Extend your study permit

The expiry date on your study permit tells when you have to stop studying. This date could be the length of your:

  • program, plus 90 extra days
  • pre-requisite courses plus 90 extra days (if you were conditionally accepted by your school) or
  • passport minus 30 days, if your passport will expire before you can finish your studies.

The extra 90 days gives you time to prepare to leave Canada or to apply to extend your status in Canada.

When to extend your study permit

You need to extend your study permit at least 30 days before it expires. The expiry date is in the top right corner of your permit. You can’t extend your study permit beyond the expiry date on your passport.

If you apply before your permit expires, you can stay in Canada under the same conditions as your current study permit until you get a decision.

You should apply to extend your study permit if you plan to travel outside Canada and your permit will expire while you are travelling.

If your study permit expires, and you haven’t applied for an extension, you must leave Canada.

If you will finish your studies earlier than you expected

Your permit will expire 90 days after the day you complete your studies, no matter what the expiry date on the permit is. The 90 days begin:

  • on the date you get the first notification from your school (such as an email, letter, transcript, etc.) that you completed your program or
  • when you get your degree, diploma or certificate.

If you can’t prove the date you were first notified by your school, we will use the earliest issue date on the document. We may need to confirm this date with your school.

If you want to keep studying, you must apply to extend your study permit at least 30 days before you complete your studies.

If you will finish your studies later than you expected

You must apply to extend your study permit at least 30 days before the original expiry date.

If you want to stay in Canada but you are no longer studying

You have a few options:

Restoring your status after it has expired

In some cases, you may apply to restore your status as a student after your permit expires and you are still in Canada. To apply, you must:

  • apply within 90 days of losing your status
  • still meet the same requirements for your stay and
  • have met all the conditions listed on your permit.

If you are eligible, you need to apply to change conditions or extend your stay in Canada as a student. There is no guarantee that we will accept your application. On your application, you must clearly and completely explain how you lost your status.

If you want to get a new study permit and restore your status, you must pay the study permit fee and the restoration fee. All your family members who have lost status must apply for it to be restored.

You and each of your family members who apply to restore status must pay a fee to apply.

You may stay in Canada while we make a decision on your application. But, you aren’t allowed to study until your status has been restored.

An officer will review your application and tell you what else you need to do.

You want to travel outside Canada and then re-enter

A study permit is not a travel document.

It doesn’t give you the right to travel to Canada. Along with your permit, you need either:

Possession of an eTA or a visa, in addition to your study permit, doesn’t guarantee that we will let you back into Canada. You must show the border services officer that you meet all the requirements before we will let you re-enter.

If you are from a visa-exempt country:

Along with your study permit, you need:

  • a valid passport and
  • an eTA (if you plan to travel to Canada by air)

You don’t need an eTA if you’re arriving by land or sea (for example, by car, bus, train or boat).

If you received your initial study permit before August 1, 2015, you need to apply for an eTA if you haven’t already done so.

If you received your initial work permit on or after August 1, 2015, you already have an eTA. We automatically issued it to you when we approved your initial work permit. It’s valid for 5 years or until your passport expires. See your letter of introduction for details.

Renewing your study permit

If we issue your renewed study permit on or after May 1, 2017, we will automatically issue you an eTA as well.

If we issued your renewed study permit before May 1, 2017 and you don’t already have an eTA, you will need to get one before you return to Canada by air.

If you’re a lawful permanent resident of the United States

Lawful permanent residents of the U.S. need an eTA to fly to Canada. If you received your study permit before August 1, 2015, you need to apply for an eTA if you:

  • don’t already have one and
  • plan to travel from and return to Canada by air.

If you received your study permit on or after August 1, 2015, we automatically issued you an eTA.

Your eTA is linked to the passport you used to apply for your study permit. When flying to Canada you must travel with:

  • the valid passport you used to apply for your study permit and
  • your proof of status in the U.S. (like a valid Green Card)

You don’t need an eTA when driving to Canada or arriving by train, bus, or boat.  However, you you will need to provide proof of your U.S. lawful permanent resident status (such as your Green Card).

If you are from a visa-required country:

You’ll need a valid visa and a valid study permit to return to Canada to work. You don’t need a valid visa if you return directly from a visit only to the United States or St. Pierre and Miquelon. You must re-apply for a visitor visa if your visa:

  • has expired; or
  • was only valid for a single entry to Canada.

As of May 1, 2017, eligible citizens of select visa-required countries will receive an eTA when renewing their study permit. The eTA is electronically linked to the passport that you used to renew your permit and is valid for five years or until passport expires. You can only use the eTA when you fly to, or transit through, Canada by air. You will receive a letter from us with information about your eTA number and expiration date.

Note: if you already have a valid visitor visa, you can use it to travel to Canada until it expires. A visitor visa will allow you to travel to Canada by any means: plane, car, bus, train or boat.

U.S. Citizens

United States citizens should carry:

  • a valid U.S. passport when flying to or transiting through a Canadian airport
  • the right travel documents when driving or arriving in Canada by train, bus or boat

Find out about Canada’s re-admittance conditions if you’ve:

  • applied to extend your status and
  • you need to travel outside Canada before you get your new permit because of an emergency.

How to extend your study permit

Before you apply to extend your study permit, make sure your school is on the designated learning institution list (DLI).

If you got a study permit before June 1, 2014 and you are studying at a school that isn’t on the DLI list, you can:

  • keep studying for the length of your current permit and
  • extend your study permit to complete your program, but not past June 1, 2017. After that, you will need to enrol at a DLI.

If your school is no longer on the DLI list, you can keep studying for the length of your current permit. If you extend your study permit, you need to enroll at a DLI.

Apply to extend your study permit

There are two ways you can apply:

Apply online

To apply online you must have:

  • access to a scanner or digital camera to make electronic copies of your documents for uploading and
  • a valid credit card to pay with.

Find out if you’re eligible and apply online

Check your email regularly for messages from us about your case. Some spam filters block these emails, so make sure our messages are allowed past your filter. Check your account to get updates on your application.

Apply on paper

Download the application package

The package includes the application guide and all the forms you need to fill out.

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