Immigration documents

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

UVic provides additional immigration information for the campus community at www.uvic.ca/immigration.

Please be aware that information can sometimes change without notice. For the most current information, always refer to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.

The information below is specific to Canadian immigration documents. If you plan to visit other countries, either on your way to Canada or during your time at UVic, you should connect with the appropriate representative of that country to inquire about the necessary immigration documents.


Study permits

Do I need a study permit?

Most international students need to obtain a study permit before beginning their studies in Canada.

Visit the IRCC website to determine if you need a study permit.

Even if you don't need a study permit, we recommend that you apply for one. It will make things much easier if you want to work or extend your studies in Canada.

How do I apply for a study permit? I am outside Canada.

Detailed instructions and application requirements are available on the IRCC website. Check current processing times. Keep in mind that application processing time estimations do not include the time needed to complete biometrics (fingerprints and a photo). 

The application process for a study permit can take weeks or even months, so it is important to apply as soon as you receive your letter of acceptance (i.e., admission and study permit information emails) from UVic.

When your application is approved, you will receive a letter of introduction confirming the approval. This letter is not a study permit. It is proof that your study permit application was approved, and it authorizes a study permit to be issued at any Canadian port of entry.

Unless you are a citizen of the United States, Greenland, or St. Pierre and Miquelon you must not travel to Canada until you have obtained your letter of introduction.

How do I apply for a study permit? I am inside Canada with visitor status.

Please refer to the IRCC website for instructions. Check current processing times. Keep in mind that application processing time estimations do not include the time needed to complete biometrics (fingerprints and a photo). 

I already have a study permit. Do I need to do anything?

If you are coming to UVic from a high school, college, university, or language school in Canada, you can continue to use your current study permit, as long as it is still valid.

If it does not need to be extended, you must notify IRCC that you have changed institutions.

If it needs to be extended, or if you need to change the conditions, you must submit an extension application before it expires. Follow the instructions below. 

How do I apply to extend my study permit or change the conditions?

Detailed instructions and application requirements are available on the IRCC website. Check current processing times. Keep in mind that application processing time estimations do not include the time needed to complete biometrics (fingerprints and a photo). 

If you want to submit an extension application more than 120 days before your current study permit expires, include a letter of explanation.

If your study permit expires after you submit an extension application, you can stay in Canada and continue studying until IRCC makes a decision on your application. During this time, you will have implied status.

If your study permit expires before you submit an extension application, you must stop studying immediately. Please visit or contact the International Student Services (ISS) team at International Student Services as soon as possible to discuss your situation.

Do I need to give biometrics?

When you apply for a study permit, you may be required to give biometrics (fingerprints and a photo). 

Refer to the IRCC website to find out if you need to complete this procedure. This is also a new requirement for in-Canada study permit extensions. Exemptions may apply.

Refer to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website for detailed information.

Use the online tool to see if you need to provide biometrics. 

Use the check status tool to find out if your biometrics are still valid.

If you are required to provide biometrics, and you are submitting an application, make sure you follow the steps to give your biometrics. You will:

  • Pay the biometrics fee. You will be assessed a biometrics fee of $85 CAD, in addition to the application fee
  • Receive a biometrics instruction letter from IRCC after an application is submitted
  • Go to an official biometrics collection service point to give your biometrics in person

You can give your biometrics at designated Service Canada offices (SCOs).

Keep in mind that application processing time estimations do not include the time needed to complete biometrics. 

My study permit has been lost, damaged, or stolen.

Please refer to the IRCC website for instructions. Check current processing times.

My study permit has the wrong information on it.

Please refer to the IRCC website for instructions. Check current processing times.

How can I check the status of my application?

Please refer to the IRCC website for instructions.


Entry documents

Will I need an entry document?

Canada has two types of entry documents: the electronic travel authorization (eTA) and the temporary resident visa (TRV).

Most international students need to obtain one of these entry documents before travelling to Canada. US citizens travelling with a valid US passport do not need an eTA or a TRV. 

Visit the IRCC website to determine if you need an entry document.

I intend to apply for a study permit.

If you apply for a study permit outside Canada, you will be issued an entry document automatically upon study permit approval, if needed.

If you apply for a study permit inside Canada, you will not automatically receive a new entry document.

Detailed instructions and requirements for an electronic travel authorization (eTA) application are available on the IRCC website.

Detailed instructions and requirements for a temporary resident visa (TRV) application are available on the IRCC website.

I do not intend to apply for a study permit.

If you need an entry document, you must apply for one before travelling to Canada.

Detailed instructions and requirements for an electronic travel authorization (eTA) application are available on the IRCC website.

Detailed instructions and requirements for a temporary resident visa (TRV) application are available on the IRCC website. You may be required to give biometrics (fingerprints and a photo). Refer to the IRCC website to find out if you need to complete this procedure. 

Even if you do not need an entry document, you still need to meet certain requirements to enter Canada.


If you have questions about any of the information on this page, please visit or contact the International Student Services (ISS) team at the International Student Centre.


Last updated: January 2020