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2. Who can apply?

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Eligibility requirements

You can come to Canada to study if you

  • are enrolled at a DLI
  • prove you have enough money to pay for
    • your tuition fees
    • living expenses for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada and
    • return transportation for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada
  • obey the law, have no criminal record and get a police certificate (if required)
  • are in good health and get a medical exam (if required) and
  • prove to an officer that you will leave Canada when your study permit expires

Get your study permit faster through the Student Direct Stream

If you’re a legal resident in certain countries, you may be able to get your study permit faster by applying online through the Student Direct Stream.

Your responsibilities

While studying in Canada you must

  • make progress towards completing your program
  • respect any conditions listed on your study permit
  • stop studying if you no longer meet the requirements

Depending on your case, there may be conditions on your study permit such as

  • if you’re allowed to work in Canada
  • if you’re allowed to travel within Canada
  • the specific date you must leave Canada
  • where you can study (a specific DLI listed on your permit)
    • You must change your DLI in your IRCC secure account before you can study at a different DLI.
  • whether you need an immigration medical examination

Who doesn’t need a permit to study in Canada

Most foreign nationals need a study permit to study in Canada. The cases below are exceptions.

Short-term students

You don’t need a study permit if you’re coming to Canada for a program that lasts 6 months or less.

Family or staff of foreign representatives

You may not need a study permit if you’re a family or staff member of a foreign representative to Canada that has been accredited by Global Affairs Canada (GAC). Your embassy can contact GAC to find out if you need one.

Members of the foreign armed forces of a country designated under the Visiting Forces Act (VFA)

You don’t need a study permit if you’re a member of a foreign armed force (as part of either the military or a designated civilian personnel) from a country that is designated under the VFA and you’re on official duties in Canada.

You should be in possession of a letter of acceptance from Canada’s Department of National Defence.

If your family members, including minor children, want to study in Canada, they may need a study permit.

Registered Indians in Canada

You don’t need a study permit if you have Registered Indian status in Canada, even if you’re a citizen of another country.

Minor children in Canada

Minor children don’t need a study permit if

  • they’re refugees or refugee claimants
  • their parents are refugees or refugee claimants
  • their parents are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada
  • they’re in Canada attending preschool, primary school or secondary school, and they are accompanied by a parent who has authorization to study or work in Canada
  • they’re in Canada unaccompanied, and they’re attending preschool, primary school or secondary school

We recommend that minor children get a study permit, even if they don’t need one. Find out why we recommend them.

When minor children reach the age of majority (18 or 19 years old, depending on the province or territory), they must apply for a study permit if they want to keep studying. Learn more about minors studying in Canada.

Temporary residents and asylum seekers taking French language and culture courses

You don’t need a study permit to take French language and cultural integration courses in Quebec (linked page is available in French only). To be eligible for the courses, you need to be a temporary resident or asylum seeker in Canada.

Temporary residents taking settlement and integration courses

If you’re taking settlement and integration courses offered by a provincial or territorial government to help you settle into Canada, you don’t need a study permit.

Workers who can study without a study permit

You may be eligible to study without a study permit if you are in either of the following situations:

  1. You have a valid work permit that was issued on or before June 7, 2023.
  2. You have been issued a letter on or before June 7, 2023, authorizing you to work while we process your work permit application.
    • You can use this letter if you’re waiting for a decision on your work permit extension.

Find out if you’re eligible.

Why get a study permit if you don’t need one?

There are 2 reasons you may want to get a study permit even if you don’t need one:

1. Continue studying

If you already have a study permit and your study situation changes, you can continue studying in Canada while your permit is valid.

Example: If you’re transitioning between levels of study (primary, secondary and post-secondary), you don’t need to apply for a new study permit if your current study permit is still valid.

If you apply to extend your permit before it expires, you have maintained your status and can continue studying while you wait for your new study permit. If your study permit extension is refused, you must stop studying.

2. Work on- or off-campus

If you have a study permit and you’re registered as a full-time student at a DLI, you may be able to work on-campus or off-campus. If so, your study permit will include a condition that says you’re allowed to work while studying.

If you don’t have a study permit, you can’t work while you’re studying in Canada. In this case, you need to apply for a work permit.

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