ISS is here for you.

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

COVID-19 Updates from International Student Services: August 2021: Easing of border measures coming into effect on August 9th, 2021 at 12:01am (ET). 
The latest updates can be found on the Entering Canada page.
            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). Before making travel plans, please refer to our Entering Canada page.
            2. Fully vaccinated travellers authorized to enter Canada by land or by air, are now exempt from the federal requirement to undergo a 14-day quarantine. The 14-day quarantine continues to be required for all other travellers who are not considered fully vaccinated.
           3. For more information, please refer to McGill's quarantine resources and IHI’s vaccination FAQs.

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

US Citizens and US Permanent Residents

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.

Important Notice: Flagpoling at Canada/US border
US Citizens and US Permanent Residents who are currently in Canada may apply for their study permit by travelling to a US/Canada land border (“flapoling”). Students who choose to flagpole must do so during the flagpoling hours. Students will also have to respect the current border measures (i.e. take a pre-arrival COVID test, submit their information via the ArriveCAN app, etc.) prior to travelling to the border in order to apply for their study permit. See our Entering Canada page, under the Tab: Travelling to Canada by land for full details. Unvaccinated travellers may be required to quarantine after flagpoling.

After you have received your new CAQ, you can apply for your study permit at a Port of Entry/POE (land border or airport) or online.

If you are inside of Canada and your study permit is about to expire, it is important that you do one of the following before your study permit expires:

  • Apply online to extend your stay in Canada as a student (i.e., apply for a Study Permit Extension); OR
  • Travel to a land border to apply for a new study permit. *You can only apply for your study permit at an airport if you are returning to Canada by airplane. If you are already in Canada, you cannot simply drive to the airport to request a new study permit.

If your Study Permit will expire while you are outside of Canada, we suggest you apply for your new study permit at your Port of Entry (either airport or land border) when you return to Canada.

As soon as you obtain your new study permit, you must provide a copy of it to McGill Legal Documents.

Applying Online

BIOMETRICS EXPANSION: Immigration Canada has expanded their biometrics program. U.S. Permanent Residents may be required to provide biometrics when applying for their temporary resident documents. U.S. citizens are currently exempt from the biometrics requirement. For more information, see Immigration Canada's website

If you want to renew your study permit from inside Canada, you can apply online for a Study Permit Extension. Once approved, your new study permit will be mailed to the Canadian address you indicated in your application. Read the Study Permit Renewal Guide before you start.

Applying at Port of Entry (Land Border or Airport)

BIOMETRICS EXPANSION: Immigration Canada has expanded their biometrics program. U.S. Permanent Residents may be required to provide biometrics when applying for their temporary resident documents. U.S. citizens are currently exempt from the biometrics requirement. For more information, see Immigration Canada's website.

If you decide to apply for your new study permit at your Port of Entry (e.g. land border or airport), you do not need to complete an application form.

You will need to bring with you:

  • Your valid passport
  • Your CAQ (certificate or approval letter)
  • A proof of enrolment letter from McGill (available on Minerva)
  • Recent proof of your financial capacity to pay for your tuition and fees and living expenses 
  • The processing fee of $150 CAD (CAD or U.S. cash, debit or credit card accepted)
  • Fees for biometrics (if applicable) *U.S. citizens are currently exempt from the biometrics requirement.

If you are a minor (under 17 years of age), you must have copies of your custodianship documents on hand. 

The border officer may ask you to demonstrate proof of financial capacity – i.e., proof that you have the funds to cover your tuition and fees and living expenses for one year of studies. If you will be completing your studies in less than one year, you must demonstrate that you have the funds to cover the remainder of your studies and stay in Canada.

Examples of proof of financial capacity include:

  • Your 4 most recent bank statements and/or a recent bank letter stating your current balance
  • The 4 most recent bank statements and/or recent bank letters stating the current balance of the bank account(s) belonging to the person(s) paying your tuition and living expenses. These should be accompanied by a letter from the person(s).
  • Proof of financial aid, scholarships, stipends, etc.
  • Proof of payment of tuition and related fees
  • Proof of payment of student residence fees

See Immigration Canada's website for more examples of how to prove your financial capacity.

Applying at an airport:

You can apply for a new Study Permit at an airport only upon your return to Canada by airplane (from a country outside Canada). In other words, if you are already inside Canada, you cannot simply drive to Montreal’s Pierre-Elliot Trudeau Airport to apply for a new Study Permit.

Applying at a land border:

If you are returning to Canada from a trip to the United States, you can apply for a new study permit at a land border during opening hours.

If you are in Canada when your study permit is about to expire, you can apply for a new study permit by “flagpoling” – i.e., exiting Canada and then immediately re-entering Canada at a US/Canada land border in order to request a new immigration document. The Lacolle-Champlain land border (St-Bernard-de-Lacolle) is the closest US-Canada land border to Montreal. If you are flagpoling at the Lacolle-Champlain border (Quebec/New York) or at the St. Armand-Philipsburg border (Quebec/Vermont), you must go during official flagpoling hours

There is a Greyhound bus service to the Lacolle-Champlain and St. Armand-Philipsburg land borders.

I have only 1 term left until I graduate. Do I really need to extend my documents?

If your CAQ and study permit are expiring and the total duration of your program is more than 6 months, you must extend both your CAQ and study permit even if you have only one semester left in order to graduate. For example, an undergraduate student pursuing a 120-credit degree does not benefit from the CAQ and study permit exemptions for short-term studies since the entire duration of the program is more than 6 months.

Back to top