Permits and visas
Once you receive an acceptance letter from an Ontario college or university, you need to get a study permit and temporary resident visa (TRV). If your program includes co-op or work placements, you may also need a co-op work permit.
For a program that is less than six months, such as an English language course, you do not need a study permit.
Getting help and information
This page contains general information about student permits and visas. Always consult the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website for the most current information.
A licensed immigration consultant can support you through the permit and visa application process. Seek immigration advice only from professionals registered with the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants, including Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) and Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors (RISIAs). Find out if your immigration agent is authorized.
Public health guidance related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic may affect your study plans. Stay on top of the latest COVID-19 information for international students.
A study permit is a document that allows foreign nationals to study at designated learning institutions (DLIs) in Canada. Most foreign nationals need one to study in Canada.
Study permits are not the same as visas. They do not let you enter Canada. If your study permit is approved and a temporary resident visa (TRV) is required, you will be given one automatically.
When to apply
Start your application before you travel to Canada, as soon as you receive your acceptance letter. Check the current study permit application processing times.
How to apply
What you need to apply
Here is what you need to apply for a study permit (check the IRCC website for full details):
- a valid passport
- an acceptance letter from a DLI
- proof that you have enough money to support yourself and your dependents during your stay in Canada
- a letter from your sponsoring organization, if you are being sponsored
- a medical exam, police certificate and/or other documents, if required, based on your home country (check the visa office instructions for your country or region)
- a custodianship declaration, if you are studying as a minor (under 18 years of age)
- additional documents, in some cases, if you are applying through the Student Direct Stream
- a paid application fee
Extending your studies
Study permits are usually valid for the length of your program plus 90 days. The 90 days gives you time to make travel plans to leave Canada or apply to stay longer. Learn how to extend your study permit or restore your status.
Temporary resident visas
The first time you apply for a study permit, you do not need to apply separately for a temporary resident visa (TRV). If your study permit is approved, you will also be given a TRV, if required. Find out if you need a visa.
The only time you need to apply for a TRV as a student is to extend your study permit and visa. Apply for the study permit renewal first, then apply for a TRV.
Make sure you know when your TRV expires and plan ahead. Study permit and TRV application renewals can take several months and processing times may affect your study plans.
Permanent residents (PR) of Canada do not need a TRV. If you are applying to an Ontario institution from outside of Canada and do not have a valid PR card, you must get a permanent resident travel document (PRTD) to return to Canada.
Travel restrictions for international students
As an international student, you need to follow travel restrictions set out by the Canadian government while studying in Canada.
Co-op work permits
If your program includes a co-op placement, internship or practicum, you need to apply for a co-op work permit in addition to a study permit.
A co-op work permit applies to any work that you are required to complete as part of your studies, whether it is:
- on or off campus
- paid or unpaid
- during the academic year or the summer
- casual, part time or full time
Who is eligible
You are eligible for a co-op work permit if:
- the work experience is a mandatory part of your program
- the work experience is less than 50% of your program
- you have a valid study permit
When to apply
If you are accepted directly into a program that includes co-op or an internship, apply for your co-op work permit at the same time that you apply for your study permit.
Current guidance from IRCC suggests you start your application at least 6 months before your work experience begins.