1. Who Needs a Study Permit?
  2. How to Apply for Your First Study Permit from Outside Canada
  3. Applying for a Corrected Study Permit
  4. How To Apply for a Study Permit Extension from Inside Canada
  5. Apply for a Temporary Resident Visa
  6. Do You Need a Lawyer or Consultant to Prepare Your Application?
  7. Replacing a Lost Study Permit
  8. Study Permit Terms and Conditions
  9. Carleton University Compliance Reports to IRCC

Kindly note that the information on this website does not, and is not intended to constitute legal advice, and instead all information, content and material is for general information purposes only. Readers should contact and consult with an authorized immigration representative to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter.  No reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information on this site without first seeking legal advice from an authorized representative in the relevant jurisdiction and with expertise in immigration law.  Only your authorized representative can provide assurances that the information contained herein – and your interpretation of it – is applicable or appropriate to your particular situation. The content and information are provided “as is;” and no representations are made that the content or information is accurate, complete or error-free. Any liability is expressly disclaimed and Carleton University will not be liable for any losses, injuries or damages from the use or reliance on the information or content.

Who Needs a Study Permit?

Most international students need a study permit to study at Carleton.

Most students must apply for their study permit before coming to Canada to start their program.

These are general rules, but there are exceptions

How to Apply for Your First Study Permit from Outside Canada

You can begin your study permit application after you receive a document titled Student Information for a Study Permit in your Carleton360 account. This is a page with information about you, Carleton, and your program of study. You may need this document again in the future, so file it in a safe place.

Your study permit application may be done either:

You will need these documents:

  • Completed IMM 1294 – Application for Study Permit Made Outside of Canada (a PDF form – open it with Adobe Reader)
  • Letter of AcceptanceStudent Information for a Study Permit from Carleton University
  • Your passport — photocopy or scan
  • Proof that you have enough money to pay your tuition fees and living expenses for your first year at Carleton
  • Photo — digital if you apply online

You may also need:

  • Additional PDF forms, according to your country-specific checklist
  • A police certificate
  • Results of a medical exam
  • Custodian declaration — for students under 18 years of age
    • Note: Carleton University does not act as a custodian or assist in finding a custodian in Canada.

Some visa offices have other specific requirements. Students in some countries may apply through the Student Direct Stream for a faster processing time.

Whether it is listed or not, it is a good idea to include a study plan, especially if you are a mature student. Your study plan will explain:

  • Why you want to study in Canada, and how you chose your program
  • Your overall educational goals
  • Why you are not studying in your home country
  • How your studies in Canada will improve your employment opportunities in your home country
  • Your ties to your home country (why you will return after you finish studying in Canada)

If you have been working, include your Curriculum Vitae (résumé).

If you are coming to Canada for the first time, you will have to give your biometrics (fingerprints and photo). You will receive instructions after you submit your study permit application.

Useful Links

Study Permit Approval

A Canadian visa office will decide about your application. If it is approved, the visa office sends you a Letter of Introduction. This is not your study permit. You will show this letter to a border services officer when you arrive in Canada.

Depending on your passport country, you will also get:

  • A Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) — this is laminated into your passport; or
  • An Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

You cannot travel to Canada without one of these documents unless you are a citizen of the United States of America. Find out if you need a TRV or an eTA.

Travelling to and Arriving in Canada

Pack these documents in your carry-on luggage so that they are easy to find:

  • Passport
  • Temporary Resident Visa or eTA
  • Letter of Introduction from the visa office
  • Your admission information from Carleton University

When you arrive at the airport in Canada, you will speak with a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer. Even though your study permit application was already approved, this officer makes the final decision to allow you to enter Canada.

Tell the officer that the purpose of your visit to Canada is to study. Show your documents and answer the officer’s questions clearly and simply.

The officer will prepare and print your study permit. You should look it over and ask any questions before you leave the immigration area of the airport. It is much easier to fix mistakes here, rather than later. You should look at:

  • Your personal information — including your name, which should be the same as on your passport
  • The expiration date — This date may be:
    • About 90 days after you expect to finish your program at Carleton
    • The same as your passport expiry date
    • An earlier date, especially if you are studying English as a Second Language at first

If you don’t understand how the officer chose the expiry date, ask for an explanation.

  • The “Conditions” and “Remarks” areas. It is important that you understand this information. Also, if you are eligible to work as a student, then your study permit should have a sentence that starts with “May work…” or “May accept employment…”. You won’t be able to work if this sentence is missing. (Learn about your eligibility to work.)

Learn more about arriving in Canada.

Applying for a Corrected Study Permit

If the CBSA officer makes a mistake on your study permit and you don’t notice until later, you can apply for a corrected document. There is no cost for this application, but processing can be slow and you have to send your original study permit with the application.

How To Apply for a Study Permit Extension from Inside Canada

If your study permit will expire before you finish your program at Carleton, you must apply to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for a new one, which is called an extension. It is your responsibility to know the expiry date on your permit and to apply for an extension before then so you can keep studying.

You can always contact the ISSO if you have questions or would like help with your study permit extension application. Also, look on our Events page for study permit information sessions.

If you need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) as well as a new study permit, you should know that there is a two-step process in Canada:

  • Apply for your new study permit
  • After you receive your study permit, apply for the TRV

You cannot apply for both at the same time.

When to Apply for an Extension

Check your passport expiry date first! If your passport is about to expire, your first step is to get a new one. Processing times and processes are different for each country.

You must apply for a new study permit before the expiry date of your current permit. It’s a good idea to apply about two months before. You might want to do it even sooner, if IRCC’s current processing times are long, or if you plan to travel and will need a new Temporary Resident Visa to return to Canada.

If you don’t apply before your study permit expires, you must stop studying (and working) immediately. You have two choices:

  • Apply for restoration of status within 90 days. This can be a difficult application. Visit the ISSO for advice.
  • Leave Canada and apply for a new study permit from your home country.

How to Apply for an Extension

The best way to apply is online. If you do the application on paper, it will be processed much slower.

Start by signing in or creating an account at the IRCC website.  On your account home page, look for “Apply to Come to Canada” and choose the study permit option. Answer the questions about yourself and why you want to come to Canada. The system uses your answers to create a document list. Most applications include these items:

  • IMM 5709 — Application to Change Conditions, Extent My Stay or Remain in Canada as a Student. Download the form from the online system and open it with Adobe Acrobat Reader. Add your information, validate the form, then upload it to the online application.
  • Your passport – Click on the question mark to see which pages to include.
  • “Letter of acceptance” — On this line, Carleton students should provide at least two documents:
    • Student Information for a Study Permit — This is the page you used to apply for your first study permit. It shows the official length of your program of study. If you cannot find this document, visit the ISSO.
    • Certificate of Enrolment – This document shows that you are currently enrolled. It is available from Carleton Central under Student Online Applications. Choose the option for a visa or study permit.

If you will not complete your program within the time shown on your Student Information for a Study Permit, you should visit the ISSO. You will need to provide more documents to explain your new program completion date.

  • Proof of Financial Support — You must show that you can pay your tuition and living expenses for the next year. For many students, the proof is a letter from their parents together with 3-4 months of their bank statements. If you have a scholarship, or other sources of funding, you can use other documents.
  • Recent digital photo of you
  • Optional: Client information — This is a letter of explanation and/or additional documents to make your application as convincing as possible.

Waiting for Your New Study Permit 

Applications for study permit extensions are processed by IRCC in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The immigration officer will assess whether you have met the terms and conditions of your study permit and make a decision about your new study permit.

If the officer needs additional documents to help them make their decision, you will receive an email and there will be a detailed message in your online account. You must reply before the deadline, or your application will be refused.

If you applied for the extension before your current study permit expires, you are allowed to continue to study even if your old study permit expires while you are waiting.

If your application takes longer than IRCC’s current processing times, you can send an inquiry using the IRCC Web Form.

When your application is approved, you will receive a message in your online account. IRCC will mail the study permit to your Canadian address.

If you need a new Electronic Travel Authorization, it will be included with your new study permit. If you need a new Temporary Resident Visa, you can apply for it after your new study permit arrives.

Learn more about extending your study permit.

Download the ISSO Study Permit Renewal Guide (PDF, 303 KB)

Apply for a Temporary Resident Visa

Most people who are not Canadians need either a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV, also called a visitor visa) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to travel to Canada. Some people only need their valid passport. Find out which document you need at the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.

If you need an eTA, it is issued automatically with your new study permit. If you need a new TRV, you can apply for a new one provided you have a valid study permit. Learn more in the ISSO’s Temporary Resident Visa Application Guide (PDF, 393 KB).

If you leave Canada with only a valid study permit, you will have to apply for a new visa from outside of Canada before you can return.

Do You Need a Lawyer or Consultant to Prepare Your Application?

Many Carleton students are able to prepare their own study and work permit applications. IRCC’s online system is easy to use, and the ISSO provides information and support for immigration applications.

If you pay someone to do an immigration application for you, make sure they are an Authorized Representative under Canadian law: a lawyer, paralegal, Quebec notary, or Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant. These professionals are members of regulatory bodies that work to protect consumers against fraud and unethical practices.

An Authorized Representative will always ask you to sign an IMM 5476 Use of Representative form to include with your application. Using an unauthorized or undeclared representative is illegal and may lead to a refusal of your application.

Applications prepared by Authorized Representatives don’t get faster processing times or other preferential treatment from IRCC.

Learn more about Authorized Representatives. Contact the ISSO anytime you need help with your immigration application.

Replacing a Lost Study Permit

If your study permit is lost or stolen, you can apply for a replacement. The cost is $30.

Study Permit Terms and Conditions

International students are temporary residents of Canada and must follow Canada’s immigration laws to keep this status. If you don’t:

  • Your next immigration application may be refused
  • You may be ordered to leave Canada
  • You may be banned from Canada for six months

It’s most important to know that you should:

  • Stay enrolled in school
  • Not work more than your study permit allows you to

More details are on this page. Please visit the ISSO or attend one of our events to learn more and ask questions.

Study Permit Expiry

Your study permit has an expiry date, and it also says that you must leave Canada by that date.

In fact, a study permit can expire before the date printed on it. A study permit expires on whichever date comes first:

  • The expiration date printed on the permit
  • 90 days after studies are completed
  • The day that a removal order becomes enforceable (applicable to refugee claimants)

“Completing” studies can mean graduating or it can mean withdrawing. If you plan to take a break from school, you should visit the ISSO to discuss your immigration options.

If your study permit is about to expire, but you are not done your program, you can apply for an extension that allows you to stay in Canada.

Active Study

If you have a study permit, you must do both of these things to keep it valid:

  1. Remain enrolled at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI), such as Carleton University.
  2. Actively pursue your studies

These conditions apply to most Carleton students, but there are exemptions for some people.

Immigration officers may look at whether you satisfy these two conditions:

  • When you apply for a study permit extension
  • Any time you re-enter Canada
  • As part of a random check
  • When you apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit
  • If there is any reason to believe you are not meeting them

If you are not enrolled in school, your study permit may expire within 90 days, unless:

  • It is a scheduled break for your program. This is usually the summer, but summer is not a break for all Carleton students, especially graduate students. Check with your department.
  • You leave Canada during your break.
  • You take a break of no more than 150 days AND
    • You are changing schools; OR
    • You have a deferred enrolment; OR
    • You have a Leave of Absence. Undergraduates who want to ask for a Leave of Absence should visit the ISSO; graduate students should apply to the Faculty of Graduate and Post-Graduate Affairs

“Actively pursuing studies” means that you are making progress in your program. You can make progress with part-time study, and you can make progress if you drop or fail a few courses, or if you change programs. In these cases, you may need to show more documents from Carleton to explain when you will finish your program. The ISSO can help you with this.

Learn more about how immigration officers assess whether you meet these two conditions.

Authorized Work

Most Carleton students may work in Canada without a work permit. There must be a remark on your study permit that starts with “May work… ” or “May accept employment…”

In addition, you must be a full-time student. These are only two of the rules about working. There are more rules about where, when and how much you can work.  Learn more about working as a student.

Changing Schools

You must notify IRCC when you transfer to another school in Canada, which must be a Designated Learning Institution.

Other Conditions

You should pay attention to any other “Conditions” or “Remarks” on your study permit. If you don’t understand, or have any questions, visit the ISSO.

Carleton University Compliance Reports to IRCC

As a Designated Learning Institution (DLI), Carleton University must report to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on the enrolment status of its international students.

Carleton’s Office of Institutional Research and Planning reports to IRCC twice a year on a regular basis; and may report at other times if IRCC asks for information.

When you apply for a study permit or for an extension, you agree that this information about you can be shared with IRCC.

These reports are one way that IRCC knows whether study permit holders are meeting the terms and conditions of their status in Canada.