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Study permits

Most international students need a study permit to study in Canada. However, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) lists some exceptions

It is important to apply for your study permit as soon as you receive your letter of acceptance from UVic. Check IRCC's estimated processing times to find out how long it can take to process your application.


You will need to provide a letter of acceptance from UVic as part of your study permit application.

If you are an undergraduate student:
  • you will receive an admission letter and a letter of acceptance via email from the UVic Undergraduate Admissions Office after you have been accepted to UVic
  • these 2 letters need to be included in your study permit application as your letter of acceptance
If you are a graduate student:
  • you will receive an admission letter and a study permit letter from the UVic Graduate Admissions and Records Office via email after you accept your offer
  • these 2 letters need to be included in your study permit application as your letter of acceptance

All documents submitted to IRCC must be in English or French. If your documents are in another language, refer to Translation of supporting documents for applications.

Apply online

Study permit applications must be submitted online unless you are eligible to apply on paper.

Follow IRCC's instructions to apply online

Apply at a port of entry

Most students should travel to Canada only after they receive their study permit approval.

Visit the Justice Laws website to see if you qualify to apply for a study permit at a port of entry (POE) (e.g., your airport of arrival, sea or land border crossing into Canada).

  • if you apply for a study permit at a POE, your application will be processed by a border services officer

Apply from within Canada

If you are already in Canada as a visitor, you are allowed to apply online for a study permit. (NoteIRCC will process your application as if you were applying from your home country.)

If you would like to stay in Canada while your application is processed, you must maintain valid visitor status until you receive your study permit.

  • if your visitor status will expire before you receive your study permit, you should apply to extend your stay or leave Canada before your visitor status expires

After you apply

  1. If your application is approved, you will receive a POE letter (also known as a study permit approval letter or letter of introduction). 
    • a POE letter is not a study permit, it is proof that your study permit application is approved
  2. You must show your POE letter to a Canadian border services officer and ask for your study permit to be issued.
    • if you are already in Canada, you will need to leave the country to reach a POE

You may also need to provide fingerprints and a photo (biometrics).

Maintain your documents

You are required to maintain your documents and comply with your study permit conditions, which include actively pursuing studies in Canada and making reasonable progress toward completing your program. Learn more about:

Study permit info session

Please note

The information in this presentation is accurate as of April 27, 2023. Policies and programs may change without notice. Please visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website at for accurate, up-to-date information.

Information on this page has been reviewed by Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants and Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors in compliance with the Government of Canada's Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

If you are not an international student, you can find additional immigration information on the UVic Immigration web page.

Information can change without notice. For the most current information, visit Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.