Topics Included in this Section:
What is a Study Permit?
A Study Permit is a document issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada that allows someone who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada to study in Canada.
Who Needs a Study Permit?
Most international students in long-term programs will need a Study Permit issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada before coming to Canada. Generally, if your course or program of study is longer than six months in duration, you must obtain a Study Permit before coming to Canada.
Can I Study Without a Study Permit?
In some cases, a Study Permit is not required. If your entire program of study is six months or less in duration and you can complete the entire course or program within the period authorized for your stay in Canada, you may study in Canada as a visitor without a Study Permit.
There are benefits to having a Study Permit even if you do not require one.
If you have a valid Study Permit, you can work on the campus at which you are registered as a full-time student and you can apply to renew your Study Permit from inside Canada if you decide to continue your studies in Canada.
If you study for six months or less as a visitor without a Study Permit you CAN NOT work on campus during your studies unless you have a Work Permit and you must apply for a Study Permit from OUTSIDE of Canada if you decide to continue your studies in Canada.
For these reasons, Citizenship and Immigration Canada recommends that you consider obtaining a Study Permit before you come to Canada even if it is not required in your situation.
It can take several months to obtain your initial Study Permit. Apply for your Study Permit as soon as you receive your Certificate of Acceptance / Letter of Acceptance from the University of Manitoba.
Your application should be submitted to the visa office in the Canadian embassy, high commission, or consulate responsible for your country of citizenship, your country of residence, or the country where you have been legally admitted and are physically present. Some applications may be submitted electronically. To determine if you are eligible to submit your Study Permit application electronically, visit the Online Services page on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website (http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/e-services/index.asp).
A personal interview with a visa officer and/or a medical examination may be required. The Canadian visa office will provide you with a list of approved medical examiners if a medical exam is required.
To get an idea of how long it could take to process your Study Permit application, visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada web site and click on the “Check Application Processing Times” link on the right-hand menu.
Where Can I Get a Study Permit Application Kit and Instructions?
To obtain a Study Permit application kit and detailed application instructions, visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada web site (http://www.cic.gc.ca/) or contact the visa office in the Canadian embassy, high commission, or consulate responsible for your country of citizenship, your country of residence, or the country where you have been legally admitted and are physically present. To locate your nearest visa office, visit the following page on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada web site: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/offices/missions.asp.
Documents You Will Need
The Canadian consulate, embassy, or high commission to which you submit your application will provide you with detailed instructions and a list of documents that you will need to apply for a Study Permit. Generally, in addition to the required application forms, you will also need such documents as:
If you are asked to pay your tuition in advance, please contact the ICS office to make the necessary arrangements.
If Your Study Permit Application Is Approved
If your Study Permit application is approved, you will receive a letter of introduction from the visa office confirming the approval. THE LETTER OF INTRODUCTION IS NOT YOUR STUDY PERMIT.
To receive the Study Permit, you must show the letter of introduction to Canadian immigration officials at your Port of Entry into Canada.
NOTE: If you are a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S.A., Greenland, or St. Pierre and Miquelon, you can apply for and receive your Study Permit at a Canadian Port of Entry instead of applying for one in advance at a Canadian embassy, high commission, or consulate.
Read Your Study Permit Carefully
It is your responsibility to understand and comply with immigration regulations while you are in Canada. When your Study Permit is issued at your Port of Entry into Canada, be sure to read it carefully and ask the immigration officer to explain anything you do not understand. Although you will probably be tired from your trip to Canada, it is important to take the time to ensure you understand all of the information listed on your Study Permit.
EXTENDING OR CHANGING YOUR STUDY PERMIT DURING YOUR STUDIES
Once you receive your Study Permit, make a note of the “valid until” date and the “conditions”.
Extending your Study Permit:
If your Study Permit will expire before you will complete your academic program, you will need to extend/renew your Study Permit. Do not let your Study Permit expire.
You may apply to renew your Study Permit as early as 90 days before it expires. Citizenship and Immigration Canada advises students to apply for Study Permit renewals at least 30 days before their current permit expires.
To renew your Study Permit, you will need to complete an 'Application to Change Conditions or Extend Your Stay in Canada (IMM 1249)'. The application and all required supporting documents should be mailed to the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville, Alberta. Application kits and detailed instructions are available on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada web site at: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/applications/extend-student.asp. Application forms are also available at the ICS office. Alternately, students can submit an application to extend their Study Permit electronically. Information about the electronic Study Permit extension process can be found at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/e-services/index.asp.
Study Permit renewal times vary throughout the year. Citizenship and Immigration Canada posts the current processing times for all permits processed within Canada on their web site. To find out the current processing times, visit: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/times/temp.asp.
What Happens If My Study Permit Renewal Is Not Processed Before My Current Study Permit Expires?
If you apply to renew your Study Permit before it expires, but Immigration does not finish processing your application before the expiry date, you may continue to study until your application is processed and a decision is reached by the Case Processing Centre.
Students in this situation have implied status. Implied status allows you to continue studying according to the conditions of your expired Study Permit while you are waiting for your Study Permit renewal to be processed. To qualify for implied status, you must have sent a complete application for a Study Permit renewal to the Case Processing Centre before your current Study Permit expired.
Students using the paper-based application option are encouraged to send their Study Permit renewal applications to the Case Processing Centre by XpressPost so that they can confirm the date the application was delivered. XpressPost is a service offered through Canada Post and is available at most Canada Post outlets. Do not lose your XpressPost tracking number. You may need it to prove that your application was delivered to the Case Processing Centre before your current Study Permit expired.
Changing the Conditions Listed on Your Study Permit:
The “conditions” listed on your Study Permit indicate what restrictions have been placed on your study in Canada, whether you must take a medical examination or provide evidence of compliance for certain conditions, whether you may work on-campus, etc.
If you want to change the “conditions” listed on your Study Permit, you must send a completed 'Application to Change Conditions or Extend Your Stay in Canada (IMM 1249)' to the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville, Alberta. You must comply with the conditions listed on your current Study Permit until the new Study Permit is issued.
Important Information for Students Changing Schools or Programs Within Canada:
If you have a Study Permit that authorizes study at the post-secondary level (i.e., after the level of high school), you may transfer between post-secondary institutions and post-secondary programs of study without applying for a change to the conditions of your Study Permit. This policy applies to both public and private post-secondary institutions.
Note: This policy does NOT apply to students in kindergarten to grade 12 programming. Students moving from grade 12 to the University of Manitoba, for example, must apply for and receive a new Study Permit authorizing study at the post-secondary level before starting classes at the University of Manitoba.
If you are changing institutions and you are not sure whether or not changes to your Study Permit are required, contact the CIC Call Centre at 1-888-242-2100.
If you have questions about applying for your initial Study Permit or about renewing or changing the conditions listed on your Study Permit, contact an International Student Advisor at the ICS office for guidance.
Need More Information?
Contact an ICS International Student Advisor:
Ph: (204) 474-6896
Ph: (204) 474-8503
Visit the Citizenship & Immigration Canada website: