If you're not a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada, you must have a valid study permit to attend university in Canada.

A study permit is the official document granted by the Government of Canada that gives you permission to study in Canada. Visit Waterloo's Student Success Office website to learn about immigration documents and how to apply for them.

We encourage you to apply for your study permit as soon as possible after getting an Offer of Admission and Letter of Acceptance to Waterloo because application processing times can vary. You can check the estimated processing times on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website.

Information from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada continues to change. Please contact our immigration consultants if you have questions you'd like to discuss.

Should I apply for a study permit if my classes are online?

The University of Waterloo has announced that the Winter 2022 term will return to pre-pandemic levels of in person instruction. This means most students should prepare for their learning to happen mainly in person for Winter 2022 and following terms. More information for undergraduate students is explained on the COVID-19 information page.

A study permit is required for you to study in Canada, even if your courses are online.

A study permit is not required for you to study online from outside of Canada. But due to unpredictable processing times for study permits, we strongly recommend you apply for your study permit immediately after getting an Offer of Admission and Letter of Acceptance from Waterloo.

Co-op work permit

If you received an offer of admission to a co-op program, apply for a co-op work permit in your study permit application using your Letter of Acceptance from Waterloo. Highlight all components of the Letter of Acceptance that pertain to your co-op program.

If you're not issued a co-op work permit approval from a Canadian visa office or a co-op work permit at the port-of-entry into Canada, you can still apply for a co-op work permit once you're in Canada. We recommend applying right away after arriving at Waterloo, as processing times from within Canada can be 4 months or longer.

You need your co-op work permit for all co-op work terms and you must have it before starting your first one, which can be as early as January for some Engineering programs. If your program includes a degree-required internship, you can apply for your co-op work permit from within Canada after you arrive.

Proof of payment for study permits

As part of the study permit application process, Canadian visa offices in some countries may require proof that you have paid your tuition fees.