About study permits

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

Who needs a study permit

As an international student you must have a valid study permit before coming to Canada to study if:

  1. if you wish to study in Canada for more than six months 
  2. if you are an exchange or a visiting research student and you are planning to work or get paid for your research at the University of Saskatchewan

You do not need a study permit if your program of study lasts 6 months or less. However, you must complete your course or program within the period authorized for your stay in Canada or obtain a valid study permit if your program lasts more than 6 months.

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.


Re-entering Canada

A study permit does not give you permission to re-enter Canada. Permission to re-enter Canada is given by a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). If you are from a visa-required country, you will need to obtain a valid visa to re-enter Canada.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you obtain a valid study permit prior to coming to Canada to study. If you are accepted in a program of study that lasts more than six months, it is your responsibility to ensure that your study permit is valid at all times for the duration of your studies.


There are two ways you can apply:

  1. Apply online
  2. OR by paper at your nearest Visa Application Centre (VAC)

One Exception: You can apply at the Canadian border ONLY if you are a citizen or a permanent resident of the United States, a resident of Greenland or a resident of St. Pierre and Miquelon.

When applying, use the Application for a Study Permit Made Outside of Canada [IMM1294].

When to apply

Apply as soon as possible after you have received your Letter of Acceptance from the University of Saskatchewan. Processing times vary. It is important to allow yourself enough time to plan travels accordingly. 

Required documents

 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

Helpful tips

After you apply

Please note that the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development 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 plays no role in this decision-making process. Therefore, no one in our office is able to influence this decision-making process on your behalf. 

Permit application approved

If your study permit application has been approved, the Canadian visa office will issue you 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 CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency) officer when you enter Canada. At the Canadian border or airport, the officer will then issue your actual study permit (a piece of paper that is usually stapled to your passport). 

Permit application refused

It might be a very frustrating and disappointing experience if your study permit application has been refused but we encourage you to follow the steps below which may be helpful in your current situation:

  1. Refer to the directions/guidelines outlined in your application refusal letter and resubmit your study permit application.

  2. Enquire if there are professional immigration services available in your area that can assist you in preparing another study permit application.

  3. Continue to follow your nearest Visa Application Centre (VAC) guidelines on submitting another study permit application.

  4. In the meantime, get in contact with your college to find out what options are available to you because your arrival might be delayed.
    For example:
    • Can you defer your admission to next semester?
    • If you cannot attend the intended semester but you have already paid for your tuition, when do you need to withdraw from your classes and avoid financial penalties?
    • Have you enquired on your options if you have pre-arranged your accommodation in the campus Residence?
    • 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.