study permit sets out restrictions for the student such as: whether their travel within Canada is restricted and when they have to leave.

 Important note

- a study permit is not a visa so it does not (alone) let you enter Canada. You may need to apply for a visitor visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTA) depending on your country of Citizenship. In most cases your Visa or eTA will be issued at time of study permit issued.

Eligibility requirements

You can apply to study in Canada if you:

  • are enrolled and have proof of acceptance at a designated learning institution (DLI)
  • prove you have enough money to cover the length of stay including
    • tuition fees
    • living expenses
    • return transportation
  • have a clean criminal record, not be a threat to Canadian security/safety and get a police certificate (if required)
  • are in good health and get medical exam(if required)
  • are able to prove to an officer that you will leave Canada on/before the expiration date on your study permit

Important Documents to obtain a study permit:

  • Valid visa or an eTA depending on country of citizenship
  • Letter of acceptance to a designated learning institution
  • Ties to home country
  • Financial documents
  • ID documents
  • Letter of explanation (study plan)
  • Custodian declaration (minors only)

What is a Designated Learning Institution?

A designated learning institution is a school that is approved by a provincial or territorial government to host international students. If you plan to study in Canada, it is important to make sure the school is a DLI before you apply. The DLI is continuously changing, it is important that during your time in Canada that you monitor to make sure your school is still on the list.

Who does not need a study permit

While most international students need study permits to study in Canada, there are a few exemptions. See below for a list

  • Short Term Studies- if the course is 6 months or less
  • Minor children-they’re refugees or refugee claimants or children of, in kindergarten, in secondary school or previous with a parent on a work or study permit
  • Registered Indians in Canada- must have registered Indian Status
  • Member of foreign armed forces on official duty in Canada

Things the immigration officer looks for?

  • The program you have selected to study
  • Why you have chosen this program
  • Why you cannot take this program at your home country
  • How will this program help you advance in your home country

Get a study permit

Documents needed to apply for a study permit:

  • Letter of acceptance to a designated learning institute
  • Proof of identity- valid passport/ travel documents, 2 recent passport pictures
  • Proof of finances- must prove you can support yourself (and family) while in Canada

How to apply

Generally, you must apply for a study permit before you come to Canada. Some people can apply for a study permit from within Canada. In some cases, you can apply when you arrive in Canada at the port of entry. Make sure you understand which option is available to you.

Get a study permit faster:

Depending on where you live, you may be able to get your study permit faster through the Student Direct Stream (SDS).

Countries eligible for Student Direct Stream:

  • China
  • India
  • Morocco
  • Pakistan
  • the Philippines
  • Senegal
  • Vietnam

Can you work on a study permit?

As long as the study remains enrolled in school full time, maintains a valid study permit, they are entitled to work up to 20 hours/week on a part time basis during the semester and on a full time basis during scheduled school holidays.  Also required to work in Canada on a study permit is a valid SIN (Social Insurance Number).

Can I travel while on a study permit?

Many students choose to return home for scheduled breaks, (Christmas/winter, reading week, summer etc). You must be able to show proof that you are enrolled in school when you make you return to Canada. Also your visa and/or ETA must be valid.

Can I extend my study permit?

The expiry date is located on top right corner of the permit. This date is usually the length of your study program plus an additional 90 days. The extra 90 days is to give you time apply to extend your stay or in preparation to leave.

If you are looking to extend your study permit, you should apply at least 30 days before the expiration date. As long as you apply before it expires, you can stay in Canada until a decision is made.

Once your studies are completed, graduates are encouraged to obtain experience in the Canadian work force.  After graduation, some apply for the post- graduation work permit, which is a 3 year work permit.

Akrami and Associates

If you have received an acceptance letter from a designated learning institution in Canada and not sure what steps to take then contact Akrami & Associates at 416-477-2545 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Akrami & Associates has submitted many successful study permit applications and we can help you too.

With Akrami & Associates there is always a way!!

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