The number of international students in Canada is over 450,000, a figure that is constantly growing.
A Study Permit is a document issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that allows a foreign national to study in Canada for a limited time.
In order to be eligible to submit an application for a Canadian study permit, a prospective student must:
- Obtain a Letter of Acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution in order to submit an application 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 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 request 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.
Accompanying family members
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. To learn more, click here.
Applying for a study permit
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 important 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.
To view an estimate of the study permit processing times per country, click here.
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.