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Update to the study permit instructions related to prerequisite programs

Program delivery update – July 13, 2016

Update to the study permit instructions related to prerequisite programs


Officers will issue a study permit for the duration of the first program of study if the program is a prerequisite (e.g., successful completion of an English as a second language [ESL] or French as a second language [FSL] program before starting another program of study).

Currently, the general practice when processing study permit applications with a conditional letter of acceptance from a designated learning institution (DLI) stating that the completion of a first prerequisite program (such as ESL or FSL) is a requirement to enrolling in a subsequent program is to issue the study permit for the entire duration of both programs plus 90 days and to list the second DLI as the institution on the study permit.

A concern that has been raised by officers is that the student may not successfully complete their prerequisite program but will continue to hold a valid study permit allowing them to work. The issuance of a long-term study permit for two separate programs is having an impact on compliance reporting, as the study permits are being issued with the name of the second DLI and the DLI is receiving the reporting requests for those students even though the acceptance is conditional on the successful completion of their first program of study.

Issuing a study permit or SX-1 visa for the first prerequisite program only will ensure compliance reporting is sent to the appropriate DLI, and students will not be negatively affected. Once the prerequisite program has been completed, the student can apply for a new study permit and demonstrate that the requirements of the first program have been met.

Updated instructions
  • Study permits: Who needs a study permit

  • Study permits: Making an application

  • Study permits: Letters of acceptance

  • Study permits: Final decisions

Date Modified:


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