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Please note that the information provided below is not legal advice and is intended for general information purposes only. For the most up-to-date information, please visit Study Permit: About the process on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.


Temporary measures due to COVID-19 travel restrictions

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, study permit applications may be subject to significant delays. Temporary closures may affect certain Visa Application Centres (VACs) as well as facilities that provide biometrics and medical exam services. For more information, visit IRCC – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): International students.

You may be able to start your full-time program online from outside of Canada prior to obtaining a study permit if you can’t travel to Canada at this time due to travel restrictions. However, a study permit will be required in order to complete the program in Canada. You must contact your Admissions Officer at to verify if your program can accommodate international learners from abroad.

Students who are in Canada are still required to have a study permit or implied student status prior to starting their program.

What is a study permit?

A Study Permit is a document issued by IRCC that allows a foreign national to study at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada such as BCIT for a limited period of time. You must apply for a study permit directly to IRCC and you should be aware that application processing times can vary considerably depending on where you may be applying from.

International students must provide proof of having a study permit to BCIT by emailing a clear, unaltered photo of the document to no later than 7 days before their program start date. See Study Permit Requirements for more information.

Exchange and study abroad students who will only study at BCIT for a single term do not need a study permit. See notice above for other exceptions.

We recommend that you apply for your study permit as early as possible to make sure you will be able to start your studies as planned!

Click below for answers to other commonly asked questions about study permits.