Fall 2012 – Summer 2013
The immigration authorities do not issue visas to students unless they are studying full-time in a recognized program. Please note that McGill University does not issue any immigration documents. Most of the programs offered by the School of Continuing Studies are designed for part-time students, but some may be taken full-time. To be full-time in a credit program you must take at least 12 credits each term toward your program. The non-credit intensive English and intensive French language programs are full-time programs.
Prospective visa students should contact the School of Continuing Studies to verify that the program they wish to apply to may be taken full time. Students will be given an International Student Study Plan. They will be advised prior to registration of the appropriate sequence of courses that will enable them to complete the program within the time frame specified by the immigration authorities. Immigration authorities will ask to see the Study Plan before issuing or renewing a student visa.
For acceptance into a program, students must complete a formal application. Please see Admission Requirements for information on how to apply to a program.
International students are reminded that in order to study at McGill, they are required to obtain a Study Permit (Visa) from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. This, in turn, can be issued only after a certificat d'acceptation du Québec(CAQ) has been obtained from Immigration Quebec.
Initial application for a Study Permit may not be made from within Canada, although subsequent renewals may be made from within the country.
Acceptance into the School's programs does not necessarily entitle a student to a certificat d'acceptation du Québec or Study Permit, which is issued at the sole discretion of the respective immigration authorities, nor does it permit a student to work within Canada, for which a separate Work Permit is required.
Unless their studies at McGill will be completed in less than six months, all students, other than Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada, must obtain proper authorization from both Quebec and Canadian immigration officials prior to proceeding to Canada and/or commencing studies.
The process begins with a Letter of Acceptance from McGill University. You should start the application process as soon as you receive your letter of admission from McGill. International students are reminded that it may take three to six months for a study permit to be issued. You should take this into consideration when making your application to the School of Continuing Studies.
Immigration authorities require prospective students to present proof of access to sufficient funds to support themselves for the period of their studies, before acceptance will be granted. Proof of a Certificat d'Acceptation du Québec (CAQ) will be required of all international students at registration. International students have the following two immigration options, depending on the length of time chosen to study in Canada:
If you are certain that you will study for less than six consecutive months, you need only apply for a Temporary Resident Visa from Immigration Canada. Please note that a person arriving on a Temporary Resident Visa cannot study for more than six consecutive months. Temporary Resident Visas cannot be changed to a Study Permit from within Canada.
Persons planning to study for more than six consecutive months are required to obtain a Certificat d'Acceptation du Québec (CAQ) from Immigration Québec and a Study Permit from Immigration Canada. The first application for these documents must be made before arriving in Canada. For more information, consult the Immigration Canada website at www.cic.gc.ca.
Students must start by applying for the Certificat d'Acceptation du Québec (CAQ) at the Immigration Québec office designated to serve the geographic area where the student resides. The application form, as well as a guide on how to apply, is available on their website at www.immigration-quebec.gouv.qc.ca. Allow at least five weeks to complete the application process for a CAQ. Immigration Québec officials will notify the Canadian Visa Service in the embassy or consulate closest to the student when the CAQ has been approved or it may be mailed directly to the student. The student must then visit the Canadian Visa Service and apply for a Study Permit and a Temporary Resident Visa if required.
Note the Expiry Date on your Study Permit. In some cases, it may expire before you register for your second year at McGill. It is extremely important that you do not let your Study Permit expire. You should contact Quebec and Canadian immigration authorities six to seven weeks prior to the expiry date on your document.
For further information, students may contact the Canadian Embassy/Consulate in their country of residence. McGill cannot determine the length of time that it may take to complete immigration procedures. We can only advise you to begin this process as soon as possible, and to be patient.
Further information regarding the regulations governing student status in Quebec can be provided by the nearest Canadian embassy or consulate.