Visas and Study Permits

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is reminding international students to prepare for their trip to study in Canada by reviewing Canada’s entry requirements and applying as soon as possible for their study permit.

Study permits are required for international students who plan to study in Canada for more than six months. Once you have received your Letter of Acceptance from North Island College, you can apply for a study permit. For more information on study permit requirements to study in Canada, visit

Canada has introduced an entry requirement, known as an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), for visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to or transiting through Canada by air. Exceptions include U.S. citizens and travelers with a valid visa.

This requirement is now mandatory and travelers need an eTA before they can board their flight to Canada.

To find out more, visit

Watch this video for information on Electronic Travel Authorization.

High school students studying in Canada

Applying within Canada

If your study permit does not specifically include post-secondary study, you need to apply for a new study permit. You will find this information on the left hand side of your study permit beside INSTITUTION. If you are not sure if your current study permit will allow you to study at a post-secondary institution, visit NIC’s Office of Global Engagement with a copy of your study permit.

You will apply to change your study permit as soon as you have your acceptance letter. This is a 'Change in Condition' of your study permit. The form and process is located on the Canadian Immigration website at

Please follow the Guide provided at the bottom of the webpage. If you need help with this application, please contact the NIC’s Office of Global Engagement

Once you mail your documents, it may take up to two months to receive your study permit. You must have your new study permit BEFORE you go home for the summer.

Applying from your home country

Another option available to you is to apply for a new study permit when you return home. This is a new study permit; not a change in conditions, and as such will follow the information outlined below ‘for all other students’. Please follow the Guide located at this website

If you need help with this application, contact the Office of Global Engagement.

The time it takes to get a new study permit varies depending on your home country. If you used an agent to help you select and apply for study in Canada you may want to ask the agent for help with your new application.

All other students

International students require a valid passport and study permit. Some students may also require a Temporary Resident Permit. Apply here with Canada Immigration for your study permit.

Student Partners Program

The Student Partners Program is jointly developed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Association of Community Colleges of Canada of which NIC is a member. The program has helped many students from India and China study at North Island College.

SPP India: NIC is eligible to receive SPP India applications through our authorized representatives in India. SPP India is an excellent program that can increase both a students’ chance of success for receiving a Canadian study permit and significantly increase the speed for receiving that study permit.

SPP China: NIC is eligible to receive SPP China applications through our authorized representatives in China. The SPP program in China is excellent and can increase both a students’ chance of success for receiving a Canadian study permit and can significantly increase the speed for receiving that study permit.

Canada Express Study Program

NIC is a proud participating institution eligible in receiving Canada Express Study Program (CES) students aimed at facilitating the visa process for Vietnamese students.

Temporary resident visas

The Government of Canada requires students from some countries to have a temporary resident visa. You will have a full page Temporary Resident visa in your passport if you are from a country where these are required. You can see a full list of these countries on this website

You can find additional resources here:

Temporary Resident Application Kit and how to apply

You must apply for a Temporary Resident Visa outside of Canada. If you have any questions about this process, please contact International Education. We are pleased to help you get answers to your questions.

Entering Canada

To be prepared for entering Customs, ensure you have your paperwork (passport, copy of your NIC Acceptance letter) with you and ready to present when asked. Immigration Officers may ask questions about: what you will be studying, where you will live, how long your program is, etc.

Studying for six months or more.

You will provide the Immigration Officer with your Student Authorization. The officer will then give you your Study Permit; a paper document that is usually stapled into your passport.

Studying less than six months.

If you are studying for less than six months you may not have a Student Authorization. Please show the Immigration Officer your Visitor Visa and tell them that you are here to study. The officer will likely ask you what program you will be taking and when you plan to return home. If you have a Student Authorization letter, please give it to the Immigration Officer. If you do not have a study permit and decide to stay in Canada longer to study you must leave Canada to apply for Student Authorization prior to re-entering.

A Customs Declaration Card will be given to you on the plane and if not, you will find them in the arrival hall immediately as you enter Customs and Immigration. Please complete the form before reaching the Customs and Immigration Officials. After passing through Customs and Immigration you will pick up your luggage and pass through Security where you will give them your Customs Declaration card, you may or may not be sent to a secondary immigration check point. More information is available on the Citizenship and Immigration website.

Questions? Contact Us today!