Apply for or extend your study permit
Citizenship and residency status
Before entering Canada
Before coming to Canada, make sure you have your documents if you are not a Canadian resident or permanent resident of Canada:
- Study Permit: If you wish to study in Canada for longer than six months, you must get a study permit. Depending on the country of your citizenship, you may receive a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV, or “entry visa”) that will be placed on a page of your passport when your study permit application is approved. A TRV allows you to enter Canada and a study permit allows you to study in Canada.
- Temporary Resident Visa (TRV): If you wish to study in Canada for less than six months, you may come to Canada as a visitor and you do not have to apply for a study permit. However, depending on the country of your citizenship, you may need to obtain a Temporary Resident Visa. Information on how to apply for a TRV can be found on the CIC website.
- Medical Exam: Depending on the country i
n which y ou have most recently lived, you may need to take a medical exam before a study permit will be issued. Medical exams are not dependant on your country of citizenship, but rather if you have resided or stayed temporarily for six or more consecutive months in a designated country or territory in the year immediately preceding the date you are entering Canada. For more information about medical exams, including the contact information for your local visa office, refer to the CIC website.
A Canadian citizen is a person who was born in Canada or who has been granted Canadian citizenship, and will have one of the following documents:
- Canadian birth certificate
- Canadian citizenship card
- Canadian passport
In Canada, a permanent resident is someone who is not a Canadian citizen but who intends to live in Canada on a permanent basis. Individuals with permanent resident status may enter, live, study, and work in Canada, and will have one of the following documents:
- Permanent Resident Card (PRC)
- Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5292)
Change of status (study permit to permanent resident status)
Tuition fees at the University of British Columbia are assessed based on the citizenship or permanent residence status of the student and whether they are studying at the undergraduate or graduate level.
- Permanent resident status is attained as of the "Landed on" date indicated on the Confirmation of Permanent Residence, not the "Date Issued."
- If you become a permanent resident of Canada on or before the tuition fee due date of the term, domestic fees will be assessed for that term.
- If you become a permanent resident after the tuition fee due date for the term, international fees will be assessed for that current term and regular fees will be assessed for subsequent terms.
Students must report any changes to their status with supporting documents to Enrolment Services. Documents must be in their original form and presented to staff at Enrolment Services.
Visit the Faculty of Graduate Studies for more information on requirements for prospective and current international graduate students.
Note: Any applicant or student may be asked to provide proof of their citizenship, immigration status, and/or study permit.
Apply for a study permit and TRV (if required)
As a student who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, you must obtain a study permit from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) in order to live and study in Canada for more than six months. A study permit also allows you to work on the campus where you are registered in full-time studies.
You can apply for a study permit and/or TRV online or by paper. For information about how to apply, visit the CIC website.
You may also need to check the website of the visa office that is responsible for your country or region if you apply by paper or in person. You will find more information on visas offices on the CIC website.
It can take weeks (or in some cases, months) to process your study permit application. Check on the processing time on the website of the visa office where you will submit your application or on the CIC website.
Studying for less than six months?
If you plan to study for less than six months, consider applying for a study permit anyway. That way, if you decide to study longer than six months, you can avoid a complicated application process.
Are you a US citizen or US permanent resident?
Citizens and permanent residents of the United States (as well as residents of Greenland and St. Pierre and Miquelon), can apply for a study permit directly at an international airport in Canada or at most major US/Canada border crossings. Full immigration services are available at the Huntingdon border station in Sumas and at the Pacific Highway border station in Blaine. Be sure to bring the required documents with you (as if you were applying for a study permit by paper) and pay the application fee directly at the border. Don't forget to check if you need a medical exam in advance, prepare the correct documents, and read the instruction guide carefully. If you’re under 19, you MAY also be required to secure a custodian (a subjective decision up to the border officer).
If you prefer to apply for the permit in advance, check the website of the visa office that is responsible for your country or region or apply online on the CIC website.
Letter of introduction
If your application for the study permit is approved, you will be issued a Letter of Introduction. You must present this letter to the border officer when you enter Canada. (Other suggested documents needed to enter Canada are listed here) The officer will then issue your study permit at the border. In some cases, a TRV will also be included in your passport enclosed with this letter.
In order to apply for a study permit, you will need the following documents:
- Letter of acceptance
This letter is signed by an officer of the University and proves that you've been accepted. You may bring an original or a copy of your acceptance letter.
You must have a valid passport and/or official government-issued identification. If your passport will be expiring during your first year of study, renew it before applying for a study permit.
- Proof of custodianship (may be required if you are under 19 years of age)
- Medical exam and criminal history if applicable
Check on the CIC website for details before applying.
- Proof of funds
You'll need to show you can cover the cost of one year in Canada (including tuition and living expenses) by bringing a bank statement, savings account passbook, bank draft, or other proof that indicates you have sufficient funds.
If you are visiting or stopping in another country on your way to Canada, you may require additional documents. Please check with a consular office of that country before you leave home to see what documents, visas, or immunizations you may need.
Are you already in Canada?
Coming to UBC from a Canadian secondary school?
If you are admitted to UBC from a secondary school in Canada, you must obtain a new study permit prior to starting classes at UBC because your study permit for studying in secondary schools does not allow you to study at the university/college level. You must apply as soon as possible and make sure you have a new study permit before you attend UBC. You can apply to renew your study permit online when you are in Canada. For more information about how to apply, check the CIC website.
Already have a study permit?
If you already have a valid study permit for post-secondary study in Canada, you can use that permit to study at UBC. As a post-secondary student, you can transfer between programs of study and institutions without applying for a change to the conditions of your study permit. You must apply to extend your current study permit 90 days prior to its expiry in order to maintain your status in Canada.
If you need to change or extend your study permit from within Canada, you can apply online through the CIC website. You may check the application processing times before you apply.
Are you in Canada on a work permit?
If you are working in Canada with a valid work permit, you must obtain a study permit to begin your program of study. You may hold a study permit and a work permit at the same time. You can apply for a study permit from Canada. You can apply online. You must have your valid study permit before classes start.
Are you in Canada as a visitor?
If you have been visiting Canada or studying English in Canada without a study permit, you must obtain a study permit before you begin studying at UBC.
If you are a visitor
If you are in Vancouver, visit International House for details on how to complete your application for an initial study permit. Bring your prepared documents and completed application forms to an Advisor at I. House before sending out your application. I. House Advising Drop-In hours are Monday through Friday from 1 to 4pm. You may also send an email to email@example.com
Are you in Canada as the dependant partner, spouse, or child of an international student or worker?
If your spouse, partner or parent is studying or working in Canada with a study permit or a work permit, you require a study permit to study at UBC. You can apply for a study permit from Canada. You can apply online. You must have your valid study permit before classes start.
Do you want to bring your family to Canada with you?
It is possible for your family members to accompany you to Canada for your studies. Depending on the country of citizenship of your family members, they may need to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV, or “entry visa”) that allows them to enter Canada with you (or join you after you have arrived here). To check if your family members require a TRV and how to apply, visit the CIC website.
Spouses and partners of international students may have the opportunity to apply for work permits for the duration of your studies.
Pre-arrival immigration tips
Request that your documents remain valid until the end of your studies.It's a good idea to request a date three months after your expected graduation date in case you decide to pursue short-time employment in Canada. If your study permit expires before your studies are complete, you can apply to renew it within Canada, but you will have to pay an application fee.
Check the terms outlined in your letter of introduction, TRV, and study permit.Make sure your name is spelled correctly and that dates and other information are correct.
Make photocopies of important documents and keep the copies in a safe place.
- Valid passport and/or official government-issued identification
- Letter of introduction from Canadian embassy, consulate, or immigration office
- Temporary Resident Visa (if required)
- Original UBC offer of admission letter
- Proof of sufficient funds (such as a bank statement)
- Credit card(s)
- Marriage certificate (if you are married)
- Identification document with photo
- Driver's license or international driver's license, driving insurance records, vehicle registration, and insurance papers (if you plan to drive/bring your car)
- Medical and immunization records
- Medical insurance documents (if you are going to rely on medical insurance from your home country)
- Two years of official school records (for school children who will accompany you)
Unless you are a US citizen, do not leave for Canada until you have obtained your letter of introduction and TRV (if required).
Be prepared at your port of entry.Have your passport, letter of introduction and the UBC letter of acceptance ready. Service is available in both English and French. You may be asked what you will do in Canada and how long you will study in Canada. If you do not understand what is being said, ask if an interpreter is available for your preferred language of communication.
The immigration information on this page has been reviewed and endorsed by Ali Rostin and Dianne Russell, Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCIC) in compliance with the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
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