Who Needs a Study Permit

Steven MeurrensUncategorized

All foreign nationals are required to  obtain a study permit for engaging in academic, professional, vocational or other education or training that is more than six months in duration at a Designated Learning Institute in Canada, unless exempted.

The following are not considered studies which requires a study permit:

  • pre-school (pre-kindergarten)
  • courses of general interest or self-imporvement
  • distance learning
  • audited courses (typically by sitting in on an academic course but iwthout obtaining credit for it or having the ability to obtain credit for it retroactively)


Section 30(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act states:

30(2) Every minor child in Canada, other than a child of a temporary resident not authorized to work or study, is authorized to study at the pre-school, primary or secondary level.

Regulation 188(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations states:

188 (1) A foreign national may study in Canada without a study permit

(a) if they are a family member or a member of the private staff of a foreign representative who is properly accredited by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and who is in Canada to carry out official duties as a diplomatic agent, consular officer, representative or official of a country other than Canada, of the United Nations or any of its agencies or of any international organization of which Canada is a member;

(b) as a member of the armed forces of a country that is a designated state for the purposes of the Visiting Forces Act, including a person who has been designated as a civilian component of those armed forces;

(c) if the duration of their course or program of studies is six months or less and will be completed within the period for their stay authorized upon entry into Canada; or

(d) if they are an Indian.


(2) Despite paragraph (1)(c), a foreign national may apply for a study permit before entering Canada for a course or program of studies of a duration of six months or less.

Conditional Acceptance Letters

Prospective students may provide a conditional Letter of Acceptance with their study permit applications indicating that they will be allowed to register at the institution upon successful completion of a prerequisite program.

When this occurs, officers typically issue a study permit for the length of the prerequisite program plus one ear.