Study Permit Guide

Study Permit Guide

A Study Permit is an immigration status document that allows individuals who are not a registered Indians, permanent residents or citizens of Canada to study at a designated learning institution located in Canada.  


You can study in Canada without a study permit if you are one of the following: 

●      a minor attending pre-school, primary or secondary level

●      a family member of a foreign representative

●      a member of the armed forces of a country designated for the purposes of the Visiting         Forces Act

●      the study program is short term (less than 6 months to complete)


When to apply for a study permit?


You should apply for your study permit as soon as possible. Ideally, 4-6 months before your first day of class. Why so early you might ask? Processing times are subject to change without notice, so it can take up to 6 months to get a decision on your application.


Designated Learning Institutions


When submitting your Study Permit, one of the required documents is a Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from a designated learning institution (DLI). There is a webpage on the website that is easy to use and lists all the DLI’s. (Note: There are no DLI’s in Nunavut therefore you will not be able to obtain a study permit for any schools located in Nunavut).


The Study Permit Application


The Study Permit Application is submitted online and there are four types of documents to upload:


1) Government forms

2) Supporting documents such as a copy of your valid passport and Letter of Acceptance (LOA)

3) One-Page Study Plan

4) Submission Letter


Document Checklist




Document Checklist

●      In Canada (IMM 5555)

●      Outside of Canada (IMM 5483)


Application for Study Permit made outside of Canada (IMM 1294)


Family Information Form (IMM 5707)


Other forms to submit if applicable to your unique circumstances


Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union (IMM 5409)


Use of Representative (IMM 5476)


Authority to Release Personal Information to a Designated Individual (IMM 5475)


Custodianship Declaration – Custodian for Minors Studying in Canada (IMM 5646)

Supporting Documents


Copy of Valid Passport


Two photos that meet the specific requirements of the visa application photograph specifications.


Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI)


Proof of Financial Support 


Proof of ties to home country

●      Documents that support that you will leave Canada after your authorized stay. Examples: Assets, Investments, Family, Friends, Employment, taking care of senior family members or children etc.


One-Page Study Plan




Other documents to submit if applicable to your unique circumstances


Proof of Relationship to Accompanying Dependents

Examples: Marriage Certificate or Birth Certificate


MIDI’s (Le ministère de I’Immigration, de la diversité et de I’lnclusion) letter of approval to your application for a “Certificat d’acceptation du Quebec” (CAQ).


Any additional documents that are required based on your citizenship


Student Direct Stream (SDS)


The Student Direct Stream was introduced in 2018 as a way to speed up study permit processing times. If eligible, your study permit could be approved in as little as 20 days. This is much faster than the 4-6 months it normally takes for study permit applications.


In order to apply you must meet the requirements of a standard study permit, have a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of $10,000 CAD, plus be a legal resident living in one of the following countries:


●      Antigua and Barbuda

●      Brazil

●      China

●      Colombia

●      Costa Rica

●      India

●      Morocco

●      Pakistan

●      Peru

●      Philippines

●      Senegal

●      Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

●      Trinidad and Tobago

●      Vietnam


You must not only be a legal resident of the country, but must also be currently residing in that country when you apply, plus provide proof of residence in your application. Please note, the requirement is not to be a citizen of one of these countries, but to reside in one of these countries. Therefore, if you have Moroccan citizenship but live in Egypt, you do not qualify for the Student Direct Stream.


Note: The cost of applying through the Student Direct Stream is the same as a standard study permit ($150 CAD).


Working as a Student


Individuals are allowed to work while holding a valid study permit as long as they are a full-time student. If you obtained your study permit for part-time studies, you are not authorized to work while you study.


If however, you have a valid study permit, are a full-time student, and obtain an on-campus position, your hours of work are unrestricted. You can work part-time or full-time while attending school full-time.


You can also work unrestricted hours during scheduled times off such as reading weeks, winter holidays, and summer breaks.


You are also allowed to work off-campus and up to 20 hours per week without a work permit and just with your valid study permit if you meet the following criteria:

●      You are a full-time student enrolled at a designated learning institution at the post-secondary level

●      You are studying in an academic, vocational, or professional training program that leads to a degree, diploma, or certificate that is at least six months in duration.


If your program has a co-op component, you will need to apply for a co-op work permit. This can be achieved if the co-op is an essential part of your program and is no more than 50% of your program. The great part about a co-op work permit is that you can work full-time as long as you maintain your full-time studies as well.


Note: Students cannot work on-campus, off-campus, or at a co-op position if they are on a “leave” from their studies, OR if they have completed their studies. While your study permit is still valid in both scenarios, you are not authorized to work.


Maintenance of a Study Permit


In order to keep your study permit valid you must meet the following requirements:

●      actively pursue your studies by staying enrolled in your program

●      make progress towards completing your program

●      not take authorized leaves longer than 150 days from your studies 

Expiration of Study Permits


If your study permit is to expire soon, you have the following four (4) options:


●      Apply to extend your study permit;

●      Apply to change your status to a visitor;

●      Apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), if you completed your studies; or

●      Leave Canada before the expiration of your study permit as you no longer have valid immigration status to live in Canada.


The costs associated with becoming an international student in Canada


There are three (3) main categories of costs associated with becoming a student in Canada:


1. Application Fees

o   Such as applying to the school you would like to attend (varies depending on the school and program) and applying for a study permit (government filing fee is $150 CAD plus fees associated with obtaining supporting documents and the representative professional fee if you hire someone to help you)

2. Costs of being a student (i.e., tuition and textbooks)

3. Costs associated with living in Canada (i.e., travel costs back home, warm winter attire, etc.) 


Possible costs associated with the application process could be:

●      Language test

●      Police certificate

●      Certified true copies

●      Mailing fees including postage and courier expenses

●      Biometrics

●      Translations

●      Medical Exam 


Mandatory costs associated with the application are:

●      Photos to be included in your application

●      Study Permit government filing fee of CAD $150


*Professional services fees if you decide to hire a representative to help you with your application (discussed further below) and all possible local travel expenses associated with the above listed should be budgeted for as well.


Costs associated with being a student include:

●      Tuition

o   Anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000 annually depending on the program and school you would like to attend.

●      Textbooks

o   Approximately $500 – $1500 depending on the program and if you buy new or used books

●      Technology and Stationery

o   Depending on how your courses are delivered you will need either a laptop or physical notebooks to take study notes in class.

o   While most schools have a computer lab where you can complete your assignments, it is common for students to have their own laptops for convenience purposes.

●      Printing

o   One fee you may not have thought of is printing fees. You can either have your own computer and printer, or you can use the printer at the library. Having your own printer means you will need to pay for the printer itself and the ink to go with it. If you decide to use the school’s library, use of the computers is generally free but you will pay a per page printing fee. This is usually done by loading money onto your student card and swiping the card each time you need to print.

●      Accommodation

o   Once you are in Canada you can either stay on campus or rent an apartment nearby.

●      Coffee

o   Yes, coffee. This is a budget line item for many students and can be equal to the costs of textbooks for an academic year.

       $4 a day x 7 days a week x 8 academic months = $896.00 CAD 

●      Apply to Graduate

o   Most universities require students in their final year to apply to graduate which costs anywhere from $100 – $150 CAD, depending on the school. While the majority of colleges also have students apply to graduate, there usually isn’t a cost to apply. Also, worth noting, a student cannot receive their final certificate, diploma or degree until all fees have been paid as well. This can include any parking fees, library fees, and tuition.


Don’t forget the that the costs of living should be considered as well when making the decision to become an international student:


●      Food

o   Groceries and dining out

●      Transportation

o   Locally to and from class, and back home when on breaks from classes

o   Schools usually offer bus passes that are included in the cost of tuition; or, if you plan to have a car, gas, maintenance costs, insurance and parking fees need to be accounted for as well. 

●      Entertainment

o   Non-academic activities such as hobbies, attending campus events or social gatherings

●      Clothes

●      New winter clothes such as hats, gloves, winter coats

●      Business wear for interviews or presentations

●      Hygiene products

o   Shampoo, conditioner, soap, haircuts


Additional costs when being an international student:


●      Plane Tickets

o   The flight to Canada, and any subsequent visits back home over the holidays

o   Travelling expenses such as luggage, taxi to and from airport, COVID-19 tests

●      International calls back home

●      Currency exchange


Legal Representative Professional Services 


The Immigration and Paralegal Law Office of Rebecca B. Tripp provides the following services:

●   A complete “Document Checklist” unique to your application that guides you through the process

●   A comprehensive review of all documents

●   Drafting and compiling a completed application for your review

●   Submitting the application on your behalf


Once the application is submitted, my representation will not end there. Continuing services include:

●      After submission and before a decision has been made

○   Closely monitoring your application status and any changes in policy that could impact your application

○     Communications with the IRCC, as needed

○   Submitting any updates to the IRCC such as contact information changes, updated resumes, new police certificates, etc. 


●      After approval and arrival in Canada

○ 30 day, 6 month and 1 year calls are part of the service I provide as well where we discuss your studies, address any questions you may have (ex. part-time work, changing programs or schools etc.), and create a plan after you graduate!


To read more information you can visit the following links:


Study Permit Applications

Who needs a study permit?

Student Direct Stream

Minors Studying in Canada

Conditions as a study permit holder and a list of individuals who are exempt from those conditions