Study Permits

If you are a legal resident, living in one of these countries: China, India, Morocco, Pakistan, the Philippines, Senegal or Vietnam, you have the option to apply for your study permit through Student Direct Stream (SDS) program. Please read about the requirements and instructions from the Government of Canada website if you are planning to apply through this program.

A study permit is a document that gives you permission to study and remain in Canada on a temporary basis. Permission to enter Canada is not given by a study permit but by a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV). You'll need a TRV unless you are from a Visa-exempt country, in which case you will likely need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

To find out if you need a TRV to enter Canada as a temporary resident, visit this Government of Canada webpage.

Why do I need it?

If you are planning on studying at NAIT in a designated learning program, or attending NAIT as an exchange or visiting student for more than 1 term, you need to apply for a study permit before you travel to Canada. You need a valid study permit before you start classes at NAIT.

If your program of studies or course in Canada is shorter than 6 months, you are not required to apply for a study permit. However, it is important to apply for one if you would like to work on campus or extend your studies after the initial 6-month period.

To maintain your immigration status as a student, you must actively pursue your studies by remaining enrolled in your program. In the event that you need to take an authorized leave from your studies, you will need to book an appointment with an International Student Advisor in the International Centre (Room W-101) to review your case.

What program do I need to enrol in to be eligible for a study permit?

In Alberta, international students are only allowed to study in Designated Learning Institutions (DLI) and programs. Although NAIT is a DLI, not all programs offered at NAIT are designated. In order to begin the process you must make sure you are enrolled in a Designated Learning Program. To begin that process please email

How do I apply/renew a study permit?

To Renew your study permit: You must book an appointment at the International Centre to see an International Student Advisor at least 3 months before the expiration of your study permit. 

To apply for your first study permit: We have developed some guides to help you with the process:

Step 1

How much time do you need for the study permit process? 

Step 2

Confirm your admission  to NAIT

Confirm your admission to NAIT - ESL Students

Step 3

What you need in order to apply for study permit

 Step 4

Creating an IRCC account to track your application 

Step 5

Prepare your documents and complete the application

Step 6

What to do after you apply

Step 6 (all programs)

Important notes about your study permit

  • You are required to actively pursue studies.
  • Your study permit will become invalid 90 days after you complete your studies (even before your study permit's expiry date) OR on the expiry date of your study permit, whichever comes first.
  • Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) may request that you show you are complying with conditions of your study permit. This may be a random audit or due to specific concerns about your case.
  • If your study permit expires and you have not applied for a new one, you may be eligible to restore it (only if you continue to meet the conditions of your expired study permit and you apply within 90 days).
  • People who do not comply with the conditions of their study permit may be asked to leave Canada and cannot return for a year without written permission.

The immigration information on this page has been reviewed and endorsed by Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCIC) in compliance with the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. However, this is not a legal document and information may change without notice.

Looking for more information? 

Always refer to for the most up-to-date information, or contact NAIT’s International Academic Advisors at

Not sure where to start?  Find out how to apply and get your application going