Application for Study Permit

Application before entry
In order to study in Canada, a student shall apply for a study permit before entering Canada, but under some cases students may apply for a study permit when entering Canada if they are:
a) a national or a permanent resident of the United States;
b) a person who has been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence
c)  a resident of Greenland or  St. Pierre and Miquelon

Application after entry
A student may apply for a study permit after entering Canada if they
a) hold a study permit;
b) hold a work permit;
c) are subject to an unenforceable removal order
d)  hold a temporary resident permit issued  that is valid for at least six months;
e)are a temporary resident who
(i) is studying at the preschool, primary or secondary level,
(ii)  s a visiting or exchange student who is studying at a designated learning institution, or
(iii) has completed a course or program of study that is a prerequisite to their enrolling at a designated learning institution.

Study permit for Family members
A family member of a foreign national may apply for a study permit after entering Canada if the foreign national resides in Canada and the foreign national
(a) has work permit or study permit
(b) Holds a Temporary resident Permit which is valid for at least six months.
(c)  is subject to an unenforceable removal order


The first and most important step in your process of applying for s Canadian study permit is your selection of your school and course. Canada is home to many of the world’s top educational institutions

The first step is to select a type of study program. For example, the following questions will help narrow down your choices:

  • Do I want to obtain a degree? What type of degree?
  • How will my studies enhance or change my career?
  • How can use my education as a stepping stone for Canadian permanent residence?
  • How much time and money will my program cost me ?

It is important to choose a program that will help you achieve both your short- and long-term goals.

After deciding your program of study, the next step is to research schools that teach your program and appeal to you. Some factors to take into account are:

  • Tuition costs
  • Location
  • Cost of living while at school
  • Teacher-student ratio
  • Student organizations
  • School support for international students

The final step of preparing your application for  a Canadian study program is a crucial step in the path of  becoming an international student in Canada. While the exact admission requirements and procedures vary from school to school, the following factors should all be taken into consideration when preparing an application. It is important to note that prospective students wishing to study in Canada must first apply to a study program at a Designated Learning Institution.

Language Criteria :-

To qualify for an academic program, most English-speaking schools may ask students for whom English is not a first language to either pass an English examination test, such as Teaching of English as a Foreign Language test (TOEFL), the International English Language Testing System ( IELTS ) or the Canadian Academic English Language test (CAEL), or enroll in their own language program, or at an ESL partner school. French-speaking institutions may ask for a recognized French test, or the institution may have its own language assessment methods.

Entrance Criteria :-

There is no Canada-wide entrance test for post-secondary study programs. Each institution sets its own admission standards and assesses the qualifications of each applicant individually. It is important that an applicant verifies that he or she meets the admission requirements of an intended study program before submitting an application.

Application Dates and Calendar deadlines :-

Application date deadlines vary from school to school, with some schools accepting applications only at certain points during the year. After an application is submitted, it may take four to six months to receive a decision from a school. It is important to apply to a program well ahead of the intended start date, in order to ensure the applicant has enough time to obtain a Study Permit and travel to Canada before the study program begins. This process can take between eight and 15 weeks. It is a good idea to begin gathering the necessary documents and information approximately one year in advance.The academic year usually runs from September to May. Some schools are on a semester or trimester system, with all courses available even in the summer. Other institutions may offer a more limited course selection and timetable during summer months, and it is often optional to enroll in summer courses. Some programs also have a January intake.

Government Recognized Institutions :-

In Canada the provincial and territorial governments are in charge of education. Through provincial legislation, colleges are regulated and designated, and universities are given the right to grant degrees. International students are required to pursue studies at a DLI; this status is regulated by the province in which the institution is located. Before applying to an institution, prospective international students should verify that the desired institution is a DLI.

Applying for Admission:-

After the student has selected a Canadian university or college, he or she may apply for admission.Many institutions receive applications electronically online. In general, an applicant may receive a decision on an application within four to six months after the application deadline. Successful applicants will receive a Letter of Acceptance from the school/colleg, which may be used in the application for getting a Canadian study permit. Getting the Letter of Acceptance from a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI) is the first step in the application for a Canadian study permit.

The Letter of Acceptance is mandatory in the application for a Canada study permit.  For the purposes of a study permit application, all the following information is usually required in the Letter of Acceptance:

  • The student’s full name, date of birth, and mailing address;
  • The name of the institution, student’s ID number and the name of the official contact person;
  • The contact information of the institution;
  • If the DLI is a private institution, the licensing information for the institution should be clearly stated (usually in the institution’s letterhead);
  • The DLI number;
  • The type of school or institution .
  • The study program, level, and year of study into which the student is accepted;
  • The estimated duration of the study program.
  • The start date of the study program;
  • The latest date by which a student may register for the study program;
  • Whether the study program is full-time or part-time;
  • The estimated tuition fees for the first year of stud .
  • The details of a required internship or work placement, if any
  • The expiry date of the Letter of Acceptance*;
  • Conditions of acceptance to the DLI with any restrictions if stated.

*The Letter of Acceptance is required to state a date of expiry. If processing of the study permit application has not been completed before the expiry date of the Letter of Acceptance, an extension letter may be requested from the institution and submitted to IRCC to support the study permit application.

It is important to note that a Letter of Acceptance from a DLI is not a guarantee that the study permit application will be approved. It is at the discretion of IRCC to approve an application for a study permit.

Exemptions from the Requirement for a Letter of Acceptance

In some specific cases certain students may be exempt from the requirement for a Letter of Acceptance.

  • If a foreign national receives written approval for a temporary work or study permit before entering Canada, his or her family members may apply for a study permit without a Letter of Acceptance.
  • Potential students who wish to pursue a study program of six months or less in duration do not need to obtain a Letter of Acceptance, because they do not require a study permit.

Conditional Letter of Acceptance

Sometimes a conditional  Letter of Acceptance may be issued to a potential student stating that the offer of a place in a study program is conditional on the student first completing a prerequisite course or study program. For example, a potential student may be required to complete an English as a Second Language (ESL) or French as a Second Language (FRSL) course before pursuing the more advanced study program. In these situations, a study permit is issued for the duration of the prerequisite program only. After successfully completing the prerequisite, a student may apply for another study permit for the next study program.