What is a Study Permit?
A Study Permit is the immigration document that provides permission to pursue study in Canada for any program duration of 6 months or more. This permit, in conjunction with any application visas or other entry permissions, helps to maintain your legal status, and any other permissions sought whilst enrolled as a student. It is your responsibility to ensure that your Study Permit is valid for the duration of your academic program in Canada.
When to Apply
The Study Permit process can be time-consuming. It is very important you apply for the permit as soon as you receive the Proof of Acceptance letter. We recommend applying a minimum of 4 months before your program start date.
How to Apply
Students may apply for their Study Permits via an online application portal or via paper applications. It is suggested that you apply via the online portal, if you are able to, as generally, online applications are processed more quickly than paper applications. Average applications are processed within 45-90 days, although the processing time-frame is subject to change at any time. Please check with IRCC directly for further information on processing time-frames.
Student Direct Stream
A student may be eligible for Student Direct Stream where processing time is usually 20 days. For eligibility for Student Direct Stream, the student should be a legal resident living in one of the following countries:
- China, India, Morocco, Pakistan, Philippines, Senegal, Vietnam.
- Student must pay upfront one year of tuition in order to show IRCC a copy of the receipt.
- To learn more about the Student Direct Stream, please visit the IRCC website
Steps to Apply
1 Have all your required forms and documents collected and completed.
2 Sign up for an account with Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
Visit the Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website to sign up for an account.
3 Enter your personal reference code.
A unique code given through Come to Canada, our online eligibility tool.
4 Continue to the application page where you need to upload the completed form(s) and scanned copies of required documents.
Tip: It is usually sufficient to upload whatever the IRCC system asks you to upload. However, it is also recommended that you upload any relevant documents under the “client information” tab.
Please make sure to check the Country Specific Requirements on the CIC website to see if it applies to you.
5 Proceed to the payment page and pay the CDN $150 application fee with a valid credit card.
6 Submit your application
Documents Required for Initial Study Permit
1. Application for Study Permit [IMM 1294] form.
If applying online, the most recent version of this form should be available. If submitting via paper application, please be sure that you download the most current version from the IRCC website. Please note, a signature is not required for online applications, but is required for applications submitted in paper format.
2. Letter of Acceptance from Northeastern University.
The Proof of Acceptance letter along with the admissions documents from Northeastern should be uploaded. You should plan to upload both the Proof of Acceptance (POA) letter, as well as the general Northeastern admissions letter to your application. If there are any conditions listed in your admissions offer, please be sure to upload proof that you have met all conditions prior to submitting any immigration application.
3. Letter of Explanation (Upload under Client Information)
This is prompted as an optional document but OGS strongly recommends that all students submit a Letter of Explanation (LOE) with their Study Permit application. The LOE is where you explain the reason/s for selecting Canada and Northeastern University. As well as what your future plans are for when you have completed your studies. You may also take this opportunity to address specific areas and upload additional documents. Please see the Letter of Explanation Checklist.
4. Proof of Financial support
You are required to show that you have funds to cover 1 year of tuition and living expenses. This usually means tuition + $10,000 CAD per year for individuals and an additional $4,000 CAD for each dependent. Use one or a combination of the following:
- Proof of tuition payment + accommodation fees
- Bank statements from the last 4 months. If family members support you, use their bank statements as well as a signed financial support letter stating that they will be supporting you.
- Proof of a student education loan.
- Proof of a scholarship.
- A Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of $10,000 CAD.
5. Scanned copy of passport.
Include identity page and all other pages with stamps, visas, or markings.
6. RECENT Digital photo.
Must meet following criteria:
- At least 35mm x 45mm
- Full front view of head with tops of shoulders
- The size of the head (chin to crown) must be at least 31mm x 36mm.
- At least 420 x 540 DPI
7. Medical exam, if required
Check if you need it, what to expect, and where to go. See here.
Find out if you need biometrics and how to complete this process. See here.
If your application is approved, the visa office serving your country of residence/citizenship will issue you a Letter of Introduction. Please read through your Letter of Introduction/Port of Entry letter (POE) closely and carefully. Further instructions related to requirements for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), Entry Visa, or eTA will be included in this letter. Please note that it is imperative that you take any next steps outlined in your Letter of Introduction (POE) in a timely manner. Do not book your travel arrangements to Canada until you’ve received your Letter of Introduction.
- If you require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV or Entry Visa), you will be asked to submit your passport to be stamped with a visa.
- If you require an electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), you don’t have to submit your passport. An eTA will be issued to you automatically. Your eTA number and expiry date will be included in the Letter of Introduction.
Although Canadian immigration regulations do not specify a timeline for when a student can arrive before the program start date, the border services officer may question a student’s intention should they arrive months before the start of the program. The officer could choose to grant a shorter entry period. Therefore, OGS recommends that students arrive no earlier than 30 days before their program start date.
When you travel, make sure to have the following documents in your carry-on bag:
- A valid passport
- Letter of Introduction/Port of Entry (POE) Letter – contains permit reference number
- A copy the the admission letter from Northeastern University
- The POA letter
- Proof that you have enough money to support yourself during your stay in Canada
- Letters of reference or any other documents
- Either a valid eTA or Temporary resident visa
If you have any questions about applying for your study permit, please email us at OGScanada@northeastern.edu