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Study permit is a written authorization which allows an foreign national to engage in a study program which is more than six months in duration at a designated learning institute (DLI) in Canada.

Eligibility Criteria for a Study Permit

An international student may be issued a work permit if he meets all the requirements of a temporary residence visa as well as the criteria specific to the students. The applicants for study permit are required to:

  • present a letter of acceptance from the designated learning institute where they want to study;
  • be able to pay the fee for their intended study program;
  • be able to pay the transportation cost from home country to Canada and from Canada to home country;
  • be able to support themselves and their accompanying family members during the study period;
  • pass the medical  examination, if required.


International students can work in Canada while pursuing their post-secondary studies. In some cases a work permit is not required if the student works on campus but a work permit is required if a student works off campus or is enrolled in postgraduate studies or a co-op program.

On-Campus Work

An international student on a study permit can work on campus without having a work permit, if the student is enrolled in a full-time program at a post-secondary institute.

Off-Campus Work

An international student can work off campus without having a work permit if he/she is enrolled in a full-time study program and have valid study permit. Students on an exchange program or learning English or French as a second language may not work off-campus without a work permit. Students can work off-campus for maximum of 20 hours per week during the academic sessions and full-time during the semester/term breaks. Students can work on-campus in addition to 20 hours of off-campus work per week.

Post-Graduate Work Permit

A foreign national can apply for a Post Graduate Work Permit, if he/she is in possession of a valid study permit and is about to graduate from a post-secondary institution. A postgraduate work permit is an open work permit and is exempt from the requirement of labour market impact assessment (LMIA) which means the foreign national can work for any employer for the specified period of time. To meet the criteria of post graduate work permit, the foreign national must:

  • have studied full-time in Canada at a post-secondary institution from a program of at least eight months duration;
  • be in possession of a valid study permit at the time of application for post graduate work permit;
  • have received a written notification from the educational institute that he/she is eligible to obtain a degree, diploma or certificate;
  • have applied for the work permit within 90 days of receiving the written notice from the institution that the academic program was successfully completed.

Co-op Work Permit

If the work experience is an integral part of the study program, the student can apply for a work permit under the co-op program. Students are required to provide a letter from the institution that the work is a normal component of the academic program and are required to complete their degree, diploma or certificate program.

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