Study Permits, Visas, & Residency

The QUIC is here to support you and provide resources so you can easily plan your travel to Canada and Queen’s. You are not alone, we are here to help!  

If after reviewing the permits, visas, and residency info you still have questions, you can book an appointment with our International Student Advisors (ISAs) or you can contact the office of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Help Centre and Support Centre.


Study Permits

A study permit is required for anyone that wants to study in Canada for 6 months or more.  Study permits will only be issued for study at Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs). 

  • Queen’s University is a Designated Learning Institution and its DLI number is: O19376023352 
  • Study permit applications require a valid DLI number 

If studying in Canada for less than 6 months, you can do so as a visitor (i.e., no study permit is required, but you may need a TRV or eTA to enter Canada as a visitor). A Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) is not required for a TVR or eTA application. You will need to apply for a study permit if you want to extend your studies.

Exchange students can change their immigration status from visitor to student without leaving Canada if they decide to extend their studies, but most other students must apply outside of Canada. 

Provincial Attestation Letters (PAL) are now required by Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for most study permit applications. Not everyone needs a PAL, find out if you're exempt.

When to Apply 

A study permit application can take many months to be processed.  It is a good idea to apply as soon as you have your proof of admission to Queen’s. 

How to Apply 

Apply through the Canadian visa office serving your country or region of residence. Make sure to follow instructions on the study permit application from that local office as requirements are very localized. 

Review this presentation about how to use the application website IRCC Online Application Guide_3.pdf (PDF, 11 MB).

If you are already in Canada, only specific groups of people are eligible to apply for study permits from within Canada:

  • People who have a work permit or study permit, or 
  • People who have visitor status in Canada but are:  
    • the spouse/partner of an international student or worker 
    • an exchange student 
    • a visiting student 

In this case, the application procedure will be the same as extending a current study permit. Check information below.

After Applying  

If your application is successful, the visa office will give you a Port of Entry Introduction Letter to confirm your study permit approval, together with a visa on your passport or eTA linked to your passport, depending on your citizenship.  

  • You must present this letter to Canadian immigration officials when you enter Canada
  • They will print your actual study permit paper (sample) at that time. See our arrival section for more details 
  • You are not eligible to study based on the Port of Entry Introduction Letter alone (without the actual study permit paper) 
  • You should not travel to Canada until you are issued the Port of Entry Introduction Letter and Temporary Resident Visa or eTA 

Only specific groups of people are eligible to apply for study permits inside Canada. They include those that: 

  • Have a work permit or study permit
  • Have a visitor status in Canada but are:  
    • the spouse/partner of an international student or worker
    • an exchange student
    • a visiting student 

If you attended Canadian high school – a study permit for high school (secondary) studies can still be used for Queen's as long as it is still valid. You are still encouraged to apply for a new study permit. The university study permit will allow you to apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN) which is needed for employment on or off campus.

If you're coming from a different Canadian college or university – Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada  allows post-secondary students with valid study permits to change schools or programs without applying for a new study permit. You must still notify Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada  of the change in schools. 

When to Apply 

You must apply for extension before your current study permit expires.  If you submit your application before your current study permit expires, then you can stay in Canada while your application is processed.  During this time you have “maintained status.“ 

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) regularly publishes updated processing times for temporary residency document applications

How to Apply 

Apply online. If you are unable to do so, contact one of our International Student Advisors.

Review this presentation about how to use the application website (PDF, 11 MB).

After Applying

If your application is successful, your new study permit will be mailed to the mailing address on your application form.  

Once you get your new study permit, you can apply for a new Temporary Resident Visa (if required).

Minor children who come to Canada as visitors, with a parent who holds a study or work permit, can attend pre-school, primary, or secondary school without a study permit. 

Check out our Students with Children page to learn about parents' rights and responsibilities, education, childcare, and more.

You do not have to hire someone to apply for your study permit/work permit for you.

If you do choose to hire someone, please be sure that they are accredited through the Government of Canada.

To check processing times, please visit the Government of Canada website. 

Temporary Resident (Entry Visa) 

If your citizenship requires you to have a temporary resident visa (TRV), sometimes known as an entry visa, it must be valid on the date that you enter Canada. It can expire any time after that. 

  • They are about the size of a passport page and placed in the passport by Canadian immigration officials.
  • If you submit a successful application for an initial (first) study permit outside of Canada (and your citizenship requires you to have a TRV), the visa will be issued with your letter of introduction.  It is not necessary to submit a separate application.

If both your study permit and TRV will expire on the same date, and you would like to get a new TRV, you need to extend your study permit first. Only after you have received your new study permit, you can submit an application for a new TRV through the same online application system. 

When to Apply 

Apply as far in advance as possible. A TRV application can take from one day to a few months to be processed. The processing times provided through Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada are regularly updated, but they are just an estimation. 

Where to Apply 

Before Coming to Canada

Apply through the visa office that serves your country or region of residence.  

If You: 

  1. Are currently in Canada, and 
  2. Hold a valid study permit or work permit, and 
  3. Have an expired TRV

You can apply for a new TRV online

After Applying 

If your application is successful, your passport will be returned to you with a valid TRV on one page. You must enter Canada before the expiry date of the visa.  

International students who hold an expired TRV may be allowed back into Canada if they travel only to the United States and back. The Canadian Border Services Agency Officers have final determination of who can and cannot enter Canada. However, Airlines may not allow individuals with expired TRVs to board. You may be allowed to re-enter Canada with an expired visa if you meet the following conditions:

  • you hold a valid study permit; and,
  • you return directly to Canada from the USA without having travelled to any other country during your trip.

QUIC strongly recommends that students always travel with valid immigration documents.

Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

An Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is an entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to Canada by air.

  • An eTA is electronically linked to a traveller’s passport. It is valid for up to five years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first
  • If you get a new passport, you need to get a new eTA
  • If you apply for a study permit, you will be granted an eTA with the approval of your study permit application. No separate eTA application is needed

Permanent Residency (PR)

Policies and info on this page are subject to change. For the latest updates, please consult

Express Entry is an online system that IRCC uses to manage immigration applications from skilled workers.

Creating an Express Entry profile is not applying for Permanent Residency. Applicants are considered to have applied for PR once they have received an invitation to apply from IRCC, have submitted the relevant application materials, and have paid the application fee.

Before completing your Express Entry profile, you will need to determine if you are eligible for one of the 3 programs managed through Express Entry: Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trade Program and Canadian Experience Class. You should not create a profile if you do not qualify for one of the three programs.

If invited to apply for Permanent Residency, applicants will be provided with instructions for submitting their application.

Visit the IRCC website to learn more.

Learn how foreign workers, international students, business owners, or entrepreneurs can apply for Permanent Residency in Ontario, or how Ontario businesses can recruit international talent.

For information about the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program, please visit the OINP website

Canada has other programs available for those wishing to apply for Permanent Residency. Some programs are permanent and some are temporary. Visit the IRCC website for more information about all programs currently running, including the Atlantic Immigration Program, Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, Temporary Resident to Permanent Resident pathway, and more.

You and your spouse (and/or children) can apply for PR as part of the same application.

If you have questions after reviewing the information on our website and the Government of Canada resources, you can contact a QUIC International Student Advisor (ISA) at

The ISA will determine if the question falls under their scope as determined by their regulating board. If they are not able to answer your question, they will direct you to an individual/organization that can.