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Understanding the Requirements for Your Canadian Study Permit

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Each year, Canada welcomes numerous international students entering the country on study visas and permits, each accompanied by distinct conditions that they must adhere to throughout their academic pursuits.

The information provided below serves as a summary of these study permit conditions. It’s important to note that the individualized requirements applicable to each student can be located on the permit document issued by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

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General Information

A study permit may encompass various conditions, covering aspects such as work authorization, travel permissions, and the permit’s specified start and end dates. Common examples of these conditions include:

  • Enrollment at a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI) – with exemptions, as detailed below.
  • Demonstrating active engagement in one’s studies – with exemptions, as detailed below.
  • Notifying the Canadian government in the event of a change in post-secondary school.
  • Ceasing studies if you no longer meet the requirements of being a student.
  • Departing from Canada upon the expiration of the permit.
  • Specification of the student’s level of study.
  • Authorization for on or off-campus work.
  • Requirement for reporting medical procedures, if applicable.
  • Permission for intra-Canada travel.
  • Designation of the date by which the student must conclude their studies.

On-campus Employment

For on-campus employment, international students must enroll full-time (additional details available here), hold a valid study permit, and have a Social Insurance Number (SIN).

International students must cease on-campus work in any of the following scenarios:

  • On the day the student no longer maintains full-time enrollment (except during their final semester, provided they meet other stipulated requirements).
  • Upon the expiry of their study permit.
  • During authorized leave from their studies.
  • If the student is transferring schools and is not currently engaged in studies.

Off-campus Employment

For off-campus employment, international students are required to be enrolled full-time (further details available here) at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI), participating in a post-secondary academic, vocational, or professional training program (or a secondary-level vocational training program if in Quebec)*, have a valid study permit and hold a Social Insurance Number (SIN).

International students must discontinue off-campus work in any of the following situations:

  • If their study permit explicitly prohibits off-campus work during their study period.
  • If they solely enroll in an English or French as a Second Language (ESL/FSL) program.
  • If they are taking general interest courses exclusively.
  • If the student is only enrolled in courses necessary for admission to a full-time program.
  • If the student’s circumstances change, they will only meet some of the requirements for off-campus employment.


Implications of Failing to Meet Study Permit Conditions

Not adhering to study permit conditions may result in the following consequences for the student:

  • Loss of student status and study permit.
  • A request to depart from Canada.
  • A mandatory waiting period of six months before being eligible to apply for a new Canadian study permit, visitor visa, or work permit.


Note: Non-compliance with study permit conditions or engaging in unauthorized work or study can impact future immigration application outcomes and decisions.

Study Permit Condition Exemptions: Who Excludes from Proof of Enrollment?

Certain holders of study permits are exempt from the requirement to demonstrate enrollment at a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI) or actively pursue their studies. Individuals exempt from this condition include:

  • Those with refugee status in Canada.
  • Spouses or dependent children of Canadian study or work permit holders.
  • Individuals studying in Canada under an exchange agreement between Canada and another country.


For a comprehensive list of individuals qualifying for exemption from this study permit condition, refer to the details provided here.

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