Immigration Documents

Study Permit and Immigration Documents Application Tips

Below are a few steps to begin with once you have determined the type of immigration document/s to apply for.

SFU's Designated Learning Institution's (DLI) number is O18781994282 (begins with the letter “O”).

When you are applying for your immigration documents:

(1) Check the application processing times

Processing times vary and fluctuate. Apply as early as you can to avoid any disappointments.

} Check application processing times

(2)  Determine where and how you will submit your application

Submit your application either online (preferred) or by mail to the visa office that is responsible for the country or region where you live.

Most study permit applications can now be submitted online. Visit the IRCC website for eligibility details and application instructions.

US Citizens: If you are a citizen or permanent resident of the USA, you have the option of submitting your application upon your arrival at a Canadian port of entry (e.g. your airport of arrival or land crossing into Canada). Please see US students: Apply at a port of entry for details.

(3) Read the Application Guide and collect the necessary  Forms and  Documents required

The IRCC website provides the resources you will need to apply for your documents. Please note that to apply for a study permit, you will typically require the following items:


Available on the IRCC website.


Must be valid during the period of your academic program in Canada. If it will expire before the end of your studies, start the process to renew six months before the expiry date. If you are a US citizen, you do not currently need to have a passport to enter Canada, but you will be asked to show proof of citizenship. As this policy may change, we advise all US citizens to have valid passports.


(mailed or emailed to you). Include your SFU letter of acceptance (also known as an admission letter; sent to you via mail or e-mail) in your application for a Study Permit and (if applicable) Temporary Resident Visa.

Graduate Students: If you have been admitted to a graduate program (Master's or PhD), you will receive an Offer of Admission and Funding letter from the Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Fellows office. This will be sent electronically, followed up with a hard copy by mail. Both are considered official and can be used to apply for your study permit.

The second page of the Offer of Admission and Funding letter is a Study Permit information form, which will indicate the maximum length of your program, detail any funding you have been offered, and provide the estimated tuition and fees for your first year. If your program has a mandatory internship or co-operative education (co-op) component, this will also be indicated on the Study Permit information form and can be used to request a Co-Op/Internship work permit, in addition to a Study Permit. Co-op work permits are fee-exempt.


You must prove you have enough money to pay for your tuition and living expenses for at least one year, as well as for your return transportation to your home country. If your spouse and/or children are accompanying you, you will need to show adequate funds to support them as well. You can demonstrate proof of sufficient funds using documents such as a bank draft, transfer letter of credit, scholarship funding letter, official letter of your sponsorship or, as in the case of some graduate students, a letter offering employment at SFU as a Teaching Assistant or Research Assistant.  Please review typical estimated costs of living on the SFU Financial Aid website.

For more information regarding proof of financial support, please visit the IRCC website

(4) Consult the website of the Canadian visa office serving the country or region where you live to determine if you are required to provide additional requirements, forms or documents

Contact us if you have any questions about your application or the application process. Some applicants may also require:


A medical examination is required if you have resided or stayed temporarily for six or more consecutive months in a designated country or territory in the year preceding your application.

If this is a requirement for you, start the process early. Medical examinations may take several months to process. If your medical examination result has expired, you must allow enough time to obtain a new one before returning to Canada. The Canadian representative from your home country will inform you of the procedures, and you should familiarize yourself with the requirements before leaving your home country.

For more information about medical examination requirements, please visit the IRCC website.


(impacts students under the age of 19 only). Students under 19 years of age may also require custodianship declaration forms certifying that they will have a legal custodian in Canada.  Please see Students under 19 years: Custodianship for further details.


As per the Temporary Resident Biometrics Project, citizens from designated countries are required to provide fingerprints and have their photograph taken as part of their application. To find out if you need to meet this requirement, visit the IRCC website.


(for students who have been convicted of a criminal offense). If you have previously been convicted of a crime, please visit the IRCC website for information on overcoming criminal inadmissibility.