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Study permits

What is a study permit?
A study permit is something you apply for that gives you special permission to study in Canada. If your study permit is approved, you will get a document from the department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Canadian citizens, permanent residents of Canada and people registered under the Indian Act of Canada do not need study permits.

Is a study permit the same thing as a student visa?
No. A student visa is a document that lets you enter Canada. A study permit is a document that lets you study in Canada.

I am under 18 years old. Do I need a study permit to go to High School?
You do NOT need a study permit to go to High School if you are a refugee claimant, if you are from Ukraine and have a CUAET visa, or if you do not have status in Canada. If you are a visitor or temporary resident in Canada with your parents, you MIGHT need a study permit and you might have to pay international student fees. To find out if you need a study permit, see this Government of Canada website, contact an immigration lawyer or contact the Centre for Refugee Children.

Are there any benefits to getting a study permit if I am under 18, even if I don’t need one?
Yes, there are some benefits. Having a study permit might mean:
• You can continue studying, even when you are not a minor anymore
• You can get a high school co-op work permit if there is a co-op program in your school and you want to participate
• You can maintain immigration status in Canada in case your current status is going to expire (you can also apply to extend your current status if you want)

I am 18+ years old and a refugee claimant. Do I need a study permit to finish my High School?
• This depends on the school and the program that you are enrolling in. There are different adult school programs in Ontario to finish your High School.
• Look on this Ontario government website. Click the button that says “Find locations near me” to find a school in your area. You will have to contact the school to ask if you need a study permit.
• If you are having difficulty finding a program near you, contact the Centre for Refugee Children or the FCJ Refugee Centre

Do I need a study permit to attend college or university?
• It depends!
• If you are a permanent resident or a Canadian Citizen, you DO NOT need a study permit. You can also apply for the Ontario Student Awared Program, also called OSAP. OSAP is a loan from the Ontario government to help pay for your schooling.
• If you have status as a protected person or convention refugee, which means your refugee hearing decision was positive and you have your Notice of Decision document from the IRB, you DO need a study permit. It is free to apply for a study permit. You can also apply for OSAP.
• If you are a refugee claimant you DO need a study permit. It’s free to apply for but you cannot apply for OSAP. These means that you will have to pay international student tuition, which is much more money.
• If you are accepted in the Sanctuary Scholars Program, which is for refugee claimants or other people with precarious status or no status, you will be able to pay domestic fees instead of international fees for your tuition. You DO need a study permit. If you do not have status, you might have difficulty applying for a study permit. Contact the Sanctuary scholars program for help.
• If you have another kind of temporary status, such as a Temporary Resident Permit or another temporary permit, contact a community organization to know if you need a study permit and how to get one

What is the Sanctuary Scholars Program?
• This is a special program at York University and at Toronto Metopolitan University for students who do not have permanent status in Canada. To learn more about the program, see this website, contact the FCJ Access to Education Program or contact the Sanctuary Scholars program.