Frequently Asked Questions
Here is a list of commonly asked questions about immigration. If you have a question that is not answered here about Immigration Procedures, please visit the CIC website, or e-mail the International Student Advisor.
I am here on a visitor visa since my program of study was less than 6 months, but I want to extend my period of study, what should I do?
You will need to apply for a study permit before you can extend your period of study. To do this, you must send your application for a study permit outside of Canada (unless you are married or dependent on an individual who has temporary status in Canada). CIC recommends that applications should be sent to the nearest Canadian Consulate. If you plan to and you are legally allowed to stay in Canada while your application is being processed, this means sending your application to the US. Upon approval of your application, you will be mailed a letter which you must take to the Canadian Port of Entry (POE) at the border (or if you happen to be traveling by air back into Canada, you may present the letter to an immigration official at the POE at the airport) where you will be issued a study permit. Students must not go directly to the airport in their hometown/city expecting to be issued a study permit. Local CIC offices will also not issue the study permit as it must be done at a POE.
You do not need to mail your application to the US. You may be able to go home and apply from there. If you are unsure, you should contact the ISA to make an appointment with an advisor to discuss your options.
When should I apply to renew my Study Permit?
You should begin the process to renew your study permit no more than three months before the expiry date. You must send your application prior to the expiry date in order to stay in status in Canada.
What if I send my application too early?
You will not be permitted to complete the online study permit application if you begin the process before the three months. If you mail your application for renewal of your study permit too early CIC might send your application back to you without processing it. Then you'll have to go through the entire application process again and get all new documents to send with it. If you have a valid reason for wanting to apply early, it is recommended that you outline these reasons in a letter accompanying your application.
What happens if my Study Permit expires?
If your study permit expires you will be in violation of the terms which you agreed to when you entered Canada, and CIC may ask you to leave. You may also have to apply for a restoration of status. If you are in the situation, you should make an appointment to speak with an International Student Advisor. You can request an appointment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 864-8895.
If I want to go to another university or college, do I need a new Study Permit?
No, you no longer have to apply for a new study permit if you are transferring between univerisities or colleges, or if you are changing programs.
My Entry Visa (TRV) is expired or is going to expire, what should I do?
If your TRV is expired or is about to expire, you do not need to get a new visa unless you plan to leave Canada and come back again. Your TRV has nothing to do with your ability to study in Canada - it simply gives you permission to cross the border.
Can I still apply for a TRV if I have a post graduate work permit but no job?
Yes, you can. However, an officer may question the purpose of your visit to Canada and a job offer or current employment may indicate that you are able to support yourslef while in Canada. If you do not have a job at the time of applying but you do possess a PGWP, it is advisable that you show details of what you plan on doing in Canada (e.g. job applications, job search, etc.) and details of how they plan to support yourself financially.
I'm visiting the US only, do I need a valid Entry Visa (TRV) to re-enter Canada?
No, you only need your valid study permit. You can print off a copy of the regulation 190 3 f from the Immigrant and Refugee Protection Act to carry with you. Note, this only applies if you are traveling from Canada to US and back to Canada. If you plan on traveling from Canda to your home country to US and back to Canada, you will require a valid TRV to enter Canada (if you are from a country that requires a TRV for entry into Canada).
My Entry Visa (TRV) and my Study Permit are expiring at the same time, which should I renew first?
You should renew your study permit before your entry visa, since your entry visa will only be valid as long as your study permit is. You only need to have a vaild entry visa if you plan to leave Canada and come back again.
Will I be able to apply for the 3 year post-graduate employment program?
Yes, if your program of study was 2 years or longer. If it was less than two years, but longer than 8 months, you will get a work permit for the duration of program of study.
If I have a post graduate work permit, can I study?
Yes, if the course is 100% online with no on-campus requirement
Where can I work?
International students on a study permit can work on the campus where they are a full time registered student. If you have an off campus work permit, you can work anywhere off campus. For information on employment, visit the Employment section of this website.
Does an off campus work permit allow me to work full time after I graduate while I am waiting for my post graduate work permit to be processed?
Yes, Visit http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/manuals/op/op12-eng.pdf. This is the Operating Manual for immigration officers processing student permits. On page 25 of this guide, its states:
- Students who have completed their academic program requirements and who are within the 90- day transition period will still be considered eligible to work off-campus, provided that they hold a valid study permit and a valid off-campus work permit. These students can work full-time.
Do I have to be registered full-time in the summer to be allowed to work on campus?
No, unless the work program you are involved in requires registration (for example, MUCEP). However, you are required to be registered in the Fall and Winter semesters of every academic year.
Can I apply for a work permit while I'm studying?
Yes. To work off campus while you are a student you can apply for an Off Campus Work Permit if you are eligible. If you have work terms, you must apply for a Coop Work Permit.