All international students studying for more than 6 months require authorization to stay in Canada as a student while studying at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). Mount Saint Vincent University’s DLI number is O19301947442.

Once you accept your offer of admission, it is important to apply for your immigration documents to come to Canada. To study in Canada, you will need two documents:

  1. Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) OR Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
  2. Study Permit

The TRV or eTA is the document that allows you to ENTER Canada. What you require depends on your country of citizenship. Visit Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada’s information on applying for a Temporary Resident Visa for detailed instructions, including application forms, list of documents required, fee payment instructions, etc.

Note: the following links below will lead to the website of the Canadian Federal Goverment.

1. Determine your eligibility – You need to identify if you require a TRV or an eTA
If you need an eTA:
If you need a TRV:
Read the Applying for a Visitor Visa (Temporary Resident Visa) Instruction Guide (5256) before you begin your application.

2. Check IRCC’s application processing times. It can take weeks or months to process an application. Apply early!

3. Decide how you will apply. Check the website of the local Canadian Visa Office or Visa Application Centre (VAC) and determine what methods of application are accepted (e.g., online and/or paper applications). Their websites will also list important information, such as:

  • checklist of additional documents you will need to submit with your application
  • how to pay the processing and biometric fees
  • instructions on how and where to mail your documents and how they will be returned to you
  • any additional instructions and requirements

4. Prepare all of your forms and documents. Review the General Document Checklist [IMM 5484] from the application kit and the Document Checklist from the specific office where you will be submitting your application to find out which documents are required.

Note: Each Canadian Visa Office may have its own document requirements. Be sure to provide all of the required documents to avoid any delays in your application.

5. Find out if you need to give your biometrics (photograph and finger print).

6. Make sure that your application is complete and signed before submitting it, otherwise CIC will return your incomplete application.

7. Make a copy of your application, along with the documentation that you will be submitting, to keep for your records.

8. Pay your application fee and submit your application according to the instructions from the Canadian Visa Office or VAC where you will be submitting your application. Remember: Each office will have their own instructions.


All international students studying for more than 6 months require authorization to stay in Canada as a student while studying at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI).

The application process for your study permit can take several months, so we encourage you to apply as soon as you have received your MSVU acceptance letter. You should apply online or at the closest Visa Application Centre.

Document requirements can vary by country, so do be sure to check your specific embassy/consulate requirements. In order to apply for a study permit, you will need the following documents:

  • A valid passport for the duration of your studies
  • An original letter of acceptance from Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU’s DLI number is O19301947442)
  • Evidence of adequate funds to cover tuition and living costs (1 year tuition + living expenses + airfare to and from Canada + miscellaneous expenses) – this could be your bank statement, parents’ bank statement, scholarship letter, sponsorship letter, or a combination
  • You may be required to take a medical examination with a doctor designated by the Canadian government. The visa officer in your country will provide more information on this requirement.
  • Provide your biometrics (fingerprints and photograph) upon request.
  • A well written Study Plan or Statement of Purpose for wanting to study your program of choice in Canada and an explanation on how you intend to pay for your academic and living expenses.

In collaboration with NSCC and Dalhousie University, we created a guide on how to write your Study Plan. View Guide on Study Plans for Initial Study Permit Application.

Although U.S. citizens can apply for a study permit at any point of entry into Canada (providing all documents mentioned above), it’s a good idea to get it before you leave home.

Do not allow your study permit to expire for any reason. If your study permit expires before you have completed your studies, you must renew it at least a month before the expiry date. The International Education Centre can help you with this.

Once you are a registered MSVU student, our Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors will ensure that you receive all pertinent information and advice regarding Canadian immigration regulations and process. We also publish detailed immigration instructions under the International MSVU website and offer workshops on various topics throughout the year.

You can book an appointment with an immigration advisor once you have started your program, and you can email anytime if you have a question about immigration.