Changes to international student immigration regulations took effect June 1, 2014. The information on this webpage recently changed. Get more information about the changes by visiting the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) changes page.
What is a study permit?
A study permit is a document that gives you permission to study and remain in Canada on a temporary basis.
Why do I need it?
If you’re planning on doing your degree at UBC, or attending UBC as an exchange or visiting student for more than one term, you need to apply for a study permit before you travel to Canada. You need a valid study permit before you start classes at UBC.
If your program of studies or course in Canada is shorter than six months, you are not required to apply for a study permit. However, although a study permit is not required in this case, it’s important to apply for one if you would like to work on campus or extend your studies after the initial six-month period.
You are required to enroll, remain enrolled until completion of your studies, and actively pursue studies if you want to remain in Canada on a study permit.
UBC international students will be considered to be "enrolled for immigration purposes" in a given term if they are:
- Registered (“REGI” on the Student Information Service Centre (SISC) or
- Continuing (“CONT” on SISC) or
- Eligible (“ELIG” on the SISC) – this is only applicable to undergraduate students (including those in post-baccalaureate programs) during summer session who have not had their degrees conferred and are eligible to register
Note: There are no minimum number of credits required to be considered enrolled.
Your study permit will become invalid 90 days after you complete your studies (even before your study permit expiry date) or on the expiry date of your study permit.
CIC may request that you show you are complying with conditions of your study permit. This may be a random assessment or due to specific concerns about your case.
If your study permit expires and you have not applied for a new one, you will be able to restore it only if you met the conditions of your study permit.
People who do not comply with the conditions of their study permit may be asked to leave Canada and must not return for a year without written permission.
When do I need it?
Most international students accepted to UBC while abroad will apply for study permits online, by paper, or via a Visa Application Centre (VAC) in their home country before traveling to Canada. You must apply for your initial study permit outside Canada.
If you are attending high school in Canada, you may not study at UBC until you receive a post-secondary study permit. You need to apply for a new (post-secondary) study permit in order to change conditions of your permit. You may do this from within Canada while your secondary study permit is still valid. If you are attending a post-secondary school in Canada, your post-secondary study permit may be used to study at UBC as long as it is valid. You may apply to extend it from within Canada while it is still valid.
Every study permit has an expiration date, and you must renew it before it expires if you’re planning on studying in Canada past your study permit’s expiration date.