Foreign nationals who wish to study in Canada for more than six months must apply for a study permit. The study permit is a document issued by the government of Canada that allows foreign nationals to study at designated learning institutions (DLIs) in Canada.
Provinces and territories approve (or “designate”) schools that can enroll international students. These schools are known as designated learning institutions (DLI). While All primary and secondary schools in Canada are DLIs, not all post-secondary institutions are DLIs. To qualify for a study permit, your program acceptance letter must be from a school that is a DLI, otherwise, your application will be refused. Search Designated Learning Institutions
While the Study Permit authorizes you to stay in Canada and study, it is not a visa. It does not let you enter Canada. You may also need a visitor visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTA). If the Study Permit is approved, a visitor’s visa or an eTA will be issued along with your study permit.
If granted, the Study Permit will be valid for the duration of the period of study, generally up to four years. Full-time students may work part-time during their studies.
Holders of Study permits may also:
Work while studying
Students enrolled in a full-time program may work on-campus or off-campus without a work permit. Certain conditions apply, depending on the location of work, and type of program you are enrolled in.
Qualify for Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)
Upon graduation from an eligible program at a Canadian post-secondary institution, you may qualify to apply for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program. This program offers graduates a three-year open work permit which will allow you to earn valuable work experience. You do not need to have a job offer to get an open work permit.
Bringing Family to Canada
You may bring your spouse, common-law partner, and dependent children to Canada to be with you while you study. Your spouse or common-law partner is entitled to an Open Work Permit for the duration of your studies; allowing your spouse or partner to work for any employer within Canada.
Canada also allows foreign students who have completed their studies in Canada and have gained a certain amount of work experience within Canada to apply for permanent residency in Canada under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).