Immigration and citizenship issues are handled by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) (formerly Citizenship and Immigration Canada, or CIC) department of the Government of Canada. As such, it is responsible for all immigration and citizenship policies and practices and should be the number one source of information and advising for international students.
The following is meant to help guide you through the process, not to advise you on such matters. For more information on immigration to Canada, visit the IRCC website.
Studying in Canada
To study in Canada, you may need a visitor visa and/or a study permit.
Citizens of certain countries and territories need a visa to visit or transit Canada.
Get a Study Permit for the First Time
The following is meant to help students understand and navigate the process found on the IRCC website. Feel free to go directly there to get your study permit.
Wilfrid Laurier University is a Designated Learning Institution. When required, our Designated Learning Institution number (DLI#) is O19395164307 (note: the DLI# starts with the letter O and not the number zero).
- Check your eligibility to study in Canada.
- Collect all information needed to apply and get the right documents.
- Apply for your study permit.
- If necessary, submit a request for an amendment to your study permit.
- If you are under 17 years of age, you will need additional documents. See information for minors studying in Canada. You and your parents may need to fill out a Custodian Declaration (IMM 5646) form.
- Check application processing times.
- See information on next steps after applying.
- Prepare for arrival in Canada.
- T (within Canada): 1.888.242.2100
- T (outside Canada): 1.613.944.4000
- E (general questions): firstname.lastname@example.org
- E (technical questions): email@example.com
Helpful IRCC webpages:
Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
Study and work permit holders from visa-exempt countries who received their permit on or before July 31, 2015, will have to ge an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to return to Canada.
Applicants who got their study or work permit after Aug. 1, 2015 should have been automatically issued an eTA along with their permit. For a list of countries which require an entry visa, refer to the IRCC website.
The following information is for those interested in applying to live permanently in Canada after graduation.
If you'd like to work in Canada after graduation but don't want to immigrate permanently, you may be able to work here for up to three years. See "Working After Graduation" on the Working in Canada page.
Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program
The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program offers a pathway to permanent residency and a fast-tracking of permanent residence applications.
There are two categories for international students.
With a Job Offer
The International Student with a Job Offer Stream allows students who have graduated from a publicly funded Canadian college or university to apply to live permanently in Ontario, if their employer has recruited them for a permanent, full-time position in a profession or skilled trade.
Without a Job Offer
There are two sub-streams:
- The PhD Graduate Stream allows PhD graduates from an Ontario publicly funded university to apply to live permanently in Ontario. You may be able to apply to Opportunities Ontario for nomination as a permanent resident, under the International Student Category’s PhD Graduate Stream.
- The Master's Graduate Stream allows international master's graduates from an Ontario publicly funded university to apply to live permanently in Ontario.
Immigrate as a Skilled Worker
Note that the Canadian government's Canadian Experience Class (CEC) has been replaced with the Express Entry Program, as of Jan. 1, 2015.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is the first stop for all your informational needs. Refer to their website for the most up to date information, forms and instructions.
The IRCC call centre at 1.888.242-2100 features an automated voice response system available 24 hours a day. You can also speak to an agent during normal business hours. These agents have been trained to help assist you in navigating the website to get the information you need.