About Lakehead International Student Services on Immigration

Lakehead International Student Services (ISS) team is happy to help you with immigration questions or concerns, whether you are an incoming student, a current student, or a student about to graduate!

Attention to all students: Lakehead International does not provide any assistance with PR applications. We are committed to hosting webinars and workshops on various PR pathways and encourage our students to register and attend them.

Do you know that you can interact with us in more than one way?

1-on-1 Appointments

Lakehead International Student Services (ISS) offers both in-person and online appointments for our students to meet with an immigration consultant and discuss their specific questions or concerns. Please feel free to choose a date and time that works best for you!


1-on-1 Appointment


Immigration Drop-In Session

Lakehead International Student Services (ISS) offers drop-in sessions every Wednesday from 2 PM to 3 PM for students to ask any immigration-related questions. You can join the session both online and in person. Please note our session is first come first serve basis.

If you choose an in-person session, please visit our International Student Centre which is located in the ground floor of the Chancellor Paterson Library.

If you choose an online session, please click the link below



Immigration Workshops & Webinars

Lakehead International Student Services (ISS) is here to support students from around the world, we offer regular online sessions for students to join and learn about important immigration documents and processes.

Topics can include:

  • Study Permits
  • Temporary Resident Visas
  • Co-op Work Permits
  • Post-Graduate Work Permits
  • Pathways to Permanent Residency


Immigration Workshops & Webinars


Email and FAQs 

We know our students have similar immigration questions. Hence, we have developed the FAQs page to help with initial inquiries.


FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions


Alternatively, if you are unable to meet with us virtually or in person and our FAQ page does not address your question or concern, you also have the option to direct any inquiries to our email,


Studying In Canada Entering To Canada Working In Canada

Inviting Family to Visit Canada Staying in Canada after Graduate

Social Insurance Number (SIN) Lakehead International Immigration Resources 

Need Additional Support on Your Application Stay up-to-date with IRCC

Immigration Workshops & Webinars


Drop-In Advising - All International...

July 17, 2024 - 2:00pm EDT

In person/zoom


Post Graduation Work Permit Workshop

July 18, 2024 - 3:00pm EDT



Pathways to PR

July 23, 2024 - 2:00pm EDT



Drop-In Advising - All International...

July 24, 2024 - 2:00pm EDT

In person/zoom


Post Graduation Work Permit Workshop

July 25, 2024 - 3:00pm EDT



Drop-In Advising - All International...

July 31, 2024 - 2:00pm EDT

In person/zoom


Drop-In Advising - All International...

August 7, 2024 - 2:00pm EDT

In person/zoom


TRV Visa Renewal Workshop

August 8, 2024 - 12:00pm EDT



TRV Visa Renewal Workshop

August 8, 2024 - 12:00pm EDT



Study Permit Extension Workshop

August 13, 2024 - 2:00pm EDT



Drop-In Advising - All International...

August 14, 2024 - 2:00pm EDT

In person/zoom


Post Graduation Work Permit Workshop

August 20, 2024 - 3:00pm EDT



Studying In Canada

A study permit is an immigration document issued by the Canadian government that allows foreign nationals to study at designated learning institutions (DLIs) in Canada. Most foreign nationals need a study permit to study in Canada. 


Study permit: About the process


Your study permit is not a visa. You may need a visitor visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTA) to enter Canada. If your study permit has been approved by the Canadian Government, they’ll issue the visa to you with your study permit.

Study Permit Initial Application (Applying Outside of Canada)
The study permit applications can take months to be processed. Therefore, we strongly recommend students apply as soon as they have their Lakehead University's Letter of Acceptance (LOA).

How to apply for a study permit

  • Generally, applications can be submitted online or on paper to Canadian visa offices and Visa Application Centres (VACs). Please note that application requirements depend on how and where you are applying. 


  • Lakehead University’s (Thunder Bay and Orillia) DLI# is O19396019447. This number must be included in a study permit application. 

  • Citizens and Permanent Residents of the United States of America can apply for a study permit at the Port of Entry (POE).  

How long will it take to get a study permit approved?

  Check Processing Times 

Select: “Temporary residence (visiting, studying, working)” > “Study permit (from outside Canada)” > name of the country from where you are applying.  

After applying 

  • Successful applicants for a study permit from outside Canada will automatically receive a Temporary Resident (Entry) Visa or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) if their citizenship requires it. No separate application is required. 
  • Successful applicants should receive a ‘Port of Entry Introduction Letter’. This letter must be presented to Canadian immigration officials when entering Canada to get the actual study permit issued. Do not leave the airport before getting the study permit. 
How does COVID-19 impact the application? 
IRCC continues to accept applications during the COVID-19 response. Visa offices and Visa Application Centres (VACs) may be closed in your region. Applying online as soon as you have the necessary documents is highly recommended as estimated processing times are likely to be extended.   
Study Permit Extension (Applying Inside Canada)

A study permit application can be submitted within Canada by someone that is already in Canada with:  

  • A study permit or work permit 
  • A spouse or partner in Canada with a work or study permit
  • Exchange or visiting student. 

How to apply to extend your student status?

 Study Permit Extension: About The Process  

  • We strongly recommend all our students submit the application at least two months plus the current approximate processing time before the current permit expires. 

  • All students who wish to apply study permit extension must include proof of current enrolment (along with other documents).

Transferring Students to Lakehead University from any Canadian University or College:  

You must notify IRCC about the change of institution.

 Change Your Post-Secondary Institution 

International Students to Lakehead University from any Canadian High School: 

  • You must have a valid study permit. You can use a high school study permit until its expiry date, but we strongly encourage you to apply for a post-secondary study permit 3 months before the expiry date of the current permit.

Entering To Canada

To enter Canada as an international student in addition to a study permit, you need to have either a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or an electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) depending on your country of citizenship.

Your study or work permit does not allow entry to Canada. If you renew your study permit or change your status to a worker while in Canada, you can renew the TRV or eTA for travel after the new permit has been approved.


Find out if you need a visa to travel to Canada


Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)

A temporary resident visa (TRV) is an official counterfoil document issued by a visa office that is placed in a person’s passport to show that they have met the requirements for admission to Canada as a temporary resident (international student or worker).

Holding a TRV does not guarantee entry to Canada. The admission of foreign nationals into Canada as temporary residents is a privilege, not a right.

Please note the information below:

  • The expiry date on the TRV indicates the deadline for you to enter Canada. It is not the last day that you are allowed to stay in Canada. The last day you are allowed to stay in Canada is the expiry date of your permit. 
  • The TRV does not need to be renewed when it expires unless you are planning to leave and then re-enter Canada. 
  • TRVs are valid for multiple entries unless otherwise noted. 
  • A TRV costs $100 CAD and is valid until the expiry of your passport
Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

An Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is an entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals travelling to Canada by air. An eTA is electronically linked to a traveller’s passport. It is valid for up to five years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first.  If you get a new passport, you need to get a new eTA.

With a valid eTA, you can travel to Canada as often as you want for short stays (normally for up to six months at a time). You do not need an eTA for travel within Canada.

An eTA doesn’t guarantee entry to Canada. When you arrive, a border services officer will ask to see your passport and other documents. You must convince the officer that you are eligible for entry into Canada.

Please note the information below:

  • If you do not have a TRV in your passport, you may be from a country that is exempt from the TRV requirement. Check the IRCC site to see if you need a TRV, an eTA, or neither. 
  • An eTA costs $7 CAD and is valid for 5 years or until the expiry of your passport (whichever comes first). 
  • Applications are made online and require a valid passport, e-mail address, and credit card. In most cases, an eTA will be issued in minutes. 
  • Successful applications for study or work permits automatically include an eTA for those whose citizenship requires one. 
TRV or eTA renewals

How to renew your TRV?

Visitor visa: About the document

  • Along with other documents, continuing students must include proof of current enrolment.
  • Applications can be processed inside or outside of Canada. Though the application can be made online, immigration officials will require a passport to place the visa in it. This can require extra time. 

How long will it take to get a TRV approved?

  Check Processing Times 

Select: “Temporary residence (visiting, studying, working)” > “Visitor visa (from outside Canada)”  > name of the country from where you are applying. 


How to renew your eTA?

Electronic travel authorization (eTA): About the process

Working In Canada

To work in Canada as an international student, you need to understand the rules and regulations set by the Canadian Government.


Studying and working in Canada as an international student


Working While Studying

Working On Campus

Students can work on campus if they: 

  • are enrolled full-time at a designated learning institution (DLI)  and have a valid study permit with the conditions allowing them to work.

  • have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN). 

 IRCC does not limit the number of hours an eligible student can work on campus. 


Work on campus as an international student


Working Off Campus 

Students can work off campus if they: 

  • are enrolled full-time in an academic, vocational or professional program (only in Quebec) and are not an English Second Language (ESL) or Intensive English Language Program (IELP) at a designated learning institution (DLI) that is at least six (6) months and leads to a degree, diploma or certificate. 

  • have a valid study permit with the conditions allowing them to work off-campus. 

  • have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN). 


Study Permits: Off-Campus Work

Work off campus as an international student


If you’re a part-time student: You can work off-campus if you meet all of the requirements above and you’re only studying part-time because you’re in the last semester of your study program and you were a full-time student in your program in Canada, up until your last semester.

If you’re on authorized leave from your studiesor you’re switching schools and you’re not studying: You cannot works off-campus until you’re back to studying.

If you are interested in learning more about on or off-campus employment and networking opportunities, resume or cover letter building, check out Lakehead University Career Zone website.

From November 15, 2022, until December 31, 2023, you can work more than 20 hours per week off campus while class is in session if you

  • are a study permit holder and are studying at a DLI full-time (or part-time during your final academic session), OR
  • have been approved for a study permit but haven’t arrived in Canada yet

In addition, you must meet all these requirements:

  • You must ensure IRCC received your application for this study permit (including extensions) on or before October 7, 2022.
  • You must have an off-campus work authorization on your study permit.
  • You must be either in Canada or coming to Canada by December 31, 2023.

If you have concerns about your eligibility, please email

Eligible students can only work more than twenty (20) hours per week during “Scheduled Breaks”. 

Important Dates

" Scheduled Breaks" is when the university or program can document that students are not required to be taking courses (eg. summer for undergraduate students). 

Co-op Work Permit

A co-op work permit allows international students to participate in programs of study in Canada that require a co-op, internship, or other kinds of placement that can be paid or unpaid.  

  • This application requires proof that work placement is a requirement for all students in the program. That means optional work placements are not eligible.  

  • There is no application fee for the co-op work permit as the work is a requirement of programs of study in Canada.

  • The co-op work permit can be requested as part of a study permit application, or a separate application can be submitted if the work requirement is confirmed after starting the program. 

Work as a co-op student or intern

 If you have been offered an ‘internship’ as a summer job, but it is not a requirement of your program, you may be able to complete it using the on or off-campus work rules noted above.

Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP)

International students who complete a qualifying program of study in Canada are eligible to apply for a post-graduate work permit (PGWP) for up to three (3) years. 

  • This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. 

  • The length of the permit depends on the length of the qualifying program. Usually, the programs of study in Canada between eight (8) and twenty-three (23) months qualify for one month of work for every month of study (e.g. an 8-month program qualifies for an 8-month work permit).

  • One exception to this rule is for graduate programs between sixteen (16) and twenty-three (23) months, that don’t have scheduled breaks. These ‘intensive’ programs can qualify for a 3-year work permit. Programs that are two (2) years or longer qualify for a 3-year work permit. 

  • All PGWP application requires confirmation of degree completion and an official transcript from a designated learning institution (DLI)

Work in Canada after you graduate: About the post-graduation work permit

Spousal or Common Law Partner Work Permit

International Student that is accompanied by a spouse or partner is eligible to request a work permit if they want the right to work in Canada. This can be requested along with an initial study permit application or can be requested after a spouse or partner arrives in Canada. 

Help your spouse or common-law partner work in Canada

Inviting Family to Visit Canada

If you wish to invite your family members that require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to enter Canada, you should send them the following supporting documents when applying:

  • An Invitation letter written by you (Lakehead University does not provide an invitation letter, since you are the one inviting them.) 
  • A copy of your Proof of Status in Canada (study or work permit) 
  • A copy of your passport 
  • Your proof of enrollment if you are studying
  • Additional documents may be required to support your family’s TRV application and they should follow the application instructions for the country they are applying from and the method of their application. 


Application for a Visitor Visa (Temporary Resident Visa - TRV)

Staying in Canada after You Graduate

If you graduated from your program, you may be able to work temporarily or even live permanently in Canada. You will need a work permit if you choose to work after graduation and your work experience may help you qualify for permanent residence.

For more information, please click the button below:


Work or live in Canada after you graduate

Social Insurance Number (SIN)

Social Insurance Number (SIN) is required for anyone that wants to work and be paid in Canada. International students with valid study permits may obtain or renew their SIN online or visit Service Canada


For Employer Information: Social Insurance Number (SIN)  

Service Canada

Find a Service Canada Office

Thunder Bay: Service Canada, 975 Alloy Drive, Thunder Bay

Orillia: Service Canada, 50 Andrew Street South, Suite 101, Orillia


Conditions to Apply SIN as an International Students

To apply for a SIN to work off-campus, you must have these conditions printed on your study permit:

  • May work 20 hours per week off-campus or full-time during regular breaks if meeting the criteria outlined in paragraph 186(v) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.
  • May accept employment on or off-campus if meeting eligibility criteria, per paragraph R186(f), (v) or (w) and must cease working if no longer meeting these criteria.

If your study permit doesn’t have work conditions on it:

  • You can ask to have these conditions added if you’re eligible to work off-campus. There’s no fee to add these conditions to your permit.
  • You’ll need to request an amendment to your study permit before you can apply for a SIN from Service Canada.

Lakehead International Immigration Resources

Lakehead International Student Services (ISS) offers informative videos and resources to provide our students with step-by-step guidance for their immigration application. 




Need Additional Support on Your Application?


In the event that you need additional support on your application, you can reach out to :

Automated telephone service is available 24/7 and you can listen to pre-recorded information about IRCC programs and check the status of your application. 

Call Centre agents and services are available in English and Français (Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. local time, excluding holidays)  

Stay up-to-date with IRCC

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) makes changes and policy updates regularly. Please review their website for news releases and important changes to their regulations and procedures.


Newsroom — Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada