Study Permit

Study Permit

The study permit is a document IRCC issue that allows foreign nationals to study at designated learning institutions (DLIs) in Canada. Most foreign nationals need a study permit to study in Canada.

Your study permit is not a visa. It doesn’t let you enter Canada. You may also need a visitor visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTA). If IRCC approves your study permit, IRCC will issue one to you with your study permit. You can fall under one of the two categories of the study permit application, depending on your situation. The two categories are:

Depending on where you live, you may be able to get your study permit faster through the Student Direct Stream (SDS).

IRCC tries to process most SDS applications within 20 calendar days. However, some applications may take longer. To know about the latest updates on the processing time of the applications, - Click Here

To be eligible for Student Direct Stream, you must:

  • be a legal resident living in 1 of the following countries:
    • Antigua and Barbuda
    • Brazil
    • China
    • Colombia
    • Costa Rica
    • Pakistan
    • Morocco
    • Philippines
    • Peru
    • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
    • Senegal
    • Trinidad and Tobago
    • Vietnam
  • have an acceptance letter from a post-secondary designated learning institution. If you plan to attend a post-secondary school, make sure it is on the DLI list.
  • should be living outside of Canada when you apply.
  • have proof that you have paid your tuition for your first year of study. This may be in the form of one of the following:
  • have a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of CAN$10,000
  • have a Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) from the Ministered de immigration, de la Francisation et de integration. This is only if you’re planning to study in Quebec
  • get a medical exam before you apply (if you need).
  • get a police certificate before you apply (if you need). You might have to get a Police Clearance certificate. Your visa office instructions will tell you if you need to get a police certificate.
  • have your most recent secondary or post-secondary school transcript(s)
  • have a language test result that shows either:
    • have a language test result that shows either:
    • an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) academic or general training score of 6.0 or higher in each skill (reading, writing, speaking, and listening), or

Depending on where you’re applying from, you may need to get a medical exam or police certificate. To get faster processing through the Student Direct Stream, you must include these with your application (if you need them). If you don’t, IRCC won’t process your application faster.

If your application doesn’t meet the eligibility for the Student Direct Stream, IRCC will review it as a regular study permit (Non-SDS). You won’t get faster processing if this happens.

Medical exam

  • get a medical exam before you apply (if you need). You may need to get a medical exam if:
    • 1. you lived or traveled in certain countries or territories for 6 or more months in the year before you come to Canada, or
    • 2. you plan on studying or working in:
      • I. the health field
      • II. primary or secondary education, or
      • III. child or elder care

To find out whether you need a medical exam or not, - Click Here

To get a medical exam, you must see a doctor that has been approved by IRCC. To find a doctor approved by IRCC in your region, - Click Here

Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC)

A GIC is a Canadian investment that has a guaranteed rate of return for a fixed period of time. Many banks offer GICs. The bank that gives you the GIC must:

  • Confirm that you bought a GIC by giving you 1 of the following:
    • a letter of attestation
    • a GIC certificate
    • an Investment Directions Confirmation or
    • an Investment Balance Confirmation
  • hold the GIC in an investment account or a student account that you can’t access until you arrive in Canada
  • make you confirm your identity before they release any funds to you
  • release the funds to you by providing:
  • I. an initial lump sum once you identify yourself upon arrival in Canada
  • II. the remainder of the funds in monthly or bi-monthly installments over 10 to 12 months

If your bank or GIC doesn’t meet these criteria, you won’t be able to apply through the Student Direct Stream.

Financial institutions that offer GICs -

You can get a GIC from a financial institution listed on the Canadian Deposit Insurance Company website. Make sure the financial institution you choose offers a GIC and meets the criteria for the Student Direct Stream. The following financial institutions offer GICs that meet the criteria:

  • Bank of Beijing
  • Bank of China
  • Bank of Montreal (BMO)
  • Bank of Xian Co. Ltd
  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
  • China Everbright Bank
  • DesjardinsFootnote1
  • Habib Canadian Bank
  • HSBC Bank of Canada
  • ICICI Bank
  • Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
  • RBC Royal Bank
  • SBI Canada Bank
  • Scotiabank
  • Simplii Financial
  • TD Canada Trust

The Non-SDS category is another category that supports students wishing to study in Canada. The category specifically helps those applicants to study in Canada who are unable to get a Student Visa in Canada via the SDS stream as they are unable to fulfill the SDS requirements. The prerequisites to apply under the non-SDS category will be varied as the category demands more documents.

For SDS, only some countries are eligible, but Non-SDS, on the other hand, is a standard visa application process for temporary residency in Canada and is available for all international travelers who want to Study in Canada, work in Canada or accomplish other purposes, regardless of their country of origin

After getting approved for study permit

If IRCC approves your application, they will send you:

  • a port of entry letter of introduction
    • This isn’t your study permit. You need to show this letter to the officer when you arrive in Canada.
  • an electronic travel authorization (eTA) or a visitor (temporary resident) visa, depending on which you need to enter Canada

You can bring your spouse or partner and children with you to Canada

Your spouse or common-law partner and dependent children may also be able to get faster processing on a

  • visitor visa
  • work permit
  • study permit

You must complete and submit their applications at the same time as your own. If you don’t, IRCC will not process their applications faster. When you apply online, indicate that you have family members coming with you to Canada. This lets you complete their applications with yours.

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