About Study Permits

A study permit is an immigration document issued by the Canadian government that gives you permission to remain in Canada, on a temporary basis, to study.

As an international student, you must apply for a study permit before coming to Canada if your program of study is longer than six months in duration.

Applying for an initial study permit


Apply as soon as you receive your Letter of Acceptance from Mount Allison.


  • Study permit: $150 CAD
  • Biometrics fee (if applicable): $85 CAD


  • IRCC processing times vary widely. Check typical processing times for your country on the IRCC website.
  • It can take several months to receive an approval for a study permit so it's important to apply as soon as possible. If an error is made on an initial application, or further information is requested from a Visa Officer, you may be required to resubmit an application a second time. Plan accordingly.


Recommended Option

Alternative Option

  • By mail to the appropriate visa office
    • Download the paper application in the "Apply on paper" section of the IRCC website
  • In person at a Canadian border. Only for:
    • US citizens or permanent residents
    • Residents of Greenland or St. Pierre and Miquelon

Additional considerations

Medical Exams

Check the IRCC website to see if you need to take a medical exam. If you do, you have two options:

  1. Take a medical exam with an IRCC-approved Panel Physician before submitting your initial study permit application. Then include your medical report in your application. We recommend this option as it may save you time.
  2. Alternately, apply for your study permit first and wait for a visa officer to send you a medical exam request. This may delay the processing of your application.

Biometrics (photographs and fingerprints)

  • Biometrics are currently required for nationals from countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. On December 31, 2018, this requirement will be expanding to include applicants in Asia, Asia Pacific and the Americas (except for US citizens). Read more about biometrics on the IRCC website.
  • If you apply online for your study permit (recommended) and you are required to give biometrics, you will receive a letter in your MyCIC account message box within 24 hours of submitting your online application. 
    • You’ll get an e-mail to let you know that you have a new message in your MyCIC account. 
    • Once you receive this letter, you can visit a Visa Application Centre (VAC) to give your biometrics.  

The immigration information on this page has been reviewed and endorsed by Mount Allison University’s Regulated International Student Immigration Advisor (RISIA) in compliance with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations. However, information may change without notice. Always refer to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) at www.cic.gc.ca for the most up-to-date information.