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 on campus 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.

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 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.

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

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.

If you want to submit an extension application more than 90 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 the International Student Centre 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). Please refer to the IRCC website to find out if you need to complete this procedure. 

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 Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (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 and you also need an entry document, you will be issued one automatically.

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.

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: August 2019