Depending on citizenship and length of stay, international students will require different documentation in order to study in Canada. If you are not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, you must obtain permission to study from the governments of Quebec and Canada by applying for a CAQ (Certificate of Acceptance of Quebec) and a study permit. You will need to have these permits before you are allowed to register for your courses.
You should inquire early about visa regulations and processing time at the Canadian Embassy or Consulate located in your region. Consult the Immigration Canada website for the closest visa office in your area.
IMPORTANT: We advise you to start the application procedure with us and your nearest Canadian embassy/consulate well in advance. McGill University does not issue any immigration documents. Students who fail to show proof that they have obtained the appropriate study permits will not be permitted to register for courses.
Students Studying for Less Than 6 Months
Certain international students who want to take courses in a program that will be completed in less than 6 months may have the option of studying without a Certificate of Acceptance (CAQ) and Study Permit. For more information, please contact Client Services.
- If you begin your studies without a CAQ and Study Permit and decide to continue your studies, you must apply for a CAQ and Study Permit at least three months before the start of the following session. See Getting Your Study Permits above for more information.
- If you are certain that you will study for less than 6 consecutive months, you only need to apply for a Visitor's Visa from the Canadian Embassy or Consulate nearest to you. Please note that a Visitor’s Visa or Visitor’s Stamp in your passport usually cannot be changed to a Study Permit within Canada.
Students Studying for More Than 6 Months
- If you wish to study for more than 6 months, you must apply to a program of study offered by the School to obtain a letter of admission covering at least a period of one year in order to obtain a Study Permit issued by Immigration Canada and the Certificate of Acceptance of Quebec (CAQ). See the Immigration Quebec website for more information. For the Canadian Embassy or Consulate nearest to you, please see Canadian Embassies and Consulates.
Both the Quebec and Canadian governments grant study permits to international students only when they are admitted to a recognized program on a full-time basis: in other words, students must be registered in at least 12 credits per semester. Although many of the programs offered by the School are designed for part-time students, some may be taken full-time.
Prospective international students should contact Client Services before applying to verify that the program to which they wish to apply may be taken full-time.
Once students are accepted into a program, they are given an International Study Plan*. The Study Plan outlines the appropriate sequence of courses that will allow a student to complete a program within the time frame specified by the immigration authorities. This Study Plan needs to be submitted when applying for the CAQ and Study Permit as proof that you are studying full-time.
*The School provides Study Plans only for Career & Professional Development (Undergraduate and Graduate) courses.
You will require your McGill admission letter in order to apply for your study permits.
- The Study Permit from Citizen and Immigration Canada can be issued only after your CAQ has been obtained from Immigration Quebec.
- Your application for a Study Permit may not be made from within Canada, although subsequent renewals may be made from within the country.
Apply for study permits:
Certificate of Acceptance of Quebec (CAQ)
The Study Permit is issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Apply for your Study Permit
Once you have received your CAQ and Study Permit, you must bring the original copies to Client Services at the School of Continuing Studies so that your student file can be updated. It is your responsibility to ensure that your immigration documentation is in order before registering. No exceptions will be made for students who apply late for their CAQ and Study Permit.
Please note: McGill University does not issue any immigration documents.
For further information, please visit the International Student Services website.