This information was prepared by the ISSO’s Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) as required by the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. It has general information and answers some common questions. Please note:

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.

Learn More About Study Permits

Who Needs a Study Permit?

How to Apply for Your First Study Permit from Outside Canada

How to Apply for a Study Permit Extension from Inside Canada

Carleton University Compliance Reports to IRCC