Study and Work Permits
Applying for a Study Permit Outside of Canada
Before you can study in Canada, you must obtain a study permit by applying to your closest Canadian Embassy or Consulate. You should not leave home until you receive a "letter of introduction" from the Embassy or Consulate stating that your Study Permit has been approved.
- Check the average processing times and apply early. The entire process can take up to six months and some Canadian visa offices may have deadlines for processing applications.
- Determine how and where you will apply. See the Citzenship and Immigration Canada website for information about the process. If you choose to apply by paper rather than online, visit the CIC website for country-specific instructions on required documents. You should also consult the Canadian visa office responsible for your region.
- Detailed instructions available from International Services for Students. If you have any questions, our International Student Advisors would be pleased to assist you.
- US Citizens: If you are a citizen or permanent resident of the USA, you have the option of applying online or submitting your application upon your arrival at a Canadian Port-of-Entry (e.g., your airport of arrival or land crossing into Canada).
Documents Required from SFU
- You will receive an Offer of Admission and Funding letter from the Office of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Fellows. 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/Internship work permits are fee-exempt.
Working On & Off Campus During Your Studies
- Full-time graduate students at SFU with valid study permits may accept part-time employment on any of our three campuses without obtaining a work permit. International students may also be eligible to work part-time off-campus and to apply for co-op work permits.
- For more information on work permits, please see the Citizenship & Immigration Canada website. Detailed handouts are also available on the SFU International Services for Students website.
See also: employment options for graduate students