Apply Online for an Initial Study Permit

To apply online for an initial study permit, follow steps 1 - 5 below:

If your country of residence or citizenship has additional requirements for a study permit application (as listed in the visa office instructions), consider applying on paper at a Visa Application Centre.

  • Create an online account through IRCC. We recommend creating a GCKey. On the right side of the page you will see a “Sign Up” button. Create a username, password, and security questions.
  • Once logged in to your account, under “Start an application” near the bottom of the page, click “Apply to come to Canada”
  • Under “I do not have a Personal Reference Code”, click “Visitor visa, study and/or work permit”
  • Complete the questionnaire. If completed correctly, the questionnaire should indicate that you are eligible to apply for a study permit. Click “Continue”.
  • Read the information provided, and click “Continue”  until you arrive at your document checklist.
  • Click on “Application for a Study Permit Made Outside of Canada (IMM1294)”. Try to open the document with Adobe Reader. If you cannot download the document, try opening it with Internet Explorer instead.
  • Use the Instruction Guide 5269 to help you complete the IMM1294. Here are some important tips for completing the application:
    • UCI: If this is your first ever application to IRCC, you can leave the UCI (universal client identification number) blank.
    • Designated Learning Institution (DLI) number: ULethbridge’s DLI number is O18776949622. The first digit is a capital letter “O” and not a zero “0”. This number is also listed on your Letter of Acceptance.
    • Letter of Acceptance: Use this document to answer duration of study questions.
    • Employment: Include any paid employment from the past 10 years. If you have no work experience, include any secondary or post-secondary studies and duration and state that your occupation was “student”.
    • Signature: If you are applying online, you do not need to physically sign this document. Just complete, validate and upload when ready. You will sign “electronically” prior to submission. Do not print, sign and upload a scanned copy.
  • Validate & Upload: When you have completed the application form, click the blue “Validate” button. If you have made mistakes or missed any fields, these sections will be highlighted red and you will need to complete these areas prior to attempting to validate again. Once you have successfully validated, a page of black bar codes will be generated as the final page of the document. Save the validated document and then upload to your application.

Upload your supporting documents:

  • Your passport should include all pages that have visas, stamps and your biographical page. Combine all images into one PDF document and upload.
  • For proof of finances, you may want to click on the “?” beside the document name. This will provide you a list of possible ways to demonstrate your finances. The more documentation you can provide as evidence of your financial status, the better.  If your country uses foreign-exchange controls, you will need to provide proof that you will be allowed to export your funds. Combine all images into one PDF document and upload.
  • The digital photo must follow the specifications of 35mm x 45mm. Click on the “?” for more photo specification details.
  • For client information under Optional Documents, prepare a letter of explanation outlining your study plan and reasons for choosing Canada and uLethbridge. Do your homework and create a well-written letter. **If your country of residence has Visa Office Instructions requiring additional documents, and you choose to apply online, you will need to combine all additional required documents into one PDF file and upload it as client Information.**

If you're applying via the Student Direct Stream, you'll also need to upload:

  • Proof of a valid IELTS test with scores of 6.0 in each skill, completed within the past two years
  • Proof of a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of CAN $10,000
  • Proof of payment of tuition for the first year of study
  • Once you have completed and uploaded all necessary documents, you will click “Continue” at the bottom of the page. You will continue to a signature page and then to the payment page. Take screenshots of any confirmation numbers regarding payment and application submission. If you need to leave the application and return at any time, your application will be saved in your GCKey account.
  • You will be able to follow the processing of your application via your GCKey account.  If IRCC requests any additional documents for your application, you will upload them via the GCKey.
  • If your application to study in Canada is approved, IRCC will provide you with a Letter of Introduction.  This is not your study permit, but a document stating its approval.  You must show the Letter of Introduction at the port of entry when you arrive in Canada, and you will be issued your study permit.

Entry Documents

  • If you are from a country that requires a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) for entry to Canada, and your study permit application is approved, IRCC will contact you to submit your passport for the TRV (a sticker in your passport).
  • If you are from a country that requires an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) for entry to Canada, one will be issued upon approval of your study permit application.  The details of the eTA will be listed in your Letter of Introduction.
  • If your application to study in Canada is refused, please contact us for advice before re-applying.

If you have a Letter of Acceptance to the Bachelor of Nursing/Bachelor of Nursing After Degree or Bachelor of Education, you will require a co-op work permit in addition to your study permit. The co-op work permit will allow you to complete the practicum components of your program.

To apply for the co-op work permit together with your initial study permit:

  • Review your Letter of Acceptance. In Box 24, ensure that "Yes" is checked.
  • In the online questionnaire, answer "Yes" to the question regarding work being an essential component of your program.
  • Upload the letter from your faculty regarding practicum work under "Evidence of Work Requirement in Study" in your document checklist. This letter has been provided to you by email together with your Letter of Acceptance.

Please note that work which brings you in close contact with people, such as nursing or teaching, requires a medical exam performed by an IRCC panel physician.

Your co-op work permit will be issued to you along with your study permit at the port of entry upon your arrival to Canada.


Request Assistance from an International Student Advisor

This guide has been written by a Regulated International Student Immigration Advisor (RISIA) in accordance with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations.  The information provided is subject to change at any time. While we will endeavor to update this page regularly, please always see the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website for the most current information.