Renewing a study permit
I had to do it only once, as normally it is issued for the total duration of your studies. However, sometimes they will issue a permit for a random period of time, or you may decide to with to a longer program (e.g. Bachelor instead of Diploma).
How to renew a study permit?
Good idea is to start renewing it 3 months in advance to ensure maintaining a valid legal status. If you remain in Canada past the expiration, you may have further problems with admissibility to the country, and, especially, getting a permanent status.
CIC constantly works on improving the speed and ease of acquiring such documents. You can submit the all documents on-line, and have the permit within 30 days after your application. The list of necessary documents is pretty standard:
1) Your current study permit;
2) Letter from the university proving that you are, indeed, a current student (available from registrars office in your university or college for free or $10-20);
3) Your personal information (usual CIC application);
4) Photocopy of the University Transcript;
5) Copy of the passport (just the page with the name and picture) – only if you used it to enter Canada; birth certificate and national ID otherwise;
6) Some sort of proof of funds available (I used a letter from my parents, that they will keep paying for my tuition and rent);
Once all the documents are ready, you can pay an application fee ($150) either on-line or through the bank. If you don’t have a credit card, or do not want to pay on-line, you can request a form, it is free, but you need to wait until it arrives in the mail for about a week or more. I paid with the form once before, and it was not the most convenient way, as I had to wait until it arrives, which resulted in the delay in processing of my application. If your status is expiring, upon expiration you have to pause your studies but can still remain in Canada until the CIC decides on extending your status.
(Click Read More for links and comments)
http://www.cic.gc.ca/ctc-vac/getting-started.asp – CIC information page
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/study/study-extend.asp – Application itself
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pdf/kits/forms/IMM5555E.pdf – Document checklist