Study permit

If you will be studying in Canada for more than six months, you require a valid study permit for the duration of your studies. You are responsible for ensuring your study permit is valid at all times.

What is a study permit?

A study permit is a document that gives you permission to study and remain in Canada on a temporary basis.

Permission to enter Canada is not given by a study permit but by a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV). You’ll need a TRV unless you are from a visa-exempt country.

Why do I need it?

If you’re planning on doing your degree at UBC, or attending UBC as an exchange or visiting student for more than one term, you need to apply for a study permit before you travel to Canada. You need a valid study permit before you start classes at UBC.

If your program of studies or course in Canada is shorter than six months, you are not required to apply for a study permit. However, although a study permit is not required in this case, it’s important to apply for one if you would like to work on campus or extend your studies after the initial six-month period.

You are required to "enroll" *(see the definition below), remain enrolled until completion of your studies, and actively pursue studies if you want to remain in Canada on a study permit.

Important notes about your study permit:

  • There are no minimum number of credits required to be considered enrolled.
  • Your study permit will become invalid 90 days after you: complete your studies (even before your study permit expiry date), OR on the expiry date of your study permit, whichever comes first
  • IRCC may request that you show you are complying with conditions of your study permit. This may be a random assessment or due to specific concerns about your case.
  • If your study permit expires and you have not applied for a new one, you will be able to restore it only if you met the conditions of your study permit.
  • People who do not comply with the conditions of their study permit may be asked to leave Canada and must not return for a year without written permission.

When do I need it?

Most international students accepted to UBC while abroad will apply for study permits online, by paper, or via a Visa Application Centre (VAC) in their home country before traveling to Canada. You must apply for your initial study permit outside Canada.

If you are attending high school in Canada 

You may not study at UBC until you receive a post-secondary study permit. You need to apply for a new (post-secondary) study permit in order to change conditions of your permit. You may do this from within Canada while your secondary study permit is still valid.

If you are attending a post-secondary school in Canada

Your post-secondary study permit may be used to study at UBC as long as it is valid. You may apply to extend it from within Canada while it is still valid.

Every study permit has an expiration date, and you must renew it before it expires if you’re planning on studying in Canada past your study permit’s expiration date.


Last reviewed shim6/5/2018 10:04:38 AM

Every study permit has an expiration date. You must renew your permit before it expires if you’re planning to study in Canada past your study permit’s expiration date.

Four-letter codes that define your student status for immigration purposes

Record of your enrolment status is on the Student Information Service Centre (SISC), which is accessed by UBC staff. If you’re unclear about your student status for immigration purposes, you can check in with graduate studies staff, academic advisors or your ESP to see what's on record in the SISC. The following definitions include the 4-letter code that is on your record as your registration status in the SISC.