McGill Alert / Alerte de McGill

Updated: Thu, 07/18/2024 - 18:12

Gradual reopening continues on downtown campus. See Campus Public Safety website for details.

La réouverture graduelle du campus du centre-ville se poursuit. Complément d'information : Direction de la protection et de la prévention.

Quebec (CAQ) and Study Permits-International Students

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Depending on citizenship and the length of stay, international students may need immigration documents to study in Canada. If you are not a Canadian citizen, or a permanent resident of Canada, and you will be studying in Canada for more than 6 months, you need to obtain permission to study at McGill from the government of Quebec and Canada, by applying for a Certificate of Acceptance of Quebec (CAQ) and a Study Permit. You will need these permits to register for your courses.

Obtaining these documents might take some time, so inquire early about visa regulations and processing time at the Canadian Embassy or Consulate in your region. McGill does not issue any immigration documents. If you fail to show proof that you have obtained the appropriate study permits, you will not be able to register for courses.

Students Studying for Less Than 6 Months

If you fall into this category, you may require an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) and/or a Visitor Visa from the Canadian Embassy or Consulate nearest you.


If you begin your studies without a CAQ and Study Permit and decide to continue your studies, you are recommended to apply for a CAQ and Study Permit at least three months before the start of the following session.

Students Studying for More Than 6 Months

To obtain a CAQ and a Study Permit, you must first apply to a program of study and obtain a letter of admission covering the duration of your studies.

Immigration Quebec grants CAQ and Immigration Canada grants study permit to international students only when they are admitted to a recognized program on a full-time basis, i.e.: no less than 12 credits per semester. Even though many of our programs are designed for part-time students, some may be taken full-time.

Contact Client Services prior to applying to verify that the program can be taken full-time.

Once accepted into a program, students receive an International Study Plan which outlines the sequence of courses to complete a program within the time frame allotted by immigration authorities. This study plan must be submitted when applying for the CAQ and Study Permit as proof that you will be studying full-time, along with your McGill acceptance letter.

Important: You will need your CAQ from Immigration Quebec to obtain a Study Permit from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). You need to apply for a first study permit from outside Canada in most conditions, but it can be renewed from within Canada once you hold a valid study permit. Once you have received your CAQ and Study Permit, bring the 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.

Study with a work permit

Public policy allowing some work permit holders to study without a study permit

As of June 27, 2023, a temporary public policy allows eligible foreign workers to study without a study permit.


You may be eligible to study without a study permit while you work. To be eligible, you must be authorized to work in Canada with either of the following:

  • a valid work permit that was issued on or before June 7, 2023, or
  • a letter authorizing you to work while we process your work permit extension application
    • The letter must have been issued on or before June 7, 2023.

If you applied for a work permit after June 7, 2023, you’re not eligible for these measures.

If you meet the above eligibility requirements, you can study full time or part time during the validity of your work permit.

If you are interested in applying, please contact our Admission Office (admissions.scs [at] for further guidance.

This information has been updated and reviewed by a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC). The government can change policies without notice.
For the most up-to-date information, please refer to the Immigration Quebec (MIFI) and Immigration Canada (IRCC) websites.

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