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Study permits and visas – How to get a study permit

The most important piece of paper you need before you arrive in Canada as an international student is a study permit.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, international students wishing to travel to Canada should regularly consult Canada’s Travel requirements and restrictions for international students. This site is maintained by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in coordination with provincial, territorial and other federal partners, and is updated frequently.
  • Before you can apply for a study permit, you need to have a letter of acceptance from a school, university or college in Canada.
  • This means you need to find a school or program, apply to your program(s) of choice and receive an acceptance letter from a school, college or university in Canada.

  • Learn more about study permits and visas:
  • How to get a study permit
  • About your study permit
  • Apply for a study permit
  • Biometrics collection
  • What to do after you apply for a study permit
  • How to apply for a travel or work visa

  • How to get a study permit
  • Before you apply for a study permit, you need:
  • A letter of acceptance from a designated learning institution (DLI)
  • A valid passport or travel document
  • A designated learning institution is a school approved by a provincial or territorial government to host international students. All primary and secondary schools in Canada are designated learning institutions.
  • If you plan to attend a post-secondary school, such as a college or university, make sure it’s on the list.
  • If you need to take certain courses before you are accepted into your program (conditional acceptance), you’ll be given a study permit for the duration of those courses. Once the college or university accepts you into your chosen program, you must apply to extend your study permit.
  • If you plan to attend a college or university in Quebec, current provincial rules state that international students can only attend a designated learning institution chosen by the Quebec government. You’ll also need a study permit from the Government of Canada to study in Quebec.