Canada Student Visa- How to Apply, Requirements, Processing Time

by sakshi.jain

International students wanting to study in Canada must obtain a Canadian visa and study permit for the duration of the program or study.

The Canadian Study permit and visa are two separate things altogether. The Canadian Visa, such as TRV (Temporary Resident Visa), permits you to enter Canada, whereas the Study Permit gives you permission to study in Canada. Further, one will have to apply for work permit in order to be eligible to work during or after the completion of their study program.

The applicant must make sure that the duration of both study permit and TRV visa is same. However, validation of both the above documents can be extended at a later stage as well.

Study Permit in Canada

In order to get a study permit, applicant must obtain a letter of acceptance from a Designated Learning Institute (DLI), applicable at post-secondary level.

Do I need a Study Permit?

If you are a foreign national, you will need a study permit to study in Canada. You would not require a study permit if the course you are enrolled in, is for six months or less.

Some of the other cases in which you might not require a study permit are given below:

  • If you are a Family or staff member of a foreign representative to Canada
  • If you are member of a foreign armed force in Canada, then your family members including minor children are exempted from having a study permit.
  • If you are a registered Indian in Canada

How long can I stay in Canada with a Study Permit?

You will be allowed to stay in the country with a study permit, till the last day of their study program and an extra 90 days. Students can use this extra time to prepare to leave Canada or apply to extend their stay.

Case 1: Applicant is unable to complete his/ her course within the duration of the study permit. In this case, they may apply to extend the same.
Case 2: Applicant completes his/ her course before the speculated date. In this case, the extra 90 days will start right after completing your studies.

What if I have to go back home while studying?

You can certainly go back home during a scheduled break. However, you may need to show proof that you are enrolled in your school when you return to Canada.

  • If you come here by Visa, make sure it is still valid.
  • If you come here on an electronic travel authorization (eTA), you will need a new one if you leave and return to Canada by air.

Remember, your study permit is not a visa.

Documents Required to Apply for Canadian Study Permit

In order to apply for a Canadian study permit, applicants must have the following:

English Language Proficiency Test

Applicants must clear any one English language proficiency test to get into a university in Canada. Some of the Language proficiency tests which the student can go for are given below:

In case a student is a native English speaker, he will be exempted from sitting for the test. For those who are proficient in French, they will be considered applying through French language as it is second official language of Canada.

Acceptance letter from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI)

The applicant must possess an acceptance letter provided to them by the school they plan to attend in Canada. Your study permit application must include the original acceptance letter.

In case you have to take some courses before you are accepted in your program, the Government of Canada will issue only issue your study permit for the duration of those courses. Once you are accepted in the program, you will then have to apply to further extend your stay as a student.

A valid passport or any other travel document such as an eTA.

The applicant must possess a valid passport or any other travel document that allows entry and exit from Canada. Applicant will have to submit two recent passport-size photos. Each photo must have the name and date of birth of the applicant, mentioned on the back.

Proof that you have the funds to pay for your tuition fee, living expenses and return ticket.

You can indicate the same through the following.

  • A Canadian bank account in your name
  • Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) from a participating Canadian Financial Institution
  • Acceptance of student education loan from a bank
  • Your bank statement of the past four months
  • A bank draft that can be converted to Canadian dollars whenever necessary
  • Proof that you have already paid your tuition and housing fee
  • A letter from a person or school giving you enough money to pay for your expenses in Canada
  • In case you are enrolled in a Canadian- funded educational program, then you must show proof of funding from within Canada

The applicant must be:

  • A law-abiding citizen with no past criminal record under his name. Applicant might have to provide a police certificate as evidence for the same.
  • In good health to complete their studies and return after the expiration of their study permit. Applicant might have to complete a medical exam for the same.
  • Able to convince an immigration officer that you intend to stay in Canada only till you complete your studies and will be leaving Canada once you are done with your studies.

In certain cases, applicants have to submit the following documents as well:

Letter of Explanation

A letter of Explanation helps the Visa officer to understand your purpose of visiting Canada. The letter must cover the following issues:

  • Why you want to study in Canada
  • That you understand and acknowledge your responsibilities as a student travelling on a student visa.

Certificat d’acceptation du Quebec (CAQ)

Students planning to study in Quebec require Certificat d’acceptation du Quebec (CAQ), issued by the Government of Quebec.

If you are approved but are waiting for a CAQ, then you can apply for your study permit using the approval letter from the Ministère de l'Immigration, de la Diversité et de l'Inclusion (MIDI).

How to Apply for Canadian Study Permit?

Online mode

There are few important steps to follow while applying for Canadian Study Permit. The process is given below:

Step 1: Choosing course and institution: Applicants need to choose a course to study and their desired institution by visiting their website. Applying candidate needs to make sure his school has DLI number as it is significant for international students for obtaining study permit. The list of all DLIs can be found at the official website.

If candidate’s institution does not have a DLI, his application will not be entertained. Applying candidate needs to write DLI number on study permit application. Candidate can find DLI number by following the given steps:

  1. Go to the DLI website: cic.gc.ca
  2. Choose the province your school is in
  3. Type the name of school
  4. Find the DLI number and write it under the section ‘Details of Intended’ study in Canada

Step 2:Check if you need to apply for a Visa and provide proof of Identity: Passport is the only mandatory proof of identity which is also required to return to your home country. Proof of identity is mandatory for applicant as well as the family member who will accompany him.

With Proof of identity, two passport-size photographs are required with candidate’s name and date of birth written at the back.

Step 3: Acquire the Application Form: Check the requirements and eligibility before applying for a visa. Visa application forms can be downloaded from the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website- cic.gc.ca.

Applicants can also avail the application package by downloading from the official website. Application Submission centers can be looked up from the CIC website. The visa fee payment has to be made while acquiring the form.

Note: In order to apply online, applicants must have a scanner or digital camera to upload the soft copies of required documents and a valid credit card or debit card to pay with.

Step 4: Arrange all documents: Cross check all the documents to be submitted:

Application FormMust be completely filled
Valid passportIt works as identity proof. Not required for US citizens
Visa fee payment proofProof that you have paid the study permit fee
Letter of acceptanceOriginal document obtained by recognized DLI
Two passport- size photographsRecent (35 mm x 45 mm). Sign and write DOB at the back of each photo
Proof of sufficient funds$CAD 10,000 (minimum)
Letter of ExplanationDocument containing explanation for choosing Canada to study
CertificateMarriage Certificate if applicable
To study in QuebecApproval Letter from Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) to study in Quebec and Montreal

Applying through Offline mode

In order to apply offline, students can take help from their nearest VAC (Visa Application Center) or follow the below mentioned steps.

Going through the application package

Download the application package. This package includes the application guide and all the forms that you need to fill. Find out all the documents that are required to apply for a study permit.

Fill in the application form

Fill the application form carefully and completely. Any incomplete application form/ packages will not be processed by the visa center.

Payment of the application fee

The next step is to make the payment for the application fee. Usually it is in Canadian dollars. In case you are applying on paper at a VAC, then you may have to pay their service charges as well. This fee is to be paid separately from the IRCC application fees.

Submit your application and required documents

Finally submit the completely filled in application form along with the necessary documents.

What is Student Direct Stream?

For students living in China, India, Philippines and Vietnam, process of getting a study permit is easier and faster using the Student Direct Stream.

Documents required to apply via Student Direct Stream

To apply for a study permit using the Student Direct Stream, students require the following documents.

  • Letter of acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution.
  • Proof that you are medically fit to travel to Canada and come back after completion of your studies.
  • Proof that you possess a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of $10,000
  • Proof that you have already paid your first year’s tuition fee.
  • Proof that you qualify an English language proficiency test or have graduated from a Canadian curriculum high school. (Score of at least 6 for English (International English Language Testing System or at least 7 for French (Test d’évaluation de français)

For all students who do not belong to the above mentioned countries will have to follow the usual application process (given above) for a study permit.

Case 1: Applicants residing in CanadaCan apply directly in person or by mail at the visa application center (VAC) in Los Angeles.
Case 2: Applicants not residing in CanadaCan apply online or send a hard copy of the application in a country where they lawfully reside.

What to do after application?

After you have applied for a study permit, you must check the status of your application. Processing time may vary depending on where you have applied.

The visa office next reviews the application submitted by you, to make sure that it:

  • Is completed and correctly filled
  • Includes all the necessary documents
In case the application is found to be incomplete, they may refuse it.
In case the application is complete, the visa officer will then review it and decide if you need to be called for an interview. If so, you will be notified about the time and place.

Note: If your place or residency/ address/ telephone number changes, then you must inform the Visa office about the same.

If your application is approved, you will be sent a letter of confirmation for the same. However, this letter of confirmation cannot be used as a study permit. Students will have to show the same to the immigration officer when they arrive in Canada. Further, students will also receive an eTA or a visitor visa to enter Canada.

If your application is rejected, the Visa office will sent a letter explaining the reasons for refusing the application. Some of the most common reasons for refusal of an application are:

  1. Your application lacks proof of financial funds
  2. You have not cleared a medical exam if you needed one
  3. You are unable to convince the visa officer

In case you still have questions or doubts in regards to the refusal of your application, you can simply contact the visa office that sent the refusal letter.

Terms and Conditions of Canadian Study Permit

A study permit is issued to you only after the officer is convinced that you will follow all the terms and conditions associated with it. To get a study permit, you must:

  • always be enrolled at a DLI
  • make progress towards completing the program you have enrolled in
  • respect all the conditions mentioned on your study permit
  • stop studying the day your study permit expires
  • leave Canada when your permit expires

Sometimes, study permits also have conditions for:

  • the level of studies you can attend
  • if you are allowed to work in Canada
  • if you need to report for medical procedures
  • if you can’t travel in Canada, and
  • date you must stop studying.

Note: Students must follow all the conditions mentioned on their study permit. Breaking any of the rules or conditions is a legal offense and you will lose your temporary resident status and any permit you have.

On arrival in Canada

While arriving in Canada, an officer of the Government of Canada will:

  1. Ask to present your passport and other travel documents
  2. Ask a few question to verify your purpose of visit
  3. Make sure that you clear all the requirements to enter Canada

You must convince the officer that you intend to stay in Canada only till you finish your studies.

Further, students must keep the following things in mind:

Primary Inspection Kiosks:

Students are advised to check with their school or institution if they need to provide any specific document to enter in Canada. In case you need a proof of entry, you must get the border services officer to put a stamp on your passport before leaving the airport.

Documents required:

For a successful entry in Canada, you will require:

  • A valid passport or any other travel document
  • Letter of acceptance stating that the Visa office has approved your study permit
  • Letter of acceptance stating that a DLI  has accepted you as a student
  • Proof of finance that you have enough money to pay for your tuition fee and other housing expenses in Canada
  • eTA or TRV that have been electronically attached to your passport

Note: In case you are below the age of 18 while traveling to Canada, you will have to present a valid identification. Other documents to be presented, depends on whether the minor is traveling alone or with an adult.

Students must carry the above mentioned documents and other travel papers with them at all times. Missing out on any of these documents might hinder their entry in Canada. After checking all the at the point of entry, the officer you a study permit and let you enter Canada.

As soon as you get your study permit, make sure that personal information mentioned on the same is correct and expiry date of the same matched your TRV date (if applicable).

Disclosure of Funds:

It is your responsibility to notify the Government officer if you arrive in Canada with more than CAN$10,000. If the government officer is unaware of the same, you can be fined and your funds can be seized. Funds can be in the form of:

  • Cash
  • Securities that belong to you (for example, stocks, bonds, debentures, treasury bills) or
  • Bankers’ drafts, cheques, traveller’s cheques or money orders.

Extending your study permit

You will have to extend your study permit if you are not able to complete your studies in the time frame mentioned in your study permit. You must stop studying the day your study permit expires. You must fill and submit a new application to extend your study permit. You cannot study until your study permit is extended.

While waiting for a decision on study permit extension

Till the time your application for study permit extension is being processed, you can leave and come back to Canada. Your study permit expiration does not mean that your visa has expired.

You will need a valid visa or eTA to return back to Canada, unless you are coming back from the United States or St-Pierre and Miquelon.

On coming back to Canada, you might have to present a copy of your application, fee payment receipt, and other documents to prove that you have applied for a study permit extension.

Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)

Students wanting to pursue their studies in Canada will require a temporary resident visa (TRV) to enter Canada. A TRV is an official counterfoil document issued by a visa office. The same is attached to a person’s passport indicating that they have met all requirements for admission to Canada as a temporary resident.

However, holding a TRV should be considered a privilege and not a right. Thus, it does not guarantee entry to Canada.

A foreign national holding a TRV can only enter Canada, after convincing an officer that they meet all requirements set out in A 20(1) (b) and are not inadmissible.

Applicants must convince the officer that they respect the temporary period of stay provided to them in the TRV and have the ability and willingness to leave Canada at the end of the same.

Applicants may intend to eventually apply for permanent residence or, in fact, have an application in process, as provided for in A22(2). However this should not change their decision of abiding by the TRV.

Applying for Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)

In order to study in Canada, applicants will have to apply for a study permit and a Canadian Temporary Resident Visa (TRV). Applicants must submit an application for the same to the visa office that is responsible for serving:

  • the country in which the applicant has been lawfully admitted; or
  • applicant's country of nationality, or, if the applicant is stateless, their country of habitual residence
CountryVisa Office
IndiaFederal Skilled Workers, Federal Skilled Trades and Canadian Experience Class: Express Entry All other applications: New Delhi
ChinaFederal Skilled Workers, Federal Skilled Trades and Canadian Experience Class: Express Entry All other applications: Hong Kong SAR
Saudi ArabicFederal Skilled Workers, Federal Skilled Trades and Canadian Experience Class: Express Entry All other applications: London
South KoreaFederal Skilled Workers, Federal Skilled Trades and Canadian Experience Class: Express Entry All other applications: Manila
United States of AmericaFederal Skilled Workers, Federal Skilled Trades and Canadian Experience Class: Express Entry All other applications: CPC-O

Before you apply for a TRV

Before you apply for a TRV, you must fulfill the conditions mentioned below.

Convince the officer that you:

  • Meet all the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.
  • Will be Canada for only a temporary stay and will leave as soon as you complete your studies.
  • Have enough money to maintain a decent lifestyle in Canada for you and your family.
  • Do not intend to work or study in Canada unless authorized to do so
  • Are a law abiding citizen with zero criminal record
  • Of no risk to the security of Canada
  • Are in good health and medically fit to travel to Canada and are willing to complete a medical examination to prove the same.

Online Application process for Canadian TRV

Applicants can use the Come to Canada Wizard and the MyCIC portal to apply for a Canadian TRV. The same portals can be used to apply for a work permit, study permit, Temporary resident visa and Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

Create an account:

With your account, you can apply, pay your fees and check your status for some applications.

You can create and sign in to an account using:

  • your online banking login (Sign-In Partner)
  • a Government of Canada login (GCKey)

Check Eligibility:

The first step is to check if you are eligible to apply or not. For this, students will have to answer a few questions. Only after completing the form (10-15 minutes), one can know which way of immigration is best for them.

Some of the questions asked in the form are based on:

  • nationality
  • age
  • language ability
  • family members
  • education
  • work experience
  • income and/or net worth
  • details on any job offer

Once you are declared as eligible, you will then be provided with a detailed list of instructions.

You can further apply by following these instructions.

Filling application form:

Fill in the application form. Some of the questions asked in the application form are pertaining to:

  • Personal Details
  • Languages known
  • National Identity
  • Contact information
  • Details of visit
  • Employment
  • Background Information
  • Family Information

Payment of Application fee

Usually the payment is to be made in Canadian dollars. The same has been converted in different currencies and given in the box below.

CountryApplication fee in CAD $Application fee (country wise)
IndiaCAD $200INR 9,900
ChinaCAD $200RMB 1,000
South KoreaCAD $200-
Saudi ArabiaCAD $200N/A
South AfricaCAD $200CAD $200

Submitting required documents:

You will need a scanner or a digital camera phone to submit the required documents for successful completion of the application form.

Applying in-Canada

A foreign national in possession of a valid study or work permit must apply for a temporary resident visa counterfoil through the Case Processing Centre.

Applying through offline mode

Applicant will have to fill the ‘Transit visa’ form which is the same form used for applying for a visitor visa.

Check eligibility

The first step is to check if you are eligible to apply or not. For this, students will have to answer a few questions. Only after completing the form (10-15 minutes), one can know which way of immigration is best for them.

Some of the questions asked in the form are based on:

  • nationality
  • age
  • language ability
  • family members
  • education
  • work experience
  • income and/or net worth
  • details on any job offer

Get your application Package

Download the application package. This package includes the application guide and all the forms that you need to fill. Find out all the documents that are required to apply for a TRV.

Fill in the application form

Fill the application form carefully and completely. Any incomplete application form/ packages will not be processed by the visa center.

Payment of the application fee

The next step is to make the payment for the application fee. In case you are applying on paper at a VAC, then you may have to pay their service charges as well. This fee is to be paid separately from the IRCC application fees.

Submit your application and required documents

Finally submit the completely filled in application form along with the necessary documents

What is an eTA?

Foreign nationals exempted from a Canadian visa require an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to travel to Canada by air. In such cases, traveler’s passport will be linked to the eTA electronically. An eTA is usually valid for up to 5 years or till the day your passport expires, whichever comes first.

What does an eTA do?

One can travel as often as they want for short trips/ stays (up to six months) to Canada with the help of an Eta.

Note: Having an eTA does not guarantee entry in Canada. Your passport and other documents will be checked by a border services officer at the time of arrival. You must convince the officer that you are eligible for entry into Canada.

Do I Need an eTA to travel to Canada?

Here are three categories of travelers to Canada. Check which category do you belong to.

Those who need an eTA to travel to Canada.

Foreign nationals exempted from a Canadian visa require an eTA to travel or transit through Canada by air. However, such travelers do not require an eTA if they are arriving by any other means of transport such as car, bus, train or boat/ cruise ship.

Legally permanent residents of US will require an eTA to travel or transit through Canada by air. They must show a valid Green Card and passport at the time of arrival.

Those who may be eligible for an eTA to travel to Canada

Citizens of Brazil, Bulgaria and Romania may be eligible for an eTA to travel to Canada by air. However, such travelers will require a visitor visa if they are arriving by any other means of transport such as car, bus, train or boat/ cruise ship.

Those who are exempted from an eTA to travel to Canada

U.S Citizens are exempted from an eTA and have to present a valid US passport and proper identification instead.

Canadian citizens including dual citizens will require a valid Canadian passport instead of an eTA.

American-Canadians do not require an Eta and instead can travel with a valid Canadian or U.S. passport.

How to get an Eta to travel to Canada

Applicants must apply for an eTA only through the official website of Government of Canada. One can apply for the same in minutes by following a simple online process. Usually eTA approval takes a few minutes however, certain requests can take several days to process if you are asked to submit supporting documents along with your application. Keeping in mind the time variability, it is advised to get an eTA before you make your flight bookings to Canada.

eTA Application procedure

  • Visit the official website of the Government of Canada. Use the online form to apply for an eTA.
  • The form cannot be saved to fill in later. So, it is best to keep all the required information ready. You will require the following to successfully apply for an eTA.
    1. Valid passport
    2. Valid email address
    3. Visa Master card/ American express/ UnionPay/ JCB Card/ Interac to pay CAD $7 FOR Eta.
  •  Once you have completed the form, you must pay CAD $7. You can only apply and pay for one person at a time.
  • You will then receive an email regarding your eTA application.

Note: In most cases, eTA is approved within minutes of submitting the application. In such cases, you will receive a mail from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada about your application.

However, some requests take longer to process and applicants are asked to submit necessary documents. In such cases, an e-mail regarding the same is sent to you within 72 hours.

Some of the most common mistake made by applicants while filling up eTA form is entering the wrong passport number. Applicants must fill the number provided to them at the top of the passport information page that has their photo.

It is advised to go through the eTA help guide to avoid making mistakes.

What after your eTA is approved?

Once you are an eTA holder, you can travel to Canada for short visits (up to 6 months) till your eTA is valid. You will have to show your passport at the airport when you check-in to your flight to Canada. The same will be scanned by the airline staff to confirm that you have a valid eTA.

Note: In case you do not have a valid eTA, you will not be allowed to board the flight. In case your passport has been renewed, you will have to apply for an eTA again.

Getting a Canadian work permit

In order to be able to work in Canada, most foreign citizens require a valid work permit issued by the Government of Canada.

Are you eligible for a work permit?

Some of the general eligibility requirements for getting a Canadian work permit are given below:

  • Convince an officer that you will be leaving Canada as soon as your work permit expires
  • Show proof of financial standing that you can support yourself and your family monetarily.
  • Be a law abiding citizen with no past record of criminal activity
  • Be of no danger to the security of Canada
  • Be in good health and have a medical exam, if needed,
  • Will not work for any employer listed as “ineligible” on the list of employers who failed to comply with the conditions,
  • Will not work for an employer who, on a regular basis, offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages, and
  • Will provide the officer with all documents required to prove your entry in Canada.

Types of work permits

There are two types of work permits: open work permits and employer-specific work permits.

Open work permits

As per an open work permit, the holder is allowed to work for any employer in Canada, except for an employer:

  • who has been listed as ineligible on the list of employers who have failed to comply with the conditions,
  • who regularly offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages.

Employer-specific work permits

As per an employer-specific work permit, the holder is allowed to work according to the conditions mentioned on your work permit. The same may include:

  • Name of the employer you can work for,
  • How long you can work, and
  • Location where you can work (if applicable).

Work while study

Foreign students studying in Canada with a study permit might/ might not require a work permit to work while they study. They can work on campus and off campus. However, in both cases, they must fulfill an eligibility criteria and all conditions associated to both.

Work on Campus:

Students can work without a work permit in their current school campus. They will require a study permit to do so. Follow the below mentioned conditions to work on campus.

  • A full-time post-secondary student at:
    1. A public post-secondary school, such as a college or university, or CEGEP in Quebec
    2. A private college-level school in Quebec that operates under the same rules as public schools, and is at least 50% funded by government grants, or
    3. A Canadian private school that can legally award degrees under provincial law
  • Are in possession of a valid study permit
  • Have a Social Insurance Number (SIN).
  • Will stop working the day your study permit expires and you are no longer studying full time.

Where Can I work?

Students working on-campus can accept employment at any of the buildings on their school campus. In case a school has more than one campuses, students may work only at the campus location where they are studying.

In case a student is working as a teacher or as research assistant, they may work at a Library, located on/ off campus.

Who can you work for?

In case a student is working on-campus, then they may look for employment under:

  • the school
  • a faculty member
  • a student organization
  • yourself (self-employed on-campus)
  • a private business
  • a private contractor that provides on-campus services to the school.

Working off- Campus

Students can also work off-campus while studying. They may not need a work permit if they:

  • have a valid study permit
  • are a full-time student at a designated learning institution (DLI)
  • have started studying
  • are in a program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate and is at least six months long and
  • have a Social Insurance Number (SIN)

Note: A SIN is mandatory to work while studying.

In case, a student is no longer a full-time student, they may still work off-campus if they:

  • have been a full-time student since you started your program in Canada and
  • are now studying part-time only because this is your last semester (and you don’t need a full course-load to complete your program).

In case you no longer fulfill all the requirements, you must stop working off-campus.

Note: It is your and your employer’s responsibility to make sure that you fulfill all eligibility requirements to work off-campus without a work permit before you start working. If you start working off-campus but don’t meet the requirements, you may be asked to leave Canada.

Who can’t work off-campus?

In some cases, students are not allowed to work off-campus without a work permit. This is when you are:

  • studying English or French as a second language (ESL/FSL)
  • taking general interest courses or courses to prepare for another study program or
  • a visiting or exchange student who won’t get a degree from your host school in Canada.

To tackle such cases, you must apply for a work permit.

What is a Social Insurance Number (SIN)?

In order to work in Canada and get benefits and services from all government programs, you will require a SIN from Service Canada.

Students can apply for a SIN to work on campus, only if the below mentioned conditions are printed on the student’s study permit

  • They can accept employment on campus of the institution in which they have been registered for a full-time course
  • They can accept employment on or off campus, only if they meet the eligibility criteria mentioned in R186 (f), (v) or (w) and will stop working if they no longer fulfill the requirements.

In case a student does not have the above mentioned conditions on their study permit but do fulfill the eligibility criteria, they can ask to get these conditions added for free, so that they can apply for a SIN.

Students can apply for a SIN to work off-campus, only if the below mentioned conditions are printed on the student’s study permit

  • They may work 20 hrs. per week off-campus, or full-time during regular breaks, if meeting criteria outlined in section 186(v) of IRPR
  • They may accept employment on or off-campus if meeting eligibility criteria as per R186(f), (v) or (w). Must cease working if no longer meeting these criteria

In case a student does not have the above mentioned conditions on their study permit but do fulfill the eligibility criteria, they can ask to get these conditions added for free, so that they can apply for a SIN.

However, you may have to have to pay for adding changes if:

  • your study permit says “This permit does not permit the holder to engage in off-campus employment in Canada,”, printed on it and
  • you have changed your program of study.

How many hours can you work?

A student can work upto 20 hours per week while working off- campus. In such a case, students can work:

  • during regular school sessions, or while you are studying if you are enrolled in an intensive program that doesn’t have scheduled breaks
  • if you are studying part-time because you are completing the last session of your program
  • if you are a graduate student who has completed the required courses for your degree

A student can also work full-time during their winter/summer holidays and after they have finished their studies.

Work as a co–op student or intern

Certain programs also include gaining work experience as part of their curriculum. However, students planning to apply for a co-op or intern work permit, must fulfill the following conditions:

  • they have a valid study permit,
  • they have been given a letter that makes work placements a mandatory part of your study program
  • Your co-op or internship is 50 per cent or less of the total program of study.

In case a student is studying English/ French as a second language or is studying general interest courses to prepare for a study program, then he/ she will not be eligible for a co-op work permit.

Applying for a work permit

Applying for work permit with study permit

Students can apply for a work permit with their study permit if their acceptance letter clearly states that their program curriculum includes co-op or internship placement as well. In such a case, the student only needs to apply for a study permit and the work permit is processed automatically as part of your application.

Applying for a work permit after you started studying

There are two ways to apply for a work permit after you have started studying:

Online:

Students can simply apply for a work permit while studying by downloading the application form from the website.  To successfully submit the application form, one will need:

  • A scanner or digital camera to upload the soft copy of documents
  • A valid credit card/ debit card to pay for the application fee

Offline:

Get your application Package

Download the application package. This package includes the application guide and all the forms that you need to fill. Find out all the documents that are required to apply for a work permit.

Fill in the application form

Fill the application form carefully and completely. Any incomplete application form/ packages will not be processed. Make sure all information is correct.

It is advised to photocopy the blank forms and use one as a working copy and the other one as the final copy. Send the final copy for processing. Keep the working copy for your own records.

There is no processing fee to be paid by the user.

Submitting application form and documents

The application kit will include a mailing address where you need to send the filled in application form and other required documents.

Note: Students might face trouble downloading the application PDF from the website. This can be solved by:

For PC users

  • Find the link of the file you want to save (you may need to go back to the previous page to find it)
  • Right-click the link.
  • Select “Save target as” or “Save link as”.
  • Choose the location on your computer where you would like to save the file.
  • Select “Save”.
  • Use Windows Explorer to get to the location where you saved the file.
  • Right click on the PDF file.
  • Select “Open with”.
  • Select “Choose program”.
  • Select “Adobe Acrobat Reader”.
  • Make sure to check the box that says “Always use this program to open these files”.
  • Select “OK”.

For Mac users

  • Find the link of the file you want to save (you may need to go back to the previous page to find it)
  • Press the Control (ctrl) key and click on the link
  • When the option menu appears, choose “Download link to disk” or “Download linked file”.
  • Choose the location on your computer where you would like to store the file. Your computer will start the download once you have selected a location.
  • Use Spotlight or Finder to look for the downloaded file.

Working after graduation

Students can also work after graduation, after completing their studies. In such a case, they will have to apply for a separate work permit. However, they must fulfill the eligibility criteria for the same.

Students graduated from a designated learning institution can stay temporarily in Canada while working by getting a post-graduation work permit (PGWP).

Basic eligibility criteria for work permit after graduation:

  • Applicant must be 18 years of age or older
  • They must have studied full-time in Canada in a program of at least eight months duration.
  • They must have official transcripts, official letter, certificate, etc to show that they completed and passed all your program requirements
  • have graduated from a:
  1. public post-secondary school, such as a college, trade/technical school or university, or CEGEP in Quebec or
  2. private post-secondary school that operates under the same rules as public schools (currently applies only to certain private post-secondary institutions in Quebec) or
  3. private secondary or post-secondary school (in Quebec) that offers qualifying programs of 900 hours or longer, leading to a diplôme d’études professionnelles (DEP) or an attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP) or
  4. Canadian private school that can legally award degrees under provincial law (for example, Bachelors, Masters or Doctorate degree) but only if you are enrolled in a study programs leading to a degree as authorized by the province
  • Must apply for a work permit within 90 days from the last day of completion of program
  • Must possess a valid study permit at the time of submitting application for work permit.
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