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There are many reasons why international students choose Canada as their study abroad destination. Source: Elsa / AFP

If your study permit is expiring, you need to know your options for visa extension in Canada. You’ll need to act fast but the good news is, you’re in the right country.

There are many reasons why international students choose Canada as their study abroad destination. Academic excellence; internationally recognised degrees; research opportunities; scholarships; affordable tuition fees; and diverse cultures are some of them. However, one of the most important reasons remains: its welcoming immigration policies, particularly post-study and graduate visa options.

When we talk about visa extension in Canada, it doesnt just mean changing the expiry date on your study permit. It also means transition to another type of visa, e.g. from student to graduate.

For example, the Post-Graduation Work Permit Programme (PGWPP) allows students from eligible Canadian institutions to obtain an open work permit in order to undertake valuable work experience there. International graduates can work in Canada for up to three years following the completion of their course — this is a top option for visa extension in Canada for international students who complete their course. If you want to apply to become a permanent resident of Canada, this can also come in very handy.

Visa extension in Canada

Canada boasts welcoming immigration rules. Source: Bénédicte Millaud/AFP

For students whose permits have expired, here’s what you need to know if you want to extend your study permit:

  • When to apply
    • At least 30 days before your study permit expires.
  • How to apply
    • In most cases, you must apply online to extend your study permit. You may be able to apply on paper if either: you have a disability that makes it impossible to apply online or there’s a problem with the online application.
  • What to do if your permit expired
    • Apply for a new study permit, restore your status as a temporary resident and pay your fees.

However, if you want to stay in Canada but you’re no longer studying, you can:

Kindly note that if your study permit expires and you haven’t applied for an extension, you must leave the country.