Most foreign nationals wishing to study in Canada must obtain a valid study permit. If an international student takes longer than expected to complete their program of study or transfers to a longer program, they will likely need to apply for a study permit extension.
An extension of the study permit is required if an international student in Canada intends to continue studying beyond the validity period of their current study permit. To extend the permit, the student must submit an application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to extend their stay in Canada as a student.
Unless otherwise specified, this application must be submitted electronically. The Canadian government mandates that most temporary residence applications made from within Canada, including applications for extensions of temporary resident status, study or work permits, and renewals of study or work permits, be submitted electronically.
It is important for students to plan ahead and ensure that this application is submitted in advance of the expiration date of their current permit.
If the application is submitted before this date, the student will be authorized to remain in Canada as a student under implied status until a decision is made on the extension application, as long as the conditions of their permit have not changed. However, if the conditions of the permit have changed, the foreign national does not have implied status and must wait for a decision on their application.
In the event that a student fails to apply for a study permit extension before their permit expires, they can apply for a restoration of status within 90 days following the expiration. It is important to note that if a foreign national wants to make changes to their study permit, such as changing levels of study, transferring institutions, or altering conditions listed on their study permit, simply applying to extend their study permit may not be sufficient. In such cases, it may be necessary to apply for a new study permit.
Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) Foreign nationals from countries requiring a visa to enter Canada should be aware that their Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) is likely to expire on the same date as their study permit. While maintaining a valid TRV is not mandatory for foreign nationals studying in Canada (as the study permit grants authority for study activities), the TRV is required for entry and re-entry to Canada. If you intend to travel outside Canada during your studies, you may need to renew your TRV.