When you decide to study in Canada, it’s Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada  (IRCC) issues you a study permit to study in Canada. It is basically a written authorization by an officer to an international student which allows them enter in Canada as a temporary resident and to study in Canada.

If you are an international student, you should know that your permit expires after 90 days of your study program’s completion. Most students know when their program is going to end and they also receive official notifications from their colleges. However, some students want to apply for study permit extension in Canada for various reasons.

Common Reasons for Study Permit Extension

There can be various reasons for students to change their college in Canada. It is becoming a very common thing to extend study permits and there is nothing wrong in it as long as you have a valid reason to do so. So we’ll only talk about two important reasons why most students apply for study permit extension in Canada:

  1. DLI Status Change
  2. Deferred enrollment

1. DLI Status Change:

Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) are educational institutions approved by the Canadian government to host international students. Sometimes, circumstances beyond your control may lead to changes in your DLI status. This could occur due to reasons such as:

  • Institutional Closure: Your current DLI may close or lose its designation, requiring you to find an alternative institution to continue your studies.
  • Program Discontinuation: If your program of study is discontinued at your current DLI, you may need to transfer to a different institution offering a similar program.
  • Personal Preference: You may choose to transfer to a different DLI for academic, geographic, or personal reasons, such as seeking better facilities, faculty, or location.

2. Deferred Enrollment:

Deferred enrollment refers to the situation where you are admitted to a Canadian educational institution but decide to postpone your start date for various reasons. Some common reasons for deferred enrollment include:

  • Visa Processing Delays: Delays in obtaining a study permit or visa may result in the need to defer your enrollment to a later semester or academic year.
  • Personal Circumstances: Unforeseen personal circumstances, such as family emergencies or health issues, may necessitate delaying your enrollment until a later date.
  • Academic Preparation: You may choose to defer enrollment to allow yourself more time to prepare academically, such as improving language skills or completing prerequisite courses.
  • Financial Considerations: Financial constraints or difficulties in securing funding for tuition and living expenses may lead to deferred enrollment until adequate resources are available.

Applying for Study Permit Extension within Canada

Regardless of the reason for you to apply for study permit extension in Canada, it’s essential to adhere to the Canadian immigration regulations and procedures. When applying for a study permit extension due to DLI status changes or deferred enrollment, consider the following steps:

Use of IRCC secure account

If you’re looking to extend your study permit while already in Canada, listen up – this is important stuff. You absolutely must use the IRCC secure account, either through GCKey or a Sign-in Partner. Don’t even think about using the IRCC Portal for this.. if you submit your study permit extension through the IRCC Portal, you won’t have what’s called “maintained status” while your application is being processed. And that could mean losing your status as a student altogether. Yikes! The IRCC Portal is meant for applications from outside Canada only.

Note: This blog offers general guidance on how to apply for study permit extensions in Canada. For personalized assistance and expert advice, consult professionals like My Education Experience.

Meeting the Requirements

If you want to renew your study permit, you have to meet certain requirements.

  • You have a valid study permit
  • You have a valid work permit
  • You are already in Canada as an exchange or visiting student
  • You meet the conditions to apply for a study permit from inside Canada

If you want to keep studying in Canada, you are required to apply for a study permit extension at least 30 days before its expiry date.

Starting January 30, 2024, a fresh iteration of the study permit extension application form (IMM5709) has been released. If you’re applying via the IRCC secure account on or after this date, ensure you utilize the updated version of the form.

Provincial Attestation Letter

From January 22, 2024 onwards, the majority of students are required to include a provincial attestation letter (PAL) from the province or territory. It is where they intend to study along with their study permit application. Failing to include the PAL may result in your application being returned along with applicable fees.

Documents Required to Apply for Study Permit Extension in Canada

  • Completed and validated “Application to Change Conditions, Extend My Stay or Remain in Canada as a Student (IMM 5709)” form, available on Immigration Canada’s website.
  • Proof of Enrolment letter for upcoming term, generated on Minerva after course registration, to be uploaded in the “Letter of Acceptance” section.
  • Valid CAQ extending beyond current study permit expiry date, can use CAQ Approval Letter if recently renewed.
  • Valid passport extending beyond current study permit expiry date.
  • Co-Op Letter if applicable, confirming mandatory work component, to be uploaded in “Evidence of Work Requirement in Study” section.
  • Proof of upfront medical exam if applicable.
  • Explanatory letter and supporting documents in “Client Information” section if needed (e.g., lost status, previous unauthorized stay/work in Canada).
  • Do not fill out IMM 5257 form for Temporary Resident Visa/Visitor Visa Application. Apply separately for TRV after obtaining new study permit, if needed.

What to Do If Your Study Permit Expired?

It can be a frightening experience for a young student to lose their status in Canada. But it happens. Seeing your study permit expired before you could apply for a new one is stressful but you need to calm down. You can’t restore your status as a student until the authorities allow it. However if your permit expires but you were meeting the requirements of your stay, you can apply for a restoration application. In that case, you’ll apply for a new study permit and if you are accompanying spouse, common-law partner or dependent children then they may also need to restore their status.


If you are not sure how to apply for study permit extension in Canada, you can reach out to My Education Experience for professional assistance and guidance.

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