International Students Study Permits
A study permit is an immigration document that allows you to live in Canada temporarily while you study at a post-secondary institution.
If you are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and you want to study in Canada in a program of 6 months or more, then you must have a valid study permit.
Apply for a Study Permit online
We highly recommend that you apply online for your study permit after creating your account with Immigration Refugees and citizenship Canada (IRCC). You may also visit the closest Visa Application Centre (VAC) and apply on paper.
The study permit application process can be very time-consuming. You should apply for a study permit as soon as you receive a letter of acceptance from the University. Under no circumstances should you leave for Canada until you have received your study permit approval letter and, if necessary, a Temporary Resident Visa (Entry Visa).
Learn about how to avoid delays in your study permit processing.
To help with your application, note that the Designated Learning Institution number for the University of Toronto is: O19332746152 (the number begins with the letter “O,” which stands for Ontario). This number is usually mentioned on the acceptance letter that you receive from our university.
Documents you need to get a study permit
Proof of acceptance: Acceptance letter or offer of admission from the University of Toronto with details about the academic program, including the name of the program, duration, expected start and graduation dates. It helps if this also includes the tuition cost for the first year of the program. If the letter of acceptance is missing information that is required by the visa office, you should contact the registrar’s office of your college, department or school.
Proof of identity: Valid passport or travel document and two recent passport-size photos.
Proof of financial support: Evidence of sufficient funds that will cover at least one year of your tuition and living expenses. This usually means the cost of tuition plus at least Cdn$10,000 per year for single students; an additional Cdn$4,000 for students with an accompanying spouse in Canada; and Cdn$3,000 for each additional accompanying dependent.
Proof of medical clearance: Depending on your country of residence, you may need proof of medical clearance. For more information about medical exam requirements, please visit the CIC webpage. Note that this process can take a long time.
Other documentation as required: Any other documentation required by the visa office/consulate where you will be submitting your application (you should consult the website of the office you are applying to).
If your application is approved, you will receive a Study Permit approval letter, and where necessary a Temporary Resident Visa (Entry Visa) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). You need to show the approval letter upon entry to Canada to receive your actual Study Permit.
If you belong to one of the groups listed below, please take note of the special considerations regarding your immigration status.
Custodianship for students under 17
Immigration Refugees and citizenship Canada (IRCC) requires that students who are less than 17 years old and are not accompanied by a parent or legal guardian must be cared for here by a responsible adult. This adult is known as a custodian, and must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. If the student is between the age of 17 and 18, it is at the discretion of the immigration officer to require or waive the custodianship requirement.
The University of Toronto does not provide custodianship services – you must find a custodian yourself. There are a number of organizations that offer custodianship services.
Please see the CIC webpage for full details about the custodianship requirement.
International high school students currently studying in Canada
All international students attending secondary school in Canada must apply for a new Study Permit that allows them to study at a post-secondary institution. If you do not have a Study Permit for the post-secondary level, you cannot begin your studies at the University of Toronto. It is illegal to study at the university level with a Study Permit that was issued for high school.
If your exchange program will be for less than six months, then you do not have to apply for a Study Permit. You can simply apply for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) depending on your country of citizenship. However, we recommend that you apply for a Study Permit even if you do not need it, because it allows you to work on-campus if you meet certain conditions.
Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
If you are an exchange student from a visa exempt country and decide to study less than six months on a visitor’s status you will be required to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) especially if you plan to travel to Canada by air. You will need an eTA before you will be allowed to board a flight to Canada. You can apply for an eTA here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta.asp
It is the student’s responsibility to notify Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) about transferring from one Designated Learning Institution (DLI) to another. You also need to inform CIC about the transfer if you have used an offer from another university to get your Study Permit. The easiest way to do this is online. Log in to your MyCIC account and submit the transfer form – look for the tab that says “DLI# transfer”.
Who can apply for a study permit at the Canadian border?
Current immigration regulations allow citizens and permanent residents of the United States, residents of Greenland, and residents of St. Pierre et Miquelon to apply at the border while entering Canada. However, if you are from one of these countries we still recommend that you apply online to the Canadian consulate in your country before coming to Canada to avoid any issues or delays at the border.
Changing from visitor status to student status
It is generally not possible to change from visitor status to student status within Canada. There are few exceptions; see the Immigration Refugees and citizenship Canada (IRCC) website under Applying for a Study Permit from within Canada.
Extend your study permit
Don’t let your Study Permit expire! If your academic program requires you to remain in Canada beyond the expiry date of your initial Study Permit, you must apply for an extension of your Study Permit before that date. Immigration Refugees and citizenship Canada (IRCC) recommends that you apply at least 30 days before the expiry date of your current Study Permit. To be prudent, we strongly recommend that you apply for an extension two to three months before the expiry date.
Apply online to extend your study permit
Information and instructions about how to apply for a Study Permit extension can be found on the IRCC website.
We recommend that you submit your application online if possible. If you choose to mail your application to the Case Processing Centre (CPC) in Vegreville, Alberta, you should use registered mail. This will ensure that the application arrives quickly, and will allow you to confirm that the CPC has received your application.
To help with your application, note that the Designated Learning Institution (DLI) number for the University of Toronto is: O19332746152 (the number begins with the letter “O,” which stands for Ontario).
Make a copy of your application and all supporting documentation before submitting. You should also save a copy of your payment receipt which proves that your application has been submitted successfully.
Documents you need to extend your study permit
A valid passport. If you need a new passport, you should begin this process at least six months before your passport expires.
A Confirmation of Enrolment letter, which states that you are currently a registered student and identifies your expected graduation date. You can get this document by visiting the Registrar’s Office in your College or Faculty, or the School of Graduate Studies if you are a graduate student.
Proof of financial support providing evidence of sufficient funds that will cover at least one year of your tuition and living expenses. This usually means the cost of tuition plus at least $10,000 (CDN) per year for single students; an additional $4,000 (CDN) for students with an accompanying spouse in Canada; and $3,000 (CDN) for each additional accompanying dependent in Canada.
Your Study Permit has expired – now what?
Your initial Study Permit is valid until its expiry date. After that date, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will consider your immigration status to be “Implied” or “Out of Status”.
1. Implied Status
Implied Status means that you applied for your extension prior to the expiry date on your initial Study Permit and that you may legally remain in Canada until a decision is made on your application for extension of your Study Permit.
There are two types of implied status. If you are waiting for a decision on your immigration status, you should be aware of which type of implied status you have, as it will affect your legal responsibilities.
Type One: An international student who has applied for an extension of a Work or Study Permit.
Under Type One Implied Status, you may continue your studies in Canada. Alternatively, if the original permit allows you to work while in Canada, you may continue your employment.
The right to continue to study and/or work during Implied Status is only valid if you remain in Canada while the application is processed.
Type Two: A foreign national student who has applied to change the type of permit, for example someone who holds a work permit applying for a Study Permit.
In this case, you are permitted to stay in Canada while awaiting a decision on your permit change. However, you are neither allowed to work nor study during implied status.
2. Out of Status and Restoration of Status
If your Study Permit expires and you have not submitted an application to have it extended, you will be considered Out of Status. If you become Out of Status, you will need to apply for Restoration of Status no more than 90 days after the expiration of your Study Permit. In this situation, you will be required to pay an additional fee to restore your student status, as well as the regular processing fee for the Study Permit extension. Please contact our CIE advisor immediately to arrange an appointment.
NOTE: you are not allowed to study or work until a decision is made on your Restoration of Status application. Also, a Restoration of Status application can only be processed if you remain in Canada. If you leave the country, you will have to submit a new application to the closest Canadian consulate/embassy or application centre serving your country.
If you need to take a term off or a leave of absence, we recommend that you contact a CIE advisor to arrange an appointment to discuss your options. International students are expected to be actively enrolled in their program of study during the validity of their Study Permit. Taking a term off or a leave of absence may have an impact on your immigration status in Canada. However, an international student can drop to part-time or stop going to school (for a term or more) when they have strong reason for doing so. We can help advise you on the best course of action.
If you leave Canada and stay in a designated country for more than six months you will have to undergo a medical exam before re-entering Canada. CIC only accepts medical exams done by certain approved physicians.