Immigration & Student Visa

For Newly Accepted International Students

Updates on study permit applications for international students.
View a summary of recent changes made by the Government of Canada as of January 22, 2024.

Applying for your Study Permit and Visa

Congratulations on your acceptance to Lakehead University!

It is now time to apply for your study visa and permit. Study permits are required for any studies more than 6 months in length, click here to learn more.

We encourage applicants to submit their study visa and permit applications online through the IRCC website. When you are outside of Canada, the visa and study permit applications are done together. When the application is approved online, you will be sent an approval letter and asked to submit your passport for stamping. You will be issued the actual study permit upon entry. Here are some steps to get you started:

  1. Create an IRCC account. Please log onto the website and open an account to apply
  2. Gather required documents:
    1. Letter of Acceptance
    2. Proof of identity (“international” passport)
    3. Proof of financial support
    4. Letter of Attestation from the Province of Ontario (student applying for a Masters, PhD or other post-graduate program are exempt)

Other items may also be required, depending on your country of birth. Please click here for more details.

 Questions? Send an email to:

Other considerations

Conditional Offers

We strongly encourage you to meet all conditions and have an unconditional Letter of Acceptance before you start the study permit process. This is the best way to ensure your study permit is issued for the correct duration of time and with the correct conditions.

However, we understand due to processing times, you may have to apply for your study permit with a conditional letter. If you decide to use a conditional Letter of Acceptance, please clearly demonstrate how you are currently working towards the conditions (finishing high school, completing IELTS). You may be issued a one-year study permit with conditions on working while studying if you use a conditional offer. This can be corrected after arrival once conditions are met and you have registered.


 As of now, many Service Canada locations across Canada continue to offer limited in-person services. Many applicants continue to be exempt from biometric collection with their temporary residency applications and extensions (inside of Canada). Please visit the IRCC website to check for biometric collection in your area:

CHECK Biometric Collection CENTrE

Passport Expiry

You should check the expiry date of your passport before you start the process. A study permit cannot be issued past your passport validity, therefore if your passport is expiring in the next two years, you may want to consider renewing this first. To renew your passport in Canada, most countries require an in-person meeting at the embassy (in Ottawa) which can be costly and time-consuming.

Medical Exams

A medical exam could also be required, depending on your country of citizenship and program of study. This request is typically sent (if required) after you apply. Once you submit your online application, you will be sent a request for medical, if it is required. Please follow the instructions in the medical request letter and complete the requirement before the deadline indicated. If you plan to study and work in the health field, we recommend completing the medical before coming to Canada and including this with your study permit application.

Please click here to find an IRCC doctor close to you.

Co-op work/Internships

Co-op is work-integrated learning as part of your degree studies. Co-op may be a mandatory component to your program (either undergrad or masters program). Lakehead University will approve co-op positions after your first year of studies. Workshops will be held on-campus for individuals needing to apply for this permit.

Program End Dates

You will be required to provide a program end date on your study permit application form. Your program end date will be listed on your Letter of Acceptance but you may also consult the following:


Fall Start

Spring/Summer Start

Winter Start

One Year Masters Degree

August 31 (+1yr)

May 1 (+1yr)

December 31 (+1yr)

Two Year Masters Degree

August 31 (+2yrs)

May 1 (+2yrs)

December 31 (+2 yrs)

Four Year Undergrad Degree

April 30 (+4yrs)

December 31 (+4yrs)

December 31 (+4yrs)

Accompanying Family Members

Dependents (spouse and/or children) of international students in Canada are eligible to visit, study and work while their family member studies. You can include your family members in your original application to come to Canada, or invite them to accompany you after you arrive. More information on family members can be found here.

Processing Times

Once you submit your application, you can track the progress through your IRCC online account. IRCC will send you notifications anytime they make a change. You can check processing times on the main page of the IRCC website.

Once your application is approved online, you will be sent a notification. It will also ask you to mail your passport or visit the VAC for your passport stamping. You must travel to Canada with the approval message, and your study permit will be issued upon entry.