“Understanding the Requirements: Navigating the Conditions of Your Canadian Study Permit”

Discover the conditions of your study permit for a seamless educational journey.

Every year, Canada hosts many international students. They enter the country using study visas and permits, which come with certain rules they must follow while studying.

Remember, the details for each student can be found in the permit issued by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Generally, there are many conditions that may be included on a study permit, ranging from work authorization to travel capabilities and start/end dates for the permit. General examples of these conditions include:

  • Being enrolled at a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI) – exemptions apply, see below
  • Displaying active pursuit of oneโ€™s studies – exemptions apply, see below
  • Informing the Canadian government any time a student changes their post-secondary school
  • Ending oneโ€™s studies if they no longer meet the requirements of being a student
  • Leaving Canada when your permit expires
  • The studentโ€™s specific level of study
  • Whether the student is allowed to work on or off campus
  • Whether the student needs to report for medical procedures
  • Whether the student can travel within Canada
  • The date by which the student must stop studying


Many international students in Canada want to work while studying. If their work permit allows, they can work on or off campus without needing an extra permit.

Important: They can only start working when their studies begin, not before.


For on-campus work, international students need to be full-time (details here), have a valid study permit, and a Social Insurance Number (SIN).

They must stop on-campus work in the following situations:

  • On the day the student stops studying full-time (except when in their final semester, assuming they meet the other requirements)
  • When their study permit expires
  • If they are on authorized leave from their studies
  • If the student is switching schools and they are not currently studying


For off-campus work, international students need to be full-time (details here) at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI), enrolled in a qualifying program, have a valid study permit, and have a Social Insurance Number (SIN).

In any of the following cases, international students must stop working off campus if:

  • Their study permit says they arenโ€™t authorized to work off-campus while they study
  • They are only enrolled in an English or French as a second language (ESL/FSL) program
  • They are only taking general interest courses
  • The student is only taking courses required to be accepted into a full-time program
  • The studentโ€™s situation changes, and they no longer meet all of the requirements to work off-campus


Many international students in Canada wish to travel, either for a vacation or to visit their home country while studying.

Canada permits students to travel outside the country during the validity of their study permit. However, it’s essential for students to keep in mind the following when traveling out of Canada and returning.


To return to Canada after traveling, international students need more than just a valid study permit or approval for a study permit or extension.


International students traveling to and from Canada may need a visitor (temporary resident) visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). In some cases, a passport alone may suffice, depending on the countries requiring an eTA or visitor visa.

Important: Having an eTA or visitor visa doesn’t guarantee re-entry into Canada. Travelers must prove they meet all re-entry requirements to border services.

Exception: Visitor visa holders (not eTA holders) with an invalid document can still return to Canada if they only travel to the United States, St-Pierre, or Miquelon, and their study permit is still valid.


Not meeting the conditions may mean:

  • Lose their student status and study permit
  • Be asked to leave Canada
  • Be required to wait six months to apply for a new Canadian study permit, visitor visa, or work permit

IMPORTANT: Failure to adhere to study permit conditions or engaging in unauthorized work or study may affect the outcome of future Immigration applications.


Some study permit holders are not required to provide evidence of enrollment at a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI) or demonstrate active pursuit of their studies.

Among the individuals exempt from this condition are:

  • People with refugee status in Canada
  • People who are the spouse or dependent child of a Canadian study or work permit holder
  • People who are studying in Canada under an exchange agreement between Canada and another country.