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Study Permit

Foreign Nationals who wish to study in Canada must obtain a written authorization- a study permit -issued by an officer allowing them to undertake a program of study that is for more than six months in duration at a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada. Once you obtain a letter of acceptance from a designated learning institution such as a university or college, you need to submit an application to IRCC to obtain a study permit. 

Designated Learning  Institution (DLI)

DLI is a post-secondary institution that is confirmed by the institution's provincial or territorial ministry of education to meet minimum IRCC standards: Each DLI is issued a DLI number. When applying to study in Canada, a foreign national must verify that the post-secondary institution has been designated as  DLI. In approving a study permit, a visa officer will verify that the applicant's college or university has a valid DLI number. The DLI is required to report international students' continued enrollment and academic status to IRCC. All primary and secondary schools in Canada are automatically designated and therefore do not appear don't eh DLI list. Applicants for primary and secondary schools do not need a DLI number on their application form, but they do require a letter of acceptance from the education institution.

Letter of Acceptance

A letter from the institution confirming enrollment must be included in the application for a study permit. The following information should be included in the letter:

  • the full name, date of birth, and mailing address of the student;

  • the name of the institution and official contact;

  • the institutions' DLI number;

  • the telephone, fax, website, and email information for the institution;

  • the type of school or institution (e,g. private or public, or, if the institution is publicly funded but not a university, whether the institution is a post-secondary college, post-secondary community college, or post-secondary technical college);

  • the field or program of study, level, and year of study into which the student was accepted;

  • the estimated duration or date of completion of the course;

  • the date on which the selected course of study begins;

  • the last date on which a student may register for a selected course;

  • the academic year of study that the student will be entering;

  • whether the course or program of study is full-time or part-time;

  • the tuition fee;

  • scholarships and other financial aid (if applicable);

  • an expiry date indicating the date until which the letter of acceptance is valid;

  • any conditions related to the acceptance or registration, such as academic prerequisites, completion of a previous degree, proof of language competence, etc.;

  • clear identification of the educational institution normally confirmed through its letterhead;

  • for study in Quebec, the requirement of a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ); and

  • where applicable, licensing information for private institutions is normally confirmed through letterhead.

Application Process Outside Canada

  • Letter of acceptance to study at a DLI

  • Complete application with supporting documentation includes a letter of explanation

  • Outside Canada: submit application online or to a VAC to obtain TRV or eTA

  • Outside Canada: Visa officer assessment interview at the discretion of officer 

  • Biometrics 

  • Medical exam

  • Application accepted: Visa officer issues letter of introduction or Rejected: letter of refusal

  • Show letter of introduction at POE study permit issued 

  • Comply with conditions

Study Permit Exemptions

Study Permit Renewal

If you want to keep studying

You need to extend your study permit. To extend your study permit, you need to know:

If you want to stay in Canada but you’re no longer studying

You have a few options—you can

If your study permit expires and you haven’t applied for an extension, you must leave Canada.

Work for Foreign Students

  • On-Campus Work: No Permit

  • Off-Campus Work: No Permit for a work maximum of 20 hours per week during their regular academic sessions, and may work full-time during scheduled breaks as long as they have full-time status (e.g., winter/summer holidays, reading week), as well as during the transition period to a post-graduation work (PGW) permit. 

  • Students may work on campus in addition to working a maximum of 20 hours per week off-campus.

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