International students: Remember to apply for a study permit

International students: Remember to apply for a study permit

Unless you’re a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, you’ll need to obtain a study permit before you start classes at UBC and ensure it remains valid for the duration of your studies. Study permits are issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Depending on your country of origin, you may also need a temporary resident visa and/or a medical examination.

When do I apply?

You should apply for a study permit as soon as you’re admitted to UBC. Applications can take several months to process, particularly if you’re from a country with additional visa requirements. If you’re a U.S. student, see below.

What documentation will I need?

When you apply for a study permit, IRCC may require you to provide the following:

  • Your letter of admission from UBC
  • Proof of funds adequate to support you for your first year of study in Canada
  • Your passport
  • Photo(s) that meet IRCC specifications
  • Your completed application forms

How do I apply?

  • Online: If you meet certain conditions, you may be able to apply for your permit online.
  • By mail: If you are unable to apply online, you must complete a paper application. Your first step should be to visit the website of the Canadian visa application centre for your country. Check which documents are required, determine if you need a temporary resident visa and/or medical examination, and confirm how to mail your application and pay the application fee.

What if I’m a U.S. student?

If you’re a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you have several options for applying for a study permit:

  • Online: Use the online application process.
  • By mail: Mail your paper application to the Canadian visa application centre for your country. If you are in the United States, apply through the visa application centre in Los Angeles.
  • On arrival: Apply on arrival at a major immigration entry point in Canada. Come with your documentation ready and be prepared to spend an hour or two completing the process. If you’re under 17 years of age, you’ll require custodianship. If you’re between 17 and 19 years of age, the immigration officer will decide whether you need a custodian. Custodianship is generally not required at the port of entry if you’re travelling with your parents.

What if I’m already studying in Canada?

If you’re an international student who is already attending high school in Canada on a study permit, this permit does not allow you to study at the university level. You should apply for an extension/change of conditions as soon as you’re admitted to UBC.

What if I still have questions?

More guidance on study permit requirements can be found in UBC’s International Student Guide.

Share this post