Are you dreaming about studying abroad and Canada is your destination? Obtaining a Study Permit is the very first step to start your journey in Canada. Understanding the application process is very important. Let’s dive into everything you need to know!

What is a Study Permit?

Study Permit authorizes your stay in Canada, student activities, and in some cases, employment.

All international students who wish to pursue a program of study of at least 6 months in length at any Designated Learning Institution must hold a valid study permit. 

A Sample Study Permit

Is Study Permit different from Student Visa?

 A study permit is not a student visa and does not, by itself, allow you to travel to or enter Canada.

Study Permit Canadian Study Visa
Purpose Allowing to stay, study in Canada, and, in some cases, work while studying Allowing to enter Canada
Issued by Canadian Customs at the first Canadian port of entry Canadian Embassy/Consulate in your home country

What do you need to apply for SP?

International students may apply for the initial study permit from either outside or inside Canada. For most cases, students should apply for their study permit before they travel to Canada.

Obtaining SP from outside Canada

International students who wish to apply for study permit from outside Canada can do so online (required, unless exempt) or by going to a visa application centre in their country.

International students may be eligible for faster study permit process through the Student Direct Stream.

To apply for a Study Permit from outside Canada, you need:

  • A Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI)
  • A valid passport or travel document
  • A provincial attestation letter (PAL) from the province or territory where you plan to study (required for most students)
  • Proof of financial support or Proof of Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) if applying under the SDS program
  • Clear criminal record
  • Proof of language proficiency (if required)
  • Medical examination
  • Letter of explanation on why you want to study in Canada

Find out more about the required documents.

Once your application is approved, you may travel to Canada with the issued student visa and receive your study permit at the port of entry.

Obtaining SP from inside Canada

Only some people can apply for a study permit from inside Canada. A person may apply for study permit inside Canada if:

  • You are a Ukrainian national or family member of a Ukrainian national
  • You have a valid study or work permit
  • Your spouse, common-law partner or parent has a valid study or work permit
  • You’re a minor child in primary or secondary school
  • You’re an exchange student or visiting student
  • You completed a short-term course or study program required to be accepted at a DLI
  • You or your spouse, common-law partner or dependent child has a temporary resident permit (TRP) valid for 6 months or more
  • You’re being sponsored to immigrate and you already applied for permanent residence (if you’re eligible)
  • You or your spouse, common-law partner or dependent child are subject to an unenforceable removal order
  • You’re the spouse, common-law partner or dependent child of:
    1. An athlete on a team based in Canada
    2. a member of the media
    3. a member of the clergy
    4. military personnel on duty in Canada or
    5. an accredited foreign representative
  • you’re a refugee claimant in Canada or a family member of a refugee claimant in Canada


To apply for a Study Permit from inside Canada, you need:

  • Valid status in Canada
  • Valid passport
  • Letter of Acceptance from a Canadian school
  • Proof that one of the above circumstances applies to you
  • Proof of financial support
  • Clear criminal record.
  • Medical examination (if required)
  • Language proficiency proof (if required).
  • Letter of explanation on why you want to study in Canada

Similar to applying from outside Canada, you will need to apply for study permit from inside Canada online unless exempt.


Securing a study permit is crucial to starting your academic journey in Canada. By understanding the requirements and following the application process diligently, you can have a smooth educational experience. Remember to start the process well in advance to allow ample time for preparation and processing. 

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Yes Study for free consultation. We are here to support you!

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