Most foreign nationals wishing to study in Canada must have a valid study permit. In the event that an international student will take longer than expected to complete their program of study, or if they transfer to a longer program of study, there is a strong likelihood that they will have to apply to extend their study permit.
A study permit extension is required if an international student in Canada wishes to continue studying for longer than the validity period of their study permit. To extend the permit, the international student must submit an application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to extend their stay in Canada as a student.
This application must be submitted electronically unless otherwise specified. The Canadian government requires that most temporary residence applications made from within Canada be made through electronic application, including:
The student should plan ahead to ensure this application is submitted in advance of the expiration date of their current permit.
As long as the application is submitted before this date they will be authorized to remain in Canada as a student through implied status until a decision is made on the extension application, so long as the conditions of their permit have not changed. However, if the conditions of the permit have changed, then the foreign national does not have implied status and must wait until they receive a decision on their application.
If a student fails to apply for a study permit extension before their permit expires, they can apply for a restoration of status for up to 90 days following the expiration. If a foreign national wants to change their study permit, such as changing levels of study, transferring institutions, or altering conditions listed on their study permit, then it may not be sufficient to simply apply to extend their study permit. In these cases, it may be necessary to apply for a new study permit.
Any foreign national from a country that requires a visa to enter Canada should be aware that there is a high likelihood that their Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) will expire on the same date as their study permit. Maintaining a valid TRV is not mandatory for a foreign national studying in Canada, since it is the study permit which grants authority to participate in study activities. However, the TRV authorizes entry and re-entry to Canada. If you intend to travel outside Canada during the course of your studies, you may need to renew your TRV.
In the province of Quebec, international students must possess both a valid study permit and a valid certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ). If an international student wishes to continue their studies after the expiry date indicated on their CAQ, then they must apply for a new CAQ from the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI).
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