A letter of acceptance from a designated learning institution (DLI)
A valid passport or travel document
A designated learning institution is a school approved by a provincial or territorial government to host international students. All primary and secondary schools in Canada are designated learning institutions.
If you plan to attend a post-secondary school, such as a college or university, make sure it’s on the list.
If you need to take certain courses before you are accepted into your program (conditional acceptance), you’ll be given a study permit for the duration of those courses. Once the college or university accepts you into your chosen program, you must apply to extend your study permit.
If you plan to attend a college or university in Quebec, current provincial rules state that international students can only attend a designated learning institution chosen by the Quebec government. You’ll also need a study permit from the Government of Canada to study in Quebec.
About your study permit
As an international student with a study permit, you must:
Always be enrolled at a designated learning institution
Make progress toward finishing your study program
Respect the conditions listed on your study permit
Stop studying if you no longer meet the requirements
Leave Canada when your permit expires
First, it’s important to confirm that you are eligible to apply for a study permit.
Check your study permit eligibility
Apply for a study permit
There are 2 ways to apply for a study permit: Online or by going to a visa application centre in your country.
We suggest you apply for a study permit as soon as you have a letter of acceptance from a Canadian college or university. It can take up to 3 months to get a study permit, depending on the country where you are applying.
You may need to give your biometrics (fingerprints and photograph) when applying for a visitor visa, study permit or work permit for Canada. If you need to give your biometrics with your application, you will have to go in person to the Visa Application Centre (VAC) closest to you.
Find out if you need to give your biometrics.
If you’re required to give your biometrics, don’t submit your study permit application by mail. Instead, please submit it at the VAC when they collect your biometrics.
What to do after you apply for a study permit
You can check the status at www.cic.gc.ca of your study permit application on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website. The information is updated daily. First, you need to set up an account on the site. www.educanada.ca
Sometimes, the processing centre will ask you to send more information. Learn more about the application process.
How to apply for a travel or work visa
Not everyone needs a travel or work visa, but before you arrive in Canada, you should determine whether your plans require you to get a travel or work visa.
Stays less than 6 months
If your time in Canada will be less than 6 months, you’ll need one of the following visas as an international student:
A travel visa in your passport if you expect to study in Canada for less than 6 months
An ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) if your passport is from a designated country
To find out which travel visa you need, answer these online questions.
Work visa during your studies and beyond
If you are attending a post-secondary program in Canada, and you want to work,you can. International students with a study permit may work part-time (less than 20 hour a week) without a work permit.
If you want to work full-time or be part of a work placement while studying, you’ll need to apply for a work permit. Your spouse or common law partner can also apply for a work permit.