Who is it for?

Individuals who wish to enroll in a study program at university or college in Canada.

How does it work?

For study programs longer than six months in duration, a study permit is required, In order to obtain a study permit, an international student must have a Letter of Acceptance to a DLI and proof of funds.

What’s the advantage?

In a world where more countries roll out increasingly restrictive conditions for entry and work rights among international students, Canada can be considered incredibly kind. Not only can international students in Canada enjoy lower tuition fees than they may be asked to pay elsewhere, they may also fund their studies and other expenses by working off-campus while studying. Upon graduation, they may then work in Canada on an open work permit for up to three years, allowing them to gain valuable Canadian work experience before potentially pursuing permanent immigration to Canada.

How much does it cost?

Prospective students have a few costs to consider. In addition to a study permit application fee of $150, students have to cover the international tuition fee set by the university or college.

In addition, applicants need to show sufficient funds to cover living expenses. This comes to $10,000 per year, or $11,000 in Quebec, plus more for any accompanying family members. These are not fees, but applicants must have access to these funds in order for their study permit application to be approved.

How long does it take?

Study permit applications are usually processed within a few weeks, with expedited processing times for eligible students in certain key partner countries. For updated processing times, visit this IRCC page.

Other considerations

A letter of acceptance from a designated Canadian university or college is required before an applicant may apply for a study permit.

Canada Study Permit

If you are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and want to study in Canada for a period longer than six months at post-secondary level, you will need a Canada study permit.

Explore this page, as well as our other study in Canada resources, to learn more about the process of coming to Canada to study.

If you are applying for a study permit during the COVID-19 health crisis, there are special measures in effect that may help you begin your studies from outside Canada while travel restrictions are in place:


About Canada study permits

What is a Canadian study permit?
A document issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) to someone who wants to come to Canada to study, or continue ongoing studies in Canada.

What are the requirements for a Canadian study permit?
At the very minimum, you will need to present a letter of acceptance from a designated learning institution (DLI) and minimum funds (see below). Additional documentation depends on your circumstances. The Canadian study visa requirements also includes the payment of student visa fees and the ability to provide proof of funds for your Canadian study permit. More information on proof of funds and general requirements for a study permit in Canada can be found below.

Are there activities for which study permit in Canada is not required?
Generally, a study permit is not required for:

  • attending preschool;
  • completing a distance learning program;
  • following audit courses (where a student is permitted to attend an academic course without obtaining credits);
  • taking courses included in tour packages as a secondary activity for tourists;
  • taking a course which is not academic, professional or vocational in nature that is of general interest and can be completed within the period authorized upon entry to Canada; or
  • taking a course or a program of study which is six months or less that can be completed within the period authorized upon entry into Canada.

In addition, certain family members or private staff accompanying a foreign representative accredited by Global Affairs Canada, as well as members of the armed forces from certain countries, may be able to study for longer than six months without a study permit.

Upon completion of a study program, graduates may be eligible to obtain a post-graduation work permit.

Can family members accompany an applicant to Canada?
An accompanying spouse or common-law partner may be able to obtain an open work permit, and minor children may be able to study at Canadian elementary and secondary schools.

Where to submit your study permit application?
The process for submitting your Canadian study permit application depends on the country from which you’re applying. Consult the Canadian government’s official page to find out your requirements.


Canada study permit: eligibility requirements

In order to be eligible for a Canada study permit, prospective students must:

  • obtain a letter of acceptance from a DLI;
  • prove enough funds to cover the first year of tuition, as well as living expenses and return transportation;
  • satisfy Canadian immigration authorities that they will leave Canada at the end of the period authorized by the study permit; and
  • be admissible to Canada (police background checks and/or a medical may be requested).

There may be additional requirements, depending on the applicant’s circumstances.


Minimum funds

Canadian study permit applicants must prove they can support themselves and accompanying family members, if applicable, while in Canada.

Proof of funds for a study permit can be proven with:

  • proof of a Canadian bank account in your name, if you have transferred money to Canada;
  • Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) from a participating Canadian financial institution;
  • proof of a student/education loan from a bank;
  • bank statements for the past four months;
  • a bank draft that can be converted to Canadian dollars;
  • proof you paid tuition and housing fees;
  • a letter from the person or school giving you money; and/or
  • proof of funding paid from within Canada, if you have a scholarship or are in a Canadian-funded educational program.

Check out our analysis on which bank provides the best option for a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC).

The minimum funds requirements are outlined below. The requirements for students destined for the province of Quebec are different, and follow this first table.


Minimum funds: all provinces except Quebec

Persons coming to CanadaAmount of funds required per year (additional to the tuition)Amount of funds required per month (additional to the tuition)
You (the student)$10,000$833
First family member$4,000$333
For each additional accompanying family member$3,000$255


Minimum funds for Quebec

Persons coming to CanadaAmount of funds required per year (additional to the tuition)Amount of funds required per month (additional to the tuition)
You (the student)$11,000$917
First family member (18 years or older)$5,100$425
First family member (under the age of 18)$3,800$317
Every additional accompanying family member (18 years or older)$5,125$427
Every additional accompanying family member (under the age of 18)$1,903159

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