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Shabnam Akrami is the Managing Partner and Founder of Akrami & Associates.

Canadian Study Permit: Top Things To Keep in Mind


Choosing the right college or university can be both scary and exciting! If you are wishing to study abroad, Canada is one of the top destinations for foreign students. Canada is renowned for its wide variety of study programs and world-class education system.

So, obtain your Canadian study permit and enroll in one of the best institutes in Canada!

Let’s find out the requirements for a Canadian study permit.   

Understanding the process

The study permit allows foreign candidates to pursue their dream careers at a Designated Learning Institute (DLI) in Canada. However, you must possess all the necessary documents before applying for the study permit.

Please note that study permit and visa are not the same. A study permit does not grant your entry into Canada. Besides the study permit, you need a visitor visa or an electronic travel authorization.

There are multiple steps included with the study permit application. The processing time is likely to vary from country to country. Hence, plan if you want to study in Canada and ensure that the permit is processed before your study period initiates.

You need an acceptance letter as a foreign candidate cannot apply for a study permit in Canada without it. If you want to study in your favorite institute in Canada, always check the start date as well as the application process for that designated institute. This will help you in obtaining the acceptance letter, thereby, completing the study permit application seamlessly.

Study permit requirements

Being an international candidate, you must consider two definite sets of requirements when applying for a study permit in Canada.

Eligibility requirements

How will you assure that you are eligible to apply for a Canadian study permit? Let’s explore the eligibility criteria.

  • Acceptance Letter: You need to acquire an acceptance letter from a Designated Learning Institute (DLI) to apply for a study permit in Canada.
  • Evidence of financial support: You need to present documentation suggesting adequate funds to cover the tuition fees, cost of living, and others for the first year of study. Such funds can be either under your name or your family member’s or close friend’s name.
  • Supporting documentation: This documentation varies across countries. You need to present multiple supporting documents along with your study permit application.

Keep in mind that your study permit application might get rejected if the visa officer confirms your ineligibility!

Study requirements in Canada

The validity of your study permit is crucial once you enter Canada as a foreign student. While studying in the country under a study permit, an international student must:

  • Make progress towards the completion of their study program
  • Always be enrolled at a DLI
  • Stop studying if unable to meet the requirements
  • Respect every condition listed on the permit
  • Leave Canada once the permit expires

How to apply?

To obtain a Canadian study permit, there are four stages:

  1. Ensure your eligibility: Check your eligibility requirements for the study permit in Canada. You will require an acceptance letter from a  DLI, evidence of financial support, and other different documents depending on your country of residence and citizenship.
  2. Prepare your study permit application: If your eligibility requirements are met, prepare your study permit application. Don't forget to aggregate all the documents required for your country. Immigration officers possess the right to reject study permits if they find that a candidate has not met the requirements. Thus, review your application with a qualified immigration representative before submission. 
  3. Submit your application: There are two options to submit your study permit application. One is the electronic application. You can create an account on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website where you can submit the application electronically utilizing electronic or scanned copies of the documents. Otherwise, you can submit a paper-based application. For this, you need to compile hard copies of the application and other associated documents and mail them to the Visa Application Centre (VAC) allocated to your country.
  4. Prepare for arrival: You will not receive the Canadian study permit unless you arrive at the Canadian Port of Entry (POE) once your permit is approved, you will be given a POE Introduction Letter by the Canadian government. Keep this letter safe as you need to present this to the immigration office once you arrive in Canada to receive your study permit.  

Who is exempted from a study permit?

Not every foreign national requires a study permit for Canada. The exemptions include:

Short-term studies

If an international candidate is completing a program of 6 months duration or less, he/she does not require a study permit.

Minor Canadian children

Under-age children do not require a study permit to attend kindergarten, pre-school or primary school if they are refugee claimants or are in Canada accompanied by their parents authorized to work or study in the country.

Members of international armed forces

A member of an international armed force who is on active duty in Canada does not require a study permit.  

Final words

As a foreign student, you will require a study permit to pursue your dream career in Canada. There are multiple colleges and universities to choose from but before that ensure that all your eligibility criteria are met. If you need help with your Canadian study permit, contact Akrami & Associates. We are experts in Canadian immigration and have dealt with multiple study permit applications. Contact us via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us at (416) 477-2545 to understand the study permit eligibility criteria, application submission process, and others in detail. 

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