International & Exchange  Student CentreWestern International

Apply for Your First Study Permit

Who Needs a Study Permit?

International students who wish to study at Western University for more than six months, must have a valid Study Permit that will allow them to study at a post-secondary institution in Canada.

Students should not begin their studies at Western University without a valid Study Permit.

Please view important information if you are currently in Canada as an international student and will be attending Western University:

Students who will be attending Western University for a short term program of 6 months or less, such as a one-term exchange, please see our page for students attending Western for 6 months or less.

When to Apply?

Apply early! Apply for your Study Permit as soon as you receive your acceptance letter from Western University. You may also need a Temporary Resident Visa. It can take weeks or months to process an application to study in Canada.

Did you know that you can view application processing times on Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website?


How to Apply?

To apply for your initial Study Permit, visit Citizenship and Immigration Canada's Study in Canada website for detailed instructions, including application forms, list of documents required, fee payment instructions, etc.

International students who are already in Canada with a Study Permit, see CIC's information on how to apply to modify your study permit.

Note for students applying after June 1, 2014:

"To apply for a study permit on or after June 1, 2014, you will need to have a letter of acceptance from a designated learning institution...[Y]ou will need to identify the institution by its designated learning institution number on the application form."1

Western Univeristy's designated learning institution number: O19375892122
Note: The affiliated colleges (Huron, Brescia, King's) each have their own designated learning institution number.

    1. Determine Your Eligibility

    2. Read the Study Permit Application Instruction Guide (IMM 5269), before you begin your application.

    3. Check the application processing times. It can take weeks or months to process an application to study in Canada. Apply early!

    4. Decide how you will apply. Check the website of the local Canadian Visa Office or Visa Application Centre (VAC) and determine what methods of application are accepted (e.g., online and/or paper applications).  Their website will also list important information, such as:
      • list of additional documents you will need to submit with your application
      • how to pay the processing and biometric fees
      • instructions on how and where to mail your documents and how they will be returned to you
      • any additional instructions and requirements

    5. Prepare your forms and documents. The CIC website provides you with instructions and information on applying for your Study Permit. It is also very important to consult the website of the local Canadian Visa Office or Visa Application Centre (VAC) where you will be submitting your application for important information (see step 4 for details).

      Your visa office may have a study permit application kit which you will need to download.

      For information about proof of funds required to apply for a Study Permit, view the following information:

      Depending on your country of residency, the visa office may ask you to provide:

    6. Pay your application fee, review and submit your application.

      Follow the instructions from the Canadian Visa Office or VAC where you will be submitting your application for specific instruction on how to pay your fees and submit your application. Each office will have their own instructions.

      Make sure that your application is complete and signed before submitting it, otherwise CIC will return your incomplete application.

      Before submitting your application, it is strongly recommended to make a copy of your application, along with the documentation that you will be submitting, to keep for your records.

Custodianship for Minors (students under the age of 18)

If you will be an international student under the age of 18 when you arrive in Ontario, Canada, you may need a custodian. See our information on custodianship.

Citizens of the U.S.A., Greenland, or St. Pierre and Miquelon

Citizens of the U.S.A., Greenland, or St. Pierre and Miquelon can apply for a Study Permit directly at a Canadian port of entry (airport or land border crossing).2 For more information visit our page for U.S. Citizens.

Will you be bringing your family members?

See our information for spouses and minor children of international students.

Once Your Application is Approved

“If your application is approved, any identity documents, including your passport if submitted with your application, will be returned to you with a letter of introduction confirming the approval. The letter of introduction is not a study permit. [...] When you arrive in Canada, you must show the letter of introduction and the temporary resident visa, if applicable, to an officer at the port of entry. [...] The officer at the port of entry will determine whether you may enter Canada and how long you may stay. You will be issued a study permit at this time.”3

When entering Canada, make sure that you receive your Study Permit at the port of entry and that all the information on the permit is correct.

For more information about preparing for your arrival in Canada and what to expect when you enter Canada, please visit CIC's page on "Prepare for Arrival."

Your Responsibilities as a Student

View important information on your responsibility as an international student:

Useful Information