International students: Remember to apply for a study permit

International students: Remember to apply for a study permit

Updated: May 26, 2022

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

Depending on your country of citizenship, you may also need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to travel to Canada (US citizens are exempt). Once your initial study permit application is approved, you will automatically be issued a TRV or eTA.

When do you apply?

You should apply for a study permit online as soon as you receive your letter of admission to UBC. Applications can take several months to process.

How do you apply?

To prepare your application, visit UBC’s step-by-step initial study permit tutorial for UBC Okanagan or UBC Vancouver. Here, you’ll learn about the application process, how to fill out the application form, and what documents to provide.

If you are currently a resident of Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, or Vietnam, and are considering applying through the Student Direct Stream, learn about pre-payment of tuition for UBC Okanagan or UBC Vancouver. Please see our frequently asked questions.

If you are a US citizen, US permanent resident, or a resident of Greenland or St. Pierre and Miquelon, you can apply for a study permit at the airport or land border crossing on arrival. Read through the study permit page to find out more, and remember to bring all your original documents with you.

What if you’re already studying in Canada?

You are coming to UBC from a Canadian high school

If you have been studying in secondary/high school in Canada and you have been admitted to UBC, you must apply to extend your study permit before it becomes invalid. Your study permit becomes invalid in one of two ways: either 90 days after you receive written confirmation of your high school completion (even if your study permit has not expired), or on your study permit’s expiry date – whichever comes first.

You can only apply for a study permit extension when you are in Canada. If you are in Canada, apply for a study permit extension for UBC Okanagan or UBC Vancouver as soon as you receive your letter of admission. If you will not be returning to Canada before your study permit becomes invalid or expires and your Temporary Resident Visa expires (if applicable), apply for an initial study permit for UBC Okanagan and UBC Vancouver from outside of Canada as soon as possible.

You are transferring to UBC from a Canadian college or university

If you already have a valid study permit for post-secondary study in Canada, you might be able to use that permit to study at UBC.

  • If you did not complete your previous program and your study permit has not expired, you must inform the government by changing your Designated Learning Institution (DLI) online via your MyCIC account.
  • If you completed a program at your previous institution, you must extend your study permit for UBC Okanagan or UBC Vancouver within 90 days after you received written notification of program completion or before your study permit expires – whichever comes first.

What do you need to prepare before travelling to Canada?

Before making travel plans, be sure to carefully review all pages of our Travelling to Canada Guide for UBC Okanagan or UBC Vancouver to learn about what to bring, health insurance, the arrival process, and more.

If you still have questions

The UBC International Student Guide for UBC Okanagan or UBC Vancouver is a great resource and reference handbook for everything you need to know about coming to UBC. If you still have questions, our International Student Advising team at UBC Okanagan and UBC Vancouver is here for you.

We also recommend that you enroll in iPREP, a pre-arrival course designed for new students to learn about immigration documents, health insurance, banking, cell phones, and more.

Share this post