Canada is home to one of the best school systems in the world.

From elementary school to universities and colleges, language schools to vocational programs, Canadian schools accommodate students of all interests and backgrounds. Individuals who study in Canada receive quality, internationally-respected educations that prepare them for future professional pursuits. This is combined with tuition fees and living costs that are generally lower than in other developed countries.

The number of international students in Canada is over 300,000, a figure that is constantly growing. If you have gained admission to a Canadian educational institution, you may be able to obtain a study permit to study in Canada.

Not only that, but education is also a popular pathway to Canadian permanent residence.

What are your options for studying in Canada?

To find out if you are eligible for a Canadian Study Permit, fill out the Study assessment form.

Fill out the Student Assessment Form

There are a few ways to come to Canada as a student. For example, you can study in Canada under a Canada Study Permit. It is also possible in some cases to study in Canada without a study permit. While you are here considering, it is also possible to work while studying in Canada.

However, the first step is to find a Canadian school that you would like to attend and a study program that matches your goals and ambitions. Our partners at SchoolMatch can assist you. Once you have learned more, you can then fill out an online assessment form to learn more about obtaining a study permit for Canada.

Your first step is to find a Canadian school that interests you. No matter your educational goals, Canada has the perfect educational institution for you. Once you find that school, it's time to apply for admission, only then will you be able to obtain your Canada Study Permit. Once you have found a few schools in which you are interested, check out our page on applying for admission. Once you have received a letter of admission from a designated educational institution, you can then fill out a free assessment form to learn more about how to begin studying in Canada.

Once you have been accepted, it's time to apply for a Canada Study Permit. Fill out a free assessment form to get more information about how we can help you obtain your study permit. You can also explore ways to study in Canada without a study permit to see if any of those options are available to you. Before you come to Canada, we also recommend that you learn about working while studying in Canada.

After completing your Canadian studies, Canada has provided ways to encourage you to stay, gain work experience, or otherwise contribute to Canada's economy and culture.

For example, you may be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit. You may also be eligible for permanent immigration through the Canadian Experience Class or the Quebec Experience Class. Fill out an assessment form for Canadian immigration to learn more about your options for remaining in Canada permanently after your studies.

Studying in Canada

  • Canada Study Permit. The standard way to study in Canada is with a Canadian study permit. 
  • Study without a Study Permit. Under certain circumstances, you can study in Canada without a study permit. 

  • Work While Studying in Canada. For those who need additional funds while studying in Canada, it may be possible to work at the same time. 

Work after studying in Canada

One of the major advantages of making the decision to study in Canada is that graduates have access to a Post-Graduation Work Permit on completion of their studies in Canada. Post-Graduation Work Permits allow certain individuals who have studied in Canada to stay and work under an open work permit for up to three years, allowing them to enter the Canadian workforce and gain valuable Canadian work experience that may help them to immigrate permanently.

Obtaining a Canada Study Permit

To be eligible to apply for a Canadian study permit, a prospective student must:

  • Obtain a Letter of Acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution to apply for a study permit;
  • Prove that he or she has sufficient financial support to cover the first year of tuition, as well as living expenses and return transportation to his or her home country;
  • Obtain a Certificat d'acceptation du Quebec (Quebec Acceptance Certificate, or CAQ) if he or she wishes to study in Montreal or elsewhere in the Province of Quebec;
  • Have a clean record. Applicants with a criminal background, or who pose a risk to Canadian security, may be refused. IRCC may request an applicant to supply a Police Clearance Certificate;
  • Be in good health. IRCC may ask an applicant to complete a medical examination; and,
  • Satisfy the immigration officer that he or she will leave Canada at the end of the stay authorized by the study permit.

The applicant may also be required to submit the following documents:

  • Passport for the applicant and every family member included on the application;
  • Two passport photos for the applicant and each family member included on the application, with the full name and date of birth written on the back;
  • Photocopy of marriage certificate, if applicable; and,
  • Any further documents required by specific visa offices.
An applicant for a Canadian study permit may include his or her family members on the application, so that they may accompany the applicant to Canada. An accompanying spouse may be able to obtain an open work permit, and minor children may be able to study at Canadian elementary and secondary schools.
Once a prospective student meets the eligibility criteria and has the correct documents, he or she may apply for a study permit. This can be done online or by paper. A paper application must be submitted to a visa processing office outside of Canada. It is essential to apply for a study permit immediately upon receiving the Letter of Acceptance. Study permit processing times vary, and applicants may see delays during busy times — particularly during the summer months.

Applicants for a Canadian study permit are required to prove they have enough money to cover the first year of tuition fees. They also need to have the financial resources to support themselves, and any accompanying family members, each year. The following table show the amounts that a student is required to possess (all amounts in Canadian dollars):

Number of people All provinces except Quebec
Single student Tuition plus $10,000 for a 12-month period (or $833 per month)
For one accompanying family member add: $4,000 for a 12-month period (or $333 per month)
For each additional family member, add: $3,000 for a 12-month period per dependent child of any age (or $255 per month)

In Quebec, the financial requirements for prospective students are different. In addition to tuition fees, a prospective international student is required to show that he or she has the following funds, dependent on his or her situation.

Number of people Total amount required
One person under age 18 $6,377
One person age 18 or older $12,750 
Two persons age 18 or older $18,702
One person over age 18 and one under age 18 $17,137
Two persons over age 18 and one under age 18 $20,950
Two persons over age 18 and two under age 18 $22,611

Financial resources may be proven with a combination of the following: 

  • Canadian bank account statements in the applicant's name, if money has been transferred to Canada;
  • Proof of a student or educational loan from a financial institution;
  • The applicant's bank statements from the past four months;
  • A bank draft in convertible currency;
  • Proof of payment of tuition and accommodation fees;
  • A letter from the person or institution providing you with money; and/or,
  • Proof of a scholarship or funding paid from within Canada.

Family or friends of the applicant may submit letters confirming that they will support the applicant during his or her studies. 

If an application is approved, the prospective student will receive:

  • A letter of introduction confirming the approval. This letter is not the study permit. The prospective student will need to present the Letter of Introduction to the immigration official when arriving in Canada. The immigration official may then issue the study permit to the student.
  • An Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) if he or she is from a country whose citizens need an eTA. In such cases, the eTA is indicated on the Letter of Introduction.
    • As the eTA is linked to the applicant's passport, the applicant must travel with the passport used in the study permit application.
  • A Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), if he or she is from a country whose citizens need a TRV.
    • The TRV will be in the passport. The holder must enter Canada before the expiry date on the TRV.
    • The TRV will also indicate if the holder can enter Canada only once (a single-entry visa) or multiple times (a multiple-entry visa). Since 2014, all applicants are automatically considered for multiple-entry TRVs.
    • An individual submitting an application for a study permit does not have to submit a separate application for a TRV. If the application is approved, the TRV will be issued along with the Letter of Introduction.

After obtaining a study permit, students may need to renew or change the study permit during the course of their studies in Canada.

If a student at a post-secondary institution wishes to change the institution, study program, or level of study, he or she does not need to apply for a new study permit. However, he or she is required to update IRCC upon changing institutions. For example, a student may move from Bachelor level to Master's level, or from Geography to Philosophy, or from a college to a university, without applying for a new study permit. He or she does not need to apply for a change to the condition of the study permit. A student may study in Canada as long as the study permit is valid.

However, an international student moving from elementary school to high school, or from high school to a post-secondary institution, is required to apply for a change in the conditions of the study permit. The application must be submitted to the IRCC Case Processing Centre in Vegreville, Alberta.

Study permits expire 90 days after graduation, regardless of the date printed on the study permit itself. It is extremely important that international graduates update their status with IRCC within 90 days of graduation, or they risk losing status in Canada.

Many graduates are eligible to apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP). This permits the holder to work for any employer anywhere in Canada for up to three years after graduation. Work experience gained on a PGWP may help facilitate an application for Canadian Permanent Residency, especially through programs such as the Canadian Experience Class and certain Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).

If an international graduate does not apply for a PGWP, he or she may do the following to maintain legal status in Canada:

  • Apply to change the status to a visitor;
  • Apply for another study permit to continue a different study program. For example, a graduate may wish to continue on to a Master's degree program after graduating with a Bachelor degree; or,
  • Leave Canada.

Fill out the Student Assessment Form

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Fill out the Student Assessment Form