International Students

Renewing the Study Permit

IMPORTANT: The procedures found on this website have no official status. Changes may occur at any time without notice. The Law and Regulations of Québec and Canada, as well as the information found on the MIDI and IRCC Websites prevail over this website.



The study permit (SP) is a document that authorizes the holder to stay in Canada to study until its expiration date: it grants its holder a legal status. All foreign nationals who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada require a SP to study in Canada unless they have a SP exemption

The SP does not allow entry onto Canadian territory: it is the Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) which allows an alien to proceed to an entry point. Some foreign nationals are exempted from the obligation to hold a TRV, but need an electronic travel authorization (eTA) to board a plane to come to Canada.  

Your immigration documents (Passport, CAQ, and SP) must all be valid from the first day until the last day of each term you are enrolled as a student at Polytechnique. Should you be without a valid SP for part of the term, you will be unregistered from the term in question, even if it has already begun or is nearing completion. Be careful, you must act promptly and start the renewal process 6 to 7 months before your documents expire.


The duration of your study permit cannot extend beyond the duration of your passport, nor your CAQ for studies.  You should therefore start the renewal process in the following order for every document that expires: 1. Passport; 2. CAQ for studies; 3. SP (and associated work permit, if applicable); 4.TRV

The whole process must be started around 6 to 7 months before the expiration of your documents.  If you only need to renew your study permit, we suggest you apply for an extension 3 to 4 months before its expiry.  

If you are in Canada during the application process, you must absolutely send your SP extension application before the expiration of your SP. However, we strongly advise you against sending the SP extension application shortly before it expires.  If you send your application for SP extension before its expiry date, and you have not received any answer from IRCC by the expiration date, your status in Canada becomes an implied status (IS) from the day of the expiration till the day IRCC processes your application and answers you. An IS extends the permits that were valid on the date you sent your application for extension, on the condition that you do not leave Canada before having received your new permit. To prove an IS, you must have in hands the expired permit(s) and the proof of submission (by mail or online) of your application for extension.

If your status has expired before sending the renewal

If you do not send the application for renewal before the expiry of your study permit, you have no more legal status in Canada.   You will have within 90 days of the expiration of your previous legal status to apply for restoration of status. During this 90 day period and while you await the processing of your application, you are tolerated on the territory but it does not constitute a legal status: it will not allow you to be enrolled at Polytechnique during this 90 day grace period, nor while you await the processing of your application, which will take several weeks.  You will not be able to work either during that period.

A SP+SR application is the same as a normal SP extension, except that a penalty of $200 is added to the normal processing fee, and will permanently record an infraction in your immigration record.  Severe consequences are possible when a SR is recorded in your file. It may be grounds for refusals of any study or work permit, as well as permanent residence. It can sometimes be more prudent to return to your home country and apply for a new SP from outside of Canada and not use the SR option. Come discuss your strategy with the international student advisor.

To apply for SP + SR, you must use the same forms:

  • with the online option, you must answer YES when asked if you stayed in Canada after your status expires, and explain why;
  • when you use the paper form, you must do the same, and in addition check the Restoration of temporary resident status in the header of the form;
  • in all cases, you should add the supporting documents that justify your situation


  • If you are physically in Canada, you must send your application to the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville, Alberta (CPC-V), either by mail or online.  We do not advise you to submit an application by mail, given the high risk of mistakes and of loss of documents in the mail, as well as long processing times. To know more about online applications.  Once your application is processed, your study permit will be sent to the mailing address that you will have provided in the form.  If you need a TRV, you will need to submit a separate application, once you receive your SP.  More information is available on this page.
  • If you are physically outside Canada, you must submit your application online directly to a Canadian Visa Office abroad (CVO) or by mail/in person at the nearest Visa Application Centers (VAC).  The VAC will send your application to the CVO in charge of processing the applications for your country of citizenship, or for the country where you have been legally admitted.  Once the application is processed, you will be issued an introduction letter that you will need to present to a point of entry upon your return to Canada to have your study permit printed. If you need a TRV, you will not have to fill a separate application, as your TRV will be processed at the same time as your study permit.  You will need to send your passport to the CVO either by mail or in person through the VAC so that the counterfoil visa can be stuck onto your passport. The passport will then have to be returned to you before you can come back to Canada.


Note that processing times change from week to week. Our experience shows an average processing time of one to two months for online applications processed in Canada, but these do not include postal delays for sending back your study permit.   Note that processing times for applications submitted by mail are much longer.

If your application is being processed in a Canadian visa office abroad, note that delays can vary greatly from one office to another.  They range from a few days to several months.  If you must leave Canada and your immigration documents are set to expire during your stay abroad, we advise you to contact us before your departure, so that we could help you evaluate whether your return in Canada at the expected date could be compromised.


If you have remaining compulsory internship in your program, you must include with your application a work permit application for (C32-WP), which is free.  If you send a joint SP and WP application, the processing for the study permit will apply.

supporting documents and financial capacity

You will need an up-to-date confirmation of registration (attestation d'inscription) from the Registrar's Office.  Do not use the one generated by your online student file, as it is not an official one.  You will find the instructions to order this document on this page, but you can also order it in person at the Registrar's Office counter.  

If you have renewed your CAQ for studies and that your proofs of financial capacity are very recent (less than two months old), you could present the same proofs for your SP renewal.  However, your should always rely first on the requirements listed on the IRCC website, as they may change at any time.  If your application is processed in a Canadian Visa Office abroad, make sure to follow the CVO instructions.  Don't forget that if someone finances your studies, they will need to present a letter confirming that they will be supporting you, as well as present documents proving their financial capacity.


Starting July 31 2018, all study permits applicants from Europe, Middle East and Africa who apply in a CVO abroad will need to provide their biometrics.  If you have already presented your biometrics in the last ten years in a previous application, you will be exempted from the obligation of submitting them again.  From December 31 2018, this requirement will be extended to applicants abroad from Asia, Asia-Pacific and the Americas.  This requirement does not apply for the moment to applicants who have submitted a renewal of their study permit in Canada.

Biometrics consist of a photography and fingerprints and are used by the Canadian government to establish a person's identity.  Citizens of these countries and territory have to give their biometrics (fingerprints and photograph) during the application process for a visitor visa, study permit or work permit.  The cost for providing biometrics is 85$ and to do so, you will have to go in person to an Application Support Center in the USA or to a Visa Application Center in other countries.  If you have to provide your biometrics, you can still make an online application for your study permit.  IRCC will send you a biometric instruction letter by email through your MyCIC account when they will receive your application.  Follow the instructions in the letter. Print a copy of the letter and bring it along with your passport or other travel document when you go to the biometric collection centre.  Take note that processing times on the IRCC website do not include the time it would take you to go to a VAC to provide your biometrics.  

Once collected, biometrics remain valid for ten years. 

To know more on this topic, consult this page on the IRCC website.