On January 22, 2024, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) announced a number of updates and measures to the International Student Program. A cap will be placed on the intake of outside Canada study permit applications, resulting in approximately 360,000 approved permits. The number allocated to British Columbia or SFU is not known at this time.

The following updates are highlighted into two parts for undergraduates and graduate students. Note that the information on this page is current as of February 2, 2024.

Undergraduate Students:

1.     Beginning January 22, 2024, unless exempted, most international students must include an attestation letter with their outside Canada study permit applications.

2.     Current students applying to extend or change the conditions of their study permits within Canada are exempt from having an attestation letter.

3.     In the weeks ahead, spouses/common-law partners of undergraduate students will no longer qualify for open work permits. IRCC has yet to announce the implementation date.

Graduate Students:

1.     Master’s and PhD students are exempt from the study permit intake cap and requirement of attestation letter for their study permit applications.

2.     Starting on February 15, 2024, a longer, 3-year post-graduation work permit will be available to those who are graduating from a master’s degree program that is less than 2 years and who meet all other PGWP eligibility criteria. For undergraduate students and other short-term graduate level programs (e.g. graduate certificate/diploma), there are no changes to the eligibility criteria for the PGWP. 

For more information about how the above updates may impact you, review our News and Updates section.  We will update the page with new details as they become available.

Your study permit must remain valid for the duration of your studies in Canada. If you will need to extend your study permit, we recommend that you submit your application for extension about 4 to 6 months in advance of expiration.

Processing times vary - visit the IRCC website for current, estimated processing times. Delays in processing may occur, so apply 4 to 6 months in advance if possible.

As long as IRCC receives your study permit extension application before the expiration date of your current study permit, you will have maintained status (formerly known as implied status) to remain in Canada and continue studying (and working, if meeting the eligibility requirements) while you await processing, even if your study permit expires while you wait. For more information about maintained status, visit the IRCC website.

If you plan to travel abroad during a period when your study permit is about to expire, contact an International Student Advisor, Immigration Specialist to discuss your options for a study permit extension and/or applying for a new study permit from outside Canada.  We will help you to understand your options based on your specific circumstances so that you can make an informed decision.

You may apply online via the IRCC website to extend your study permit and/or your dependant family members’ immigration documents together. 

If your passport is expiring, you must renew it before you apply to extend your study permit.  See Renew your passport for details.


Note: Your study permit will expire on the earlier of the following dates: the expiry date printed on your study permit or 90 days after you complete your studies.

You can find more information on how to apply to extend your study permit by reading the handouts on our Instruction Guides page, or by visiting the IRCC website.

Expired study permits and restoration of status

If your study permit has already expired and you did not apply to extend it before the expiry date, you must apply to restore your status in Canada. For more information about restoration, visit the IRCC website.

Your restoration application must be submitted within 90 days after your study permit expired or became invalid.

To apply for restoration, you must:

  • apply online using all forms and documents required for a study permit extension (refer to the guides on our Resources page for details),
  • pay an additional restoration fee with your online application, in addition to the fee for a study permit extension and biometrics fee if applicable, and 
  • include an explanation letter you have written about the circumstances surrounding why you did not apply for an extension before your status expired

You can remain in Canada while you await processing of your restoration application but you are not allowed to study or work until the application is approved