Canada Student Visa


Student Visas

Processing study permit applications for the fall 2021 semester

If you submitted your complete study permit application (including your biometrics and immigration medical examination results) by May 15, 2021, you should get a decision by August 6, 2021, in time to attend the fall semester.

We’ll process complete applications submitted after May 15, 2021, as quickly as possible—but we can’t guarantee that you’ll get a final decision before the fall semester begins.

Some applications take longer to process and may not be finalized by August 6, 2021, such as those that

are incomplete
require the officer to request more information from you
Quebec students

If you submitted your study permit application by May 15, 2021, without the official copy of your Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ), then you must submit the official copy using your online account or our web form by June 30, 2021, to have your application processed in time for the fall semester.

What is a study permit?
The study permit is a document we issue that allows foreign nationals to study at designated learning institutions (DLI) in Canada. Most foreign nationals need a study permit to study in Canada. Make sure you have all the documents you need before you apply. You should apply before you travel to Canada.

Your study permit is not a visa. It doesn’t let you enter Canada. You may also need a visitor visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTA). If we approve your study permit, we’ll issue one to you with your study permit.

How long can you stay in Canada with a study permit?
A study permit is usually valid for the length of your study program, plus an extra 90 days. The 90 days let you prepare to leave Canada or apply to extend your stay.

1. If you’re taking prerequisite courses
If your school asks you to take courses before they accept you into the main program (you have conditional acceptance), your study permit will be valid for the length of those courses, plus 1 year. When you get accepted into the main program, you must then apply to extend your stay as a student.

2. If you’ll finish your studies after your study permit expires
If you don’t finish your courses before the date on your permit, you must apply to extend your stay as a student. If you don’t, you’ll need to stop studying and leave Canada.

3. If you finish your studies before your study permit expires
If you finish your studies early, your permit will stop being valid 90 days after you complete your studies, no matter what day is printed on the study permit.

You’ve completed your studies on the date your school first notifies you by completion letter, transcript, degree or diploma.

You must provide proof of the date your school notifies you, or the date you get your degree, diploma or certificate. If you don’t have proof, we’ll use the earliest issue date on the document. We may confirm this date with your school.

Can you go back home while studying?
Yes. If you leave Canada during your studies, you may need to show proof you’re enrolled in your school when you return to Canada.

If you have a visitor visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTA), it must still be valid when you return to Canada.

Eligibility requirements
You can study in Canada if you:

are enrolled at a designated learning institution (DLI)
prove you have enough money to pay for your:
tuition fees
living expenses for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada and
return transportation for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada
obey the law, have no criminal record and get a police certificate (if required)
are in good health and get a medical exam (if required)
prove to an officer that you will leave Canada when your study permit expires

You need these documents to apply for a study permit:

proof of acceptance
proof of identity
proof of financial support
You may also need

a letter of explanation
a certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ)
a custodian declaration (minors only)
other documents

If you need to submit documents for an application in progress
Because many applicants can now provide the supporting documents needed for us to process applications, we’ll no longer automatically give more time to submit information.

We’ll contact you to request the supporting documents.
This will happen in the next few months.
You’ll have 30 days from the date we contact you to submit the information.
Start collecting your documents.
Do this before we contact you. It can take time to get certain documents.
Check the last email we sent you to confirm what you need to submit.
Don’t travel to another city or country to get the supporting documents.
We’ll consider extending your deadline if you have a reasonable explanation that shows you’re affected by COVID-19.

Proof of acceptance
Your school must send you a letter of acceptance. Include the original or electronic copy of your letter with your study permit application.

Conditional acceptance and prerequisite courses
If you’ve been conditionally accepted, this means you need to take prerequisite courses. For example, these might be English as a second language or French as a second language courses. You must complete these before you can start your main study program.

If this is the case, we’ll only issue your study permit for the length of those courses plus 1 year. Once you’re accepted into your main program, you’ll need to apply for a new student permit to extend your stay as a student.

Proof of identity
When applying for your study permit, you and each family member who comes with you to Canada must have

a valid passport or travel document
Online applicants: Upload a copy of the information page of your passport when you apply online.
If you’re approved, you must then send us your original passport.
Citizens of the United States have some options on the identification documents they can carry.
two recent passport-size photos
The name and date of birth of the person should be written on the back of each photo.
Proof of financial support
You must prove that you can support yourself, and the family members who come with you, while you are in Canada.

You can prove your funds with

proof of a Canadian bank account in your name, if you’ve transferred money to Canada
Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) from a participating Canadian financial institution
proof of a student or education loan from a bank
your bank statements for the past 4 months
a bank draft that can be converted to Canadian dollars
proof you paid tuition and housing fees
a letter from the person or school giving you money or
proof of funding paid from within Canada, if you have a scholarship or are in a Canadian-funded educational program

Letter of explanation
This letter helps the visa officer to understand you and your goals. It explains

why you want to study in Canada and
that you understand your responsibilities as a student
You should include this letter if you decide to apply for a study permit, even if you don’t have to get a study permit for your program.

Certificat d’acceptation du Québec
If you want to study in Quebec for longer than 6 months, you need a certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) issued by the Gouvernement du Québec. Your school can give you all the details on how to apply for the CAQ.

If your application for a CAQ got approved by the ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI), but you’re still waiting to get the CAQ, you can apply for your study permit with the approval letter from the MIFI. You don’t need to wait for the CAQ to apply.

Custodian declaration (minor children)
If the minor requires a custodian, you must include the Custodianship Declaration form (PDF, 1.02 MB) with your application. It has 2 pages that must be notarized (certified by a notary) and then included with your study permit application.

The custodian in Canada must sign the first page, and the parents or legal guardians of the minor child in the child’s home country must sign the second page.

Other documents
check the visa office instructions for your country or region for local requirements.

If you aren’t currently in your home country, you may have to prove your immigration status in the country you apply from.

If the government that issued your passport or travel document needs you to have a re-entry permit, you must get one before you apply for a Canadian visa. You may also need other documents.

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