Studying in Canada: Study permits—Who can apply

In most cases, you must obtain a study permit if you want to study in Canada.

To be eligible to study in Canada

  • You must have been accepted by a school, college, university or other educational institution in Canada.
  • You must prove that you have enough money to pay for your:
    • tuition fees
    • living expenses for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada and
    • return transportation for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada.
  • You must be a law-abiding citizen with no criminal record and not be a risk to the security of Canada. You may have to provide a police certificate.
  • You must be in good health and willing to complete a medical examination, if necessary.
  • You must satisfy an immigration officer that you will leave Canada when you have completed your studies.


In some cases, you do not require a study permit to go to school in Canada.

  • If you wish to study in a short-term course or program
    You do not need a study permit if you plan to take a course or program in Canada that lasts six months or less. You must complete the course or program within the period authorized for your stay in Canada.

    Even if you do not need a study permit, it is a good idea to apply for a permit before you come to Canada. If you decide that you want to continue your studies in another program after you complete your short-term course or program, you must apply through a Canadian visa office outside Canada for a study permit if you do not already have one.
  • Foreign representatives to Canada
    If you are a family member or staff member of a foreign representative to Canada accredited by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, you may not need a permit to study in Canada. You should contact your embassy in Canada. Your embassy can contact the Office of Protocol at Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada to find out whether you need a study permit.
  • Members of foreign armed forces
    If you are a member of a foreign armed force under the Visiting Forces Act, you do not need a permit to study in Canada. If your family members, including minor children, want to study in Canada, they must meet the requirements.

Study in Ontario

Students from over 200 countries are getting an excellent education and enjoying the experience of a lifetime studying in Ontario.

Here are the advantages to getting a postsecondary education in Ontario:

  • Ontario is home to an internationally respected postsecondary education system with 20 public universities and 24 colleges.
  • Main and satellite campuses provide learning options in every region of the province.
  • Ontario is home to 1,100 multinational corporations with strong linkages to its colleges and universities.
  • Toronto is the largest financial centre in Canada and the fourth largest financial centre in North America.
  • Full time students can work on campus without a work permit and off campus permits let you get work experience (and make money) while you study.
  • Ontario is one of the most multicultural, tolerant and safe places in North America.
  • Ontario has two public French-language colleges and nine French-language and bilingual universities.

Northern Ontario hosts four universities and five colleges surrounded by vast, beautiful and virtually untouched wilderness.