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.

2. Create your document checklist

The documents you need to provide with your study permit application vary according to your country of citizenship along with other factors.

To create your document checklist, first decide how you will apply.

If you are applying online (recommended) 

  1. Create a MyCIC account on the IRCC website. You will be prompted to answer a set of questions.
    1. For help creating an account or answering the IRCC questionnaire, download our PDF guide: 

  2. When you have completed the questionnaire, you’ll be guided to a screen entitled "Your document checklist" that lists your required documents
    1. Important: This checklist generated by IRCC does not include all the documents required by your country’s visa office.  
  3. Get the full list of documents required by your country's visa office:
    1. Go to the IRCC website and select your country/territory from the drop-down menu (located in the "Apply on paper" section).
    2. Click "Get documents" and then select "Visa office instructions" (the second link). This will launch a PDF specifying requirements for your visa office.

If you are applying by mail

  1. Go to the "Apply on paper" section of the IRCC website.
  2. Select your country/territory from the drop-down menu and click “Get documents”.
  3. You’ll see a list of links:
    1. Click on the first link to review a general document checklist.
    2. Click on the second link to see visa office instructions for your country. These instructions include a document checklist showing additional supporting documents required by your country's visa office.
    3. The remaining links in the list will open the forms listed in the general document checklist.

Depending on your situation (e.g. your age, marital status, etc.), you may not need to provide every document listed in either checklist. The next step in the tutorial provides information on typical documents required.

If you are applying at a Visa Application Centre

Visa Application Centres (VACs) are private companies that have contracts with the Canadian government to provide application support services for a fee. They do not provide advice or make decisions on your study permit application. 

If you will apply in-person at a VAC, follow the same steps as applying by mail to create your document checklist. 

If you are applying at the border

Only US citizens or permanent residents, and residents of Greenland or St. Pierre and Miquelon can apply at the border.

If you are eligible for this option, follow the same steps as applying by mail to create your document checklist and bring your completed application form and supporting documents with you. 

Be sure to check if you need a medical exam, custodianship, or biometrics in advance.