Study Permit

Designated Learning Institution

University of Waterloo's Designated Learning Institution number (DLI#) is O19305471522

​If you applied for a post-secondary study permit on or after June 1, 2014, you must notify Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) via your account if you transfer institutions.

Study Permit

If you are not a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada, you must have a valid study permit for the post-secondary level to study at a university in Canada. One exception is when the duration of your program of study is six months or less. 

If you are studying at a high school in Canada, you must apply for a new study permit for your studies at university. A high school (secondary) study permit does not authorize study at the university (post-secondary) level. This post-secondary study permit must be obtained before your first day of classes.

Study permits issued after June 1, 2014 become invalid 90 days after completion of program.

How to apply for a study permit

You must apply for your initial study permit from the Canadian visa office outside of Canada that serves your home country or country where you have been legally admitted. If you are from the United States, Greenland, or Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon you may apply at a Canadian port of entry.

The time it will take to process your application will vary. You are able to check estimated processing times. We recommend applying for your study permit as soon as you are eligible.

The following are required for you to apply for a study permit:

  • A valid passport from your government. It is advisable to get a passport that is valid for the entire duration of your study in Canada, if possible.  If you require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to enter Canada, the visa office will need your original passport during the application process.
  • Your official Letter of Acceptance from the University of Waterloo.
  • Evidence of sufficient funds. You must provide proof that you have enough money to cover your tuition and living expenses for you and your accompanying dependants (ie. a spouse/common-law partner and/or children).

In addition to the above requirements, you will also need additional supporting documents for your application. This could include a medical exam by an IRCC approved doctor.

If your study permit application is approved, you will be given a Letter of Introduction and, if applicable, a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV). This letter, and your letter of acceptance to the University of Waterloo, have to be presented at the port of entry into Canada in order to be issued a study permit. It is important to note that a study permit and a TRV allow the holder permission to do different things.

How to extend a study permit from within Canada

If your study permit is expiring and you have not finished your studies at the University of Waterloo, you have to apply for an extension. You should apply to renew your study permit 90 days prior to the expiration date. If you apply for an extension before your current study permit expires, you have implied status until a decision is made on your application as long as you remain in Canada until you receive your new study permit.

If you are extending both your study permit and Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) from within Canada, the study permit renewal application is completed first, and the application for a TRV (if you need one) is submitted after the new study permit is received.

You can extend your study permit to remain in Canada for 90 days after you complete your degree program requirements. This will give you time to apply for the Post-Graduation Work Permit. You need a valid study permit when applying. Completion of degree requirements for undergraduate students begins on the date official term grades are available on Quest. If you are a graduate student, check with the Graduate Studies Office for the official date of your completion. When you apply for the Post-Graduation Work Permit, you should have continuously studied full time in Canada.

Application instructions

  1. Create/sign in to your account.
  2. Select apply for study permit.
  3. Select determine your eligibility and apply online for a study permit to answer the eligibility questions.
  4. You will be required to provide the following documents from the University of Waterloo:
  • Official letter from the university confirming registration for current term, past academic terms, anticipated enrolment, duration of degree program, and anticipated completion date or Letter of Acceptance if you are not at UWaterloo yet
  • Unofficial University of Waterloo transcript (available on Quest)
  1. You will need to provide additional supporting documents.
  2. Pay the application fee and submit the application.
  3. Keep all files used in your application for your records.

Alternatively, you can renew your Study Permit by mail. You can also apply for a new Study Permit at a Canadian visa office outside of Canada serving your home country.

You can check estimated application processing times on the IRCC website. The IRCC Call Centre is available from within Canada for your questions. You can also use this automated telephone service to find out the status of an application.