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International Student Guidebook

Visitor Visa, Temporary Resident Visa and eTA

VISITOR VISA or eTA (study less than 6 months)

You do not need a study permit if you plan to take a course or program in Canada that is six months or less in duration. You must complete the course or program within the period authorized for your stay in Canada.

Please note that you cannot change from visitor status to student status from within Canada – you need to apply outside the country for an initial study permit. The application guide for this process is here.

To study in Canada for less than 6 months, you must apply to Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for a visitor visa or electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

Please check the CIC website to see what is required to enter Canada from your home country: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/visas.asp


If you require a Temporary Resident (visitor) Visa (TRV), application instructions can be found here:

NSCC Guide – Initial Visitor Visa

Instructions to renew your TRV are here:

NSCC Guide – Renew TRV


If you plan to fly into Canada by air, and you do not require a visa, you must apply for an eTA

An eTA is an entry requirement for citizens from countries, other than the U.S., that do not need a visa to come to Canada. It is electronically linked to your passport and is valid for five years or until your passport expires.

Do I need an eTA if I already have a study permit? 

Yes – beginning August 1, 2015, an eTA is automatically issued with your study permit.

You will need to apply for an eTA separately only if:

  • your permit was issued before August 1, 2015;
  • you renewed or plan to renew your study permit and do not have a valid eTA
  • you got a new passport since you received your permit.

How do I apply for an eTA? 

You can apply online.  There is a fee of $7.00 CAD.

To apply, you need a valid passport, a credit or a debit card, and an email address.

For more information or to apply, visit Canada.ca/eTA