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Study or exchange programs lasting 6 months or less


Registrar's Office
418 656-3080

If you come for a study program that is 6 months or less or if you come for a one-semester exchange, you don’t need to get a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec [Québec acceptance certificate] (CAQ) or a study permit. You have to follow the necessary steps to enter Canada as a visitor. 

When you arrive at a Canadian port of entry, you will need your acceptance letter from the Registrar’s Office confirming the length of your study or exchange program. Visit the Travelling to Canada and clearing Canadian customs page to prepare for your arrival in Canada.

To determine whether your study or exchange program is 6 months or less, you have to check the length of the program on the offer of admission from Université Laval. Even if you intend to physically stay in Canada for only six months or less, what is important is the length of the study program. So, if your acceptance letter says that your study program is longer than six months, you have to take the necessary steps to get a CAQ and a study permit. If that is the case for you, follow the instructions in the section on Study or exchange programs lasting more than 6 months. This is usually the case if you are in one of the following situations:

  • Study program that started via distance learning outside Canada, even if you have less than 6 months left to complete the program in Canada
  • Master’s double degree program
  • Cotutelle (joint supervision) agreement that involves being at Université Laval for six months or less
  • PhD defence

Getting the necessary documents to enter and stay in Canada can take several months, so we strongly advise you get started as soon as possible. You can begin the immigration process when you receive your offer of admission. The Registrar’s Office (for regular students) or the International Office (for exchange students) will email you your offer of admission. You won’t receive a printed copy of your offer of admission by mail.

If you are an international student enrolled in a regular program and you are a citizen of France or Belgium, you must have a valid CAQ and Study Permit to meet the eligibility requirements of the student mobility agreement between France and Québec and Belgium and Québec. Without the required immigration documents, you will pay the same tuition fees as international students, even if you study in Québec for less than 6 months.

If you have to do a mandatory internship as part of your student exchange agreement (with the exception of a healthcare internship), you must apply for a CAQ, a study permit and an internship-work coop permit even if your studies will be for 6 months or less. You will receive specific instructions about this when you get your offer of admission.

If you are a training or research intern, postdoctoral fellow, clinical instructor, professor, or visiting researcher, see this section.

You must use the official website of the Canadian government to complete the immigration steps.

For your protection, if you would like to use an immigration representative for the process, make sure they can legally carry out this role. See the MIFI (in French only) and IRCC websites about this.


We recommend that you make sure your passport will be valid for at least three months after the end of your study or exchange program in Canada. If you need to renew your passport, do so now. You should factor in the processing time for this when planning your application.

Entering Canada as a visitor

To enter Canada as a visitor, you will only need to get a temporary resident visa (TRV) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) depending on your nationality (there are certain exceptions). It is best to get your visa or eTA before booking your flight to Canada or making other travel arrangements. 

The Immigration section of this website is intended to provide general information on current procedures, which may change at any time without notice. The laws and regulations in force in Québec and Canada, as well as the websites of Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration [Québec’s ministry of immigration, francisation, and integration] (MIFI) and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), take precedence over this page.

Last updated on: 2024-05-27