How To Apply For A Canadian Study Permit As An International Student

How to apply for a Canadian Study Permit as an International Student has been the question of every foreign student out there, hence the purpose of this piece.

Applying Online

Step 1: Determine if you’re eligible to apply for a Study Permit online by checking the Apply online page of the Immigration Canada site to fill out the “Check your eligibility to apply” section.

Once you have completed the section, you will be prompted to answer questions about your studies in Canada. For example, you will have to confirm if you are an exchange student, require a co-op work permit, or have dependents accompanying you. Ensure that your answers are correct before you continue.

If you’re eligible to apply for your Study Permit online, you will be provided with personalized reference code at the top of your personalized “Document Checklist.”

Step 2: Print out your “Document Checklist” and take note of your personalized reference code on the first line as you’ll need it to begin your online application.

Step 3: Log in to your MyCIC account. If you don’t have an account yet, you should register for an account. Afterward, refer to steps 5, 6, and 7 of your “Document Checklist” for further directions.

Step 4: You have to complete the “Application for a Study Permit Made Outside of Canada (IMM 1294)” PDF form, which is included in the “Document Checklist.”

Step 5: Gather all of the supporting documents on your personalized “Document Checklist.”

Step 6: Pay the required fees. The processing fee is CAD 150, which you are required to pay online using a credit card. Ensure you take a screenshot of the payment confirmation screen, as your proof of payment.

Step 7: Wait until you get your Study Permit Letter of Introduction, which will be issued via your MyCIC account. Print out this letter. You should the print-out to the Canadian Border Services Agent upon arrival into Canada. At this point, your actual Study Permit will be issued.

Step 8: Before leaving the immigration hall, confirm that your name, date of birth, gender are all correct on your document. Also, confirm that you have an “on-campus and off-campus” work option under the Remarks section at the bottom.

Applying using a Paper Application

This applies only if you are not eligible to apply online. For this option, proceed to the site on how to apply using a paper application and then follow the directions:

Step 1: Read the Instruction Guide and choose the country/ territory that you are applying from, to get further directions from your local visa office.

Step 2: You have to complete the “Application for a Study Permit Made Outside of Canada (IMM 1294)” form that would be provided to you.

Once you have filled the form, you must verify the form. Once verified, you will see “Validated” in the top, right-hand corner of the form, as well as bar codes at the end of the form. You are expected to print, date, and sign the form.

Step 3: Carefully go through the “Document Checklist” and the “Visa Office Instructions” to know what documents you’re required to provide to support your study permit application. Ensure you gather all the documents from both lists.

Step 4: Pay the necessary fees. The processing fee is CAD 150, which can be paid using a credit card. You are to print out an “Official Receipt” that you’ll enclose in your application package.

Step 5: Once you are done with your Study Permit application, you’ll be required to send it by post. It is advisable to submit the application by courier, or a method which you can track. You may also choose to deliver it in person to your local Visa Application Centre (VAC).

The VAC will then send your application to the Embassy or High Commission for processing. However, the VAC will likely have its own additional processing fees and forms to be filled.

Read also: How much does it Cost to Study in Canada?

Step 6: Wait until you get your Study Permit Letter of Introduction.  This will be issued to you by email attachment or with your passport when it is returned to you via the VAC.

You’ll be required to give this letter to a Canadian Border Services agent upon your arrival into Canada, and your actual study permit will be given to you. Ensure that before you leave the immigration hall, confirm that your name, date of birth, gender are all correct on your document. Also, ensure that you have the “on-campus and off-campus” work option under the Remarks section at the bottom.

Applying at the Port of Entry / Border (Applicable to only U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents)

If you’re a citizen or a Permanent Resident (Green Card Holder) of the U.S., then you can apply for your Study Permit in person at the Canadian border upon entry into the country.

Step 1: You’re not required to complete and present any immigration forms, but you must have all of your supporting documents readily available to submit to the Canadian Border Services agent.

Step 2: Pay the necessary fees. The processing fee is CAD 150, which you can pay by cash, credit card, or Canadian debit card.

Step 3: Before leaving the border, ensure you verify that your name, date of birth, gender are all correct on your document. Also, ensure that you have “on-campus and off-campus” work option under the Remarks section at the bottom.

Supplementary Documents for the Study Permit Application

This is simply general information on some of the supporting documents required for the study permit. You must follow the list of necessary documents on your personalized “Document Checklist.”

  • You should have your CAQ approval letter before applying for your study permit. You can print /download this document from your Immigration Quebec portal.
  • Ensure your passport is valid for the duration of your studies, as your study permit cannot be issued for more than the validity period of your passport. At least, ensure that your passport is valid for a minimum of one year.
  • Your letter of acceptance is your official “Offer of Admission” from the university you have selected.
  • You may not be required to submit proof of sufficient financial capacity to the Quebec immigration authorities when applying for your CAQ. However, you must submit official documents that establish that you meet this crucial criterion when applying for your study permit.
  • If you’re applying online, use the “i” icon for a list of supplementary documents that you can use to prove financial capacity.
  • Certain visa offices outside of Canada require students to show evidence that they have paid the tuition fees for the first year of their studies. Such visa offices include the ones in China, India, and the United Arab Emirates. Nevertheless, ensure you confirm the visa office instructions for the visa office responsible for your country of residence.
  • If you’re required to do a medical exam as part of your Study Permit application, you can choose to do an upfront medical examination. Also, you can wait to be instructed to go for your medical examination by the Canadian immigration authorities.
  • When you apply online and want to do an upfront medical, then you can press the “i” icon to access a “Request for a medical exam” form. On this form, indicate if you would like the Canadian immigration authorities to send you instructions and a “Medical Report” form.
  • If you’re applying at the Canadian border, you must go for your medical examination at least three (3) weeks before you get to the border to apply for your study permit.
  • You are required to go for your medical examination with an IRCC authorized panel physician nearest you. You can use
  • In some instances, you may be prompted to complete a “Family Information (IMM 5645)” form.
  • If you’re from a country that requires you to submit biometrics, Immigration Canada will send you a letter of instruction by email via your online account once they have received your application. You’ll be required to print a copy of the letter and bring it alongside your passport when you go to the biometric collection center. Note that Immigration Canada plans to expand its biometrics program. You may have to provide biometrics when applying for your study permit.

Read also: What Are The In-Demand Courses to Study in USA

Quick Tips on applying for the Study Permit

If you’ve never applied for an immigration document from Immigration Canada (IRCC), then you do not have a UCI number.

For questions related to the section “Details of Intended Studies in Canada,” you will have to fill in details on your selected university address. Also, you will have to state the duration of your expected study; that is, state how long it would take you to complete your program.

You are expected to add your tuition fee to the minimum required amount for living expenses and indicate the total amount. You must state who will be paying for your studies in Canada.

If you are receiving loans, bursaries, scholarships, or other financings from your selected university or any other institution, you should indicate that “you” will be paying for your studies. You’re required to prove that you have sufficient financial support for only the first twelve (12) months of your studies.

For the section “Employment,” don’t leave it blank. If you have no work history, then indicate your studies for the past ten (10) years in the alternative. Don’t leave any time gaps in this section (i.e., each month/ year should chronologically flow into the next).

For more and updated information, always ensure you check online and following any latest valid information you find on how to apply for a Canadian Study Permit as an international student.

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