- International Students and Immigration in Canada
- Entry Documents versus Status Documents
- Required Immigration Documents for Most International Students
- Maintaining your Immigration Status in Canada
- The Conditions of Your Study Permit
- Full-time enrollment for international students and immigration
- Other Immigration Resources
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is the department of the Government of Canada which manages immigration. It is important for you to understand immigration policies, your responsibilities as a temporary resident in Canada, as well as the policies and procedures for keeping your immigration documents valid.
To understand more about your status as an international student in Canada, it is first helpful to understand the different residency statuses in Canada, how international students fit into those categories, which immigration documents a required by international students, and how an international student can maintain their student status in Canada.
There are three main residency categories in Canada:
Visitors, international students, and foreign workers are all considered temporary residents.
Entry documents authorize entry into Canada. Foreign nationals who wish to enter Canada require one or more of these depending on their country of residence.
- Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) - stamped in passport
- Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) - electronically linked to passport
Status documents define what a foreign national is authorized to do once inside Canada. Status documents do not authorize entry into Canada.
As an international student, and as a temporary resident of Canada, there are a number of documents you require.
Most international students will require the following:
- A valid passport
- A valid study permit: international students in programs longer than 6 months need a valid study permit to study in Canada
- An entry document: Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).
- Documentation for your co-arriving family members
You are responsible for maintaining your immigration status and obeying immigration regulations during your stay in Canada.
Check your primary immigration documents, including your passport, study permit, and, if applicable, your Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or work permit, to ensure they are valid and the information stated on them is accurate. In most cases, your Canadian immigration documents will not be issued past the expiry date of your passport.
If you extend your study permit or transition from student status to worker status by applying for a Post-Graduation Work Permit, you will be required to extend other documents after you receive your new permit.
|Document||When to extend|
|Passport||At least 6 months prior to the expiration date.
*Note the processing times within Canada can be much longer than renewing your passport from your country of residence.
|Study Permit||3-4 months prior to the expiration date.|
|Co-op Work Permit||3-4 months prior to the expiration date.|
|Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)||Before or after the expiration date. Note this is your entry document and it is required for entry into Canada. If it expires, do not leave Canada.
Typically the expiry aligns with your status document expiry (study permit/work permit) therefore once you extend your study permit or receive a post-graduation work permit, apply for a new TRV.
|Social Insurance Number (SIN)||Before the expiry date or after you extend your study permit or obtain a Post-Graduation Work Permit.|
Study permit holders are required to meet a number of conditions to keep their status valid. If these conditions are not met, a study permit holder you may lose their student status and may be directed to leave Canada.
Study permits must meet the following conditions:
- be enrolled at a designated learning institution (DLI), unless exempt
- actively pursue studies, by
- being enrolled full-time or part-time (not recommended) during each mandatory academic term
- make progress towards the completion of program of study
- not taking authorized leaves longer than 150 days from study program (leave must be authorized by Trent)
- inform IRCC each time you change post-secondary institutions
- end your studies if no longer meet the requirements of being a student
- leave Canada when status expires
- other conditions noted on your study permit
Full-time for international students is defined differently than domestic students. Remaining full-time enrolled during each mandatory term of your program has important immigration implications for international students in Canada. Remaining full-time enrolled will ensure you meet your study permit working conditions (if eligible), and will ensure you remain eligible for a future Post-Graduation Work Permit.
How full-time enrollment is defined and the mandatory terms for your program depend on your level of studies.
|LEVEL OF STUDY||FULL-TIME DEFINITION|
- Study Permits
- Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)
- Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
- Co-op Work Permits
- Work Eligibility
- Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)
- Permanent Residency Options
- Application Tutorials
The immigration information on this page, and all other related immigration pages, has been reviewed and endorsed by Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors (RISIAs) in compliance with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations. However, this is not a legal document and information may change without notice. Always refer to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for the most up-to-date information.