Apply for a Study Permit at a VAC

To apply for a study permit at a Visa Application Centre (VAC) , follow steps 1 - 6 below:

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

Find the application package for the country you are applying from here. Once you have selected your country of residence, find the document checklist and the visa office instructions PDF (if applicable) and save or print both. Many countries require the checklist from the visa office instructions to be included with the study permit application.

If you need to provide biometrics as part of your application for a study permit, you must do so at a VAC.  You may wish apply in person at the VAC and provide biometrics during the same visit.  There is a biometrics fee, which covers the cost of collecting fingerprints and a digital photo. The biometrics fee also covers the VAC core services if you submit your application through a VAC. A VAC cannot advise you on your application, but they can ensure it is complete.

  • Find the Visa Application Centre (VAC) closest to you. Some VACs require an appointment and some are available for walk-in service.
  • Make a plan to go to the VAC. Have your application completed and all documents ready for when you go to the VAC.
  • Keep study permit application processing times in mind. Remember that posted processing times do not include the transfer times between the VAC and the consulate or embassy.
  • From the application package, open the “Application for a Study Permit Made Outside of Canada (IMM1294)”.  Open the document with Adobe Reader. If you have trouble, you can get help here.
  • Use the Instruction Guide 5269 to help you complete the IMM1294. Here are some important tips for completing the application:
    • Complete the form on your computer. Do not fill it in by hand.
    • 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 questions about your duration of study.
    • 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”.
  • Validate, Print & Sign: 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 this document. Print and sign the validated document. 

Find the Document Checklist and Visa Office Instructions that you saved or printed earlier.

  • Gather all the documents listed in the Document Checklist (IMM5483)
  • Gather all the documents listed in the Visa Office Instructions (if applicable)
  • Take care in ensuring that all documents are clear, legible and well-written.

Submit your completed application package at the VAC.  The VAC can review your application to ensure it is complete.


  • View your VAC's website for details on methods of payment accepted.
  • There is a fee to use the VAC's core services. If you must submit biometrics, you must pay a biometrics fee, which includes the VAC's core services.

Ensure you receive your application number from the VAC.

You can create a GCKey online account with IRCC to get updates on the processing of your application.

  • On the right hand side you will see a “Sign Up” button.
  • Create a username, password, and security questions.
  • Link your application number to your account and watch for processing updates.
  • 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:

  • Review your Letter of Acceptance. In Box 24, ensure that "yes" is checked.
  • Include the letter from the faculty regarding practicum work as a supporting document in your study permit application. 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.