Study Permit

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Study Permit

Current Status Program:

This program is active and accepting applications on an on-going basis.

Program Overview:

A study permit is a document issued to a foreign national who wants to study in Canada. In most cases, an application for a study permit must be made before coming to Canada. A study permit is issued for the length of the program, with an extra 90 days. Note that a study permit is not a visa; your study permit alone will not let you enter Canada. International Students will need a visitor visa or an electronic travel authorization before they can enter Canada. If your study permit is approved, you will be issued a visitor visa or an electronic travel authorization with your study permit.

Key Highlights About the Program

Canada is a choice destination for international students looking to advance their education and gain a broader global perspective in their career pursuits. There is a significant impact of international studies on the Canadian economy. According to the  Economy Impact of International Student in Canada Report– 2020 update, the total annual expenditures of international students in Canada in 2017 and 2018 are $18,444,227,477 and $22,302,584,971 respectively, this is a significant impact on the economy of Canada. 


According to the vision of International Education Strategy (2019–2024), the strategy aims to draw international students from around the world to provinces and territories across Canada, where they can enroll in different schools and programs at all levels of education. 

International students who study in Canada can apply for a post-graduate work permit after completing their studies. Follow this link to learn more about post-graduate work permit eligibility criteria and application.

Program Eligibility Requirements

Certain eligibility requirements must be met in order to apply for a study permit. These requirements are listed below: 

  • 1-year skilled work experience in Canada. This work experience must be within the last three years before submitting your application under this program. The work experience must be either full-time or an equal amount in part-time work.

The CEC program’s work experience must be under skill 0, A & B of the National Occupational Classification (NOC). The work experience can be in 1 or more NOC 0, A, or B jobs. The NOC is a list of all the occupations in the Canadian labor market. NOC is used to classify jobs according to duties, skills, talents, and work settings for different positions.

  • Skilled type 0 – Managerial Jobs
  • Skilled type A – Professional Jobs
  • Skilled type B – Technical jobs and skilled trade

 Candidates must show that while working in their primary occupation, they performed the duties set out in the lead statement of the occupational description in the NOC; this will include all the essential duties and most of the primary responsibilities listed.

Candidates must show they were authorized to work in Canada under a valid resident status when they gained their work experience in Canada.

Candidates need to determine their NOC code for their primary occupation and must ensure their job duties match with the NOC code for their primary occupation. Use the following links to choose your NOC.

National Occupational Classification –

 Find your NOC –


  • Language requirement:

Candidates for the CEC program must prove their language abilities by taking any of the approved language tests. Write your language test for either English or French or both. Get minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in all four abilities if your NOC is 0 or A and CLB 5 if your NOC is B, i.e., speaking, reading, listening, and writing for English Test result is valid for two years.

 Acceptable English language test:

  • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) Note: Register for the CELPIP-General test.
  • International English Language Testing System ( IELTS). Book your test at British Council IELTS Online Application

        Note: Register for the IELTS English General Training Test.

Acceptable French Language Test:

  • Test d’evaluation de français (TEF)
  • Test de connaissance du français (TCF)

Link to language requirement.


  • Education:

There is no education requirement for the Canadian Experience Class. However, you can increase your rank in the Express Entry Pool if you have Educational experience in Canada or outside of Canada. If your Educational credentials are outside of Canada, you must evaluate your credentials.

List of designated organizations for ECA:

  • World Education Services
  • International Credential Assessment Service of Canada
  • International Credential Assessment Service of Canada
  • Comparative Education Service: University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies
  • International Credential Services


Follow this link to view all designated credential service providers Educational Credential Assessment – Service Providers –


There are specific responsibilities that international students issued with a study permit must fulfill while studying in Canada to be in good standing with the conditions of their study permit; they are listed below:


  • Must remain enrolled in a DLI institution
  • make progress towards completing your program
  • respect any conditions listed on your study permit
  • stop studying if you no longer meet the requirements and
  • leave Canada when your permit expires
Program Specific Data Analysis

Study Permit Finalised In 2017 By Province Of Destination

Data Source: Applications Finalized for New Study Permit Applications (in Persons) by Province or Territory of Destination (CICEDW (MBR) as of February 16, 2018) Open Data.

Number Of International Students In 2017 By Top Source Countries

Key Candidates for the Program

Candidates for study permit are international students who want to study in Canada. They can be Post-Graduate Students, Under-Graduate Students, and Primary & Secondary School Students. More than 50% of international students studying in Canada come from India and China. 


There are specific categories of people who do not need a study permit to study in Canada; they are listed below:

  1. Short-term studies of a maximum of 6 months or less than six months
  2. Family or staff of foreign representatives accredited by Global Affairs Canada (GAC)
  3. Members of foreign armed forces
  4. Registered Indians status in Canada
  5. Minor children in Canada. Minor children are children below the age of 18 or 19, depending on the province. Minor children don’t need a study permit if any of this applies:
  • they are enrolled in kindergarten
  • they are refugees or refugee claimants
  • their parents are refugees or refugee claimants or
  • they are in preschool, primary or secondary school, and they’re already in Canada with a parent who has a valid work or study permit
Step by Step Process
Step 1

Search & Apply To A Designated Learning Institution

  • International students looking to study in Canada must search and apply to DLI schools. A designated learning institution is a school approved by a provincial or territorial government to host international students.
  •  To learn more about applying to a school, university, or college in Canada, follow this link
Step 1
Step 2

Get Accepted Into A DLI​

International students must ensure they are accepted into a post-secondary DLI School. There should be a DLI number in the letter of acceptance. This DLI number starts with the letter “O.” Follow this link to find out if your school is approved as a DLI

Step 2
Step 3

Apply For A Study Permit

Once you have your acceptance letter, you can complete and submit an application for a study permit. It is better to start your study permit application early to avoid any delay.

Step 3
Step 4

Prepare To Come To Canada

Prepare to come to Canada if your study permit is approved. You will be issued a visitor visa or an electronic travel authorization with your study permit. Follow this link to learn more about preparing for your arrival in Canada

Step 4

Apply Now!

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How to Apply

To make an online application, you will be required to complete the necessary form, validate, print, sign, and upload. To successfully submit an online application, you need the following:

  • A scanner or camera to scan or capture the electronic copies of all your supporting  documents which must be uploaded,
  • A valid credit card to make payment online

Follow this link to make an online study permit application.

You will be required to create an account online. Once the account has been created, you will start an application for a study permit by answering some questions. Your answers to these questions will be used to create a personalized document checklist for you. 

Submit your application, upload all your supporting documents, and make payment for your application online. Your online account can also be used to get messages related to your application, check the status of your application, and update your information if necessary.

Find the link to read the instruction guide IMM 5269 before submitting your study permit application. 

Student Direct Stream online application

International students who live in China, India, Morocco, Pakistan, the Philippines, Senegal, or Vietnam may get their study permits faster by applying online through the Student Direct Stream.

Most of the applications through Student Direct Stream are processed within 20 calendar days. Some applications may, however, take a longer time to process. To ensure your application is processed faster, you must give your biometrics as soon as possible and ensure you meet all the eligibility requirements. Learn more about the Student Direct Stream.


To submit a paper-based application, applicants must read the instruction guide to get all the details to apply on paper. Find the link to the instruction guide IMM 5269. Complete all your forms and gather all your supporting documents. Visit a Visa application center (VACs) to submit your paper application. The service fee charged by VAC differs from one country to another. Follow this link to find out about VAC in your country.


  •  Payment of fees:

The fees you have to pay to the government include your study permit application fee of $150 for one individual and biometric fees. You Might need to pay other third-party fees directly to the third party depending on your situation, including Visa application center fee, medical examination fee, police clearance certificate fee, and language test.


  • Biometrics:

 If required, applicants must give their biometrics. Fingerprints and photos will be taken. Visit this link to learn more about how to give your biometrics. Estimated Cost – $85 Individual, $170 Family.


  • Standard Processing Time for Study Permit application: The processing times for study permit applications vary from one country to another. Follow this link to check the processing time for your Country. 

Note: If your study permit application is approved, you will be issued a visitor visa or an electronic travel authorization with your study permit.


Note: If you are attending a post-secondary program in Canada as an International student with a study permit, you may be permitted to work part-time up to 20 hours a week only without a work permit.

Latest Program Updates

Due to the covid-19 pandemic, there are travel exemptions and restrictions to international students. To enter Canada as an international student, two requirements must be met:

  • The international student must have a valid study permit or a letter of introduction that shows they were approved for a study permit.
  • The international student must be attending a designated learning institution with an approved Covid-19 readiness plan.
  • Use the following link to check if your Institution is on the approved DLI list for Covid-19 readiness plans.
Historical Program Data

According to the 2020 Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration by the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada, in 2019, 827,586 international students held study permits in Canada, and 402,427 new study permits were issued. In the same year, 11,566 study permit holders were granted permanent residency. The chart below shows a significant increase of approximately 150% in the number of study permits issued from 2015 to 2019. It is safe to conclude that Canada will continue to open its door to foreign nationals looking to study in Canada. 

Total Number of Study Permit Issued From 2015 to 2019

Data Source: Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015. Links to immigration publications and manuals 



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