Study Permit Information
Study Permit Application Information for International Students
A Study Permit is a document issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that allows you to study and stay in Canada temporarily. You must obtain your Study Permit before you begin studying at Quest. You are responsible for ensuring that your Study Permit is valid at all times.
The Information below is subject to change.
The immigration information on this webpage has been reviewed and endorsed by Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) in compliance with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations. However, this is not a legal document and information may change without notice. Always refer to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for the most up-to-date information.
The Study Permit Application can be completed online or on paper.
If you apply online, you must have access to a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents for uploading, and have a valid credit card for payment.
Read more or start your application here. For a step-by-step on how to start your online application, click here.
US Citizens: If you are a US citizen or permanent resident, you have the option of submitting your application upon arrival at a Canadian port of entry (e.g. your airport of arrival or land crossing into Canada).
Some students might be eligible for faster processing through the Student Direct Stream. Follow this link to learn more.
Fill out the application form in advance and prepare the required documentation to present upon arrival. At minimum, you will need proof of citizenship, a secondary piece of official identification, your official letter of acceptance to Quest, the application fee, and proof of sufficient and available funds.
The Canada Study Permit processing fee is CAD $150. No additional payments are required for the Co-Op Work Permit.
Processing times vary and fluctuate.
Apply as early as you can to avoid any disappointments and allow extra time for any additional steps that may be required (such as giving your biometrics or undergoing a medical exam).
Consult the instructions provided by the Canadian visa office serving the country or region where you live to determine if you have to submit additional forms or documents. Typically, most students require:
- Application Form
The Application Form, available on the IRCC website.
- Official Letter of Acceptance
A digital copy of your Official Letter of Acceptance. Make sure that all of the information on the documents is correct before submitting an application, and save a copy for your records.
- Valid Passport
A valid passport. You will need to make sure that your passport does not expire within six months. If so, you will need to apply for a new passport before submitting your Study Permit Application. If your Study Permit expires before your studies are complete, you can apply to renew it in Canada, but you will have to pay an additional application fee. A Study Permit will NOT be issued beyond the expiration date of your passport.
Most study permit applicants are required to provide biometrics. To find out if you need to meet this requirement, visit the IRCC website. If you are required to give your biometrics, you must arrange to do so at an official collection point. Visit the IRCC website to find out where you can provide biometrics.
- Proof of Financial Support
You must prove you have enough money to pay for your tuition and living expenses for at least one year, as well as for return transportation to your home country. If your spouse and/or children are accompanying you, you will need to show adequate funds to support them as well. You can demonstrate proof of sufficient funds using documents such as a bank draft, transfer letter of credit, scholarship funding letter, and/or official letter from your sponsor.
Funds must be sufficient as well as available. Please note that a property appraisal is not considered “available” funds to pay for your studies. If the funds do not belong to you, be sure to include a gift letter from the family member/donor in addition to the proof of sufficient funds.
The minimum financial requirement for a single student is:
- First year tuition paid in full AND
- Minimum CAD $10,000 for first-year living expenses
For more information regarding proof of financial support, please visit the IRCC website.
- Study Plan
Although not all visa offices will require one, we strongly recommend that you write a study plan to include with your application. It is important to demonstrate that your plan to study in Canada makes sense in the context of your academic and professional history, as well as your future goals.
Your study plan should be a maximum of one page long and should address the following:
- Why do you wish to study in Canada in the specific program to which you have been accepted?
- What is your overall educational goal?
- Why are you not pursuing a similar program in your country of residence or citizenship?
- What research have you done into studies in your country of residence or citizenship?
- How will this program enhance your employment opportunities in your country of residence or citizenship?
- What ties do you have to your country of residence or citizenship?
Some students may require:
- Medical Exam
A medical examination is required if you have resided, or stayed for six or more consecutive months, in a designated country or territory in the year preceding your application. If this applies to you, start the process early. Medical examinations can take months to process. If your medical examination result has expired, you must allow enough time to obtain a new one before returning to Canada. The Canadian representative from your home country will inform you of the procedures, and you should familiarize yourself with the requirements before leaving your home country. For more information about medical examination requirements, please visit the IRCC website.
- Custodianship Declaration
Students under 19 years of age may also require custodianship declaration forms certifying that they will have a legal custodian in Canada.
If you need assistance finding a custodian, consider approaching an extended family member living in British Columbia first and then, if necessary, a family friend or business associate for assistance. Alternatively, there are companies that provide such services for a fee. One such company is First Choice International Placement Inc.
The company listed above is neither endorsed by, nor affiliated with, Quest University Canada. This information is simply listed as a resource for students looking for agent services. Quest assumes no liability for any disputes arising from custodianship or other services advertised. You and your parents should be aware that you will need to pay for this service, and it should be an arrangement they, and you, have researched and feel comfortable with.
Electronic Travel Authorization and Visitor Visa
Depending on your citizenship or where you live, you may require an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorization) or a Visitor Visa, as well as a Study Permit. Your eTA or Visitor Visa will be issued to you at the same time as your Study Permit. You do not need to apply separately or to pay an additional fee.
If you plan to visit or stop over in another country en route to Canada
You should check with that country’s Embassy/Consulate to find out which documents you and your family will need. Make sure you apply well in advance!
Planning to transit through the United States?
In order to transit through the US, students must ensure they have a visa. Canadian citizens or those who qualify to enter the US under the Visa Waiver Program, do not need a visa. Before you book your flight to Canada, you should ensure that you have the proper documents. Check with the United States Embassy or Consulate closest to you.
Carry all required entry documents with you when you travel to Canada. Do not pack them in your suitcase; keep them on your person. Important documents are:
- Passport (with Temporary Resident Visa if needed)
- the ‘Official Letter of Acceptance’ document from Quest
- your Study Permit acceptance letter from the Canadian Visa Office
- your Proof of Financial Support documents
- Quest Scholarship/Financial Aid Award letter (if applicable)
- Originals of all supporting documents provided in Study Permit Application Package
- Any other required documents in the Document Checklist.
Once you arrive in Canada, you will have to go to the Immigration Office at the airport or land crossing and provide them with these documents. Your official Study Permit will be issued at this time.
As of June 1, 2014 Study Permits allow students to also work on/off campus for 20 hours/week during the term and full-time during breaks.
The conditions related to your eligibility to work need to be printed on your Study Permit. However, many border agents are still printing incorrect conditions on Study Permits. When you receive your Study Permit, please ensure it says “may accept employment” or “may work in Canada” based on being eligible for one of these conditions:
- May work 20 hrs per week off-campus during the term, or full-time during regular breaks, if meeting criteria outlined in section 186(v)of IRPR.
- May accept employment on or off campus if meeting eligibility criteria as per R186(f), (v) or (w).
- Must cease working if no longer meeting these criteria.
US nationals, citizens, and permanent residents
Nationals, Citizens, or Permanent Residents of the US, as well as residents of Greenland and St. Pierre & Miquelon, are eligible to apply for a Study Permit at a Port of Entry to Canada.
At minimum, you will need:
- Proof of citizenship
- A second piece of official identification
- Your Quest official letter of acceptance
- Proof of sufficient funds
What is the advantage of applying for a Study Permit at a Port of Entry?
The advantage of applying for a Study Permit at the Port of Entry is that you do not need to apply in advance of travelling to Canada. If you have received your Letter of Acceptance shortly before the term, or have decided to come to Quest on very short notice, applying at a POE allows you to begin your studies as soon as possible. Applying at a POE means that you do not have to wait for your application to be processed at a visa office in the US, which can take several weeks or months.
What are the disadvantages of applying for a Study Permit at a Port of Entry?
- You’ll likely be required to spend a long period of time at the Port of Entry while border officials conduct the necessary procedures. If you have a connecting flight from a POE to Winnipeg, make sure to allow sufficient time for the POE examination. If you are arriving through a land POE make sure to adjust your travel plans to anticipate a long examination period at the POE;
- If you do not have all of the required documentation, or are required to complete an immigration medical exam or police check before entering Canada, and have not already done so, you may not be allowed to enter Canada. Alternatively, you may be admitted to Canada as a visitor and would be required to re-submit an application for a Study Permit at a visa office in the US or at a POE. If you are admitted to Canada as a visitor, you would be unable to study until you were issued a Study Permit; and
- It is likely that you will be issued a Study Permit that is shorter in length than a Study Permit issued following an application made at a visa office outside of Canada. Of course, students can apply to renew their Study Permit from within Canada prior to its expiry. However, it should be noted that each time you make an application for a Study Permit you are required to pay an application fee of CAD $150 and submit supporting documentation.