International students have many compelling reasons to continue pursuing their studies in Canada. The opportunity to gain world-class education at an economical cost in comparison to countries like the United States, United Kingdom or Australia, a growing multicultural environment, and the potential of applying for permanent residence upon completion of studies are just some of the reasons.
In this article, we will be focusing on the process of extending a student permit. The information provided here will be beneficial to those –
- Who are currently studying in Canada on a valid study permit, OR
- Whose study permit has recently expired.
There are certain situations where a study permit will expire prior to the expiry date noted on the documents. Two such situations include:
(1) If you finish your studies earlier than you expected, your student permit will expire on the date marked on the permit or 90 days after the day you complete your studies, whichever comes first.
The 90 days begin:
- On the date you get the first notification from your school (such as an email, letter, transcript, etc.) that you completed your program; OR
- When you get your degree, diploma or certificate.
(2) If you have not completed your program of study, and take an authorized leave of absence of more than 150 days, or you stop studying with no intention to resume study, your study permit will expire on the 150th day. Within this period you must apply to amend your status in Canada, or depart.
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When should you apply for an extension of your study permit?
Situation 1: Your study permit is expiring soon and you want to continue studying in Canada
If you want to continue studying beyond the expiry date mentioned on your student permit, you should apply for an extension at least 30 days before it expires. However, you may wish to apply even earlier than this – current processing times for study permit extension applications are found here. You also need to ensure that your passport doesn’t expire at the same time as you can’t extend your study permit beyond your passport’s expiry date.
Canada student visa validity period
Each study permit that is issued by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has an expiry date. This date informs you when you have to stop studying and leave Canada.
Situation 2: Your study permit has already expired and you want to continue studying in Canada
If your study permit is no longer valid and you have not applied to extend your status in Canada within its validity period, you may be eligible to apply to restore your status in Canada. If you apply to restore your status as a student, you cannot resume study until your new permit is issued. If you are not eligible to restore your status, you should depart Canada and apply for a new study permit from abroad.
Application process for extending your study permit
Before you apply to extend your study permit, make sure your school is on the Designated Learning Institutions (DLI) list. If your school is no longer on the DLI list, you can keep studying until your current permit expires. To extend your study permit, you’ll need to enroll at a DLI.
In most cases, you must apply online to extend your study permit. If you can’t apply online or use the forms provided because of a disability, you can ask IRCC for other formats, including large print and braille.
To apply online, you’ll need:
- A scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents.
- A valid credit or debit card.
Submit your application
Once you complete your application and pay the fees, you can submit your application online. IRCC’s Case Processing Centre will then review your application to determine if it is complete, and whether you are eligible to extend students.
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