Differential Fee Waivers (DFWs) for International Students

Differential Fee Waivers cover the difference between International Tuition and Quebec Resident Tuition fees.

External DFWs – Bilateral Between Québec and Other Governments

External DFWs, or Quebec Exemptions, are available from a number of external sources, including the Ministère de l'Éducation et de l'Enseignement supérieur (MEES). 

Québec government grants DFWs to staff and dependants of consulates, foreign government offices, international governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, refugees, immigrants with a work permit containing the case type 07, 08, 20, 22, 23 or 26 with the name of an employer and location that is necessarily situated in Québec, and to students in MEES-approved inter-university exchanges.

Please note that only 20% of the exemptions for a given country or agency can be used in English universities in Québec, including McGill.

Students sponsored by a foreign agency holding an agreement with McGill University (CONACyT, Islamic Development Bank, etc.) are required to apply to Quebec exemptions if they hold citizenship from an eligible country, with the exception of CSC recipients. China Scholarship Council (CSC) recipients are no longer required to apply for External DFWs. They will still receive the funding that was offered to them when they applied for CSC. However, they are strongly encouraged to apply for FRQ funding after their first year of studies at McGill.


A certain number of citizens from countries whose governments have entered into agreements on tuition fees with Québec may be exempted from the supplemental tuition fees normally required of international students. All French citizens and a limited number of citizens from other countries who have established such agreements are eligible for such exemptions.

For more information on how to qualify for DFWs under these provisions, please visit the Ministère de l'Éducation et de l'Enseignement supérieur website.

How to Apply

  1. Determine whether there are bilateral exemptions for your country, by consulting the list of countries that have established such agreements.
  2. If your country or affiliated agency has a bilateral exemption, contact the appropriate authority for the country or agency.
  3. Apply to the country or agency by that agency's deadline (the agency will inform you of its specific deadline).
  4. After their own selection process, the country will nominate their selected candidates to the Québec government, who will in turn perform the final selection, and inform the candidate and the University.

Internal DFWs

Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies allocates DFWs to McGill University faculties for international Doctoral students, and exceptionally to international Thesis Master’s students for each academic year. Only international students who are allocated a DFW, by their respective faculties, are exempt from the international tuition supplement.


For 2023/2024, the value of the DFW is as follows: 

  • Master's - $16,847.10 
  • PhD - $14,827.50


DFWs are restricted to international graduate students at McGill whose visa status requires them to pay full international tuition fees. Recipients must be:

  • Registered with a full-time status (see explanation of residency in the Program Requirements section of the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Calendar)
  • Within Curriculum Year 1-3 (for Ph.D.) or Curriculum Year 1 (for Thesis Master’s) (see Student Advising Transcript).

Students in a qualifying year or additional session are not eligible. Students in "privatized" programs are not eligible. Eligible international students are automatically considered by their academic unit. Since DFWs are awarded based exclusively on unit nomination, there are no application forms provided/required.

Registration Requirements

Registration requirements for students who have been awarded a DFW by their Faculty/Unit: During the academic year for which they have been awarded a DFW, recipients are required to register as “full-time” for the Fall and Winter terms and “continuing” for the Summer term.

If a student withdraws or is withdrawn from the University during the eligibility period, the DFW may be revoked. Removal of the DFW will result in the student having to pay full international student fees for the term in question.


Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International License.
Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, McGill University.

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