Study Permit

Generally, everyone who wishes to study in Canada must obtain a study permit. To apply for a study permit, you need an acceptance letter from a designated learning institution  (DLI). A designated learning institution is a school approved by a provincial or territorial government to host international students. All primary and secondary schools in Canada are designated learning institutions. It is good to keep in mind that not all DLI’s qualify for the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program (PGWPP).


Not everyone needs a study permit. In some cases, minors do not need a study permit to study in Canada.  This can be the case if the minor is already in Canada with parents who are allowed to work and study in Canada and want to attend preschool, primary school or secondary school. For attending a course or program that is six months or less,  you may not need a study permit.

Work on- and off-campus

Students who meet certain requirements can work on- and off-campus.  There are restrictions on how many hours you can work and when to start and stop working. Students should bear in mind that they in all cases need to be full-time enrolled at a DLI, except for the final academic session in order to complete their study or program.


There are several criteria that must be met and a variety of factors are considered by the immigration officer before deciding someone qualifies for a study permit. For instance, proof that there is enough money to cover the tuition, living expenses and transportation must be presented along with other (some country-specific) documents. 

Although you may think that the application for a study permit is rather straightforward,  you should be aware that the refusal rate is rather high. In 2016 the average refusal rate was 31%, with huge differences between countries of origin. Countries as The Netherlands (11%), United States(8%), Austria (3%), Korea (3%), Brazil (20%), China (11%)  are among the lowest. Other countries score higher, like India (33%), Kenya (51%), Bangladesh(47%) and Nigeria (75%).

Need help?

If you are thinking of studying in Canada we would gladly help you get enrolled in a program or study at a DLI that will qualify under Post-Graduate Work Permit Program (PGWPP) and of course, apply for a study permit if necessary. When your goal is to become Permanent Resident we will also discuss your options.  You can book an appointment online.