International students: Remember to apply for a study permit

International students: Remember to apply for a study permit

Unless you’re a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, you’ll need to obtain a study permit before you start classes at UBC, and ensure it remains valid for the duration of your studies. Study permits are issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Depending on your country of origin, you may also need a temporary visitor visa (TRV) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) and/or a medical examination.

When do you apply?

You should apply for a study permit as soon as you receive your letter of admission to UBC. Applications can take several months to process, particularly if you’re from a country with additional visa requirements. If you’re a U.S. student, see below.

What documentation will you need?

When you apply for a study permit, IRCC may require you to provide the following:

  • Your letter of admission from UBC
  • Proof of funds adequate to support you for your first year of study in Canada
  • Your passport
  • Photo(s) that meet IRCC specifications
  • Biometrics
  • Remember to check for any additional documents required by your country’s visa office; for example, letter of explanation, study plan, medical exam, family information form etc.
  • Your completed application forms

How do you apply?

  • Online: If you meet certain conditions, you may be able to apply for your permit online.
  • By mail: If you are unable to apply online, you must complete a paper application. Your first step should be to visit the website of the Canadian visa application centre for your country. Check which documents are required, determine if you need a temporary resident visa and/or medical examination, and confirm how to mail your application and pay the application fee.

What if you’re a US student?

As a citizen or permanent resident of the United States, or a resident of Greenland or St. Pierre and Miquelon, you can apply for a study permit directly at an international airport in Canada or at most major US/Canada border crossings or upon entry into Canada.

Follow the same steps as outlined on the study permit tutorial. Please note:

  • You can pay the application fee ($150 CAD) directly at the border by cash, debit, or credit card.
  • If your spouse or common-law partner will accompany you, bring along documentation of your relationship, such as a marriage certificate or common-law partnership declaration.
  • If you’re under 17 years old and come to Canada without a parent or legal guardian, you must secure a custodian.

What if you’re already studying in Canada?

You are coming to UBC from a Canadian high school

If you have been studying in secondary/high school in Canada and you have been admitted to UBC, you must apply to extend your study permit. You must do this within 90 days of receiving written confirmation of high school completion, or before your study permit expires – whichever comes first.

You should apply as soon as you receive your letter of admission from UBC.

You are transferring to UBC from a Canadian college or university

If you already have a valid study permit for post-secondary study in Canada, you can use that permit to study at UBC.

As a post-secondary student, you can transfer between programs of study and institutions by simply changing your Designated Learning Institution (DLI) online via your MyCIC account.

If you still have questions

More guidance on study permit requirements can be found in UBC’s International Student Guide.



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