COVID-19 Advisory: Canada is willing to welcome international students across the border in principle, but the state of the COVID-19 pandemic may make actual entrance into Canada impossible.

DISCLAIMER: Since CanIL does not retain a certified immigration consultant, we cannot provide you with specific advice. All information shared below is general information and observations from Canadian Immigration and Citizenship (CIC). It is the responsibility of the student to be diligent in researching immigration policies in relation to studying in Canada. We advise you always to check directly the CIC website for the details pertinent to your situation, as this information is subject to change.

Study Permits

All international students (anyone coming from outside of Canada) must apply for and obtain a study permit. 


Short-Term Study Requirements (Casual Studies)

If your studies are NOT part of a longer program AND will be completed within 6 months, you may not need a study permit. This exemption may vary, though, depending on international agreements between Canada and your passport country. Review these pages on the CIC website to check if you need a study permit:

If you are accepted to study at CanIL and you do require a study permit, use your acceptance letter when you apply.

COVID-19 Advisory: A certified immigration consultant who works with Trinity Western University has expressed skepticism that this 6-month exemption is still in effect given the current context. Therefore, we strongly recommend that ALL international students apply for a study permit no matter the intended length of their study, given the current travel restrictions.

Long-Term Study Requirements (Degree Programs)

If you are beginning long-term studies at CanIL (West or East), you will need to submit your degree-program acceptance letter as part of your study permit application. In addition, if you are coming to CanIL to complete prerequisites prior to the actual start of your degree (for example, Summer@CanIL and then beginning your degree in the Fall term), you will ALSO need to submit your Summer Acceptance Letter from CanIL Admissions. Because of this, it is recommended that you be accepted to both the Summer program AND your degree program before you begin your study permit application.


Applying For Your Study Permit

Typically, the best way to apply for your study permit is online. However, students coming from the USA can often fill out the application on the spot at the Port of Entry (typically either an airport or land crossing office). For more information about applying at your Port of Entry, contact

To apply online, click HERE. For a detailed guide on how to navigate this process, click HERE. You will be directed to a resource developed by the University of British Columbia.

COVID-19 Advisory: A certified immigration consultant who works with Trinity Western University advises ALL students, including those from the USA, to apply ahead of time online. We are unaware if Canada Immigration is currently accepting new applications at the student’s Port of Entry.

Visas & eTAs

A study permit is not a visa. A study permit grants you permission to study in Canada, while a visa grants you permission to travel to and enter Canada. Most people will need either a visa OR an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to travel to Canada, but not both. Some people may only need their valid passport.

Find out if you need a visa to travel to Canada.