Tutorial: How to apply for an initial study permit

Step-by-step instructions, required documents, and other important information about applying for your study permit.

7. Check the Travelling to Canada Guide and iPREP pre-arrival course

Preparing to Arrive

See our detailed Travelling to Canada Guide to learn about making travel plans, what you must bring, arrival steps to ensure you get a study permit with conditions to work, and more.

Go to the Guide

When you arrive in Canada

Be sure to get your study permit when you first enter Canada. For example, if you arrive in Toronto then take another flight to Vancouver, you must get your study permit in Toronto. If you have connecting flights, try to schedule a layover for a few hours to allow time for immigration.

  1. Answer questions on the electronic Primary Inspection Kiosk.
    1. You must declare if you have packed currency equal to or greater than CAD$10,000 and/or any food, plant or animal products.
  2. Present your kiosk receipt to an officer.
    1. Let them know you need a study permit, then the officer will direct you to immigration.
  3. Pick up your checked luggage (if applicable).
  4. Proceed to immigration and present your Letter of Introduction.
  5. Check your study permit before you leave the officer’s desk.
    1. Confirm all personal information and conditions are correct. If they are not, notify the officer right away.
    2. To prevent delays in starting a job, ensure your study permit includes at least one of the following conditions: 
  • “May accept employment on or off campus if meeting eligibility criteria, per paragraph R186(f), (v) or (w) and must cease working if no longer meeting these criteria”
  • “May work 20 hours per week off campus or full time during regular breaks if meeting criteria outlined in paragraph 186(v) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations”
  • “May accept employment on the campus of the institution at which registered in full-time studies”

Note, while engaged in full-time studies:

  • Degree-seeking students and exchange students are eligible to work on and off campus.
  • Non-degree seeking students (such as visiting students and VIRS) are eligible to work on-campus. 

 If you arrive by car, there are no kiosks. Answer the officer’s questions, let them know you need a study permit, then proceed to secondary examination for your study permit. 

Complete the iPREP pre-arrival course

Learn about your immigration documents, health insurance, banking in Canada, getting a phone, scams and more.

For more information, please see Step 4: While you travel to Canada in our Travelling to Canada Guide. 

Study permit sample

Example of study permit