International students studying in Canada: Do you have to pay income tax? 

Every year, residents of Canada have a duty to meet their income tax filing obligations. This is important because the money collected during this time funds government activities and programs. As an international student, you may have to complete an income tax return whether you stay in Canada part-time or you are here year-round. To determine if you have to file one, visit Do you have to file a return? Then, start gathering the information and materials you might need so you can file on-time.

Residency status

Your residency status lets us know whether you have income tax requirements in Canada. For tax purposes, international students studying in Canada are typically considered one of the following:

resident (includes students who reside in Canada only part of the year)


deemed resident  

deemed non-resident

If you are not sure about your residency status in Canada for income tax purposes, complete Form NR74, Determination of Residency Status (Entering Canada), and send it to the address given on the form.

Residency ties

Residency status is based on the residential ties you have with Canada. Residential ties can include having a home in Canada, or a spouse, common-law partner, or a dependent who is moving to Canada to live with you.

Other residential ties that may be relevant include having:

a Canadian driver’s license

Canadian bank accounts or credit cards

health insurance with a Canadian province or territory

Most international students who study or carry out research in Canada do establish residential ties with Canada, and may therefore be considered residents.

However, you have not established significant residential ties with Canada if you:

return to your home country on a regular basis or for large portions of the calendar year

move to another country when not attending a post-secondary institution in Canada.

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