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Certificate of Acceptance of Quebec (CAQ) Application Guide

Before reviewing the information below, please see ISS' COVID-19 FAQs and resources pages for up to date information on the impact of COVID-19 on immigration related matters.


The Certificat d'acceptation du Québec (CAQ) is a mandatory immigration document for all international students at McGill*.

You should apply for your CAQ as soon as you've been admitted to McGill.  Immigration Quebec tries to process applications within 20 business days, however, we advise you to start earlier in case there are processing delays.

*Please note that some foreign nationals are exempt from requiring a CAQ (for example - if you are coming are admitted into a program of study that is LESS than six months). See Immigration Quebec's website for more detailed information.

Applying for your CAQ for the FIRST time


Step 1: Complete the application online and pay the processing fee by credit card.

  • You will have to access your admission letter through either Minerva (undergraduate students) or UApply (graduate students). It is very important to note that the electronic version is the only version of the admission letter you will receive. You will not receive a paper version of the admission letter through the mail. Generally, the conditions listed on your letter of admission are related to your registration for classes. You do not have to wait to meet those listed conditions to apply for your immigration documents.
  • In the section Accompanying persons, immediate family members include: De facto (common law) spouse, child, spouse (married), mother and father who are temporary residents in Canada (visitors, students, workers), refugees, persons without status, foreign diplomats and consulars, permanent residents or Canadian citizens.  
  • For the start and end date of your program, indicate approximate dates for the duration of your entire degree or program of studies (example: Undergraduate, PhD degree: Maximum 4 years; Masters Degree: Maximum 2 years). For the start date, you can indicate the first day of courses. You can see Key Academic Dates for details.
  • For the annual tuition fees, refer to the McGill Fee Calculator for Undergraduate and Graduate studies.
  • Depending on your current country of residence*, you may be asked for proof of your financial capacity. If this is the case, you will be asked who will pay for your living expenses and tuition. If you are a graduate student receiving a stipend, award or grant, please select “Myself” as the person who will be responsible for your living expenses and tuition. *The current place of residence means the country or territory where you are now living, whether it is a permanent or temporary address.

Step 2: Obtain your personalized checklist

  • Once you complete your online application & pay the processing fee, you will obtain a personalized checklist of the supporting documents that you need to submit to Immigration Quebec.
  • You will have the option of submitting the supporting documents to Immigration Quebec either by mail to Immigration Quebec’s office (address provided on the checklist) or electronically as per the instructions in your checklist.
  • The checklist will provide instructions on how to submit your supporting documents to Immigration Quebec electronically using the Arrima online system.
  • If you will be submitting your supporting documents by mail, you should print your application & the personalized checklist.

Step 3: Gather all the supporting documents on your personalized checklist.

  • Along with your document checklist you will receive a Declaration and undertakings form that you must sign. It is very important that you carefully read the form as it describes your obligations that you must respect as a student in Quebec. If you will be submitting your supporting documents electronically, you will still need to print this Declaration, sign it, and then scan and save it as a pdf.
  • Scan and save a copy of your documents before sending them to Immigration Quebec. Keep these for your records. *You will also be uploading some of these documents directly to your study permit application.
  • Include original documents when indicated on the checklist. If you need to submit proof of financial capacity, you may submit originals or photocopies of these documents.
  • If your checklist includes a request for proof of financial capacity, you - or your financial guardians (parents, or whoever is supporting you) - should provide a confirmation that you/they can cover your tuition and fees and living expenses for your first year of studies. (If you are applying for U.S. government aid, please note that a copy of your application for aid will not be sufficient: the approval of aid awarded will be required.)
  • For living expenses, Immigration Quebec requires a minimum of $1,000 per month.
  • If you are a minor and under the age of 17, you will have to provide additional documents. If your custodian will be the Associate Dean of Students, please see the instructions on our website

Step 4: Submit supporting documents by mail or electronically to Immigration Quebec.

  • If you will be submitting your documents by mail, make sure to use a mail delivery service that provides you with a tracking number (to track the documents and have proof they've been received).

  • If you will be submitting your documents electronically, Immigration Quebec has created a tutorial video (available in French only) that explains how to do this. There is also a webform that students can use to ask technical questions.

  • Students who have already mailed their supporting documents to Immigration Quebec should not resubmit their supporting documents through the online system (Arrima).

Step 5: Once your CAQ application is approved, you will receive an electronic approval letter in your online CAQ portal that you can use to apply for your study permit.

  • Once your CAQ application is approved, you will receive an electronic approval letter (in pdf format) in your online CAQ portal. You can use this electronic letter to apply for your study permit. You do not have to wait to receive the original/hardcopy CAQ certificate in the mail in order to apply for your study permit. 

  • You will also receive two original CAQs by mail (to your mailing address as indicated on the application). One hard copy of the CAQ will be for Immigration Canada, which you can send with your study permit application instead of the electronic approval letter, if you chose. The other hard copy will be for your records

*IMPORTANT: If you receive an Intention of refusal letter (Intention de refus) from Immigration Quebec requesting that you provide them with additional documents, contact us right away if you would like guidance on how to proceed. 


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