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Studying in Canada: Who Needs a Study Permit?

Canada is known for its quality education and is a popular destination for international students. However, not everyone needs to go through the process of obtaining a study permit. Let’s explore who is exempt from this requirement.

Short-Term Courses

If you’re planning to take a course that’s less than six months long, you won’t need a study permit. This is ideal for those who are looking to enhance their skills with short-term professional development or language courses.

Minor Children

Minor children already in Canada, such as those with parents who have a work or study permit, or those who are refugees or refugee claimants, can study without a study permit.

Family Members of Foreign Representatives

Family members or private staff of foreign representatives accredited by Global Affairs Canada are also exempt. This includes diplomatic agents, consular officers, and officials of international organizations.

Members of Foreign Armed Forces

Members of the armed forces of a country that is designated for the purposes of the Visiting Forces Act do not require a study permit to study in Canada.

Registered Indians

Registered Indians, even if they are not Canadian citizens, have the right to study in Canada without a study permit.

Work Permit Holders

A temporary public policy, effective from June 27, 2023, to June 27, 2026, allows certain foreign nationals who hold a valid work permit or have applied to renew their work permit and are authorized to work under paragraph R186(u) to study in Canada without a study permit.


While the process of obtaining a study permit can be lengthy, there are several exemptions that facilitate easier access to Canadian education for specific groups. If you fall into one of these categories, you can enjoy the benefits of studying in Canada without the extra paperwork.

Remember, it’s always best to check the latest regulations from the official Canadian immigration website or consult with an immigration expert to ensure you have the most current information.

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