Canada Study Permit: Documents, Eligibility, How to Apply


An international student coming to Canada to study for more than 6 months needs to apply for a study permit. A study permit is an official document that allows them to stay in the country and study at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). DLIs are the only educational institutions in Canada that can host international students to study there. 

You should understand that a study permit does not let you “enter” Canada, it only lets you stay in the country to study for a specific period. Once IRCC approves your permit, it will issue you a visitor visa or an electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), using which you can enter Canada. 

A study permit, in most cases, remains valid till the length of your study program, and for an extra 90 days (so you could extend your stay or leave Canada).

New requirements announced by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) require study permit applicants to obtain a Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) from a DLI. The student will then attach the PAL with their study permit application, since without a PAL, IRCC might not process the application. 

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Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for a study permit, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. be enrolled at a DLI
  2. obey Canadian law, and must not have any past criminal records (you may be required to submit a Police Clearance Certificate for the same)
  3. be in good health (IRCC may ask you to get a medical exam)
  4. have enough money to support yourself and family members in Canada
  5. convince the immigration officer that you will leave Canada after your permit expires

Document Checklist for Indian Students

Application for Study Permit (Outside of Canada) [IMM 1294]
Family Information [IMM 5707]
Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union [IMM 5409]If required
Use of a Representative [IMM 5476]If required
Authority to Release Personal Information to a Designated Individual [IMM 5475]If required
Custodianship Declaration – Custodian for Minors Studying in Canada [IMM 5646]If required
Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL)If you are applying for a study permit after 22nd January 2024, you need to provide an attestation letter, obtained from whichever province or territory you will be studying in.
If you plan on studying in Quebec, you must get a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) letter, and it must act as a PAL. 
Proof of AcceptanceAsk your educational institution to provide you with a Letter of Acceptance 
Proof of IdentityYou (along with any of your family members coming to Canada with you) must have either a valid passport or a travel document. 
You must also provide two photographs 
Proof of FundsYou must demonstrate that you can not only support yourself but also any of your family members coming to Canada with you. 
According to your duration of study in Canada, you must prove the required funds:
a.  less than a 1 year- proof of funds for duration of study 
b. More than 1 year- proof of funds for 1st year of study
Fee ReceiptFee receipt of the study permit application, and any other fees
Language Test Results
Photocopy of a diploma or a leaving certificate (must be of the most recent one)
Most recent mark sheets (for entire program)
Income Tax ReturnsYours and your parents (of the last 2 years)
Study Permit Questionnaire 
Proof of employment If required
Birth certificate (for dependent children)If required
Previous passportsIf required
Marriage CertificateIf required
Document Checklist: Study Permit [IMM 5483]
Visa office instructions [IMM 5818]
Additional Documents These depend on your situation:
– An Immigration Medical Exam
– A Letter of Explanation

Proof of Funds for Canada Study Permit

No. of family members (also includes the applicant)Amount of funds (per year) [does not include tuition]
If 7+ people, each additional memberCAN$5,559

Prove your funds with the following:

  • A Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC), issued from a participating financial institution in Canada
  • Prove that you have a Canadian bank account (in your name). This applies in case you have transferred money to Canada
  • Your bank statements (for the last 4 months)
  • Proof of student/educational loan from a bank
  • Prove you have paid tuition as well as accommodation fees
  • A bank draft that can be converted to CAD
  • A letter from the individual/school you received money from
  • If you have a scholarship or you are in an educational program (funded by the federal government of Canada). You must provide proof of funding from within Canada.

How to Apply for a Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL)

As of now, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada requires all provinces and territories of Canada to come up with their PAL issuance system by 31st March 2024. So far, 9 provinces have come up with their systems. These are Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. To know how to apply for a PAL, contact the educational institution where you would be studying. 

As for Quebec, we have mentioned above that you must provide a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) letter. For a CAQ to act as an attestation letter, the letter must include this line: “This attestation letter confirms that the applicant has a place in Quebec’s share of the distribution of study permit applications or is exempt from it.” 

You don’t need a PAL, if:

  • you are applying to study in a primary school, preschool, or secondary school
  • You will be studying for a master’s/doctoral degree or maybe you came to Canada and any of the below-provided situations applies to you:
    – you are applying to get your study permit extended (you already have a study permit)
    – you are either a temporary resident visiting Canada or an exchange student at a DLI
    – you are in Canada on a work permit
    – you are under a removal order (however, you cannot be removed at this time)
    – Your TRV is valid for at least 6 months
    – you are a protected person
    – you qualify for PR (based on certain conditions)

How to Apply for a Study Permit

Though there are many options as to when you can apply for a study permit, in most situations, you will be required to do so before you come to Canada. In other cases, some people may be eligible to apply at the port of entry or from within Canada. 

You must apply online for a study permit unless a disability stops you from doing so or you have identity and travel documents that are issued to non-national residents, stateless persons, or refugees. 

Before applying, make sure you have acquired all the necessary documents so that you can submit a completed application. 

Follow these steps if you are applying online from outside Canada:

Step 1: Before you start applying, you must have a camera and a scanner so that you can upload your documents. Moreover, you must have a valid debit/credit card with you. 

Step 2: Create or sign into the IRCC Portal.  

Step 3: Fill out the required forms and upload the necessary documents, as listed above. 

Step 4: Pay the required fees. This includes the fee for a study permit application for you and any of your family members coming to Canada with you. You might also need to pay for your and your family members’ biometrics. 

Further on, there are some third-party fees that you must pay, which include fees for a PCC, medical exam, language test, etc. 

Step 5: Submit your application once you are sure you have included all the information and the application is complete. If IRCC receives an incomplete application, it will not process it. 

Step 6: Once your application is approved, IRCC will issue you a study visa or an eTA, depending on your requirements, so you can come to Canada. 

After You Arrive in Canada

After arriving in Canada, you will meet with a border services officer. They will ensure that you have:

  • a passport/travel document
  • a port of entry letter of introduction (you’ll receive it once your study permit application is issued)
  • a copy of the letter of acceptance
  • letters of reference 
  • eTA/visitor visa
  • enough funds 
  • good health
  • no past criminal/immigration-related convictions
  • Immigration medical exam
  • proof that you will leave Canada after your studies
  • other documents you were instructed to bring to Canada

Processing Time & Fee

Currently, IRCC is processing a study permit application in about 11 weeks, if applied from outside Canada. If you are applying from inside Canada, it may take only about 9 weeks. 

If you want your study permit to be processed faster, you can apply for it through the Student Direct Stream (SDS). Most of the study permit applications are processed within 20 calendar days through the SDS. 

A study permit application costs about CAN$150. On top of that, you must pay for biometrics which costs CAN$85. 

Your responsibilities while you are on a study permit

You must:

  • make progress in terms of completing your program
  • follow and respect the conditions listed on your permit
  • stop studying if you don’t meet the study permit requirements

While you are in Canada, you may be allowed to:

  • Work
  • Travel within the country 

Your study permit might include the date you would have to leave Canada and at which DLI can you study. 

How TCWW Would Assist You

Talent Connected Worldwide is a Canadian government-approved immigration consultancy that only provides legal and authentic immigration services. We are the only CICC-licensed consultants in India and we have over 15 years of experience in this field. TCWW has assisted over 23,000 clients and can help you too. 

Experts at TCWW are committed to helping you throughout the process. We won’t only assist you with documentation but also be with you even after getting a visa. 

Immigration processes and procedures can be quite complex to understand for people not so well-versed in immigration-related jargon. Hence, opting for the best immigration consultants in the industry could benefit you a lot. 

Don’t forget to give us a call so we can assist you in getting your study permit delivered to you soon!

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