Visa Information, Visa Requirements, Visa Application Guidelines, Immigration Rules and Inquiry

Studying in Canada


To study in Canada, you must obtain a study permit

Before you can apply for a study permit, you must have been accepted at a school, university or college in Canada. You also need to have the right documents.

In most cases, you must obtain a study permit if you want to study in Canada.

To be eligible to study in Canada

  • You must have been accepted by a school, college, university or other educational institution in Canada.
  • You must prove that you have enough money to pay for your:
    • tuition fees
    • living expenses for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada and
    • return transportation for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada.
  • You must be a law-abiding citizen with no criminal record and not be a risk to the security of Canada. You may have to provide a police certificate.
  • You must be in good health and willing to complete a medical examination, if necessary.
  • You must satisfy an immigration officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your authorized stay.

In some cases, you do not require a study permit to go to school in Canada.

If you wish to study in a short-term course or program
You do not need a study permit if you plan to take a course or program in Canada that lasts six months or less. You must complete the course or program within the period authorized for your stay in Canada.

Even if you do not need a study permit, it is a good idea to apply for a permit before you travel to Canada.

If you decide that you want to continue your studies in another program after you complete your short-term course or program, you must apply through a Canadian visa office outside Canada for a study permit if you do not already have one.

Foreign representatives to Canada
If you are a family member or staff member of a foreign representative to Canada accredited by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD), you may not need a permit to study in Canada. You should contact your embassy in Canada. Your embassy can contact the Office of Protocol at DFATD to find out whether you need a study permit.

Members of foreign armed forces

If you are a member of a foreign armed force under the Visiting Forces Act, you do not need a permit to study in Canada. If your family members, including minor children, want to study in Canada, they must meet the requirements.

Minor children 

In Canada, each province and territory decides the age when a person is considered to be an adult. This is known as the age of majority. A person under the age of majority is considered to be a “minor child.”
Province/Territory Age of
Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan 18
British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Yukon 19


Minor children who are less than 17 years of age andtravel  to Canada to study without a parent or legal guardian must be cared for by a responsible adult in Canada. This person is known as a custodian. In some cases, a custodian may also be needed for minor children between 17 years of age and the age of majority in the province or territory of the educational institution where they intend to study. This will be at the discretion of an immigration officer.

Custodianship requires that legal arrangements be made to give the custodian in Canada permission to act in place of a parent. Two notarized documents are required. A notarized document is a document that has been certified by a notary.

The first notarized document must be signed by the parents or legal guardians of the minor child in the child’s country of origin. The second notarized document must be signed by the custodian in Canada.

An immigration officer must be satisfied that adequate arrangements have been made for the care and support of minor children who travel to Canada to study.

Minors traveling alone

Minor children who are traveling alone must:

  • bring contact information (name, address and phone number) with them about the custodian, if required, who will be responsible for them in Canada and where they will be going to school; and
  • have a letter of permission from their parent(s) and a letter from their custodian in Canada.
If the child is the subject of a custody order, additional information is required. A custody order is an order of a Court that indicates which parent has care and control of a child. If a custody order has been issued, a copy of the order must be provided. A letter indicating the other parent’s consent is also required.

In Quebec, minors traveling alone need a Certificat d’acceptation du Qu├ębec (Certificate of Acceptance or CAQ) to study.

Length of time a study permit is valid

For minor children in grades 1 through 8:

  • the study permit is normally valid for one year.
For minor children in grades 9 through 12, or attending a post-secondary institution:

  • the study permit is normally valid for the length of time of studies, plus 90 days.
For minor children studying in Quebec:

  • the study permit is valid for the same length of time as their CAQ.
If a minor child is with parents who have long-term study or work permits, the child’s study permit should be valid for the same length of time as:

  • the parents’ permits;
  • the child’s passport if it expires before the parents’ permits; or
  • the CAQ, if studying in Quebec.

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