Explore MSM Network

Everything You Need to Know About International Student Permits and How to Get One

International students need a permit to study overseas. Here’s everything you need to know about student permits and how to get yours. 


A student permit authorizes an international student to stay in a host country to study. 

Prospective international students as well as education agents must know the specifics of student permits. These involve general knowledge and technical matters such as the issuing body, requirements, and the application process.


Whether you aspire to earn an international qualification or aid students to achieve this dream, this article is for you. Here’s everything you need to know about student permits and how to obtain them.



Which Government Body Issues Student Permits


Immigration departments usually facilitate all matters involving international students, including student permits. In some countries, more than one government agency is involved in coordinating these activities.


Take Canada, for example. The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada or IRCC issues student permits (called “study permits” in Canada) to international students. 


Meanwhile, in the United States, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs processes student visa applications. Once an international student arrives in the country, the Department of Homeland Security takes over. From then on, this department will enforce and issue regulations for international students.



General Requirements To Get a Student Permit


Requirements to get a student permit varies depending on the country and a student’s citizenship. In some countries, certain students are even exempted from getting the student permit.

In general, the following documents are required to get a student permit:

  • Application form
  • Acceptance letter from an accredited higher education institution in the country
  • Proof of identity such as:
    1. Valid passport
    2. Travel documents
    3. Passport-size photographs 
  • Evidence of sufficient funds
  • Other additional documents such as:

    1. A letter of explanation stating the student’s purpose for studying in the country
    2. Transcript of records
    3. Academic certificates and diplomas
    4. Results of standardized tests

How To Get a Student Permit


A key thing to remember is that the steps involved in obtaining a student permit vary from country to country. Moreover, each country has its own set of eligibility criteria, requirements, procedures, processing time, and exemptions. 


The best way to get accurate and up-to-date information about student permits is to visit the official website of the issuing body or agency in each country. 


Here are some student permit application processes in top study destinations.



In Canada, a student permit is referred to as a “study permit.” Study permits are different from student visas in Canada. The visa is used to enter Canada while the permit is used to stay in the country for study purposes.

  1. Prepare required documents for a study permit
  2. Apply online (must have a camera and scanner) OR apply on paper
  3. Submit documents

United States


  1. Receive the acceptance letter from a school approved by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)
  2. Fill out the online application form
  3. Book an appointment for an interview
  4. Prepare for the interview
  5. Collect all required documents
  6. Appear for the student visa interview

Below is the application process for a student visa in the United States:

  1. Receive an acceptance letter from a UK university or college
  2. Identify what type of visa you need
  3. Prepare all document requirements
  4. Apply outside or inside the UK 

Those are the essential things you need to know about getting a student permit for international education. Browse through our other articles to learn more.


Global institution partnerships are at the forefront of providing a faster, easier, and more convenient recruitment process for international students and student recruitment agents. To discover how student recruitment agents help global learners pursue their study abroad aspirations, check out MSM’s enrollment management solution at: https://msquaremedia.com/process-management/enrollment-management/


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on whatsapp




MSM Reporter is collated by a globally spread team of MSM and is published every Thursday.

Get in Touch

Get In Touch

Get In Touch

This website uses cookies to assist to personalize content, analyze our traffic, and to assist with our promotional and marketing campaigns. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising, and analytics team who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services. For more information about your cookies and how to change your settings, refer to our Privacy Policy.​



We will be happy to send the MSM reporter to your inbox every Thursday. Please enter below details to confirm your subscription.

Yes, I would like to receive the Top 12 trending news from the international education industry.