International Students

Renewing your Study Permit

IMPORTANT: This web site does not constitute legal advice. Changes may occur at any time, without prior notice. Quebec and Canadian laws and regulations, as well as information from the MIFI and IRCC websites, take precedence over information on this website.

Last update: 12/13/2019



A study permit (SP) is a document that authorizes the holder to stay in Canada to study until its expiration date; it grants the holder a specific 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 into Canada - a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) is required when to proceed to a point of entry. Some foreign nationals are exempt from requiring a TRV, but may instead 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 very first day until the very last day of each term you are enrolled as a student at Polytechnique. If your SP is not valid - even for a portion of the term - you will be unregistered from the term in question, even if it has already begun or is nearing completion. Be aware that you must act promptly, and start the renewal process 6 to 7 months before your documents expire.

Respect of your study permit conditions

Below is a reminder of the main conditions associated with your study permit, which must be respected during your studies:

  • remain enrolled full-time at a designated learning institution (except during scheduled breaks in your program - such as holiday periods, authorized leaves up to 150 days, and the last term in your program)
  • continue making progress toward completing your program
  • inform IRCC of any change(s) of post-secondary institutions
  • respect any limitation written on your study permit

During the course of your stay in Canada, if you have either taken an authorized leave of up to 150 days (therefore leaving a gap in your transcript) or have breached one or more conditions of your study permit, you may need to submit explanations and/or justifications along with your application renewal. Contact us so we can help determine if you should do so.   


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

The whole process must begin roughly 6 to 7 months before your documents will expire. If you only need to renew your study permit, we suggest you apply for an extension 3 to 4 months before its expiration date.  

If you are in Canada during the application process, you are required to send your SP extension application prior to the expiration of your SP. However, we strongly advise against sending the SP extension application shortly before it expires. If you send your SP extension application 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 until the day IRCC processes your application and answers you. Implied Status extends the permit(s) that were valid as of the date you sent your extension application, on the condition that you do not leave Canada before receiving your new permit. To prove Implied Status, you must have the expired permit(s) on-hand, and proof of submission (by mail or online) of your application for extension.

If your status has expired before sending YOUR renewal

If you do not send the renewal application before your study permit expiry date, you have no legal status in Canada. You will have 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 permitted in remain in Canada, but this does not constitute 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, but a $200 penalty fee 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 online application to the Case Processing Centre in Edmonton, Alberta. On-paper applications are accepted in rare cases described on the IRCC website. 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 affixed on 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 persons finance your studies, they will need to each present a separate letter dated and signed confirming that they will be supporting you, as well as present documents proving their financial capacity.


All Temporary Resident Visa applicants are required to provide their biometrics, unless they have already provided them to IRCC in the last ten years in a prior application (ex: study or work permit, temporary resident visa). Since December 3 2019, this obligation also applies for in-Canada applications.

Biometrics consist of a photograph and fingerprints, which are used by the Canadian government to establish a person's identity. If you are required to provide them, the fee is $85 CDN (170$ for a family unit); you will need to present yourself at a Service Canada collection center for in-Canada applications, an Application Support Center in the USA, or to a Visa Application Center (VAC) in other countries.

If you have to provide biometrics, you can still complete the online application for your study permit renewal. To proceed with biometric data collection, IRCC will upload an instruction letter on your MyCIC account once they receive your application. Follow the instructions in the letter. Print a copy of the letter and bring it with you, as well as all required documents when you go to the biometrics data collection centre. Note that processing times posted on the IRCC website do not include the time required to travel to the VAC for biometrics collection purpose.

Once collected, biometrics remain valid for ten years.

To learn more on biometrics, visit the IRCC website.