Immigration documentation

documentation, new student, guidance

Immigration documents you need to study at UBC

There are three main categories of people in Canada: citizens, permanent residents and temporary residents. International students, foreign workers, and visitors are all temporary residents. Most UBC students require the following:


If your passport will expire while you’re in Canada, all of your immigration documents, your MSP coverage and Social Insurance Number (SIN) will normally expire at the same time. In most cases, you can only apply to extend them after you obtain a new passport. Passport applications can take up to three months, so apply for a new passport as soon as possible to avoid interrupting your studies.

Study permit

A valid study permit authorizes you to remain in Canada while you study. If you are an international student, you require a valid study permit to study in Canada. The only exception: if you are accepted in a program that is less than six months (e.g. one-term exchange students) and you will complete the program by the end of your original stay in Canada, you do not need a study permit.

Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)

A Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) is used only for entry into Canada. Only citizens of certain countries require a TRV. It is recommended that you maintain a valid TRV for the duration of your studies, but it is not mandatory while you are inside Canada.

Documentation for your family

If you’re bringing your family to Canada with you, make sure they have the immigration documentation they need.

International and coming to UBC from a Canadian high school?

If you are international student and are admitted to UBC from a secondary school in Canada, you must apply to extend your study permit within 90 days after written confirmation of high school completion first becomes available, or before your study permit expires, whichever comes first. It is best to apply as soon as you receive your letter of admission from UBC. This is especially important if you would like to work in Canada.

If you are applying within Canada: apply for a study permit extension

If you are applying outside of Canada: apply for an initial study permit

If you already have a valid study permit for post-secondary study in Canada, you can use that permit to study at UBC. As a post-secondary student, you can transfer between programs of study and institutions without applying for a change to the conditions of your study permit.

Maintaining your documents

You are responsible for maintaining your immigration status and obeying immigration regulations during your stay in Canada.

Check your primary immigration documents – passport, study permit, and (if applicable), your Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) – to make sure they’re accurate and valid. Write down their expiration dates so you can plan to renew them and remain in Canada without interruption.

In most cases, your Canadian immigration documents will not be issued past the expiry date of your passport.

If you extend your study permit (or transition from student status to worker status by applying for a post-graduation work permit) you will need to extend other documents after you receive your new permit. See the table below to help you plan your document extensions.

When to extend your documents

At least six months before expiration date.


Three to four months before expiration date.

Study permit  co-op work permit

Before or after expiration date (depending on travel plans), usually after you extend your study permit or receive a post-graduate work permit.

Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)

Before expiration date, usually after you extend your study permit or receive a post-graduate work permit.

BC Services card/CareCard

Before expiration date, usually after you extend your study permit or receive a post-graduate work permit (optional, if you are authorized to work in Canada).

Social Insurance Number (SIN)

Optional, if you want government-issued photo identification.


Need to amend your immigration documents?

If your study permit, work permit, or Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) have any mistakes (for example, your name or date of birth are incorrect), you must contact Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and request to amend your documents. Mail your documents to the address in Ottawa indicated in the Instruction Guide. You should plan to remain in Canada until your documents have been corrected.

If you are currently outside Canada, make sure to amend your documents before you travel to Canada to avoid issues or delays at the Canadian border.

Note: Amendments apply only to the mistakes that are made by IRCC when your documents were issued.

Your valid temporary resident documents are meant to demonstrate to employers, schools, or other authorities that you are authorized to work, study, visit, or remain in Canada. The information contained in these documents should be the same as the information contained in your entry passport.

Changes made to personal information after you entered Canada will not be amended on your temporary resident document. The information on this document should match your passport. If the information on your passport changes, you should apply for a new document.

If your immigration documents get lost or stolen

If your documents such as study or work permits are lost or stolen, you must request a replacement from IRCC. Follow instructions on the IRCC website, submit your application for replacement and a $30 processing fee, and expect your documents to arrive by mail in approximately two weeks. You may continue studying and/or working while your documents are being replaced. However, you should not leave Canada until you receive your replacement study or work permit.

If your passport has also been lost or stolen, you must replace it as well. If you had a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) in the lost or stolen passport, make sure you apply for a new TRV.

It’s a good idea to keep photocopies of all your important documents (including your credit cards, passport, immigration documents, bank information, and health insurance cards) in a safe place in case the originals are lost or stolen.

New biometrics expansion

Starting July 2018 Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is expanding its biometric requirement and will require citizens of certain countries to provide biometric information when apply for temporary resident documents.

Learn more

Immigration links

The information on this page may change

The immigration information on this page has been reviewed and endorsed by Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) or Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors (RISIAs) 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.