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A Comprehensive Guide on Canadian Study Permit vs. Study Visa

2024-04-05 | by admin

If you're considering studying in Canada, you've likely encountered the terms "Study Permit" and "Study Visa." While these may seem interchangeable, there are crucial differences between the two. Understanding these disparities is essential to ensure a smooth and successful journey towards your educational goals in Canada. Let's delve into the details of each to help you make informed decisions. 

Canada Study Permit

A Canada Study Permit is a document issued by the Canadian government that allows foreign nationals to study at designated learning institutions (DLIs) in Canada. Here are some key points to note about Study Permits:

1.1 Eligibility

  • To apply for a Study Permit, you must have been accepted by a DLI in Canada.
  • You must prove that you have enough funds to cover tuition fees, living expenses, and return transportation.
  • You may also need to undergo a medical examination, depending on your country of origin.

1.2 Duration

  • Study Permits are typically valid for the duration of your study program, plus an additional 90 days.
  • If you wish to continue studying after your initial program ends, you may need to apply for an extension.

1.3 Work Opportunities

  • With a Study Permit, you may be eligible to work part-time on or off-campus during your studies.
  • After completing your program, you may also be eligible for a post-graduation work permit, allowing you to gain valuable work experience in Canada.

Canada Study Visa

On the other hand, a Canada Study Visa is a temporary resident visa issued by the Canadian government to foreign nationals who require a visa to enter Canada. Here's what you need to know about Study Visas:

2.1 Eligibility

  • If your country of origin is visa-required, you will need a Study Visa in addition to a Study Permit.
  • You must apply for a Study Visa before entering Canada.

2.2 Duration

  • The duration of a Study Visa is typically the same as the Study Permit it accompanies.
  • It allows you to enter and stay in Canada for the duration of your study program.

2.3 Travel Restrictions

  • A Study Visa comes with certain travel restrictions. If you leave Canada during your studies, you may need to reapply for a visa to re-enter.

Differences at a Glance

To summarize the differences between a Study Permit and a Study Visa, refer to the table below:
AspectStudy PermitStudy VisaPurposeAllows studying in CanadaRequired for entry to CanadaEligibilityConditional on acceptance by a DLIRequired for visa-required countriesDurationValid for study period + 90 daysTypically matches Study Permit durationWork OpportunitiesEligible for part-time work during studiesN/ATravel RestrictionsN/AMay require reapplication for re-entry

Both the Canada Study Permit and Study Visa play essential roles in enabling international students to pursue their educational aspirations in Canada.

Key Considerations 

  • Financial Support: Both study permit and study visa applicants must demonstrate sufficient funds to cover tuition fees, living expenses, and return transportation.

  • Medical Examination: Depending on the country of origin and length of stay, a medical examination may be required for study permits or visa applications.

  • Compliance Requirements: International students must adhere to the conditions outlined in their study permit or visa, such as maintaining full-time enrollment and complying with any work restrictions.


Towards the end of this article, we have comprehended that a Study Permit enables you to study in Canada, while a Study Visa facilitates entry into the country. By understanding the distinctions between the two, you can navigate the Canadian immigration process with confidence and embark on your academic journey smoothly. 
Remember, both documents facilitate your educational journey in Canada, ensuring you have the necessary permissions to study and, potentially, work during your stay. By understanding the nuances between the two, you can make an informed decision that sets you up for success in your academic pursuits in the Great White North.