International Students

Study Permit

Important!

  • Students admitted to a bachelor's degree (with or without a preparatory year) or a DESS program: 
    Due to new government regulations, you will need to request an updated version of your CAQ attestation for studies, if it was issued prior to February 13, 2024, before submitting an application for a study permit.
  • Students admitted to a master's or doctoral program:
    You do not need to request an updated version of your CAQ attestation for studies before submitting an application for a study permit.  

For further information

Updated on 03/29/2024

A Study Permit grants you a legal status in Canada; it is essential to respect its terms and conditions during your stay in Canada. Among other conditions, you must: 

  • remain enrolled full-time at a designated learning institution (except during scheduled program breaks, such as holidays; authorized leaves up to 150 days in length; and the last term in your program)
  • continue making progress toward completing your program

To respect the terms and conditions of your study permit, you must remain registered in a program. Not respecting the terms and conditions of your study permit can, ultimately, lead to your Study Permit renewal being refused, removal from Canada, and inelegibility for a post-graduate work permit upon completion of your studies. Note  that some Study Permit holders are exempt from these conditions; to determine whether you are exempt, please visit this page

Certain individuals may be exempt from the requirement to hold a Study Permit; to determine if this could be your case, see the list of exemptions and read this section of our website.

 

WHEN SHOULD BEGIN THE APPLICATION PROCESS?

 

Some Canadian visa offices (CVO: embassy, high commission or consulate) allow you to start your Study Permit application at the same time as the CAQ for studies process. 

  • Certain CVOs allow applicants to send their Study Permit application before they receive approval of the CAQ, by uploading the CAQ fee receipt proving that the application has been submitted.  You will then need to provide a copy of your CAQ approval letter, and you will have a limited amount of time to do so.  Your application for a study permit may be rejected if you fail to provide the letter within the prescribed time.    

Most CVOs require the CAQ Certificate to be issued in order to apply for a Study Permit:

  • In this case: start your Study Permit application as soon as you receive confirmation of CAQ Certificate issuance. 
APPLICATION AND DOCUMENTS

Applications can only be made online, unless the applicant suffers from a handicap that prevents him or her to use a computer.  In this instance, the application can be sent by mail.  

You are normally required to submit a complete application.  For more details on missing documents.  

Please note that the requirements for obtaining a study permit may vary from country to country. Refer to the Instructions Guide (IMM5269) and consult your local visa instructions to check whether you must complete additional forms and provide other documents. 

If you are staying in a country other than that of your nationality, we advise you to enclose with your application the documents mentioned in the specific instructions from the visa office in your country of residence, in addition to those required by the visa office in charge of applications in your country of citizenship.

Documents generally requested are as follows:

  • Proof of acceptance: Original or photocopy of your letter of acceptance issued by Polytechnique Montréal;
  • Proof of Identity: Photocopy of your valid passport;
  • Attestation of issuance of your CAQ;
  • Provincial attestation letter (PAL): if you have been admitted to a bachelor's or DESS program, or if you are an exchange student applying for a study permit, you will need to upload your CAQ pour études again, as this also serves as your PAL;
  • Recent evidence of financial resources (you can usually use the same documents as for the CAQ, if you had to provide them, but make sure that they are no more than three months old).
  • ID Photo to the standards of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
  • Depending on your nationality or the place where you legally reside, you might need to pass a medical exam and/or provide a police certificate.  Note that the medical exam can be passed before or after having submitted your application.
You must indicate the Designated Learning Institution (DLI) number on your application forms. For Polytechnique Montréal, the number is : O19359011070 (it starts with the letter "O").
APPLYING FOR A STUDY PERMIT AT A PORT OF ENTRY

A provision of the Immigration Act allows you to apply for a study permit upon arriving to Canada on presentation of the documents listed above, if you are:

  • Citizen of the USA
  • Permanent resident of the USA 
  • Resident of Greenland
  • Resident of St-Pierre-et-Miquelon

When applying at a port of entry (POE), the application is processed immediately by a Canadian Border Agent. If your application is approved, you leave the POE with your study permit in hands.

To the exception of American citizens, the above-mentionned people will need to have obtained an eTA to board a plane for Canada.  

If you are not a national in the above-mentionned list, you will have to apply for a study permit and receive its approval prior to coming to Canada.

Study plan / Motivation letter

The study plan document is used to demonstrate to the immigration officer processing your application that you are a bona fide student, and that you will comply with the conditions of your stay once you arrive in Canada.

Providing a study plan is a requirement for students who live in certain parts of the world. Further, we strongly recommend that students from countries that have a high rate of study permit rejection submit a study plan, even when it is not on the list of required documents from their Canadian visa office.

See our instructions for writing an effective study plan (.pdf)

FINANCIAL EVIDENCE

In your application, you must prove that you can afford to pay your tuition and living expenses and if applicable, those of your family members that will remain with you during your stay in Canada. If you have already provided this evidence to obtain a CAQ, we suggest you essentially use the same pieces of evidence, just make sure that these proofs are no more than two months old. Visit the IRCC website for more information on financial ressources evidences To know more about the kind of financial capacity documents that are accepted by your visa office, consult the Guide on Applying for a Study Permit outside of Canada, as well as your local visa office instructions.

You do not need to demonstrate that you have from the start the financial resources to cover the entire lenght of your studies.  The CVO will ask you to proove your financial capacity for the first year.  However, for study permit issuance purposes, the agent who will process your application will need to establish that it is likely that the funds will remain available for the duration of your studies.  To this end, we advise you to provide a variety of documents, including documents that demonstrate consistent income, such as a letter of employment, a guarantor’s pay slips, etc. Each person who will provide for you during your studies must give financial proofs,including a letter signed by them confirming their intention to support you financially.

If you are coming on a one-term or two-term exchange program, you will need to meet the minimum financial requirements for the number of months that you expect to spend in Canada. 

If financial assistance is provided by your supervisor, make sure to add the letter confirming the annual amount granted.  You supervisor does not need to fill out a separate declaration of financial support.  

Note that the amount of your tuition fees is normally indicated on your letter of admission. If you are a one or two-terms exchange student,  immigration authorities will take into account the fact that your tuition is paid in your home educational institution. As a result, tuition fees won’t factor into the calculation of your financial capacity.

If you are a French national or have obtained an exemption of the differential fees for International students, immigration will calculate your fees accordingly, upon presentation of your French passport or confirmation of your exemption.

PAYMENT OF TUITION FEES AND STUDENT DIRECT STREAM

Polytechnique Montréal does not request payment of tuition fees before the start of the program.  You may however have to pay for the first term or the first year of study as part of your study permit application process, upon request by your CVO.  In certain cases, it can be a good idea to proceed with an advance payment, in order to help prove that you meet the minimal financial capacity to carry out your study project. 

Moreover, students legally residing in China, India, Brazil, Pakistan, Colombia, Vietnam and a few other countries can get their study permit faster by using the Student Direct Stream (SDS). Most applications submitted through this method can be processed within 20 calendar days.  Note that students residing in countries where the SDS is available are still entitled to submit their application under the regular study permit permit application stream.  One of the documents required by IRCC is the “proof that you have paid the tuition fees for your first year of study”. 

Here is how to proceed in order to pay in advance for your tuition fees:

  • You must start by estimating your tuition fees using the amounts indicated on your offer of admission.
  • You then need to proceed with the payment of your tuition fees using the Convera online platform and note down your transaction reference number.
  • In order to receive a proof of tuition fees payment by Polytechnique Montréal, you need to send an email to the Finance Department: compte-etudiant.finances@polymtl.ca. You must indicate your name, first name, student ID at Polytechnique and your Convera transaction reference number.  
  • Amounts paid for tuition fees will never be reimbursed in cash to the student. If the final bill for your first year is less than the amount paid, the amounts will be credited by Polytechnique for the payment of tuition fees for the next terms
  • If you do not end up registering at Polytechnique, the amounts paid will only be refunded to the account and to the person who originally sent the money.  To retrieve your payment, you will need to write again to compte-etudiant.finances@polymtl.ca with the same information provided during the initial transaction.  

Other documents required for SDS, such as a proof of a Guaranteed Investment Certificate and proofs of a valid language test results do not concern Polytechnique. We invite you to carefully read about SDS requirements on the IRCC website to see whether you can meet them.

 

BIOMETRICS

You must provide your biometric data at a Visa Application Center (VAC) to finalize your study permit application processing.  You will not be allowed to come to Canada until you have received approval for all your documents - including your study permit and your eTA or TRV.

All study permit applicants need to provide their biometrics when applying to a Canadian Visa Office (CVO) abroad or from inside Canada, unless they have already provided them to IRCC in the last ten years in a prior application.  Only students who are authorized by law to apply for a Study Permit at a port of entry (airport, land or sea) may submit their biometric data upon arrival in Canada. 

Biometrics consist of a photography and fingerprints and are used by the Canadian government to establish a person's identity. The cost for providing biometrics is $85 (or $170 maximum per family unit) 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 (VAC) in other countries.  When submiting an in-Canada application, biometerics must be provided in designated Service Canada Office.

If you have to provide your biometrics, you can still make an online application for your study permit.  IRCC will upload a biometric instruction letter to your MyCIC account within 24 hours of you having submitted your study permit application.  Follow the instructions in the letter. Print a copy of the letter and bring it along with the required documents when going 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. 

MEDICAL EXAMINATION

It should be noted that a person who resided for more than six months in some parts of the world during the past year must undergo a medical examination (and assume the cost) from a doctor approved by IRCC (also called "Panel physician") . The exam can be taken before submitting the study permit application, or after, once you receive instructions from the visa office.  If you choose the second option, be aware that overall processing times will be longer.

Processing Fees

Processing fees are $150 CAN, plus 85$ for biometrics.  More information on supported means of payment

PROCESSING TIME

Processing times displayed on the IRCC website represent a worldwide average and do not reflect the variations in processing times that exist between different visa offices.  

It is not possible to request a rush processing of an application, nor can Polytechnique Montréal contact CVOs to ask that processing be sped up.  If your application is taking longer than average times advertised, you can check your application status on the IRCC website.  If you have specific questions to ask or need to update your application with new information, you can also send a webform

STUDY PERMIT ISSUANCE AND VALIDITY
Issuance

Once you have completed all requirements for obtaining a study permit, the Canadian Visa Office issues a letter of introduction to that effect. This letter is not your study permit and does not replace it. Your permit is issued upon arrival in Canada by a Canadian Border Agency agent, who will take the final decision regarding the issuance of your study permit. We therefore advise you to have in hands a copy of your application and supporting documents for the study permit, including up-to-date financial capacity documents.  Be sure to go to the immigration office upon arrival at the airport and to present this introduction letter.

Make sure to verify all the information contained in your study permit before leaving the airport's secured area.  If a mistake has been made by an agent and cannot be corrected on place, you will need to apply to amend your study permit.  Make sure however to bring Polytechnique's Registrar's Office a copy of your document before sending your study permit for amendment.  

Validity

The study permit should have the same expiry date as your CAQ, unless your passport expires beforehand.  You will need to pay close attention to the expiry date on your study permit, as you will need to start the renewal process of your immigration documents approximately 6 months in advance.  

 important information

  • If you stop studying (whether or not you have completed your program), your permit will expire 90 days after the end of your studies, or on the expiry date shown on the document, whichever comes first.  You must then either change your status (e.g. to visitor or worker) or leave Canada.  Exceptions to this rule may apply, however, such as in the case of study leaves authorized by the educational institution, or when changing programs.  To find out more, click here.  
  • Contrary to the CAQ, the study permit is not cycle-specific.  It should therefore remain valid if you change program levels (ex: Master's to Ph.D.) or if you transition to another post-secondary institution after having started your studies.  You will need to notify IRCC through your online account if you change post-secondary institutions.  You should however check for any conditions limiting its use to a specific program or institution that would rather require you to submit an application to change the conditions of your status (same form and processing fees as an extension of study permit).