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Study Permits

As an international student, you require a permit to study in Canada if your course of study is longer than six months.

A study permit application requires:

  • A letter of acceptance from a post-secondary institution
  • Financial proof that you can support yourself while you are studying (tuition fees and living expenses)
  • Willingness to submit to a medical exam if requested

Please visit the following links for more information on applying for your study permit:

Expedited Canadian Study Permit (Visa) Process - (Student Partners Program) – SPP

  • The SPP program makes it easier for students from China and India to obtain a Canadian study permit.
  • This program allows IRCC visa offices in these two counties to process Canadian Study Permits more quickly:

SPP INDIA : http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/india-inde/visas/StudentPartnersProgram_ProgrammePartenairesEtudiantsNov09.aspx

SPP CHINA: http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/china-chine/visas/beijingpekin/SPP_PPE_studying_etudier.aspx?lang=eng&highlights_file=&left_menu_en=&left_menu_fr=&mission=

Extending a Study Permit from within Canada

International students require a valid study permit for the entire length of time studying in Canada.

Once you hold a valid Study Permit you are able to make changes to the conditions or length of your study permit from within Canada. It is recommended to submit an application to extend a study permit at least 90 days prior to the expiration date.

Once you have applied to extend your study permit you may continue to study because you have implied status until a decision is made on your new application.

Due to unpredictable processing times, students should check the IRCC website for current processing times 3 months prior to the expiration of a current study permit.

Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)?

Citizens of certain countries also require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to enter Canada. A TRV gives you permission to enter Canada for a specified period of time.

To learn about the visa requirements for your country, please visit the Canadian Office that administers visas for your country. 

A TRV is your permission to enter Canada. 

A Study Permit indicates what you will be doing in Canada and how long you are approved and have permission to study in Canada.

Please refer to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for most recently released information

Stay Longer - Post- Graduation Work Permit for International Students (PGWP)

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) offers a Post-Graduation Work Permit Program.  Students who have graduated from a participating Canadian post-secondary institution may work in Canada upon completion of their studies.  This provides international students the opportunity to gain up to three years of valuable Canadian work experience (dependent on length of studies).

A Post-Graduation Work Permit allows graduates to work "anywhere in Canada, and in any field, as it is an open work permit" (IRRC).  Applicants for PGWP must have continuously studied full time in Canada.

Towards the end of your program of study, it is recommended to extend your Study Permit to remain in Canada for an extra 90 days after you complete a program. This will give you time to apply for the Post-Graduation Work Permit and search for work in Canada.

A Post-Graduation Work Permit is issued once, regardless of the number of degrees completed in Canada.  Applicants may combine programs to maximize the length of the PGWP.  For example,  "A student who obtained a one-year diploma or certificate from a participating institution in Canada after having obtained a degree in Canada at the same or in a different participating institution within the previous two years would be allowed to cumulate both educational credentials and therefore would be eligible for a three-year post-graduation work permit" (IRRC).

How long is the post-graduate work permit (PGWP) valid for?

If the official length of your program of study is:

Length of programLength of PGWP
Less than eight monthsIneligible for PGWP
More than eight months, and less than two years

Work permit = length of study; (for example, a nine month program of study may result in a  work permit for a period of nine months)

Two years or moreUp to three years

When to Apply

As an international student, you may apply for a PGWP when you receive confirmation from your institution that you are eligible for graduation and have met all the program requirements. You must apply within 90 days for a PGWP.

In order to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit you will need:

  • a valid Study Permit when applying for PGWP
  • to have completed and passed a program of study that is at least eight months in duration
  • a final transcript
  • a graduation letter
  • other documents as specified by IRCC
  • payment of processing fees

Spouses of a Post-Graduation Work Permit holder are eligible for an open work permit under certain conditions.