Studying in Canada

More than 130,000 students come to study in Canada every year and even more come to Canada to learn English or French. Foreign students bring a rich culture to our classrooms. Your knowledge and skills are welcome in our schools.

The provinces regulate education and schools in Canada. For more detailed information on living and studying in a specific province or territory, contact the school where you wish to study.

Study permits:

To study in Canada, you may need a study permit or a temporary resident visa, though not everyone must have these documents.

Before you apply:

Before you can apply for a study permit, you must have been accepted at a recognized school, university or college in Canada.

Who can apply:

In most cases, you must obtain a study permit if you want to study in Canada.

To be eligible to study in Canada

Exceptions

In some cases, you do not require a study permit to go to school in Canada.

How to apply:

Did you know that you can now apply for your study permit online?

There are 10 steps to apply for a study permit:

  1. Check the application processing times.
  2. Obtain and print the application.
  3. Determine where you will submit your application.
  4. Collect the documents you need to apply.
  5. If studying in Quebec, check the provincial guidelines.
  6. Complete your application for a study permit.
  7. Pay the correct processing fee.
  8. Check your application.
  9. Submit the application form.
  10. Supply additional information or documents.

1. Check the application processing times. This will give you an idea of how long it will take to process your application.

2. Obtain and print the application package.
The package includes the application guide and all the forms you need to fill out. Download and print the application package.

Depending on your citizenship or where you live, you may need a temporary resident visa as well as a study permit.  If you are from one of the designated countries, a visa officer will process your application for a temporary resident visa at the same time. You do not need a separate application.

3. Determine where you will submit your application.
You must submit your application to the visa office that is responsible for the country , region where you live or any country you wish to through courier..

4. Collect the documents you need to apply.
You can find a list of the documents you will need to apply for a study permit in the Related Links section at the bottom of this page. You can find information on fees and other local requirements on the website of the visa office serving your country or region.

5. If studying in Quebec, check the provincial guidelines.
This step only applies if you want to study in the province of Quebec. If you apply to study in Quebec, you need a certificate of acceptance or CAQ. Your school can also provide you with information about applying to study in Quebec. You must have received the certificate of acceptance before you apply for a study permit.

6. Complete your application for a study permit.
Fill in the forms carefully and completely.

7. Pay the correct processing fee.
There is a fee to apply for a study permit. For information about current rates of  visa  application fees. In many countries, the processing fee can be paid in the local currency or in C$. You should check with  the Canadian visa office serving the country, country u wish to apply or region where you live for additional information on fees, including how to pay them. The processing fee will not be refunded, even if your application is not accepted.

8. Check your application.
Make sure your application is complete and that you include the necessary documents. Use the document checklist that is included in the application kit. Consult the Canadian visa office serving the country you wish to apply from or region where you live to determine if you need to fill out any additional forms or provide any additional documents.

9. Submit the application form.
Sign and date the application form, and be sure you include the receipt for the processing fee. Submit the application form to the Canadian visa office that serves the country or region where you live.

9. Submit the application form.
Sign and date the application form, and be sure you include the receipt for the processing fee. Submit the application form to the Canadian visa office that serves the country or region where you live.

If you are from the United States, Saint-Pierre et Miquelon or Greenland, you can apply at the point of entry when you arrive in Canada.

10. Supply additional information or documents.
After the visa office receives your application, it might request more information or documents.

After applying:

The status of your application

Processing times vary depending on the Canadian visa office where you submitted your application. You can check processing times in the I Need To… section on the right-hand side of this page.

The visa office will review your application to make sure you have completed it correctly and have included all the required documents. If your application is incomplete, it will not be processed—it will be returned to you.

If your application is complete, the visa office will review it and decide if an interview is necessary. If so, the officer will inform you of the time and place.

Change of address

If you move or change your address, telephone number or any other contact information after you submit your application, you must notify the visa office where you submitted your application.

If your application is approved

If your application is approved, you will receive the following:

If your application is not approved

If your application is not approved, the visa office will send you a letter explaining why your application has been refused. An application might be refused for several reasons:

If you have questions about your refusal, contact the visa office that issued the refusal letter.

Arriving

When you arrive in Canada, you will be met by an officer from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) at a point of entry, such as an airport. The CBSA is responsible for border and point of entry activities in Canada. You can find more information about the CBSA in the Related Links section at the bottom of this page.

The documents you need to enter Canada

The CBSA officer will ask to see your travel documents when you arrive in Canada. Make sure they are not packed in your luggage, and that you have them with you. This will help speed up your entry to Canada.

You should be ready to show the following documents:

Carry these items and all other valuable papers, cash and traveller’s cheques with you at all times. Do not put them in your checked luggage.

You may not be allowed into Canada if any of your documents are missing or if any of the information on your application or letters of reference is incorrect.

Possession of these documents does not guarantee entry. All persons must establish that they meet all the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations before being authorized to enter or re-enter Canada.

If there are no problems at the point of entry, the officer will let you enter Canada and will issue your study permit. You should:

Citizens or residents of the United States, Saint-Pierre et Miquelon and Greenland

Citizens and permanent residents of the United States, Saint-Pierre et Miquelon and Greenland do not need a passport or a temporary resident visa to enter or return to Canada. However, you must provide proof of citizenship or permanent residence, such as a national identity card or an alien registration card.

Disclosure of funds

If you arrive in Canada with more than C$10,000, you must disclose this information to the CBSA officer. If you do not disclose this information, you could be fined or put in prison. These funds could be in the form of:

What you can bring into Canada

You can find customs and border information on the CBSA website. See the Related Links section at the bottom of this page.

Understanding the terms and conditions of your study permit

The conditions listed on your permit tell you:

If you wish to change any of the terms and conditions on your study permit, you must submit a completed Application to Change Conditions or Extend Your Stay in Canada. The application can be found in the Related Links section at the bottom of this page.

If you are a post-secondary student with a valid study permit, you do not need to submit an application if you want to change your program of study or the institution where you are studying.

It is an offence under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act if you do not comply with the conditions imposed on you when your entry into Canada was authorized, or when your study permit was issued.

You may voluntarily leave Canada, or you may be subject to an admissibility determination or hearing. This could lead to your removal from Canada. You will lose your temporary resident status and any permit you have, if you break any of the conditions of your stay.

Leaving and coming back to Canada

If you leave Canada and want to return, you must have:

Note: If you are a citizen of a designated country and you travel to a country other than the United States, Greenland or Saint-Pierre et Miquelon, you need a multiple-entry visa to re-enter Canada. If your temporary resident visa has expired, or if your visa was only valid for a single entry, you will have to re-apply for a temporary resident visa at a Canadian visa office outside Canada if you want to re-enter Canada.

Health insurance

The Government of Canada does not pay for the medical costs of foreign students. Health coverage for foreign students varies among the provinces. Contact the school to which you are applying to receive more information about medical coverage and health insurance.