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Do You Need a New Study Permit if You Change Schools Outside of Canada?

With the rise of online learning, international students no longer necessarily need to obtain a study permit.

June 29, 2022

Written in conjunction with Legal Roots


As COVID-19 continues to cause issues worldwide, many Canadian schools have pivoted to online learning. This has led many international students to attend classes remotely from their home countries. While this may sound like a great option, it can also cause issues for many students.


Before the pandemic, international students would need to apply for a study permit to come to Canada and learn. However, with the rise of online learning, international students no longer necessarily need to obtain a study permit. But what happens when an international student wishes to change schools?


How to Change Schools as an International Student


When international students apply for study permits, they must present an Offer of Acceptance from a Canadian school. The study permit is then issued to the student with their school of study indicated. This school cannot be changed without going through certain procedures.


These procedures are relatively straightforward, though. If you’re an international student within Canada with a valid study permit, you need to notify Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). But, you do not need to apply for a new study permit.


If you’re learning remotely and never received a study permit in the first place. However, the process is different. If you wish to change schools and continue learning remotely, nothing really needs to be done. However, if you want to come to Canada and learn, you will have to apply for a new study permit. 


If feasible, it’s best to first come to Canada and receive your study permit. You can then easily change schools while inside Canada. However, changing schools outside of Canada runs the risk of having your study permit denied.


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