International

Q:  Can I apply for a job before I get my post-graduation work permit?

A:  Yes, but you must have a valid post-graduation work permit before working.

Q:  Can I work as many hours as I want with my off-campus work permit?

A:  No. Once you are authorized to work off-campus, you can work up to 20 hours per week while classes are in session. However, during scheduled breaks such as the summer or winter holidays and spring break, you are allowed to work full-time. You must ensure you comply with the requirements of the off-campus work authorization.

You may continue to work full time after you complete your program, but only if you have submitted an application for a post-graduation work permit, or other work permit.

Q:  Can I work in any type of job if I am eligible to work off campus?

A:  Yes. You may work for any employer in Canada who is not on the ineligible employer list, as long as you continue to comply with the requirements of the off-campus work authorization.

You must also get an immigration medical exam if you plan to work in certain occupations.

Q:  How can I extend my stay as a student?

A:  If you want to extend your stay in Canada, you should apply at least 30 days before your status expires.

For the steps to apply, see Extending your Stay as a student.

Temporary residents currently in Canada with a valid study or work permit must submit their application for a new temporary resident visa to the Case Processing Centre in Ottawa (CPC-O), or visa office that serves their country of nationality.

If your study permit expires after you have submitted your application for an extension but before you receive a decision on your application, you can stay in Canada under what’s called implied status. That means the law implies you are a temporary resident. That status lasts until CIC decides on your new permit application. However, you must respect the following requirements.

If you applied for another study permit:

You must stay in Canada and meet the conditions of your original study permit. For example, you cannot quit school to start working. You can keep studying until CIC decides on your application.

If you applied for a different kind of permit:

  • You cannot do any of the activities allowed by the original study permit. For example, you may have come to Canada as a student and then applied for a work permit. If so, you must stop studying once your study permit expires. After that, you cannot work or study until you get a new permit.

If you have applied to extend your study permit and plan on traveling outside Canada while your application is in process, you can leave Canada and come back. However, one of three things will happen when you return to Canada:

  • You may be admitted to Canada as a temporary resident visitor, if CIC has not yet decided to extend your study permit. If so, you cannot study until you receive your new permit. The officer at the port of entry may ask you to prove you have enough money to support yourself in Canada.
  • You may be admitted to Canada as a student, if the officer at the port of entry can confirm that CIC extended your study permit while you were away.
  • You may be asked to apply for a new study permit at the port of entry.

Note: It is possible that you will not be able to enter Canada. The final decision is made at the border by the border services officer.

Q:  How do I apply for a post-graduation work permit?

A: You can apply online. If you prefer, you can print out the application and mail it.

You must apply for a post-graduation work permit within 90 days of receiving written confirmation from your educational institution that you have met the requirements for completing your academic program.

Note: When paying your fees, you must pay the “Open work permit holder” fee in addition to the standard fee. Find out more about the required fees.

Q:  How do I renew my study permit while I am in Canada?

A:  You must submit an application for a new study permit to the Case Processing Centre before your initial status expires. You may also be eligible to apply for a study permit online.

If your study permit has expired, you must leave Canada. In some cases, you may be able to extend your stay. However, you cannot study until an official allows you to stay longer in Canada.

Q:  How long is a post-graduation work permit valid?

A:  A post-graduation work permit may be valid anywhere between eight months and up to three years, depending on the length of the program of study completed in Canada.

The permit cannot be valid for longer than the length of the program of study completed in Canada. For example:

  • If you graduate from an eight-month certificate program, you could be eligible for an eight-month work permit.
  • If you graduate from a four-year degree program, you could be eligible for a three-year work permit, if you meet program requirements.
Q:  I am an international student in Canada. Can I work while studying?

Yes. You may be eligible to work in Canada while studying and after you graduate. As a study permit holder, you may qualify to work on-campus or off-campus without an additional work permit if you meet specific criteria.

If your academic, professional or vocational training program includes an essential co-op or internship component, you will need to apply for a work permit. You may also apply for a post-graduation work permit to continue working in Canada after you graduate from an eligible institution. For more details, see Work Permits for Students.

Q:  I have applied to extend my study permit. Can I travel outside Canada and be able to return?

A:  Yes, you can leave Canada and return, as long as your visa or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is still valid.

If your visa or eTA is expired, you will have to apply for and receive a new one before you leave.


When you return to Canada:

  • If your study permit is still valid, you may enter as student.
  • If we extended your study permit while you were away, you may enter as student.
  • If we are still processing your study permit extension, you may enter as a visitor. You can’t study until you get your study permit extension. The officer at the port of entry may ask you to prove you have enough money to support yourself in Canada.
  • You have the option to re-apply for a new study permit, and pay the fees, at the port of entry if you are a citizen or a permanent resident of the U.S. or a resident of Greenland or St. Pierre and Miquelon. Once you are in Canada, you can use this web form to withdraw your previous application.


A border officer will have some questions for you when you arrive back in Canada. If the officer believes there is reason to refuse your re-entry, you will not be able to re-enter Canada.

The officer at the port of entry may ask you for a copy of your extension application, the fee payment receipt, and any other document to prove you applied for an extension.

Q:  I want to study in Canada for less than six months. Do I need a study permit?

A:  You can study in Canada without a study permit if:

  • The duration of your course or program of study is six months or less; AND
  • You will complete your course or studies within the time you are allowed to stay in Canada.

Note:

  • Even if you do not need a study permit, you may want to apply for one. If you decide that you want to continue your studies in another program after you complete your short-term course or program, and you do not already have a study permit, you will need to apply through a Canadian visa office outside Canada for the study permit.
  • If you would like to receive a study permit for short-term studies, your studies must be at a designated learning institution.
  • You must apply for a study permit if your main reason for coming to Canada is to study for more than six months.
  • You may need to leave Canada to go for an interview. If you do, please ensure you bring all the documents you need to enter that country and return to Canada.
Q:  If I have an off-campus work permit, is it still valid after June 1?

A:  Your work permit will generally be valid for the same period as your study permit. It will allow you to work off campus until you complete your studies. You must continue to comply with the requirements of that work permit.

Q:  What is a post-graduation work permit?

A:  The post-graduation work permit allows students who have graduated from a participating Canadian post-secondary institution to gain valuable Canadian work experience.

Note: Work obtained through the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program may help support your application to become a permanent resident of Canada.

Q:  Will I get my money back if CIC turns down my study permit application?

A: No, you will not get your money back, even if your application is refused.

Q: Am I eligible for financial aid as an international student?

A: Of course! We offer a number of different payment options, the details of which you can find in our Financial Services section.

Q: As an international student, can I return home or travel outside Canada during my studies?

If you leave Canada and want to return, you must have:

  • a valid passport or travel document;
  • a valid study permit if you are returning to study in Canada;
  • a valid visitor visa, if you are a citizen of a visa-required country. You must re-apply for a temporary resident visa (visitor visa) if your visa:
  • has expired; or
  • was only valid for a single entry to Canada.
  • an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) if you are a citizen of a visa-exempt country and plan to return to Canada by air. You will not be able to board your flight without one.
  • If you received an initial study permit before August 1, 2015, you will need to apply for an eTA.
  • If you received an initial study permit on or after August 1, 2015, you will automatically be issued an eTA along with your permit.
  • When you renew your study permit, an eTA is not automatically renewed or issued. You may need to apply for one separately. See Extend your study permit.

Apply for a visitor visa at a Canadian visa office located outside Canada, or if you are in Canada and hold a valid study permit or work permit you may apply for a new visa at Case Processing Centre in Ottawa, Ontario.  A border officer will have some questions for you when you arrive back in Canada. If the officer believes there is reason to refuse your re-entry, you will not be able to re-enter Canada.

Q: As an international student, can I take part in co-op and internship programs?

A:  If you are in an academic, professional or vocational training program at a designated learning institution that requires work experience, such as a co-op or internship placement, you will need a work permit as well as a study permit.

To get a work permit, you must prove that the work experience is essential to completing your program. Acceptable proof could include a letter from the school you are attending or a copy of the school curriculum.

The work experience cannot be more than 50% of your total program of study.

If you are studying English or French as a second language (ESL/FSL), or participating in general interest or preparatory courses, you are not eligible for a co-op work permit.

For more information, see Work permits for students – Co-op and internship programs.

Q: As an international student, can I work in Canada without a work permit?

A:  Yes.  If you have a study permit and are enrolled full-time in an eligible institution, you may work on-campus without a work permit.

If you have a study permit and are enrolled full-time in an academic, professional or vocational training program at a designated learning institution: you may work off campus without a work permit.

If you receive your study permit after June 1:

  • your study permit will indicate if you are able to work off campus. If so, you are allowed to work for up to 20 hours per week while:
  • your program is in session, and
  • full-time during scheduled breaks in the academic calendar.

You may work for any employer in Canada who is not on the ineligible employer list.

You must have the appropriate work permit in order to take part in a co-op or internship program. You also must apply for a post-graduation work permit in order to work in Canada after your studies. For more details, see Work Permits for Students.

Q: As an international student, how do I apply for an off-campus work permit?

A: As of June 1, you will no longer need to apply for an off-campus work permit. If you have a study permit and are enrolled full-time in an academic, professional or vocational training program at a designated learning institution, you may work off campus without a work permit.

Your study permit will indicate if you are able to work off campus. If so, you are allowed to work for up to 20 hours per week while your program is in session and full-time during scheduled breaks in the academic calendar. You may work for any employer in Canada who is not on the ineligible employer list.

Q: Can a minor child go to school in Canada without a study permit?

Generally, minor children need to apply for a study permit from outside of Canada, if they want to go to study in Canada. However, a minor child can go to school without a study permit if:

  • One parent (biological or adoptive) is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident; OR
  • One parent (biological or adoptive) is permitted to study or work in Canada; OR
  • Neither parent is physically in Canada
Q: Can I get a work permit when I graduate?

A: You are required to individually apply for a work permit once you have finished your studies. If you are offered employment by an organization in Canada, your employer may sponsor you and get you a work permit. If they do not sponsor you, you will have to apply separately. Please note that there have been some changes in visa and work permit regulations since August 2015.
Click here for more information on Work Permit regulations.

Q: Can I stay in Canada after my study permit expires, if I have applied for a new permit?

A:  Yes. You may remain in Canada as a temporary resident until CIC makes a decision on your new permit application, as long as your application to extend was submitted prior to the expiry of your authorized stay.

If the new application was submitted to renew your study permit:

  • You may stay in Canada and continue studying as per the conditions of your original study permit until CIC decides on your application.

If the new application was submitted for a different type of temporary resident status (e.g., work permit):

  • On the expiry of your study permit you must stop any of the activities stated in the original study permit once the permit expires. For example, you may have come to Canada as a student and then applied for a work permit. If so, you must stop studying once your study permit expires. After that, you cannot work or study until you get a new permit.
Q: Do I need a medical exam to study in Canada?

A: Yes, you need a medical exam if:

  • You come from a designated country/territory for which Canada requires a visa; OR
  • You will be here for more than six months, OR
  • You are a medical student, or intend to work in health care or in another field that brings you into close contact with children or the elderly
Q: Do I need a permit to study in Canada?

A: In general, foreign nationals need a study permit to study in Canada. There are, however, some exceptions. Find out more about who needs a Study Permit.
In most cases, you must apply for a study permit before coming to Canada. Ensure that you have a letter of acceptance from the designated learning institution in Canada that has accepted you before you begin the application process.
You can apply for the study permit at the Canadian visa office for your country at a Visa Application Centre or online. Find out more about how to apply.

Q: How do I find out about schools for international students in Canada?

A: Canada offers many choices of schools for international students. These include primary and secondary schools, post secondary institutions (i.e. colleges and universities) private career /vocational schools, and language schools. Find more information on choosing a school.

Once you have chosen a school, you will need to make sure it is on the designated learning institution list. This list names the schools in Canada that are approved to accept international students. A study permit can only be issued to someone who has been accepted to study at a designated learning institution.

Q: How do I pay for a study permit?

A: You must pay a processing fee with your application. For details, visit the Pay your fees page to learn about the methods of payment accepted by Canadian visa offices.

Q: How long is my POE Letter valid?

There is a box titled “Permit validity” on your Port of Entry (POE) Letter of Introduction. You must come to Canada prior to that date.

If the validity date has passed and you have not yet come to Canada, you must submit a new application. You cannot extend the validity date on your Letter of Introduction.

Your Letter of Introduction will be valid for the requested length of your work permit, study permit or super visa. You may be eligible to extend your work permit once you are in Canada.

International Experience Canada (participants only)

Your Letter of Introduction will normally be valid for 12 months. If you underwent a medical exam, it will be valid until the expiry date of your medical exam or for 12 months, whichever is less. You can only extend your International Experience Canada work permit in very specific situations. Find out if you can extend your work permit.

Q: How long will it take to process my study permit application?

A: Processing times vary, depending on the type of application you submit and where it is processed. CIC lists processing times for applications submitted inside and outside Canada. CIC updates this section regularly, so visit often to get the latest details.

Q: How much does a post-graduation work permit cost?

A: The fee for a post-graduation work permit is CDN$155; however, you must also pay the CDN$100.00 “Open Work Permit Holder” fee. Find out more about the required fees.

Q: I came to Canada as a visitor. Now, I want to study. Can I?

A:  To study in Canada, you must have legal status to study in Canada. Having legal status means you are authorized to enter and remain in Canada as a temporary or permanent resident under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, as a Canadian citizen under the Citizenship Act, or as a Registered Indian under the Indian Act. Temporary resident status is valid for a specific period of time and you must ensure that your status as a temporary resident remains valid while you are in Canada.

You also need to find out if you need a study permit. Some countries may be visa-exempt, though you may need to extend your stay as a visitor if your study period exceeds the validity of your visitor visa. Other countries require a study permit, and you need to have a valid permit prior to entering Canada. Click here for more details.

If you don’t need a study permit: You can enrol in your studies, but remember that you must leave Canada at the end of the authorized period or apply to extend your stay as visitor.

If you do need a study permit: You need to comply with the conditions and requirements of the International Student Program.

How to get a study permit: If you belong to one of the following groups, you need to apply to extend your stay in Canada as a student:

  • You are a minor studying at the primary or secondary level
  • Your are an exchange or visiting student from a foreign educational institution. Find out more here.
  • Your are a student who has completed a short-term course or program of study, which is a condition for acceptance at a designated institution
  • You hold a temporary resident permit (TRP) valid for a minimum of six months; this includes family members
  • You have a spouse or common-law partner (or other family members) who are in Canada and who have applied for permanent residency if they have been deemed eligible to apply (first stage approval)
  • Your study permit was authorized by a visa office abroad where the permit was not issued at a port of entry
  • Your are a family member of an athlete on a Canadian-based team, a media representative, or a member of the clergy or military personnel assigned to Canada
  • You are a family member or a private staff member of a foreign representative who is properly accredited – in this case you may apply within Canada 90 days before or after you are no longer authorized to study without a study permit
  • You are a foreign national, and you and/or your family members hold a valid study or work permit

Remember that you cannot stay in Canada beyond the expiry date of your passport. If you renewed your passport since entering Canada, you have to submit photocopies of both your new passport and the stamp placed in your old passport.

All other applicants:
If you don’t belong to one of the groups above, you must submit a study permit application. You must:

  • Apply online or use a paper application in a country outside Canada where you are lawfully admitted, OR
  • Apply in person or by mail at the Visa Application Centre in Los Angeles.
Q: I want to change my school or program of study. How can I change my study permit?

A: Primary school student:

You must apply to modify your study permit when you move on to high school. Send your application to the CIC Case Processing Centre in Vegreville, Alberta.

High school student:

You must apply to modify your study permit when you move on to post-secondary school. Send your application to the CIC Case Processing Centre in Vegreville, Alberta.

Post-secondary student:

You may change your school, program, field of study, or level of study (e.g. from the Bachelor level to the Masters level) without applying for a new study permit. You do not need to apply for a change to the condition of your study permit, either. You may continue to use your study permit as long as it is valid. Get step-by-step instructions on how to notify CIC that you have changed DLI’s using your MyCIC account.

Q: What are the international admission requirements for Sunview College?

A: Students must possess a minimum of a Grade 12 education or equivalent OR mature student status (18 years old and over) and pass our entry assessment. Post Graduate programs require education and/or practical experience as well.
In addition to these basic requirements, international students whose first language is not English and who have not formally studied English are required to submit proof of English proficiency via the IELTS, TOEFL, or Cambridge Testing Authorities. You will need this to apply for your Study Permit to Canada. For more information, visit our International Student Admission Requirements page.

Q: What is a POE Letter?

A: It is the letter you will receive from IRCC if you have been approved for a:

It is sometimes called the Introduction or Introductory Letter. Officially, it is called the Port of Entry (POE) Letter of Introduction. The Letter of Introduction is not your study or work permit. Keep this letter. You must show this letter to officials at the port of entry when you arrive in Canada to get your study or work permit.

Q: When should I apply for my study permit?

A: Apply as soon as you receive your letter of acceptance. The times needed to process your application may vary among visa offices. Check our application processing times for details.