Indeed, what might seem like common sense to some people can be less obvious to others. Therefore, it’s important for Canadian immigration authorities to clearly specify certain conditions for study permit holders:


  1. Enroll at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI): This means that if you’re coming to Canada to study, you need to be registered at a school or college that has been officially approved by the government. You can’t just study anywhere; it has to be at one of these approved institutions.


  1. Actively Pursue Your Course or Program of Study: This means that you can’t just get a study permit and then not really go to class or do your coursework. You’re expected to genuinely engage in your studies and work towards completing your educational program.


These conditions are in place to ensure that people who come to Canada on study permits are actually studying and not just using it as a way to stay in the country without attending school. It’s important to follow these rules to maintain your study permit status and avoid any legal issues.

Full-time and part-time studies

In terms of study intensity, according to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), students should, at the very least, be registered as part-time students at their educational institution to be considered as actively engaged in their studies.


However, it’s important to note that in the province of Quebec, students are expected to maintain full-time student status with their institution in order to meet the criteria for actively pursuing their studies.


Note that to be eligible to apply for Post-Graduation Work Permit after you complete your studies, if applicable, you must have maintained full-time student status in Canada with the exception of leave from studies and final academic session.

Examining Canada Study Permit Conditions: A Comprehensive Guide

Progress towards completion of courses

Students need to show that they are advancing reasonably towards finishing their courses within the time frame set by the program.

Changing institution or changing programs of study at the same institution

Students in Canada can change institutions or programs within the same institution while pursuing post-secondary studies, as long as their study permit doesn’t restrict them. However, immigration officers will assess the reasons for frequent changes to ensure students are genuinely committed to their studies. Students should inform the immigration authorities if they plan to change their designated learning institution (DLI) before arriving in Canada, and if they switch DLIs after their study permit is approved, they may need to submit a new application. Students should start or resume their studies at the new DLI within 150 days of leaving their previous institution. Failing to do so requires them to change their immigration status or leave Canada, or they risk non-compliance with their study permit conditions.

Examining Canada Study Permit Conditions: A Comprehensive Guide

Leave from studies

Students in Canada may find it necessary or choose to take a break from their studies. To ensure they are still actively pursuing their education, any leave taken from a program of study in Canada should not exceed 150 days from the start of the leave and must be approved by their educational institution.


If a student on leave returns to their studies within 150 days from the beginning of the leave (the date it was granted by the institution), they are considered to be actively pursuing their studies during the leave period. However, if a student doesn’t resume their studies within 150 days, they have two options:


  1. Change their immigration status (e.g., switch to visitor or worker status).
  2. Leave Canada.


Failure to take one of these actions will result in the student being considered non-compliant with their study permit conditions.


Examples of valid reasons for taking leave include medical illness or injury, pregnancy, family emergencies, the death or serious illness of a family member, changes in the program of study, dismissals or suspensions (depending on severity), and postponed program start dates.