About study permits

A study permit is an immigration document issued by the Canadian government that gives you permission to remain in Canada, on a temporary basis, to study.

Who needs a study permit

As an international student, you must apply for a study permit before coming to Canada, if:

  1. Your course or program of study is longer than six months; or
  2. Your course or program of study is six months or shorter but you are planning to work as a student or to get paid by an employer or another source in Canada (example, from the University of Saskatchewan).

If you arrive in Canada to study for six months or less and you hold visitor status, and now wish to stay in Canada and study longer, you may be eligible to apply for a study permit from within Canada. Please see here for more information.

Starting on July 31, 2018, you may be required to provide your biometrics when applying for a study permit depending on your nationality and where you are applying from. Please visit the IRCC website for more information, and to find out where biometrics can be collected.

Entering Canada as a student

A study permit does not give you permission to travel to or enter Canada. Permission to travel to Canada is given by a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) whereas a permission to enter Canada is given by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer upon assessing your admissibility to Canada.

 It is your responsibility to ensure that you obtain a valid study permit prior to coming to Canada to study and renew your study permit when required.


1. Regular study permit application process

Below is how you can apply. The application fee is $150 CAD.

  1. Online through the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website (highly recommended)
  2. By paper or in person at your nearest Visa Application Centre (VAC)
  3. OR in person at a Canadian border (port of entry). ONLY for
    • US citizens and US permanent residents
    • residents of Greenland or St. Pierre and Miquelon

When to apply

Apply as soon as possible after you have received your Letter of Acceptance from the University of Saskatchewan. Processing times vary depending on the country where you are applying from. Your study permit must be approved before you come to Canada. It is important to allow yourself enough time to plan travels accordingly. 

Required documents and information from the University of Saskatchewan

You will need the following documents and information from the University of Saskatchewan when applying for an initial study permit:

  • Letter of Acceptance from the University of Saskatchewan
  • Designated Learning Institution (DLI) number for the University of Saskatchewan: O19425660421
  • Estimated costs for tuition, fees and living expense as you must prove you have adequate funds to support yourself while studying in Canada

Help and resources


2. Get a study permit faster through the Student Direct Stream (SDS) - open to students currently living in China, India, Morocco, Pakistan, the Philippines, Senegal or Vietnam

If you are from China, India, Morocco, Pakistan, the Philippines, Senegal or Vietnam, your study permit application may be processed through the Student Direct Stream (SDS) if your application meets the eligibility criteria listed below. IRCC processes most SDS applications within 20 calendar days. The application must be received electronically via the IRCC Portal for SDS processing.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for SDS stream, you need to meet the following eligibility criteria and requirements:

  • be a legal resident living in China, India, Morocco, Pakistan, the Philippines, Senegal or Vietnam;
  • have an acceptance letter from University of Saskatchewan;
  • prove that you’ve paid the tuition fees for your first year of study;
  • have a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of C$10,000;
  • If required, get an upfront medical exam;
  • If required, get a police certificate;
  • have a language test result that shows a score of 6.0 or higher in each skill (reading, writing, speaking and listening) on the International English Language Testing System(IELTS).

For more information about applying through the Student Direct Stream, please visit IRCC website.

The IRCC Portal may not identify all the documents required to be eligible for the SDS stream. It is your responsibility to include all documents required for eligibility. If you do not include all necessary documents, your application will be processed via the regular application process with regular processing times.

After you apply

Please note that Global Affairs Canada and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada are the agencies involved in the decision-making process for study permit applications. The International Student and Study Abroad Centre (ISSAC) plays no role in this decision-making process. Therefore, no staff in ISSAC can reperesent you during this process nor is able to influence the decision-making process on your behalf. 

Study Permit application approved

If your study permit application has been approved, you will be issued a Letter of Introduction confirming the approval of your study permit.

Please note that this letter is not your study permit. You must print this out and present it to the Canada Border Services Agency officer when you arrive to Canada. More information on preparing for your arrival to Canada can be found on the Arrival and Settlement webpage.

If your study permit application has been approved, you will automatically be issued one of the below documents to be able to travel to Canada:

  • A Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or
  • An Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

Study Permit application refused

It is a very frustrating and disappointing experience when your study permit application is refused. However, refusals are not uncommon. We encourage you to follow these steps:

  1. Read your refusal letter thoroughly. If possible, address the issues identified in the refusal letter and resubmit your study permit application. Make sure to read the instructions guide and learn how to fill out and submit documents.
  2. Consider seeking advice from an authorized representative who can assist you in preparing another study permit application.
  3. Contact your college/department at the University of Saskatchewan to find out what options are available to you as your arrival might be delayed. 
    For example:
    • Can you defer your admission to next semester?
    • Have you enquired on your options if you have pre-arranged your accommodation in the campus Residence?
    • If you cannot attend the intended semester but you have already registered for courses and/or paid for your tuition, enquire about the deadline by which you can withdraw to avoid financial penalties.
    • If you need assistance with the above university-related matters, please e-mail us at international.students@usask.ca so we can arrange appropriate referrals and supports. 

The immigration information on this page has been reviewed and endorsed by an immigration lawyer in compliance with the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. However, this is not a legal document and information may change without notice. Always refer to www.cic.gc.ca for the most up-to-date information, or contact ISSAC.

Getting help

Use the International Student Guide to learn about life as an international student at the U of S including immigration matters and information on working and living in Canada.

International Student Guide

If you can't find what you need in the International Student Guide contact The International Student and Study Abroad Centre (ISSAC). We are here to help! Drop-in advising is available.