Study Permit and Student Visa
Posted on 20/01/2015
Many students think that a study permit and a student visa mean the same thing when they are actually two different immigration documents with different purposes.
A student visa is a document which a student needs to enter Canada if he or she is from a visa required country.
A study permit is a document which authorizes the student to study in Canada. A study permit is needed regardless of whether or not you are from a visa required country.
When a student initially comes to Canada, the student will be issued a study permit at a port of entry.
If you are from a visa required country, you will need to present both your visa, which is attached to your passport and an approval letter from the applicable visa office. A study permit is typically issued with the same validity as that of the student visa.
If you are from a visa exempt country, although you don’t need a visa, you still need to present an approval letter from the applicable visa office in order for the border officer to issue you a study permit. The study permit will typically be issue with the validity period indicated on the approval letter.
If you are studying in Canada and you need to extend your stay as a student, you will first need to apply to extend your study permit. Once you obtain a new study permit, you can then apply for a new visa from within Canada.
Also, if you are from a visa required country and you wish to travel outside of Canada or visit home you will need a visa to return to Canada.