FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do I need a permit to study in Canada?
In general, yes, foreign nationals need a study permit to study in Canada. There are some exceptions. Find out more about who needs a study permit.
In most cases, you must apply for a study permit before coming to Canada. You must have a letter of acceptance from the designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada that has accepted you before you begin the application process.
I am a foreign student in Canada. Can I work while studying?
Yes. You may be eligible to work in Canada while studying and after you graduate. As a study permit holder, you may qualify to work on-campus or off-campus without a work permit if you meet certain criteria.
If your academic, vocational or technical training program includes an essential co-op or internship component, you will need to apply for a work permit.
You may also apply for a post-graduation work permit to continue working in Canada after you graduate from an eligible institution.
For more details, see the section on work permits for students.
I am a foreign student. Can I go back to my country or travel outside Canada during my studies?
If you leave Canada and want to return, you must have:
a valid passport or travel document;
a valid study permit if you are returning to study in Canada;
a valid visitor visa, if you are a citizen of a visa-required country. You must re-apply for a temporary resident visa (visitor visa) if:
your visa has expired; or
your visa was only valid for a single entry to Canada.
an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) valid as of March 15, 2016 if you are from an eTA-required country, received your student permit before August 1, 2015, and plan to travel from and return to Canada by air. Note: Students who get their study or work permit on or after August 1, 2015 will automatically be issued an eTA along with their permit.
If you are outside Canada, send your visitor visa application to a Canadian visa office. If you are in Canada and hold a valid study permit or work permit, you may apply for a new visa at the Case Processing Centre in Ottawa, Ontario.
When should I apply for my study permit?
Apply as soon as you receive your letter of acceptance. The times needed to process an application may vary among visa offices. Check the application processing times for details.
How do I apply for a study permit?
In most cases, you must apply for a study permit before coming to Canada. Ensure that you have a letter of acceptance from the designated learning institution in Canada that has accepted you before you begin the application process.
I want to change my school or program of study.
How can I change my study permit?
Elementary school student
Secondary school student
• You may change your school, program, or level of study (e.g. from the bachelor’s level to the master’s level) without applying for a new study permit or a change to the conditions of your current permit. You may continue to use your study permit as long as it is valid. Get step-by-step instructions on how to notify CIC that you have changed DLIs using your MyCIC account.
Submit an application