Find out if your child needs a study permit

Minor children who are already in Canada accompanying a parent who is permitted to study or work may study in Canada without a study permit at the pre-school, primary and secondary levels.

A minor child of a parent who is not authorized to work or study in Canada (for example, their parent is authorized as a visitor) is not eligible to study in Canada without a study permit. These minor children must apply for a study permit from their country of last permanent residence.

Study permits for primary school students are issued for a period of one year and can be renewed, while study permits for students enrolled in secondary school (grades 9 to 12 in all provinces and territories except Quebec, and grades 9 to 11 in Quebec) can be issued for the full length of the intended period of study at a secondary school in Canada (maximum of four years).

Minor children at the pre-school and kindergarten levels are not required to hold a valid study permit.

Important: Generally, those applying for a study permit, including those at the primary or secondary school level, need to provide a letter of acceptance from the applicable educational institution in Canada. Applicants may provide either the original letter of acceptance or an electronic version.

There is one exception to this requirement: Minor children who are accompanying a family member who has applied and been approved for a work or study permit before entering Canada do not need to provide a letter of acceptance from an educational institution.

The following table summarizes whether a minor child needs a study permit to enroll in a school. School authorities may also use the table to help determine when school fees apply.

If the child is… Documents needed Study permit required
a Canadian Passport, citizenship card, or birth certificate No
a permanent resident Record of Landing (IMM 1000), Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5292); or Permanent Resident Card No
a foreign national accompanied by a parent in the visitor class Stamp on the child’s passport or on the father’s or mother’s passport on which the child is listed as a son or daughter Yes
alone or with a parent who is a temporary resident and has a study or work permit Child’s passport or child listed on the parent’s passport. The child may have a visitor record. The parent has a study or work permit.Footnote 1 No
a refugee claimant, accompanied or not by a parent Determination of Eligibility letter from CIC. Child’s passport or child listed on a parent’s passport, or no travel or identity documents. No
in Canada without status Child’s passport or child listed on a parent’s passport, or no travel or identity documents. May also have an expired CIC document. No
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