How can I extend my stay in Canada as a student?

After an international student obtains a permission to studyThey may need to extend or change the permit during their studies in Canada.

Discover your options to study in Canada

A study permit expires 90 days after the completion of a study program. If you do not finish your program by the date indicated on your study permit, you will be asked to apply for an extension of your stay as a student. If you finish your program early, your study permit will expire 90 days later, regardless of the original date of your study permit.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship of Canada (IRCC) advises students to apply to extend their study permits at least 30 days before their current permit expires. However, they recommend applying more than 30 days before it expires to account for any delays or other issues you may encounter in the process.

If you are studying in Quebec, you may also need to obtain a new Certificat D’acceptation Du Quebec/Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ). As a general rule, if you need a study permit, you also need a CAQ.

If your study permit has not yet expired

If you submit a renewal, change or extension application before your current status expires, you are considered to be in “maintained status” as a temporary resident until IRCC has made a decision on your application.

If your status expires before IRCC decides on your application, you will only be able to continue studying while you remain in Canada.

Maintain legal status in Canada throughout this process is very important. It is imperative that you do not exceed the duration of your authorized stay in Canada without first requesting a change of status.

If your study permit has already expired

If you have not applied to extend your study permit and your permit expires, you have lost your status in Canada. You cannot continue or restart your studies until IRCC has reinstated your status and issued a new study permit. You have 90 days to request to restore your status and extend your permit.

There is a C$200 fee to restore your status, as well as a C$150 fee for the new study permit.

If you plan to travel outside of Canada

Make sure you have the travel document you need to re-enter Canada. You must have a valid travel document to re-enter the country.

If you have requested a different permit

If you were a student, but you have requested a work permit instead, you are not allowed to continue studying while you wait for a decision on your work permit application. You will also not be able to work until IRCC has approved your application.

However, you are allowed to remain in Canada as a temporary resident (visitor) until you get a decision on your application.

How can I stay in Canada after graduating?

To remain in Canada after graduating, you must maintain your legal status by:

  • Apply for other types of work permits depending on your situation and eligibility (for example, a work permit tied to an employer)
  • Request to change your status to visitor, or
  • Apply for a second study permit, which will allow you to continue your studies.

Some graduates are eligible for Postgraduate work permit (PGWP), which allows students to stay in Canada and gain Canadian work experience.

As an international graduate, you may be eligible for the PGWP provided you:

  • Completed a PGWP-eligible program from a designated learning institution
  • The program lasted at least eight months.
  • You were a full-time student during each semester. Part-time status is acceptable in the final semester of study, or if you have become a part-time student as a result of coronavirus disruptions.
  • You have a transcript or letter confirming that you have completed your studies.
  • Apply within 180 days of completing your program and obtaining your transcripts.

Discover your options to study in Canada


Leave a Comment