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Visas and study permits

There are three main categories of people in Canada: citizens, permanent residents and temporary residents. International students, foreign workers and visitors are all considered temporary residents.

Immigration documents

Most international students in Canada will require two important immigration documents issued by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) — a valid study permit and a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) — in order to study here:

  • If you are coming directly from a high school in Canada, you must apply to change the conditions of your current study permit and receive the new study permit prior to beginning of your program. Your study permit for secondary school does not allow you to study at the university or college level. Visit the IRCC website for more information.
  • If you are transferring from a post-secondary school in Canada, you must inform IRCC of your Designated Learning Institution (DLI) change. Visit the IRCC website for more information. Douglas College’s DLI number is O19360973702.

Extending your study permit

If you plan to study beyond your study permit’s expiry date, it is your responsibility to apply for an extension before it expires. Apply to extend your study permit 30-90 days before the expiry date. Do NOT let your study permit expire.

You can apply online to extend your study permit through your personal MyCIC account on IRCC's website. Make sure you have the required supporting documents before you sit down to complete the form. Give yourself an hour to complete and submit the application.

You will need a supporting letter from the International Office and an official transcript from Douglas College. Request these documents at least two months in advance.

If you need an assistance with your application, come to the International office with all of your documents and use one of the public computers. College staff are available to help; however, the Douglas College International office cannot advise on individual cases, and information and procedures can change at any time. For up-to-date information, contact IRCC directly.

Implied status

If your study permit expires after IRCC has received your application for extension, you are still considered a temporary resident of Canada. This is called implied status. With implied status, you may continue to stay and study until you receive a response from IRCC as long as you remain in Canada and continue to meet the conditions of your study permit.

Extending your Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) from within Canada 

After you have received your extended study permit, apply to extend your TRV. Like a study permit extension, you can also apply for a TRV extension through your online MyCIC account. A TRV is issued with the same expiry date as your study permit.

If you plan to leave and come back to Canada after your current TRV expiry date, start your TRV extension process in advance. IRCC advises applicants apply at least two months in advance of a planned departure from Canada.