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The basics
Canada: Visa Guides

How to renew a Canadian study permit?

Sometimes renewing your study permit can seem like a more daunting prospect than your first application. If you stay organised and appraised of all the details it’s nothing to worry about. We take a look at how to get it done in Canada.

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As with any study permit or visa, there comes a time when the date of expiration approaches and you might start to feel a bit anxious about the process of renewal and whether you qualify.  Although it might appear that there is an insurmountable amount of red tape, if you work in an organised and methodical way, it’s a much easier process. We take you through what it takes to obtain a study permit extension in Canada, how to renew your study permit, and what the requirements are. This is your guide to how to extend your study permit in Canada.


What are the requirements for a study permit in Canada?


In order to apply for a study permit in Canada and for an extension you will have to meet a number of key criteria for qualification:


  • Prove that you are enrolled and registered at a designated learning institution (DLI). Make sure you have your institution’s DLI number.
  • Demonstrate that you are in good health. A medical exam may be required.
  • Show that you are financially independent and can support yourself.
  • Prove that you do not have a criminal record.
  • Commit and agree to leaving Canada when the permit expires, except in cases where you renew.


If you are intending to study in Canada for six months or less, you will still need to get a study permit and be a registered student at a designated learning institution that has been given government approval, especially important in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.


You can also ask your university for assistance if you need help with your extension application as many have dedicated support services.


Find out how to apply to a university in Canada and some of the top things you can do in the country.


What are the rules for a Canadian study permit extension?


One of the best ways to ensure that your application for a study permit extension in Canada is successful is that you have upheld the regulations and rules of your first study permit. This means that you’ll be able to show the progress you’ve made in completing your study programme, or that you have completed it. Read more about the grading system in Canada to assess your progress and know where you stand.


You’ll have to show that you have kept to the terms and conditions of your study permit, for example, your work eligibility and travel allowances. Remember that if at any time during the course of your studies you no longer met the criteria for eligibility, it is unlikely you will be given an extension.


If you have already been granted a study permit or your academic situation changes, you can continue to study until the expiration date. However, if you can see that you will need a study permit extension you should make your re-application. It’s best to start early with your application, about three to four months before your permit is due to expire. This will allow you to continue studying while the application is being processed under what is known as implied status.


Explore some of the fields you can study in Canada and some of the most popular degrees for international students in Canada.


What documents do I need for a study permit extension in Canada?


Firstly, it’s important to note that the application fee for a Canadian study permit renewal is CAD 150. It’s always best to be prepared when making your application, so having all of the following documents available is important:


  • Identification document
  • Financial information (bank statements, proof of loans, etc…)
  • Evidence of study and acceptance
  • A motivation/explanation letter
  • Documents that may be required in your local country


Part of the process will also require you to provide biometric information. This does have a fee attached and which you pay when submitting your main application. Once you have done so you’ll get a letter that informs you of how and when to provide your fingerprints and photographs, which is usually through a registered provider.


Don’t forget that proof you have at least CAD 10,000 per year available is required, which excludes the costs of your tuition, in order to be approved for a study permit. Find out more about the cost of studying in Canada and what makes Canada such a unique study destination.


What is the processing time for a study permit in Canada?


The processing times for a Canadian study permit varies depending on which country you are applying from. Due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic processing times have increased considerably and it has become more difficult for the Canadian government to give accurate timelines.


You are able to check the status of your application online and you should get some updates. Generally speaking the average waiting times for a study permit is between eight and 16 weeks.


Take some time to explore some institutions that you can study at in Canada:



What is a Canadian study permit approval letter?


This point can sometimes cause a bit of confusion. A study permit approval letter is sent to you in cases where you have applied for a study permit from outside of Canada. It is used when you enter Canada as proof that you have a right to study in the country. It is not your study permit.


The letter is accompanied by an electronic travel authorisation or a temporary resident visa, which will give you access to Canada and the ability to get hold of your permit. If you have applied for a study permit extension from within Canada then it will be mailed to you upon approval.


In cases where your study permit has not been approved, you will receive a letter explaining why the decision was made. Some of the more common reasons are a failure to submit evidence of a medical exam or that you did not provide sufficient motivation or financial evidence.  You are also able to contact the visa office that refused your application directly if you have any questions.



With your new knowledge of the study permit application and extension process, you can continue to explore your options and may find our guide to the top five universities in Canada useful. There’s also our take on the top five jobs in Canada.