Can I travel outside of Canada while studying?

Can I travel outside of Canada while studying?Can I travel outside of Canada while studying?

As a foreign student, can I return home or travel outside of Canada while studying?

Many people have doubts about the freedom to leave Canada while studying. We will start by touching on the educational points and then the immigration ones. 

It is important to evaluate with the College or University if they are allowed to travel while they are in classes, otherwise they may face educational expulsion and therefore lose their Canadian study permit. While on vacation it is 100% possible to leave Canada without needing a permit from the educational institute. 

Now, from a migratory point of view, there are several things to take into account. Let's start by defining certain elements:

  • Student Visa: this is the sticker that is affixed to your passport that says VISA. This sticker must be presented at the airport in your country to be allowed to board the plane or vehicle and travel to Canada and it is also the document that will allow you to enter Canada. 
  • Study Permit: This document is the document issued by immigration officials once a person enters Canada. It is a one page document printed directly at immigration at the airport and handed to the student. If the student is traveling with family this document is also given to each member of the family. This document is not a travel document that authorizes leaving and entering Canada.

Now, when we wish to leave Canada the most important document is the student visa which allows us to leave and re-enter Canada. 

Therefore, when you decide to leave Canada you must be sure that the visa is still valid. Many times the visa expires before the student permit and this can cause confusion. Even if the student permit is valid either because it was first printed longer than the visa or because it was extended in Canada, the visa must still be valid to return to Canada. 

Extension of study permit within Canada. How does it work? 

If for some reason the educational program is longer than the time for which the study permit was issued. Or the student extended his/her stay in Canada to continue studying another program, the student needs to apply within Canada for an extension of his/her study permit. 

This process is done online and when the study permit is approved 2 things happen: 

1- IRCC sends to the student's address WITHIN Canada the new study permit and

2- Once the study permit is approved the student must make a new online application for a study visa to enter and leave Canada. If the study visa is approved he/she must send his/her passport to the visa office to have the new visa stamped in the passport.

Countries with ETA: 

If you are from a country that allows you to apply for an ETA, you do not need a study visa to leave and enter Canada. 


It is important to mention that, having the travel document you need does not guarantee that you will be allowed to return to Canada either, as it will always be necessary to prove to the immigration officer that you meet all the entry requirements before you can return to Canada.

If you are thinking of migrating to Canada via studies, but do not know very well your options, you can schedule a vocational counseling in the following link .

If you would like us to assist you in your visa application process or electronic travel authorization (eTA) you can quote our services in the following link.

With love,


Latest on Instagram

Immiland Canada BogotaImmiland Canada BogotaEddy Ramirez ImmilandEddy Ramirez ImmilandEddy Ramirez CanadaEddy Ramirez CanadaVenezuelans in CanadaVenezuelans in Canada