New rules for prospective international students will take effect on June 1, 2014.
The new regulations will improve services to genuine students, while protecting Canada’s international reputation for high-quality education and reducing the potential for fraud and misuse of the program.
For a summary of the changes, please see this notice.
You can choose to apply online or through a paper application. If you need assistance, you can get help with your application at your nearest visa application centre (VAC).
To apply online you must have access to a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents for uploading and have a valid credit card for payment. Determine your eligibility and apply online.
Note: If you provide an email address on your application, please ensure you check it regularly for automated emails from CIC regarding your case. Some spam filters block these emails, and clients are requested to ensure emails from CIC are not blocked. If you are unsure whether emails from CIC are being sent, please check your myCIC account on a regular basis.
Apply on paper
1. Get the application package
You can get help with your paper application at your nearest visa application centre (VAC).
The package includes the application guide and all the forms you need to fill out. Download the application package.
Depending on your citizenship or where you live, you may need a temporary resident visa as well as a study permit. See the list of designated countries. If you are from one of the designated countries, a visa officer will process your application for a temporary resident visa at the same time. You do not need a separate application.
Starting between September and December 2013, citizens from 29 countries and 1 territory will need to give biometrics (fingerprints and photograph) when they apply for a visa.
To apply for a study permit, visit this link to find a list of the documents you will need. Make sure you include these with your application.
If you want to study in the province of Quebec, check the provincial guidelines. To apply, you need a certificate of acceptance or a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ). Your school can also provide you with information. You must have received the certificate of acceptance before applying for a study permit.
Fill in the forms carefully and completely.
- Type or print clearly, using black ink.
- Add appropriate characters for languages that do not use the Latin alphabet, such as Chinese, Arabic, Cyrillic, Japanese, Hebrew, etc.
- Answer all questions carefully, completely and truthfully. Incomplete application packages will not be processed. They will be returned to you.
2. Pay your application fees
There is a fee to apply for a study permit. For information about current rates, consult the fee list. In many countries, the processing fee can be paid in the local currency.
Check the website of your nearest visa office for more information on fees, including how to pay them. The processing fee will not be refunded, even if your application is not accepted.
If you decide to submit your application at a visa application centre (VAC), you will have to pay the VAC services fees. These fees are not included in your CIC application fees.
3. Submit your application
Make sure your application is complete and include the necessary documents. Use the document checklist provided in the application kit. Consult the website of the Canadian visa office serving the country or region where you live to determine if you need to fill out any additional forms or provide any additional documents.
Sign and date the application form, and be sure you include the receipt for the processing fee. You can get help with completing and submitting your application at your nearest visa application centre (VAC). You can also find out where to submit your application by checking the website of your visa office.
If you are from the United States, Saint-Pierre et Miquelon or Greenland, you can apply at the point of entry when you arrive in Canada.
Additional information or documents
After the visa office receives your application, the visa office might request more information or documents. These may include the following:
- Medical information
In most cases, you will need a medical examination. A visa officer will send you instructions if you need one. This may add more than three months to the processing time of your application. Find more information about medical examinations.
- Security information
If you want to study in Canada, you and any family members who come to Canada with you, and who are 18 years of age and over, may have to provide police certificates. Find more information about the security checks.
The length of time to process your application varies depending on the visa office where you applied. For more information, see application processing times.
- Do I need a permit to study in Canada?
- I am an international student in Canada. Can I work while studying?
- As an international student, can I return home or travel outside Canada during my studies?
- When should I apply for my study permit?
- I want to change my school or program of study. How can I change my study permit?