About study permits

A study permit is a document issued by the Canadian federal department called Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to study at a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada.

Who needs a study permit

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


If you’re applying from outside of Canada

Due to COVID-19, regardless of the lenght of your course or study program, you’re now required to

You won’t be able to travel to Canada if you don’t have a study permit and your DLI isn’t on the approved list.

*Please note the University of Saskatchewan is a DLI with an approved Covid-19 readiness plan. 

To get instructions on how to apply from outside of Canada, click here, scroll down to Get the instructions section and check off "Outside Canada " to get more information.

  • Changing your DLI if you’re outside Canada
If you change your DLI before coming to Canada and you don’t let IRCC know, you won’t be allowed to board your flight.
If your application is still in progress
You can tell IRCC you changed your DLI by submitting a new letter of acceptance using the IRCC web form.
If your application has been approved
If your application for a study permit has been approved and you change your DLI, you must submit a new study permit application with a new letter of acceptance.
You must also pay all the fees for the new application.

 

If you’re already in Canada

If you’re already in Canada, you don’t need a study permit for a course or study program that lasts 6 months or less . You must get a study permit if you want to study in a program which is more than 6 months in duration AND you are not allowed to start your studies before the permit is approved.

In this scenario, you may be able to apply for your initial study permit from inside Canada, depending on your immigration status. 

If you are a visitor who needs a study permit, please see here

If not a visitor, click here, scroll down to Get the instructions section and check off "Inside Canada" to get more information. 

Entering Canada as a student

A study permit does not give you permission to travel to or enter Canada.

Depending on your country of citizenship, you may need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to travel to Canada. If needed, IRCC will issue you a TRV or an eTA automatically if your study permit is approved.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) decides on whether you can enter Canada at the port or entry (border). 

 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.

Applying

1. Regular study permit application process

Applying online

Whether you’re outside of Canada or already in Canada, you must apply online for your study permit through your IRCC secure account. You will have an option to create either a GCKey account or a Sign-in Partner account.

Both accounts work the same when applying for your study permit. However, Sign-In Partner account is available only to those who have a bank account with certain Canadian banking institutions. 

When you apply, you should submit

Applying at the port of entry. 

We highly discourage any students to apply at the port of entry at this time and advise to apply online instead. 

You should not apply for a study permit at a Canadian port of entry at this time. You should apply online for a study permit before you travel to Canada.

Only certain people can apply at the port of entry at this time. You may be able to apply at the port of entry if you’re a

  • U.S. citizen
  • lawful permanent resident of the U.S.
  • resident of Greenland
  • resident of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon

If you meet one of these requirements, you must have all the documents required to apply for a study permit with you when you arrive at the border. The border services officer who greets you will determine if you’re eligible to enter Canada as a student.

If you're already in Canada and you try to apply at the port of entry, you may need to undergo Covid-19 testing and quarantine requirements if the border services officer approves you to re-enter Canada.

To get instructions on how to apply at the port of entry, click here, scroll down to Get the instructions section and check off "At a port of entry" to get more information.

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
    • Note: A Confirmation of Enrolment is not required for an initial study permit application, but can be included if available.
  • 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)

If you are a legal resident living in 1 of the following countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, Senegal, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago or Vietnam, your study permit application may be processed faster through the Student Direct Stream (SDS).

You must meet the eligibility criteria listed here amd apply online for SDS processing. 

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 study permit approval letter (IRCC calls it Letter of Introduction). 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.

Depending on your country of citizenship, you may need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to travel to Canada. If needed, IRCC will issue you a TRV or an eTA automatically if your study permit is approved.

Due to Covid-19, it is each student's responsibility to learn about the latest travel rules, exemptions, quarantine and testing requirements BEFORE making plans to travel to Canada.

You must visit the Government of Canada website for the latest information and consult the Arrival page by IRCC. 

You must inform the International Student and Study Abroad Centre of your planned arrival to Canada at international.students@usask.ca and visit the Covid-19 page for international students. 

For more useful and good to know information prepared by the staff at the International Student and Study Abroad Centre, please see here

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.

ISSAC