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Study permit extension

A study permit is a document issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that allows someone to study in Canada for a specified period of time. In general, foreign nationals need study permits to study in Canada, if they intend to study a course or a program for more than six months.

Ontario Tech University's Designated Learning Institution (DLI) number is O19315945002. The university’s legal name is the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

To extend your study permit from within Canada, follow the step-by-step instruction guide.

Important: If you are applying to extend your study permit from inside Canada, you must use the IRCC secure account (GCKey or Sign-in Partner) in order to obtain maintained status while your application is processing. Do not use the IRCC Portal. The IRCC Portal is for outside Canada applications only. 

Below, you'll find answers to frequently asked questions about this process. If you do not see your question listed below then you can contact us by emailing or booking an appointment with an International Student Advisor on the Student Life Portal.

Study permit extension steps

  • Extending your study permit from inside of Canada

    You can apply online through your IRCC Secure account on Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.

    To apply for a study permit within Canada, follow the step-by-step instruction guide below.


  • Document requirements for a study permit extension

    Document requirements may vary from person to person. Create or log in to your IRCC Secure Account (online applications) or refer to the instruction guide (paper applications). 

    1. Valid offer of admissions letter or verification of enrollment letter
      • Valid Offer of Admissions letter - this letter must be valid. You can find the expiry date on the offer of admissions letter
      • Verification of enrollment (VOE) letter - double-check the expected graduate date is correct. If this date is incorrect, ask the Registrar's office or the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies office to perform an audit of your courses and create a more accurate expected date of graduation for you. You can receive this letter by the following methods:
    2. Financial Supporting Documents: Refer to the IRCC website to find what are acceptable financial supporting documents
    3. Scan your study permit and passport together. 
    4. Valid Passport - You must provide a copy of the bio-data page (the page with your name, date of birth, passport number, expiry date, etc.) and a copy of every page in your passport that has stamps, visas, or markings from Canada. 
      • Your study permit will not be issued past your passport’s expiry date or your expected graduate date (whichever comes first). If you have extended your passport and you have not received it yet and your study permit is going to expire then please submit your study permit application with your current passport with a letter of explanation. Once you have received your new passport inform IRCC by submitting a webform.

    Documents you may need:

    1. Biometrics - As of July 15, 2020, you are exempt from giving biometrics if you are applying from within Canada. This applies to all new applications as well as applications already in progress. You will be asked to pay this fee when you apply, however IRCC will refund the money automatically. Please refer to the IRCC website for more details. 
    2. Medical exam 
    3. Letter of explanation (LOE) - A letter of explanation is a way to communicate to an immigration officer any additional information or documents that deem important for them to know. It could include:
    • The purpose of your application.
    • Issues you would like to clarify or that the officer might find useful.
    • Supporting documents, screenshots or any other proof to support your explanation.
    • Additional employment history if you have run out of space in your application.

    Upload this document under 'Client Information' in the 'Optional Documents' section of your online checklist. A sample of the format can be found below. 

    download letter of explanation template

  • Do I need Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) for my study permit extension?

    You do not need a PAL if you are in Canada, have a study permit and are applying for a study permit extension. While doing questionnaire in the IRCC secure account, please follow the instruction below:

    • Do you have a provincial attestation letter?  - No
    • Do you qualify for an exception? - Yes 
    • Which exception do you qualify for? - I am an applicant applying within Canada as described under section 215(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR). 

    More information about PAL can be found on the IRCC website. 

  • When to apply for a study permit extension
    If you meet the eligibility requirements to apply for a study permit from within Canada and your study permit is still valid, follow the step-by-step instruction guide below. You can apply to extend your study permit three to four months before it expires.
  • Length of time to receive your study permit
    You can check the processing time on the IRCC website.

Frequently asked questions

  • Can I extend my study permit from outside of Canada?

    No. Study permit extension can only be done inside of Canada. If you are outside Canada, it would be similar to your first initial study permit application. You can find more information on our immigration documents web page.

  • With my courses fully online, do I still need a study permit if I am inside Canada?

    You are required to have a valid study permit throughout the duration of your program while you are in Canada. During academic sessions, you would still be required to comply with your study permit conditions.

  • What do I do if my study permit has expired?

    If your study permit expires before you apply for a study permit extension, you have lost your immigration status and must apply to restore your status. To restore your status, you must apply for your new status document (study permit) within 90 days of your old document expiring.

    You cannot continue your studies until your study permit restoration application has been approved. Contact your International Student Advisor as soon as possible to talk about your options. 

    To apply for a study permit within Canada and restore your status, follow this Government of Canada step-by-step instruction guide.

    If it has been more than 90 days since your study permit has expired please contact your International Student Advisor as soon as possible to talk about your options. 

  • What do I do if there is a mistake on my study permit document?

    You can amend your study permit if there is a mistake on your study permit. For example, if you’re eligible to work in Canada but your study permit does not state that you “may work” or “may accept employment," then you can amend your study permit before you work or get your Social Insurance Number.

    You can amend your study permit through a paper application. To amend your study permit within Canada, follow these steps.

  • How can I change the conditions on my study permit?

    Changing conditions on your study permit is the same as a study permit extension application. You are encouraged to include a letter of explanation to your application for an immigration officer to understand your specific scenario better.

    For example, if the conditions on your study permit state that you are not authorized to work in childcare, primary/secondary school teaching, or health service field occupations, you would be required to undergo a medical exam and re-apply for a study permit. 

    You can refer to the guide regarding Applying to Change Conditions or Extend your Stay in Canada.

  • What are the conditions of my study permit?
    • Must remain enrolled each semester (unless authorized to leave).
    • Making progress towards completing your program.
    • Not taking authorized leaves longer than 150 days from your program.
    • Inform IRCC if you are changing schools.
    • End your studies if you no longer meet the requirements of being a student.
    Learn more about your study permit conditions on the IRCC website.
  • What if I want to take a leave of absence or take a gap year from my studies?
    If you are thinking of taking a leave of absence or to take a gap from your studies, please visit your International Student Advisor as soon as possible. Learn more about your conditions as a study permit holder in Canada.
  • What if I am on academic suspension?
    If you are on academic probation or suspension, please contact your International Student Advisor as soon as possible as this can impact your immigration status.  When students are placed on academic suspension, they are no longer enrolled and cannot apply for readmission to the university for at least two semesters (see the university's Academic Regulations for details on probation and suspension policies).
  • What do I do if I applied for my study permit before it expires but I haven’t heard back from IRCC yet?

    If you applied for your study permit extension before your study permit expires and you have not received a decision from IRCC about the status of your application, this waiting period is called maintained status. You can keep studying or working under the same conditions as your previous permit during this period.

    It is recommended not to leave the country under 'maintained status.' If you do decide to leave the country, you may lose your student status once you return back into Canada.

  • What happens if I do not comply with immigration regulations?

    If you do not met your study permit conditions, Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) may ask you to leave Canada. You might also have to wait 6 months before you can apply for a new study permit (or for a visitor visa or work permit in Canada).

    Not following your study permit conditions, or working or studying in a way IRCC hasn’t authorized, could also negatively affect any future applications you submit.

    More information can be found on the IRCC website. 

  • What if I change post-secondary institutions from inside of Canada?
    You are not required to have a new study permit for the new post-secondary institution. If your study permit is still valid for the new institution, then you are required to change your Designated Learning Institution (DLI) number online once you have transferred. You can continue to use your current study permit as long as it is valid. This application is free of charge and must be done online.
  • What is the difference between a study permit and a Visa?

    A study permit is not the same as a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV). A TRV is a visa sticker placed inside your passport that allows you to enter or re-enter Canada. Depending on where you are from, you may require both a TRV and a study permit. Foreign nationals of certain countries may be TRV-exempt so they do not need a visa. Find out if you require a TRV.

    If you do require a TRV or a TRV extension, we're here to help. Visit our TRV page to read our frequently asked questions.

  • I've applied to extend my study permit. Can I travel outside Canada and be able to return?

    Yes. You can leave Canada and return as long as your visitor visa or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is still valid. If your visitor visa or eTA is expired, you must apply for and receive a new one before you leave.


    There’s only one exception to this. You may be able to re-enter Canada with an expired visitor visa (not an expired eTA) if:

    • you only visit the United States or St. Pierre and Miquelon and
    • you return to Canada before your study permit expires.

    When you return to Canada

    If your study permit is still valid, or IRCC extended your permit while you were away, the border officer may let you enter as a student.

    If IRCC is still processing your study permit extension, the border officer may let you enter as a visitor. In this case, you can’t study until you get your extended study permit. The officer at the port of entry may also ask you to prove you have enough money to support yourself in Canada. 

    A border officer may have some questions for you when you arrive back in Canada. If the officer believes there’s reason to refuse your re-entry, you won’t be able to re-enter Canada. The officer may ask you for a copy of your extension application, the fee payment receipt, or any other document to prove you applied for an extension.

    If you’re from the United States, Greenland or St. Pierre and Miquelon

    You can re-apply for a new study permit and pay the fees at the port of entry if you’re a:

    • citizen or a permanent resident of the U.S.
    • resident of Greenland, or
    • resident of St. Pierre and Miquelon.

    Doing this means you’ll get your study permit faster. Once you’re in Canada, you must withdraw your previous application to extend your study permit. Use our web form and select ‘Withdrawal of application’ under Type of application/enquiry.

The information provided on this page has been reviewed by International Student Advisors who are Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) and Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors (RISIAs). Please note that the information is subject to change without any notice and this website is not a legal document. Please refer to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for the most updated information.