Skip to main content

The Centre for International Experience is currently closed for in-person activity until further notice. All programs and appointments are continuing remotely.

Navi Mental Health Wayfinder

Apply for Your Study Permit

Most study permit applications must follow the outside Canada application process (even if the applicant is already in Canada). The in-Canada application process is available to if you are in Canada with a study permit or work permit, or you are a dependant of someone in Canada with a study permit or work permit. 

A study permit is not a travel document and does not authorize entry or re-entry into Canada on its own. You may also require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).  

Find more information about the TRV and eTA

Where To Apply

When to Apply

As soon as you have the letter of acceptance and all other required documents.

Generally, you must apply for a study permit before you come to Canada. There are very few exceptions when students can apply from within Canada or upon arrival.

Check the estimated study permit application processing time for the country where you are submitting your application.

How to Apply

Online application.

important to know

If you already have a study or work permit and are applying from within Canada, there are additional instructions. 

If you already have a study or work permit and are applying from outside Canada, you must adjust your answers on the online eligibility questionnaire: 

  • Select “Study” as “What you would like to do in Canada”. 
  • Answer the rest of the questions as though you are applying for a study permit. 
  • Select “Study Permit” when given the option. 
  • When you continue, the first question should be “Do you have a valid work permit or study permit, and need a visa to return to Canada?” 

Answering “Yes” will result in you accessing the TRV application form and checklist.

video player icon

Watch our guide on Part 1: How to Apply for a Study Permit Outside Canada (43 min) (Requires logging-in with UTORid)

video player icon

Watch our guide on Part 2: How to Complete the Outside of Canada Study Permit Application (53 min) (Requires logging-in with UTORid)

Standard required documents

Important: If you’re applying online, check your personal checklist (generated based on your answers in the online eligibility questionnaire) for these and any other required documents. We also recommend that you check the country-specific application requirements provided by IRCC for additional documents that may be required or recommended. 

  • Application for Study Permit Made Outside of Canada (IMM1294)
  • Letter of acceptance (for new students)
  • Confirmation of enrollment (for current students)
  • Proof of means of financial support
  • Copies from your passport or travel document
  • Passport-style photograph
  • $150 CAD processing fee
  • Biometrics (if you have not provided them to IRCC for a previous application in the past 10 years).

You may need other documents, including (but not limited to):

  • immigration medical exam results (see below);
  • a co-op letter (if a work placement is a requirement of your program of study);
  • a letter of explanation including your study plan; and proof of ties to your country of citizenship; and,
  • those applying through the Student Direct Stream (SDS) will have additional requirements (see below).

 This, and other additional documents can be uploaded in the “Client Information” field of the Optional Documents section.

Medical Examination

You must have an immigration medical exam if you have been in a ‘designated’ country for at least 6 of the past 12 months. You will also require one if you have a required work placement in which you are planning to work with children, or patients in the health services field.

IRCC provides details about who requires immigration medical exams, who can offer them, and more.

If you require one, you can book the appointment before submitting your application, or you can do so once requested by IRCC. It is usually a good idea to do so in advance. This is called an upfront medical exam and is mandatory if applying through the Student Direct Stream (see below).

If you had an immigration medical exam within the 12 months prior to applying for your study permit, attach proof (i.e. a copy of your medical receipt). Failure to do so may result in processing delays or the rejection of your application.

Student Direct Stream (SDS)

The Student Direct Stream (SDS) is available to legal residents of Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, The Philippines, Senegal, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, or Vietnam. The SDS aims to process applications within 20 calendar days but has additional application requirements. Applicants in participating countries can choose the SDS if they meet the requirements, or they can apply through the regular study permit application process discussed above.

Required documents

IRCC outlines required documents based on the country from which you are applying, but they generally include:

Tips for applying for a study permit through the Student Direct Stream (SDS)

  • Immigration medical exams must be completed before application is submitted.
  • Details about pre-paying tuition and other fees are available through the Student Accounts office.
  • Applying through this stream does not guarantee approval.
After submitting your application

You may need to complete an immigration medical exam before your application can be finalized (if you have not already done so).

If you are required to provide biometrics, you’ll get a Biometric Instruction Letter after submitting your application and paying the $85 CAD biometric collection fee. The letter can be used to book a biometric appointment at any Visa Application Centre (VAC) or Application Service Centre (ASC).

Immigration officers may ask you for additional documentation to make a decision about your application.

If you need to notify IRCC about a change, or ask about the status of your application, you can use their web form.

If your study permit is approved

If your application is approved, the visa office serving the country where you submitted your application will issue you an approval letter, known as a Port of Entry Letter of Introduction, and a visa or an eTA (if applicable). Do not book travel to Canada until you’ve received your Letter of Introduction. Present the letter to the border officer when you enter Canada to get the hard copy of your study permit.

If you require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV, also known as an entry or visitor visa), you will be asked to submit your passport so that the visa officer can affix the visa. You do not need to make a separate application.

If you require an electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), you don’t have to submit your passport. An eTA will be issued electronically and associated with your passport number. Your eTA number and expiry date will be included in the Letter of Introduction.

Find more information about entering Canada.

If you are in Canada with a study permit or work permit, or you are a dependent of someone in Canada with a study permit or work permit, you can apply within Canada. Exchange and visiting students that extend their studies beyond 6 months may also be eligible, even if they don’t have an initial study permit.

If you don’t fit these categories, your application will need to be processed outside Canada (even if you’re already in Canada).

When to Apply

If you do not yet have a study permit, apply as soon as you have the offer of admission and all required documents. This is because you will need the study permit to begin studying.

If you already have a study permit, you should usually apply far enough in advance that your application will be processed before your current permit expires. Usually, applying 2-3 months in advance is enough. If your application is submitted, but not processed, before your current permit expires, you can remain in Canada under maintained status

Check the estimated in-Canada study permit extension processing times.

How to Apply

Online application.

Tips

  • Start by reviewing IRCC’s instruction guide for this application.
  • Biometrics (digital fingerprints and photos) are required for most applicants at least once every 10 years. The pandemic has resulted in the closure of Service Canada and Passport Canada offices that collect them. Due to the closures, those that are in Canada and would normally need to submit biometrics are currently exempt.
  • Review the additional resources and recordings found on this page. 

video player icon

Watch our guide on Part 1: How to Apply for a Study Permit Outside Canada (43 min) (Requires logging-in with UTORid)

video player icon

Watch our guide on Part 2: How to Complete the Outside of Canada Study Permit Application (53 min) (Requires logging-in with UTORid)

Standard required documents

Important: Your answers on the online eligibility questionnaire determine which documents you must submit. These are standard requirements, but be prepared to provide other documents if requested by IRCC.

  • Application to Change Conditions, Extend my Stay or Remain in Canada as a Student (IMM5709)
  • Confirmation of enrollment  (current students)
  • Letter of acceptance (admitted students)
  • Proof of means of financial support
  • Copies from your passport or travel document, including the biographical page and all pages with visas, stamps or markings
  • Passport-style photograph
  • $150 CAD processing fee
  • Biometrics (if you have not provided them to IRCC for a previous application in the past 10 years).
  • You may need other documents, including (but not limited to) immigration medical exam results.

After submitting your application

If you are not an American citizen and have not provided biometrics as part of a Canadian immigration application in the past 10 years, you would normally be required to do so. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an exemption to this requirement for those that apply from within Canada. If you paid the biometric fee as part of your application process, a Biometric Instruction Letter will be issued, but you are not required to book an appointment. In this case, the fee will be refunded to you after your application is finalized.

If your study permit is approved

IRCC will notify you through your IRCC account that the application was approved. The study permit will be mailed to the Canadian mailing address provided in the application. This process could take as long as 6 weeks.

Important note on applying for SP inside Canada

Unlike with an application made outside Canada, if your citizenship requires you to have a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to be able to enter Canada, you’ll need to make a separate application if you want to request one. This should only be done after the study permit is approved. For more information, consult our pages on Entry visa and eTA.

Register for a live Question and Answer session (Requires logging-in with JOINid/UTORid)

FAQ

If you applied through the in-Canada application process, from within Canada you can remain in Canada under maintained status. 

If you are outside Canada, your existing study permit may expire.  

If you are in Canada, you can contact IRCC through their in-Canada call centre (1-888-242-2100) or through their web form. 

If you are outside Canada, you can contact IRCC through their web form. 

Each section will only allow one file to be uploaded. You will need to use software to merge the documents into a single file that is an acceptable format (ie. PDF) and fits within the file size limits. 

IRCC provides instructions for doing so in their Help Centre. 

Every refusal is accompanied by a letter that gives some information about the reason for the decision. If you need help understanding it, and your next steps, you can book an appointment with an International Student Immigration Advisor.

Check out our Resources page for more support.