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Study or exchange programs lasting 6 months or less

Questions?

Registrar's Office
418 656-3080
immigration@reg.ulaval.ca

Please see this dedicated page to learn more about the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the immigration process and on health and hospitalization insurance. 

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 normally need to get a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec [Québec acceptance certificate] (CAQ) or a study permit. 

However, because of the current COVID-19 travel restrictions for entering Canada, you may need to get a study permit. Two scenarios are possible:

  • As of September 7, 2021, fully vaccinated travellers who have been vaccinated for more than 14 days, have received vaccines recognized in Canada, and are asymptomatic can enter Canada as visitors for discretionary travel. To enter Canada, they only need a temporary resident visa (TRV) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), depending on their nationality.

    Before you decide to travel to Canada as a visitor for your studies, we encourage you to consider the following. Depending on your situation, you may have to (or it may be more prudent to) get approved for a study permit.
     
    • Allowing you to enter Canada is, as always, at the discretion of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer. Airline companies also check passengers before letting them board flights to Canada.
    • Make sure you are fully vaccinated per the Government of Canada’s requirements. See this site for full details: COVID-19 vaccinated travellers entering Canada. Requirements may change without notice (for example: vaccines accepted, number of doses required, etc.).
    • You won’t be able to travel to Canada if you have COVID-19 symptoms, even if you are fully vaccinated.
    • Restrictions on travelling to Canada can change without notice (for example: moving back to allowing essential travel only and requiring people to be approved for a study permit).
    • If you need a temporary resident visa (TRV), the processing time may be longer than the processing time for a study permit, which includes a temporary resident visa (TRV). Compare the processing times on this site to help you make an informed decision: Processing times. Your application processing time starts only after you have given your biometrics.
    • Program duration: To determine whether your study or exchange program is six months or less, 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 6 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 6 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 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 six months left to complete the program in Canada
      • Master’s double degree program
      • Cotutelle (joint supervision) agreement that involves being at Université Laval for 6 months or less
      • PhD defence
         
  • If you have not been fully vaccinated for more than 14 days with vaccines recognized in Canada, you must get a study permit even if you are studying for less than 6 months in Canada. But you won’t have to get a CAQ.

    You may also decide to be cautious and apply for a study permit or decide to apply because it makes more sense given the processing time. If you are admitted to a program that is six months or less or if you come for a one-semester exchange, you won’t have to get a CAQ.

Getting the necessary documents to enter and stay in Canada takes 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.

Important: Given the uncertainty of the pandemic, we suggest that you don’t spend any money out of pocket or make any commitments (for example: signing a rental lease) until you have all the necessary legal documents (study permit, eTA, and/or visa, depending on your situation). We also suggest that you wait until close to the beginning of the 2022 winter semester before spending money out of pocket and making firm commitments because restrictions for travelling to Canada may change quickly. It depends on how things go with the pandemic.

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

Students admitted to a virtual mobility program aren’t being asked to travel to Canada, so this information isn’t intended for them.

Visit the International Students page for details on travelling to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the Impacts of COVID-19 on international students page to learn about the requirements to be allowed to travel to Canada

You must use the official websites of the Québec and Canadian governments 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.

MIFI reference: Regulation respecting immigration consultants (in French only)
IRCC reference: Using an immigration and citizenship representative

Immigration requirements

Depending on your situation and what you want to do, you will need to take the necessary steps to enter Canada as a visitor or apply for a study permit.

Passport

We recommend that you make sure your passport will be valid for at least 3 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.

Temporary resident visa (TRV) and Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

Citizens of all countries except the United States and other minor exceptions have to get a temporary resident visa (TRV) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to enter Canada.

It is best to get your visa or eTA before booking your flight.

The visa is placed directly in your passport, whereas the eTA is linked electronically to your passport.

Processing times for visa applications vary depending on where you are applying from. eTA applications are usually processed within a matter of minutes.
•    Countries and territories for which a visa or Electronic Travel Authorization is required
•    Find out if you need an eTA or a TRV

Before you travel to Canada, make sure you have your visa or eTA and all documents related to your stay in Canada. See the “Important documents and items to have on hand” section at the International students: All you need to know page for all the details.

Applying for a temporary resident visa (TRV)

You have to apply online by creating a IRCC secure account (details on creating, preparing and submitting an online application), upload scanned copies of the required documents, and pay the fee ($100 for visa application + $85 for biometrics). 

Once your application is approved, you will need to send your passport to the Canadian visa office that serves your country of residence so the visa can be placed in your passport.

See the instruction guide on the IRCC website for help filling out the forms and gathering the required supporting documents.

Biometrics

Citizens of all countries (except the United States and other minor exceptions) have to give their biometrics to get a visa. Important: The biometrics you give for a biometric passport aren’t the same as the biometrics you have to give for your Canadian visa application.

Individuals who need only an eTA don’t have to give their biometrics.

  • Pay the biometric fee ($85) when you apply for your visa.
    • If you pay the biometric fee when you submit your visa application, you will receive the instruction letter within 24 hours.
    • If you pay the biometric fee after you submit your visa application, it may take several days before you receive the instruction letter.
  • Receive the instruction letter.
    • The letter specifies where to go to give your biometrics
  • Go to an official biometrics collection service point.
    • you will need to make an appointment and bring your instruction letter and passport with you.
    • You should complete this step as quickly as possible because your application processing time starts only once the biometrics have been collected.

How to give your biometrics

Applying for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

If you don’t have to get a visa, you have to get an eTA to enter Canada by air (unless you are a U.S. citizen).

The eTA is linked directly to your passport. It is valid for five years or until your passport expires.

You can apply for an eTA online; it takes only a few minutes. To apply, you have to have a valid passport, an email address, and a credit card to pay the fee ($7).

How to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

Before you travel to Canada, make sure you have your study permit approval, your visa or eTA and all documents related to your stay in Canada. See the “Important documents and items to have on hand” section at the International students: All you need to know page for all the details.

Passport

We recommend that you make sure your passport will be valid for at least 3 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.

CAQ

You don’t need a CAQ if you are staying for less than 6 months. However, when you apply for a study permit, you will be asked for a CAQ. In place of a CAQ, you will have to upload a letter explaining why you don’t have a CAQ. Here is a sample you can use as a template: Sample Explanatory Letter.

Study permit

Because of the current COVID-19 travel restrictions for entering Canada, you may need a study permit at this time even if you are coming for less than 6 months. But you won’t have to get a CAQ. When you apply for a study permit, in place of a CAQ, you will have to upload a letter explaining why you don’t have a CAQ (see sample letter).

You can check processing times on the IRCC website. Your application processing time starts only after you have given your biometrics. 

When your application is approved, you will receive a letter of introduction that you must print and present to the immigration officer when you arrive in Canada. The study permit will be issued at the port of entry in Canada. Before you travel to Canada, make sure you have this confirmation letter and all documents related to your stay in Canada. Check the section “Have these important documents and items ready” on the International Students page for all the details.
 

Applying for a study permit

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, until further notice you have to apply for your study permit online. See the Impacts of COVID-19 on international students page

You have to apply online by creating a IRCC secure account (details on creating, preparing and submitting an online application). 

When you apply online, you have to answer a few questions to set up the application. When you are asked “How long do you plan to stay in Canada?” you will have to answer “Temporarily, more than 6 months,” even if you plan to stay for less than 6 months. By selecting that answer, you will be able to apply for a study permit. The letter that you have to upload in place of a CAQ will explain the reason for this step.

Requested documents

General requirements
  • “Application for Study Permit made outside of Canada [IMM 1294]” form
    • The form must be validated (with barcodes) in order to upload it. (You don’t have to sign it if you submit your application online.)

      Here are some guidelines to help you complete the form:
      DETAILS OF INTENDED STUDY IN CANADA section
      • Box 1: Université Laval address: 2325 rue de l’Université, Québec, G1V 0A6
      • Box 2: Enter the number that corresponds to Université Laval: O19359011020 (beginning with the letter O). Then enter your student ID number in the box on the right.
  • Passport: A clear copy of the ID page as well as all pages where there are stamps, visas, or entries
  • Photo: It must be in colour and show the full front view of the head, with the face in the middle of the photo, and include the top of the shoulders. You can take it yourself with a digital camera. The image pixel size must be at least 420x540.
  • Certificat d’acceptation du Québec [Québec acceptance certificate] (CAQ): Since you don’t need a CAQ if you are staying for less than 6 months, you must upload a letter of explanation in place of a CAQ. Here is a sample you can use as a template: Sample Explanatory Letter.
  • Acceptance letter: The offer of admission issued by the Registrar’s Office. 
  • Proof of sufficient financial support: The documents must be recent. 
  • Family information
  • Student exchange letter (if you are an exchange student): Give another copy of the offer of admission that the Registrar’s Office issued.
  • Biometrics:
    Citizens of all countries (except the United States and other minor exceptions) have to give their biometrics. 
    Important: The biometrics you give for a biometric passport aren’t the same as the biometrics you have to give for your Canadian visa application.
    • Pay the biometric fee ($85)
      • If you pay the biometric fee when you submit your application, you will receive the instruction letter within 24 hours.
      • If you pay the biometric fee after you submit your application, it may take several days before you receive the instruction letter.
    • Receive the instruction letter
      • The letter specifies where to go to give your biometrics. 
    • Go to an official biometrics collection service point
      • You will need to make an appointment and bring your instruction letter and passport with you.
      • You should complete this step as quickly as possible because your application processing time starts only once the biometrics have been collected.
  • A medical exam is sometimes required, for example, if you lived in a specified country for more than 6 months in the last year or if you want to work with certain clients.
    • If you have to meet this requirement, you can take the medical exam without waiting for instructions from IRCC. This may speed up how quickly your study permit application is processed.
    • Find out if you need a medical exam.
  • Residence permit from the country you are living in when you apply, if that country is different from your country of citizenship, as well as a letter of explanation about your intention to return, at the end of your studies at Université Laval, to your country of origin or to the country you are living in when you apply.

See the instruction guide on the IRCC website for help filling out the forms and gathering the required supporting documents.
 

Specific requirements by country of residence

There may be additional instructions and requirements depending on which visa office you use to apply for your study permit. In your online application, you can upload additional required items in a single PDF to the “Optional Documents” section as “Client Information.” 

Please refer to your country’s application package for details. Visa office instructions aren’t available for every country.
 
If your visa office instructions ask for a study plan, you must include it in your application. Your study plan will be an important part of IRCC’s assessment of your application.
 

Student Direct Stream (SDS) – Fast track to a study permit

Citizens of the following countries may be eligible to apply for their study permit through the SDS : Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and Vietnam.

Most study permit applications submitted through this program are processed within 20 days. Applications must be completed online using your IRCC secure account (details on creating, preparing and submitting an online application). To be eligible, in addition to the documents mentioned above, you must provide the following supporting documents when submitting your study permit application:

  • Proof of full payment of tuition fees for your first year of studies*
  • Proof of a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of CAN$10,000
  • Proof of valid language test results (a TEF score of at least 7 or an IELTS score of 6.0 in each language skill)
  • Your most recent secondary or post-secondary educational transcripts
  • Proof of having completed a medical exam (if applicable) 
  • A police certificate (if applicable)

For more information, see IRCC’s Student Direct Stream page.

*To prove that you have paid your tuition fees, you have to make an international bank transfer (in French only) to Université Laval. The transfer amount must correspond to your tuition fees (in French only) for two semesters plus the cost of health and hospitalization insurance. You should allow 5 to 10 working days for the bank transfer. Next you should write to droitsscol@sf.ulaval.ca to request confirmation of the bank transfer. You must then include the confirmation letter in your study permit application.
 

Temporary resident visa (TRV) or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

Citizens of all countries except the United States and other minor exceptions have to get a temporary resident visa (TRV) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to enter Canada.

The visa is placed directly in your passport, whereas the eTA is linked electronically to your passport.

Your first application for a study permit made outside Canada automatically includes a visa or an eTA at no additional cost.

If you are from a country for which a visa is required, you will need to send your passport to the Canadian visa office that serves your country of residence so the visa can be placed in your passport. IRCC will provide you with instructions at the appropriate time.
 

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: 2021-09-15