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All services continue to be offered remotely during regular business hours.

COVID-19 Updates from International Student Services: JULY 2021:
            1. International students with a valid study permit (or approval letter) can travel to Canada (McGill is on the list of DLIs with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan).
            2. The 14-day quarantine is still required from ALL travellers entering Canada (even if vaccinated). However, as of July 5th, 2021 at 12:01am ET, fully vaccinated* travellers authorized to enter Canada by land or by air, will be exempt from the federal requirement to undergo a 14-day quarantine. Please note, the 14-day quarantine will continue to be required for all other travellers who do not meet the requirements to be considered fully vaccinated. See our Entering Canada page on Quarantine exemption for fully vaccinated travellers for all of the important details.
           3. Before making travel plans, please refer to McGill's quarantine resources and to our vaccination FAQs.

Please visit our COVID-19 page for additional news, resources, and FAQs.  

FAQs for Winter 2021 graduates

Is Winter 2021 your last term?

If so, please refer to the sections on the left navigation bar for important FAQs about travelling, applying for your PGWP, and your IHI coverage.

Winter 2021 graduates outside of Canada wishing to return to Canada

1. I am currently outside of Canada. Winter 2021 is my last term and I have a study permit that is valid until August 31, 2021. Can I return to Canada in order to apply for my PGWP from inside of Canada or while my PGWP application made from outside of Canada is pending?

It depends.

In order to enter Canada as an international student under the current travel restrictions, you must:

  • Hold a valid study permit*;
  • Be attending an educational institution that is on the list of institutions with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan in place, which McGill is;
  • Not have any signs or symptoms of COVID-19; and
  • Have a plan to quarantine for 14 days.

*See our Entering Canada COVID-19 page for full details on the requirements to enter Canada and a list of documents you should bring when entering Canada.

Returning before program completion (i.e., prior to the end of the Winter 2021 term)
If you return before the end of the Winter 2021 term (i.e., April 30th, 2021), an officer may authorize your entry into Canada as a student because you would still be enrolled for the Winter 2021 term and therefore meet the requirement to be attending an educational institution that is on the list of institutions with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan in place. However, a border agent may still determine that your purpose for travelling to Canada is not essential and you may be denied entry to Canada even though your study permit remains valid. This may occur even if your primary residence is in Canada, even if the Winter 2021 term is not yet over and even if you have not yet received official notification of program completion. It will be at the discretion of the border agent to determine if you meet the requirements to enter Canada.

Returning after program completion (i.e., at any time after the end of the Winter 2021 term)
If you will be entering Canada after you have completed your final semester of studies and will therefore no longer be enrolled at McGill (i.e., you will no longer be an active student attending an educational institution that is on the list of institutions with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan in place), a border agent may determine that your purpose for travelling to Canada is not essential and you may be denied entry to Canada even though your study permit remains valid. This may occur even if your primary residence is in Canada, even if you have not yet received official notification of program completion (i.e., Senate has not yet met) and/or even if you have a valid job offer. It will be at the discretion of the border agent to determine if you meet the requirements to enter Canada.

NOTE: Your study permit will become invalid on either the day it expires or 90 days after receiving official notification of program completion from McGill (even if it has an expiry date of longer than 90 days after program completion). For Winter 2021 graduates, this means that regardless of the expiry date of your study permit, it will become invalid up to a maximum of 90 days from when the Senate meets on May 28th, 2021, or from the date you were issued a special letter of program completion from Service Point, if applicable.

To avoid the risk of being refused entry to Canada, we are currently recommending that Winter 2021 graduating students who are currently residing outside of Canada apply for their PGWP from outside of Canada and only make plans to return to Canada once their PGWP has been approved and they meet any additional requirements under the current travel restrictions for temporary foreign workers (see below).


Travel restrictions for foreign workers:

Under the current travel restrictions for temporary foreign workers, your travel is considered essential (non-discretionary) if you are in either of these situations:

  • You have a valid work permit and normally live in Canada.
    • This applies even if you’ve been laid off.
  • You’re a worker who meets all of the following:
    • has a letter of introduction* for a work permit (open or employer-specific) *work permit approval letter;
    • has a valid job offer; and
    • can work once you enter Canada and complete your 14-day quarantine (unless you’re exempt).

Therefore, even if your PGWP application made from outside Canada has been approved, in order for you to enter Canada under the current travel restrictions, you must have a valid job offer. If you attempt to travel to Canada without a valid job offer, you will not meet an exemption to the travel restrictions as a temporary foreign worker. As such, you may be denied authorization to board your plane by airline officials and/or be denied entry into Canada by a CBSA border agent.

NOTE: If you will be entering Canada from the United States, you may be able to apply for your PGWP upon entry to Canada if you are TRV-exempt.

2. Winter 2021 is my last term. Can I enter Canada after my study permit expires in order to apply for my PGWP from inside of Canada, or to wait in Canada while my PGWP application made from inside of Canada is processing (if I apply for your PGWP before leaving Canada?

NO. As you would not meet an exemption to the travel restrictions as an international student nor as a temporary foreign worker, you would not be authorized to enter Canada at this time.

***For more information, please review the above FAQ for Winter 2021 graduates outside of Canada wishing to return and Winter 2021 graduates inside of Canada wishing to leave Canada. ***

Winter 2021 graduates inside of Canada wishing to leave Canada:

Winter 2021 is my last term and my study permit expires on or after August 31, 2021. If I leave Canada before or after graduating (after receiving proof of program completion), can I return before my study permit expires in order to apply for my PGWP from inside of Canada, or while my PGWP application made from inside of Canada is still processing (e.g., if I apply for my PGWP before leaving )?

***Please review the above FAQ for Winter 2021 graduates outside of Canada wishing to return before reading the below. ***

To avoid the risk of being refused re-entry to Canada, we are currently recommending that Winter 2021 graduating students who are currently inside Canada not make plans to travel outside of Canada until they have obtained their PGWP from within Canada. In addition to a valid PGWP, you will also need either a valid eTA or valid TRV in order to return to Canada (unless you are a U.S. citizen, in which case you do not need an eTA or TRV). If you need a TRV, you will need to apply for one separately after you receive your PGWP.

If you choose to travel outside Canada after graduating, we recommend that you apply for your PGWP from outside of Canada and return to Canada only once your PGWP has been approved and you meet any additional requirements under the current travel restrictions for temporary foreign workers (see below). *NOTE: If you are entering Canada from the United States, you may be able to apply for your PGWP upon entry to Canada if you are TRV-exempt.

If you apply for your PGWP from within Canada and then choose to travel outside Canada while your PGWP application made from within Canada remains pending, we recommend that you only make plans to return to Canada once your PGWP has been approved. Since the application was made from within Canada, Immigration Canada will mail your PGWP to your home address in Canada. You may wish to ask a friend to check your mail and send you the original PGWP (via a trackable courier service) or a scanned copy of your PGWP (via email).

IMPORTANT: If you require a temporary resident visa (TRV) to return to Canada, you will need to apply for your TRV separately, from outside of Canada, once your PGWP has been approved.

Under the current travel restrictions for temporary foreign workers, your travel is considered essential (non-discretionary) if you’re in either of these situations:

  • You have a valid work permit and normally live in Canada.
    • This applies even if you’ve been laid off.
  • You’re a worker who meets all of the following:
    • has a letter of introduction* for a work permit (open or employer-specific) *work permit approval letter
    • has a valid job offer
    • can work once you enter Canada and complete your 14-day quarantine (unless you’re exempt)

See the FAQ about “flag-poling” under 'Applying for your PGWP on the left navigation bar'.

Applying for your PGWP

You can apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) as soon as you have official written confirmation from McGill that you have completed your studies. Proof of completion of studies for the purposes of applying for the PGWP can be in one of the following forms:

  1. A Proof of Graduation Letter that you can generate yourself on Minerva after the Senate has met to officially approve degrees. If Fall 2020 is your final term of studies, your degree should be granted in February 2021 (when Senate meets to approve degrees).
  2. A Proof of Completion of Studies Letter* issued by Service Point (Enrolment Services) confirming that you have completed your program requirements. You can request this letter if you have extenuating circumstances that require you to apply for your PGWP before Senate has met – e.g. study permit expiring or job offer to start before Senate meets. Service Point can only issue this letter once your faculty has approved you for graduation.

1. I am currently in Canada, Winter 2021 is my last term, and I want to apply for my PGWP from inside Canada but am worried I may not get proof of completion of my studies before my study permit expires. What should I do?

If you are concerned that you may not obtain proof of completion of your studies before your study permit expires, we recommend that in order to maintain a valid immigration status in Canada you either:

  1. Apply to extend your CAQ for an extra 90 days past your last registered term and apply to extend your study permit before it expires (see instructions below).
    NOTE: You must have a valid CAQ and valid study permit that covers the entire period of your studies (i.e., up until you complete your final course project or assignment and complete all your final exams);

    OR
  2. Apply to extend your stay as a visitor before your study permit expires.
    NOTE: You may apply for your PGWP as a visitor from inside Canada but you will not be authorized to work while you PGWP application is processing.
     

Instructions for option 1:
Apply to extend your CAQ for an extra 90 days past your last registered term and apply to extend your study permit before it expires.

In your CAQ application, you should include a cover letter where you explicitly state that you would like to obtain a CAQ valid until August 31, 2021. You should mention the purpose of your request – e.g., that you wish to maintain your student status in Canada while you wait to obtain proof of program completion and then apply for your PGWP.

You must then apply to extend your study permit before your current study permit expires. In your study permit extension application, you should include a cover letter where you explicitly state that you would like to obtain a study permit valid until August 31, 2021, and that you have obtained (or applied for) a CAQ extension until August 31, 2021. You should mention the purpose of your request – e.g., that wish to maintain your student status in Canada while you wait to obtain proof of program completion and then apply for your PGWP. If you do not receive your CAQ before your study permit expires, you will have to apply to extend your study permit with proof that you have applied for your CAQ (e.g. screenshot of your CAQ application timeline and a copy of your online CAQ application form). See our study permit renewal guide for more information.

*Other important points to take into consideration if your Study Permit is expiring before the end of the Winter 2021 term and your goal is to apply for your PGWP with the proof of completion of studies letter issued by Service Point:

  1. If you are a graduate thesis student and you will submit your final thesis before April 15, 2021, you may be able to obtain a proof of completion of studies letter from Service Point before the end of the Winter 2021 term. We recommend that you speak to your department to make sure it is possible for your final thesis to be approved in time for you to obtain a proof of completion of studies letter from Service Point and submit your PGWP application before your study permit expires.

 

  1. If you are an undergraduate student or graduate non-thesis student, in order to obtain proof of completion of studies all of your final grades must be uploaded on Minerva and your Faculty must have approved your graduation. It is unlikely that you will be able to obtain a proof of completion of studies letter from Service Point before the end of the Winter 2021 term.

 

  1. Students should expect a turnaround of 5-to-7 business days for the issuance of their proof of completion of studies letter.

Service Point may not be able to expedite the issuance of this letter even if your study permit is expiring.
 

2. Winter 2021 is my last term. Can I apply for my PGWP by “flagpoling” at a US/Canada land border?

Under the current travel restrictions, flagpoling, in order to apply for immigration documents, is not considered an essential reason to travel to Canada and is highly discouraged. Students should not travel to the US/Canada land border to apply for their PGWP. Instead, students should apply online for their PGWP. For more information, please see CBSA’s website.

If you choose to try to flagpole, an agent may refuse to process your application and you may be subject to the 14-day quarantine requirement upon your re-entry to Canada.

McGill’s International Student Health Insurance (IHI)

1. Winter 2021 is my last registered term. Am I eligible to keep my IHI coverage beyond April 30, 2021?

Yes. Graduating students who are registered for at least one term within the current academic year, are eligible to keep their IHI contract until the end of the academic year – i.e., until August 31st. For example: If a student’s last registered term is Winter 2021, the student is eligible to keep their IHI contract that they had during Fall 2020& Winter 2021 until the end of the 2020-2021 academic year (i.e., until August 31, 2021). *Students pay IHI fees for the entire 2020-2021 academic year with their Fall 2020 tuition payment, and can therefore benefit from coverage through to August 31 of the academic year.

2. Am I eligible for healthcare in Quebec when I graduate from McGill University?

Yes. Students who have graduated from McGill and who have obtained a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) are eligible for Quebec’s provincial healthcare coverage (i.e., coverage under the Régie de l'assurance-maladie du Québec (RAMQ)). For registration information, please contact the Quebec Medicare office by calling their office. We recommend that you apply for RAMQ coverage as soon as you obtain your PGWP since there is a three-month waiting period following your registration with the RAMQ. Once RAMQ coverage has been obtained, you may need to purchase supplemental health insurance. RAMQ provides only basic benefits. For more information on what services are covered, please visit the RAMQ website.

3. I am in Canada and I am graduating in the Winter 2021 term, can I cancel my IHI coverage for Summer 2021?

Yes. You can get a partial adjustment of your IHI contract if you wish. To do so you will need to have an “expected graduation” flag indicated on your unofficial transcripts on Minerva. Once your unofficial transcript has been updated on Minerva, please email international.health [at] mcgill.ca your request. Please indicate Graduating Winter 2021 term in the subject line along with your McGill ID number.

It is important to note that upon this adjustment, your IHI contract will end on April 30th, 2021. If you will be remaining in Canada after April 30, 2021, we strongly recommend that you maintain healthcare coverage for the duration of your stay in Canada – e.g., either by keeping your IHI coverage until August 31, 2021, or obtaining alternative health insurance coverage for yourself and your dependents (if applicable).

4. I have been attending classes remotely from outside of Canada and I am graduating in Winter 2021. Can I cancel my IHI coverage?

Yes. You will need to have the “expected graduation” flag indicated on your unofficial transcripts on Minerva. Once your unofficial transcript has been updated on Minerva, please email international.health [at] mcgill.ca your request. Please indicate Graduating Winter 2021 term in the subject line along with your McGill ID number. It is important to note that upon this adjustment, your IHI contract will end on April 30th, 2021.

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