Study or exchange programs lasting more than 6 months
If you come for a study program that is more than 6 months or for a two-semester exchange, you need to get a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec [Québec acceptance certificate] (CAQ) from the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration [Québec’s Ministry of Immigration, Francisation, and Integration] (MIFI) as well as a study permit from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Some work permit holders may be exempt from these requirements. See details below.
Getting the necessary documents to enter and stay in Canada takes several months, so we strongly advise you get started as soon as possible.
Does the Canadian immigration process seem complicated? We have simplified it for you! Watch our videos to learn more about each step in the process.
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. This offer of admission, whether conditional or final, contains all the information required for your immigration process.
If your study or exchange program includes a mandatory Québec-based internship, you can also apply for a co-op or internship work permit when you apply for a study permit. You don’t have to fill out a separate application for it.
You must use the official websites of the Québec and Canadian governments to complete the immigration steps.
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.
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 6 months or less
- PhD defence
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.
You must complete all the immigration steps before you arrive in Canada. You must have your attestation of issuance of the CAQ and your IRCC study permit approval with you when you arrive. If you don’t, you may not be allowed into Canada when you arrive and you may be sent back to your home country, or you may only be admitted as a temporary visitor, which won’t allow you to study in Canada.
Visit the Travelling to Canada and clearing Canadian customs pages to prepare for your arrival in Canada. We recommend that you plan to arrive one or two weeks before classes start.
We suggest that you don’t spend any money out of pocket or make any commitments until you have all the necessary legal documents (CAQ, study permit approval, eTA or visa).
You have to submit your study permit and your Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ – Québec acceptance certificate) to the Registrar’s Office as soon as you arrive in Canada.
If you are currently in Canada, refer to the section of the Extending or changing your student authorization documents page that best suits your situation. If you already have a valid CAQ and/or study permit, upload a copy of them in the Admission section under Études (Studies) in monPortail as soon as possible. If your legal authorization documents are about to expire, also upload proof that you have applied to renew your documents. You must make sure that your CAQ has been issued for the degree level (bachelor’s, master’s, or PhD) you will be studying at. If it hasn’t, then you have to apply for a new one.
To be able to register for courses, you have to submit copies of your CAQ and study permit.
- If your current work permit does not cover your entire program of study, you will need to obtain a CAQ and a study permit before your current work permit expires in order to continue your studies. You cannot continue your studies with a maintained status.
- You will not be eligible for a post-graduation work permit under this public policy. You must hold a study permit to be eligible for a post-graduation work permit.
- For French and francophone Belgian students, you will not be eligible for the exemptions from differential tuition fees under the student mobility agreement signed between your home government and the Québec government.
- This policy expires on June 27, 2026, and may be revoked at any time without notice. If you plan to study after this date, you will need a CAQ and a study permit. We recommend applying for these 6 months in advance.
If you wish to apply for admission and the deadline for international applicants has already passed, please contact your faculty’s Academic Advising team.
You must hold a valid passport to apply to study in Canada. We recommend that you make sure your passport will be valid for at least 3 months after the end of your studies in Canada.
Your immigration documents are valid only so long as your passport is.
It is possible to apply for a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec [Québec acceptance certificate] (CAQ) for studies using a passport that will expire during the course of your studies. However, we recommend that you apply for your study permit using a passport that will remain valid for the entire study period.
If you have to renew your passport, plan for this extra step. It will delay the other steps in the immigration process.
If your passport expires while you are in Canada, you will need to get a new one so that you can renew your immigration documents before they expire. Contact your country’s consulate or embassy in Canada to find out more.
Certificat d'acceptation du Québec [Québec acceptance certificate] (CAQ)
The first step in the immigration process is to apply for temporary selection ($124) from the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration [Québec’s Ministry of Immigration, Francisation, and Integration] (MIFI). Most international students need a CAQ to study in Québec. However, certain categories of students are exempt. The processing time for a CAQ application is approximately 25 working days.
The processing time for a CAQ application is approximately 25 working days from the time the documents are received through Arrima, do not delay in sending them in.
1. Apply online for temporary selection for studies
a) Go to MIFI’s page “Online application for temporary selection for studies” to start your application.
b) Complete the application by following the on-screen instructions.
c) Create your online consultation profile (Step 10), and save your application. Only applications filled in up to Step 10 can be saved
d) Pay the processing fee ($124) with a credit card.
e) Receive your customized checklist containing the list of documents to provide, the document "Declaration, undertakings and authorizations" and the forms that go with the application.
2. Submit supporting documents for your application using the Arrima platform
- Within 48 hours of submitting the application and paying online on MIFI website, you will receive a file number (beginning with "C000") in your online account. It will be at the top of your online application for temporary selection for studies. You will not receive any email notification that you have received the number in your account. So you have to go and check your secure file on a regular basis.
- To create an account in Arrima, you will have to answer authentication questions (last name, first name, date of birth, sex, etc.). The information has to be exactly the same as the information provided in your passport and in your CAQ application in order for your CAQ application to be found in Arrima.
- If you already have an Arrima account, you can use that account.
- In Arrima, under the “Mes dossiers” (My files) tab, select “Créer un nouveau dossier” (Create a new file) and select "Programme des étudiants étrangers - Dépôt de documents" (International student program - Submitting documents). Then, enter your application’s file number (starting with C000).
- Upload the requested documents (see the list below):
- Make only one PDF file for each type of document that is requested.
- For each document submitted, select which type of document it corresponds to (ex: passport, proof of financial support, etc). To add a letter of explanation, you must select "Autre type de document" ["Other type of document"].
- Finally, submit the documents to complete the process.
- Once you have submitted your documents, you cannot add new ones.
- Make sure you receive confirmation that the documents have been submitted. Look in the Arrima message centre.
We encourage you to visit the following pages to learn how to use Arrima platform:
- Tutorial «Dépôt de documents – Demande de sélection temporaire pour études» (in French only)
- Frequently asked questions (in French only)
A customized list of documents to provide (checklist) will appear at the end of your online application. It will mention the following:
- Document "Declaration, undertakings and authorizations": to print, sign with a pen, and scan.
- Photocopy of the identity page of your passport (containing your photo and signature as well as the expiry date and number).
- Proof of your financial capacity (see details below). This is required only if you currently reside in Austria, Canada, the United States, France (including Réunion), Greenland, Hong King, Mexico, Monaco, or Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon.
- The offer of admission that you received from Université Laval’s Registrar’s Office. Be sure to download the university logo and the registrar's signature before saving your offer of admission to your computer.
- If you are enrolled in taking distance-learning courses from outside of Canada, you must provide, in addition to your offer of admission, a letter (dated and signed) explaining your situation as well as proof of enrolment for the current semester and/or for the upcoming semester (available through monPortail for CAN$8). If you have already finished one or more semesters, please also include your transcript (order through monPortail for CAN$9).
At any time while MIFI is assessing your application, it may ask you for the original or certified true copy of documents you sent in. So it is important to have the original or certified true copy of documents in your possession.
The proof of your financial capacity are required only if you currently reside in Austria, Canada, the United States, France (including Réunion), Greenland, Hong Kong, Mexico, Monaco or Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon.
In general, you must demonstrate that you have financial resources for at least one year—that is, $14,349 to cover living expenses plus enough to cover transportation to make the round trip from your country of origin, tuition and health insurance fees, and settlement fees ($500).
Depending on your situation, include one or more of the documents below. These documents may be provided by you or the person covering the cost of your studies.
- Recent official confirmation of being awarded scholarships, indicating the length and monthly or annual amounts to be received.
- Recent pay slips, the most recent income tax notice of assessment (specifying annual income), a letter from the employer specifying the salary and the length of employment, etc.
- Bank letter(s) indicating the account balance (including bank address, full name of the account holder, currency, date account was opened, etc.).
- Bank statements from the last three months with current balance.
- Letter(s) from a professor specifying the amounts given as a scholarship or contract and the duration of the financial support offered.
- Recent proof of funds transfer, recent authorization for funds transfer from the currency exchange control office of your country of origin or residence (if the country limits fund transfers).
- If the expenses for your time studying in Québec are being covered by another person (your father, your mother, or a third party): A signed “Declaration of financial support” (using the form provided by MIFI or a personal letter).
Please note that you cannot use income from corporations or businesses owned by you or your guarantor, rental property, farm crops, or other similar income to prove your financial resources. If your income comes from such sources, use your savings as proof.
Example of a table for calculating annual financial resources (adapt according to your personal situation):
|Tuition fees||Health insurance||Living expenses (2023)||Transportation||Settlement||Total|
|$19,330 (24 credits)||$972||$14,349||$1,500||$500||$36,651|
Keep a scanned and/or paper copy of any documents you submit with your CAQ application. You will need them for your study permit application.
Additional information is available on the website of the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration [Québec’s ministry of immigration, francisation, and integration].
If you receive a notice of intent to refuse your temporary selection for studies application while your CAQ application is being processed, MIFI will ask you for additional document(s). To submit the documents through Arrima, you first have to upload them to your Arrima file (click on “Joindre des documents”) before you can submit them (click on “Déposer”). Make sure you receive confirmation that the document or documents have been submitted. Look in the Arrima message centre.
Find out if you are eligible for a no-cost deferral of your admission application. If your admission is deferred, your CAQ remains valid for admission in the following semester. In other words, a CAQ issued:
- For the fall semester remains valid for the following winter semester;
- For the winter semester remains valid for the following summer* or fall semester;
- For the summer semester remains valid for the following fall semester.
For all other deferrals, you will need to request a new CAQ.
* While it is possible to start some programs of study in a summer semester, we do not recommend that international students do so.
The second step in the immigration process for coming to study in Québec is to apply for a study permit ($150 + $85 for biometrics) from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Before you can apply, you must first receive the attestation of issuance of your CAQ, unless exempt. The processing time for study permit applications vary. If you apply for a study permit from outside of Canada, the application automatically includes your visa or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) at no additional cost.
You can check processing time on the IRCC website. Your application processing time starts only after you have given your biometrics. So, we encourage you to give your biometrics right away after you apply for your study permit as soon as you receive the instruction letter. Also, if you have to get a medical exam, you can do it before you submit your application (upfront medical exam). This can speed up the processing for your study permit application.
You have to apply for your study permit online, by creating a IRCC secure account (details on creating, preparing and submitting an online application). Please note that IRCC is phasing in a new portal for online applications. If you are directed to the new portal, there will be discrepancies with the information provided here. Among other things, you will not be asked to fill out an application form in PDF format. Fees and processing times remain the same, regardless of the portal used.
When your study permit application is approved, it will automaticaly include your visa or eTA. Also, 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 “Documents required to enter Canada” on the Travelling to Canada and clearing Canadian customs page for all the details.
- “Application for Study Permit made outside of Canada [IMM 1294]” form
- If you are unable to open a form with your web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.), you will need to download the PDF that won’t open, save it to your computer, and then open it with Adobe Acrobat Reader from your computer, rather than opening it from your web browser.
- 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.)
- You should not sign the application form. Forms that need to be validated with a barcode don’t need to be signed. All other forms have to be printed, signed, and scanned before being uploaded.
- 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 designated learning institution (DLI) number that corresponds to Université Laval: O19359011020 (beginning with the letter O). Then enter your student ID number in the box on the right.
- Box 5: Funds available for my stay (CAD): Enter the total amount of funds you will have for your stay in Canada. Consider your current savings as well as the income that you will have accumulated, excluding any income from employment in Canada.
- “BACKGROUND INFORMATION” section
- Box 2c): If you are currently in Canada or have previously applied to enter or remain in Canada, you must answer “yes” to this question and provide details in box 2d).
- DETAILS OF INTENDED STUDY IN CANADA section
- 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 420 x 540.
- Certificat d’acceptation du Québec [Québec acceptance certificate] (CAQ) (attestation of issuance).
- Acceptance letter: The offer of admission issued by email by the Registrar’s Office. Be sure to download the university logo and the registrar’s signature before saving your offer of admission to your computer.
- If you already have started distance-learning courses from outside of Canada, you must provide, in addition to your offer of admission, a letter (dated and signed) explaining your situation as well as proof of enrolment for the current semester and/or for the upcoming semester (available through monPortail for CAN$8). If you have already finished one or more semesters, please also include your official transcript (order through monPortail for CAN$9) or a printout or screenshot of your unofficial transcript on Capsule if you don’t have an official transcript yet.
- Proof of sufficient financial support: See the “Details about proof of financial support” section below for full details.
- 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.
- Citizens of all countries (except the United States and other minor exceptions) have to give their biometrics. If you have already given your biometrics for a Canadian visa or permit application, your biometrics will remain valid for 10 years.
- You must pay the biometrics fee ($85) when you submit your application. Within 24 hours, you will receive an instruction letter in your secure IRCC account indicating where to go for the biometrics data collection. You will then have 30 days to make an appointment and go to an official biometrics collection site. You must bring the instruction letter and your passport with you. This step should be done as soon as possible, as processing times are calculated starting on the date the biometric information is received.
- Important: You must give your biometrics to the Canadian government even if you have a biometric passport.
- A medical exam is sometimes required, for example, if you lived in a specified country for more than six months in the last year or if you want to work or do internships with certain clients (children, the elderly, etc.) or in certain settings (elementary and secondary schools, daycares, health care settings, clinical laboratories, hospitals, etc.).
- 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.
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 the visa office instructions available in your country-specific application package (it is in the paper application section on this IRCC webpage). Visa office instructions aren’t available for every country. We encourage you to examine the requirements of the visa offices that cover your country of nationality and your country of residence if they aren’t the same.
If your visa office instructions ask for a study plan, letter of explanation, or letter of intent, you must include it in your application. See the “Study plan or letter of explanation details” section below to help you prepare your study plan. Your study plan will be an important part of IRCC’s assessment of your application.
Also, if you are someone who needs a temporary resident visa to enter Canada, we suggest that you include with your application a one-page summary of your application. Here is a model. Save this document and the study plan (if required) as a single PDF file. Then upload the PDF to the “Optional Documents” section as “Client Information” in your application. Ignore this suggestion if you require an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to enter Canada.
You must demonstrate that you have the necessary funds for your first year of studies in Canada and that you are expected to continue to have such funds for the following years without having to work in Canada during your studies. Indicate the total amount of funds you will have for your stay in Canada. Consider your current savings as well as the income that you will have accumulated, excluding any income from employment in Canada. The funds have to cover your living expenses for one year (approximately $13,134 for a single person) plus tuition fees, insurance, and the cost of travel to Canada. If any family members are part of your application and they would like to join you in Canada during your studies, then the proof of financial support must show that it also covers their living, travel, and other expenses.
If you submitted proof of financial support when you applied for your Certificat d’acceptation du Québec [Québec acceptance certificate] (CAQ), you can submit the same proof when you apply for a study permit if the proof is recent (no more than approximately 3 months old).
The requirements to prove that you can support yourself financially are generally less strict for students coming from countries that are socially and economically similar to Canada. By contrast, if you aren’t from such a country, you have to focus particularly on the strength of your proof of financial support. You should provide more detailed information on the amounts available and give evidence of where they come from and how sustainable they will be. If this is the case for you, please read the following information to make sure you are properly prepared.
Personal financial resources
If your funds come from your personal savings, you must show that your funds exist and where they come from. For example, it is best to provide bank statements from the past six months that show regular incoming and outgoing funds, rather than just a statement of balance.
A Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) from a Canadian financial institution is solid proof of financial resources.
If you will continue to be employed in your country while you study in Canada (with or without pay), you should submit a letter from your employer containing the following information:
- Confirmation that you are employed by the organization: your title, years of seniority, role and mandate within the organization, and annual or monthly salary (specify currency).
- Confirmation that you have been granted leave of absence or have been temporarily laid off and that this doesn’t terminate your employment relationship. The organization should also explain why it granted you leave instead of, for example, terminating your employment. In other words, it must explain why it is important to the organization that you remain employed.
- Description of the company or organization: Field of expertise, number of years of existence, number of employees, annual turnover, address, website, etc.
- The smaller the organization that employs you, the more details and evidence you should include to prove that the organization actually exists and that your role within it is important.
If your funds come from a scholarship, you must include an official letter from the scholarship-issuing organization. It must contain a signature, the date, and the organization’s logo, and it must mention the following information:
- your name, the name of Université Laval, and the name of your study program
- the duration of the scholarship
- the scholarship amount (annual or monthly)
- the payment arrangements (if possible)
- the terms and conditions (if applicable)
If your funds come from a guarantor (in other words, if someone other than yourself is covering the cost of all or part of the expenses for studying in Canada), the guarantor must provide the following documents:
- a dated and signed letter of commitment
- proof of income (preferably as salary)
- proof of savings with an explanation of where they come from (bank statements from the last 6 months, etc.)
It isn’t relevant to include proof of your guarantor’s assets (land, house, vehicles, etc.) as these aren’t financial resources available to you for your studies. Instead, you need to provide proof of your guarantor’s financial resources (cash assets and income).
In addition, if your guarantor isn’t one of your parents (for example, a sister, uncle, friend, etc.), you must include proof of your relationship with this person (birth certificates, family record book, etc.), as well as proof that this person will indeed follow through with their commitment (transfer of funds, a signed and dated letter of explanation, etc.). Ideally, the letter of commitment should be a sworn letter. Your relationship with this person isn’t assumed to be genuine as it is for a biological or adoptive parent.
Payment of tuition fees for your first year of studies
Making a payment to Université Laval that covers tuition for one or two semesters is an excellent way of proving that you can cover the cost of your tuition fees. However, Université Laval doesn’t require you to do this; you will receive your tuition invoice a few weeks after the beginning of each semester.
To make a payment in advance, you can use the online payment platform or make an international bank transfer to Université Laval. The transfer amount must correspond to your tuition fees 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 email@example.com to request confirmation of the bank transfer.
If you or your guarantor own a company and you want to use the income from that company as proof of financial resources, you must be able to prove that you have access to the company’s funds. It doesn’t help to provide proof of the company assets without showing that you can access and use the company’s financial resources (cash assets) to finance your studies.
Providing proof of financial support
You must save all your proof of financial support in a single PDF document. You will include that document with your application. On the first page of the PDF, we suggest that you give a table summarizing all the resources you are using to fund your studies. Be sure to indicate the amounts in local currency and convert them to Canadian dollars. Give a total at the bottom. This way, you will be able to easily show that you have the necessary financial resources for your studies.
If providing a study plan, letter of explanation, or letter of intent is part of the requirements of the visa office that will process your application (see the “Specific requirements by country of residence” section higher up on this page), you must prepare one. Also, even if the visa office that covers your country of nationality or country of residence doesn’t require you to provide a study plan, we recommend that you provide one if you are from a country for which a visa is required to enter Canada and if one of the following situations applies to you:
- You are currently residing in a country other than your country of citizenship.
- You have already had a study permit application refused.
- You are going back to school after working for a few years.
- You already have a graduate degree and you are planning to pursue studies at the same level or at a lower level (for example, you already have a master’s degree and would like to pursue a second bachelor’s or master’s degree).
The study plan or letter of explanation is a one- or two-page letter detailing what you plan to study. It needs to be accurate and factual. The details should be specific to your personal study plan, situation, and professional field, not general statements that could apply to anyone.
You must include all supporting documents, if applicable. Save your study plan and any supporting documents as a single PDF file. Then upload the PDF to the “Optional Documents” section as “Client Information” in your application. Also, if you are someone who needs a temporary resident visa to enter Canada, we suggest that you include with your application a one-page summary of your application. Here is a model. We suggest that you make this summary the first page of the PDF.
In your study plan, you must address the following points. We suggest that you divide your text into different sections:
- Reasons why you chose to study at Université Laval in Canada and in this specific program. Out of everything about Université Laval and your study program that you find beneficial and appealing, mention what caught your attention and that helped you make your choice. For example: you received funding or a scholarship, there is state-of-the-art equipment or a particular research laboratory, you would be able to work with a renowned professor, Université Laval’s ranking or reputation in a specific field is solid, you would be able to concentrate, specialize, or do an internship in your program, you would be able to gain work experience in your field, your spouse, child, or children would be able to come to Canada with you, you would be able to study in French or learn the language, you have been selected as part of a Rouge & Or program, etc. These pages may give you some ideas, but remember not to give general statements:
- Reasons why you aren’t taking a similar study program in your own country and why you find the Université Laval program more advantageous. If similar study programs in your country are more expensive, that is a good reason that is worth mentioning and showing. However, there may be much cheaper study programs in your own country. So, you should explain why you aren’t going with those options if they exist. For example: the program/concentration/specialism isn’t offered in your country, the quality of the programs in your country doesn’t meet your level of expectation and would not enable you to gain a top-quality international education, there are no scholarships available, there would be no possibility to study under top researchers, there would be no research or publication opportunities or too few, etc.
- Career goal: You must explain your academic and career plans and clearly show the link between your education at Université Laval and your career goal. Explain how the degree you are pursuing will help you achieve your goals, why you feel it is worth your time and money, and how it will increase your chances of employment when you return home. Identify what tangible benefits you will have when you return home that justify paying for your studies in Canada. If you have previously worked for an organization and it will hire you when you return home (promise of employment) or if you are maintaining your employment relationship during your studies (unpaid leave, temporary lay-off, time off with pay, etc.), this is important and you should mention it. Include letters from any employer you have a formal relationship with.
- Significant social and economic ties to your country: You will need to list and provide evidence for any significant real estate (homes, land, etc.) in your name and any business or businesses that you own (fully or partially). Don’t list the properties your parents, guarantor, spouse, or other family members own; list only those in your name. Don’t list personal property such as cars, motorcycles, and boats. Also, if you have immediate family in your country (spouse, child or children, parent or parents, sibling or siblings), it is important to highlight this and provide evidence for it.
- Other things specific to your situation. For example:
- If you already have a post-secondary education in the same field of study, you must explain how this additional degree would improve your employment prospects.
- If you already have a post-secondary education and are changing your field of study, you must explain why you are making this change.
- If you already have a degree and it is a higher level than the one you want to pursue at Université Laval, you must explain what your academic plans are.
- If you are going back to school after working for a few years, you must explain why you want to go back to school.
- Explain where you are getting your financial support from, if applicable.
- If you have already legally stayed in any OECD country (Europe, United States, Australia, Japan, etc.) and then returned to your country of origin, you must mention and provide evidence for your travel history to those countries. Include, for example, the visa labels in your passport.
- Commitment to comply with the conditions of your study permit and to leave Canada once your authorized stay is up if you are unable to renew your legal permission to remain.
Genuine, bona fide student
One of the goals of preparing your study plan and including evidence is to convince the visa officer that you really do want to come to Canada to study and that you have the ability to do so. The visa officer must not be led to believe that pursuing studies is just an excuse to enter Canada so you can pursue other interests or that your only goal is to apply for permanent residence.
Ties and returning home
Another goal in preparing your study plan is to demonstrate that you will be able to return to your country after your studies to work and lead a comfortable life.
The legal requirement for this isn’t to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you will leave Canada when you complete your studies, but that this is a realistic possibility for you and that you will be able to go back to your country and lead a successful life there once you complete your studies.
Although there are several immigration programs that enable some international graduates to remain in Canada after their studies, these programs have several criteria which can change over time. Because of this, when you apply for a study permit, it is impossible to know whether you will be eligible to stay in Canada after your studies. That is why you are required to demonstrate that you do have the option of returning and establishing yourself in your country after your temporary stay in Canada for studies is over.
The officer must also be satisfied that you will return to your home country if your plans to study in Canada don’t work out as expected and you have to postpone or abandon your studies.
The legal term that describes the desire to come to Canada as a temporary resident to study, but to stay longer if the legal opportunity arises, is called dual intent, and it is legitimate. However, even if this is your intent and even if you mention it in your study plan, you must still prove to the officer that, if your stay in Canada isn’t extended beyond the duration of your studies, you will leave Canada at the end of your documents’ validity period.
Therefore, it is important to demonstrate that you will be able to find a well-paying job when you return to your home country if you are unable to remain in Canada after your studies. To demonstrate this, you could include letters from potential employers offering you a position when you return or stating that you will have all the necessary qualifications for such a position. You could also submit some available job postings (3 to 5) for jobs that you could apply for after you return. You could also describe how the field you plan to work in offers good job prospects in your home country and add links to web sources on this subject.
If you have other ties to your country, such as property in your name (home(s), land, etc.), family, employment, a business in your name, or shares in a business, you should also add evidence of these things.
As a last resort, you can also provide a notarized undertaking stating that you agree to leave Canada at the end of your studies if you aren’t granted permission to stay in Canada longer.
Writing and layout advice
Here is a study plan template that you may find useful.
- Write your letter on a computer, sign it by hand or electronically, and save it as a PDF.
- Use the same font and font size throughout the letter. Use a font that is easy to read (Arial, Calibri, Tahoma, etc.). Use bold font for any important words or phrases.
- Have someone proofread your letter.
- Divide your letter into paragraphs with headings.
- Think carefully about the layout: Put the most important information first.
- Be specific and give explanations that relate to your situation. Don’t give general statements that could apply to everyone. Avoid generalizing about how Canada is an attractive place to study (for example, by talking about the quality of education and how safe the country is). Instead, give relevant information that is specific to your situation and plans.
How well the letter is written (the language and layout) can have an impact on showing that you are indeed a university student. So, make sure that the letter is free of any errors and that it is well crafted and well laid out.
You can use several types of supporting documents to back up your study plan. Be sure to list them at the end of your letter of explanation. The following is a list of documents that you may want to include depending on your situation. You should include only documents that are useful and relevant to your situation and that support the points you bring up in your letter of explanation.
- Proof of what you are currently doing in your country of residence (letter of employment,* proof of studies, etc.)
- Degree or degrees you already have
- Copy of valid and expired visas from OECD countries, entry and exit stamps, etc.
- Letter from your employer or job offer*
- Proof of ties to your country of residence and/or nationality (property deeds, immediate family in the country, etc.)
- Description of your thesis project and list of publications
- If you have already started your studies at Université Laval: Proof of payment, proof of enrolment, and transcripts
When scanning documents, make sure that they are legible, complete, cropped properly, and the right way up, that the brightness and contrast of the documents are suitable, etc.
* If you include a letter from a business with your supporting documents (job offer for when you get home, funding for your studies, the fact that the business is owned by your guarantor, etc.), the letter should include the following:
- Date, place, and signature
- Description of the business (what sort of field it is involved in, when it was founded, what its sales are and its number of employees)
- Physical address, website, etc.
- Reason why you were selected for this opportunity, if relevant
The smaller and/or newer the business, the more evidence you should include to show that the letter and the business are credible.
Legal resident living in one 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
- 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 can use the online payment plaftorm or make an international bank transfer to Université Laval. The transfer amount must correspond to your tuition fees 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to request confirmation of the bank transfer. You must then include the confirmation letter in your study permit application.
If your application is being processed and IRCC asks you to provide another document through your secure account, be sure to follow these two steps: First, upload the document and submit it. Second, make sure you receive confirmation from IRCC that the document has been submitted successfully. You must submit the requested document within the given deadline. If you cannot do so, you must provide a letter with a reasonable explanation before the deadline. IRCC will assess whether to give you more time.
Find out if you are eligible for a no-cost deferral of your admission application.
If you receive a new offer of admission while your study permit application is being processed, you must send it to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) through this online form. In addition to your new offer, you must send IRCC your new CAQ (if applicable).
If your study permit application is approved and you subsequently receive a new offer of admission, you may consider coming to Canada using the original letter of approval you obtained, if it is still valid and your medical exams have not expired (if required). When you arrive in Canada, make sure you have all of the required documents, including proof of your deferred admission and recent proof that you have the necessary funds despite the deferral. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has the final say on whether to authorize you to enter Canada. The more semesters pass between your two offers of admission, the more likely it is that CBSA officers will question your study plans and potentially deny you entry into Canada. To be safe, if your admission is deferred by more than 150 days, IRCC recommends that you re-apply for a new study permit.
Temporary resident visa (TRV) or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
If you apply for a study permit from outside of Canada, the application automatically includes your visa or eTA at no additional cost. You need the visa or eTA to be able to enter Canada unless you are a U.S. citizen or are exempt for another reason. The visa is placed directly in your passport, whereas the eTA is linked electronically to your passport. 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.
Internship work permit
Students who have to do a mandatory internship as part of their study program in Canada must get a co-op work permit through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in addition to a study permit. There is no fee for this permit, and you can apply for it when you apply for a study permit. It is best to apply for it before you arrive.
When answering the preliminary questions in the online study permit application, you will have to answer “Yes” to the question “Is work an essential component of your studies?” In your required documents checklist, you will be asked for “Evidence of Work Requirement in Study.” This is a letter from Université Laval confirming that an internship is mandatory in your program. If this is the case for your program, the offer of admission you received from Université Laval will be marked as such. You can upload it in this section even if you have already submitted it in the “Letter of Acceptance” section. If your offer of admission does not indicate that an internship is mandatory, you can contact your faculty’s Academic Advising team to check if this is truly the case and, if needed, request the appropriate letter. You don’t have to have an internship already set up when you apply for this work permit.
When you receive approval from IRCC for your study permit application, you will see that the co-op work permit is included.
When you arrive in Canada and show this approval letter from IRCC to the immigration officer, you should receive a study permit and a work permit that is valid for the same length of time. Before leaving the Canada Border Services Agency area, make sure you receive both documents and that they don’t contain any work-related restrictions that could prevent you from doing your placement.
Getting authorization documents for your family members
If you would like members of your family (partner and/or children) to join you while you are studying in Canada, you can apply for their immigration documents when you apply for your study permit. When you are answering the questions for creating your online application, answer “Yes” to the question “Do you want to submit an application for a family member?. For more information, see the section on Getting authorization documents for your family members.
Students who are minors under the age of 17 when they apply must meet special requirements to be allowed to enter Canada and study in Québec. In Québec, the age of majority is 18.
If you are under the age of 17 when you apply for a CAQ, additional documents will be required. You also have to meet one of the following three requirements:
- Apply for emancipation.
Emancipation gives a minor the legal rights of an adult person. If you are a French citizen, you can apply for emancipation before a guardianship judge. However, this emancipation won’t grant you the rights of an adult person in Canada.
- Give parental authority to an adult person residing in Québec.
The person who will act as guardian must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada. Immigration authorities may require that you live with this person until you reach the age of majority.
- Have one of your parents accompany you until you reach the age of majority.
In this scenario, the non-accompanying parent must sign a declaration of consent for you to reside in Québec with the other parent, and they must provide a copy of an identity document that bears their signature. If you are unable to provide this declaration, you must provide an official document attesting that the accompanying parent has full custody of the child. Also, the accompanying parent will have to include documents to show that they will be staying in Québec (plane ticket, letter signed by the other parent, etc.).
You can find more information about the additional documents required for getting a CAQ on the website of the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration [Québec’s Ministry of Immigration, Francisation, and Integration].
As with getting the CAQ, you will have to meet one of the three requirements listed above if you are a student who is a minor under the age of 17. If you are coming to Canada to study without an accompanying parent and you have a legal guardian in Canada, you will have to include the Custodianship Declaration [IMM 5646] (you must download the PDF and save it on your computer to read it with Adobe Acrobat Reader) form with your study permit application and the other supporting documents. The declaration is available on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website. More information about the Government of Canada’s requirements for underage students can be found on the IRCC website.
The Immigration Process for New Students
Does the Canadian immigration process seem complicated? We have simplified it for you! Watch our videos to learn more about each step in the process.
Please note that the information published by the governments of Québec and of Canada take precedence over that which is shared on this web page and in these videos.
Last updated on: 2023-11-21