What you need to know

STEP 1: When to apply

Apply as soon as you get accepted to Bow Valley College and have your Letter of Acceptance. You must apply for your initial study permit from outside of Canada. Check estimated processing time.

STEP 2: Prepare your application

1. Create document checklist
2. Gather your required documents
3. Complete the application form

  • If your program includes a work experience/practicum/co-op/clinical/preceptorship, it is strongly recommended to apply for co-op work permit at the same time as you apply for your initial study permit.
  • If your program includes a work experience/practicum/co-op/clinical/preceptorship and you are working in a health related field or working with children, you need to get a medical exam done by a designated physician.
  • The visa offices in China, India, the Philippines, Vietnam, Pakistan, Senegal, and Morocco have two pathways available for a study permit application – (1) regular stream and (2) the Student Direct Stream (SDS)

STEP 3: Apply

• Online through the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website
- Create IRCC secure account and follow the instructions.

• In person at a Visa Application Centre (VAC)
• By mail to the appropriate visa office

Download the paper application in the "Apply on paper" section of the IRCC website

STEP 4: Study Permit Approval

If your study permit application is approved, you will be issued a Letter of Introduction. If you apply for an initial study permit outside of Canada, you do not need to apply separately for a TRV (Temporary Resident Visa / Entry Visa) or eTA . If your study permit is approved, you will be issued a TRV or eTA along with your study permit approval.
You will need to present this letter to the Canada Border Services Officer when you arrive in Canada to have your study permit issued on the port of entry (airport or US/Canada border).

STEP 5: Arrive in Canada
  1. Present your Letter of Introduction to the Canada Border Services Officer and request a study permit
  2. Before leaving the officer’s desk, ensure the information on your study permit is correct and that it states you ‘may work’ or ‘may accept employment.’ If any information is incorrect or missing, request the amendment at that spot. 

(*** Please note ELL students are not eligible for work off-campus and ELL students would not have this statement on your study permit)

STEP 6: After entering Canada

After entering Canada, please present your study permit and co-op work permit to the International Education Department (North Campus, Room N333) or email the copy of them to ieconnect@bowvalleycollege.ca as soon as possible.

Find out more about requirements to study in Canada

Frequently Asked Questions

Please review the following links to confirm which documents you must provide along with your study permit application:

NOTE: If your program includes a work experience or practicum, we strongly recommend applying for a co-op work permit along with your study permit application. Please consult with the responsible visa office for your region to confirm the proper application form to complete to apply for a co-op work permit from outside Canada. 

Please click here to determine if you require a study permit.

Depending on your study plan, the program you choose, and the length of time you want to study you may need to apply or not for a study permit. 

In order to obtain a Letter of Acceptance from Bow Valley College, you must apply for a full-time program. You will need a Letter of Acceptance from the college to be able to apply for your study permit for the first time.

If you are already in Canada with a study permit, and you need to extend your study permit, you will also need a Letter of Acceptance from the college.

Please click here to determine if you qualify. In general, you would need a study permit, but there are some exceptions when you won't require a study permit to study in Canada.

Read more about the Student Direct Stream.

Apply as soon as you receive your letter of acceptance. The times needed to process your application may vary among visa offices. Check the application processing times for details.

Read more about the Student Direct Stream.

Certain temporary residents are allowed to apply for a study permit from within Canada. Please click here and review the section "Who may apply for a study permit from within Canada?". The processing timelines for applications submitted inside Canada is listed here

If you are already in Canada as a visitor, you have a few options if you have a legal status in Canada. Please click here for additional information

Some distance learning courses may be completed without the requirement of a study permit. For complete details please go to: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/tools/temp/students/consider.asp

Depending on your current status, you may or may not need to request to update your current study permit. For details please visit:

International Learner Advisors


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  • If you are currently studying in a post-secondary program at BVC, please register for your courses via mybvc to ensure your enrolments and fees are processed appropriately.
  • Cart total based on domestic tuition rates. For information about International Tuition rates please see Additional Fees Apply
  • If you anticipate applying for a student loan, your payment will be refunded to you based on your loan award once your funding has been received by BVC.

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