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Are you considering a leave of absence (LOA)?

Are you unsure how an LOA will impact your status as an international student?

Here’s what you should know:

  1. All students considering a Leave of Absence (LOA) for an academic term must submit a formal request to McGill by the “Withdrawal with refund deadline” a – Requests received are assessed on a case-by-case basis and must be approved by the University. The reason for the request must fall under one of the reasons stipulated in the Undergraduate LOA policy or the Graduate LOA policy.
  2. As an international student on an institutionally approved LOA, you are authorized to remain in Canada with a valid study permit for 150 days from the start date of your leave – If your CAQ or study permit will expire during your LOA or if you are considering taking an LOA that is longer than 150 days, contact our office to discuss your options.
  3. International students are NOT authorized to work in Canada during their LOA – Working without authorization in Canada can have a serious impact on future immigration applications.
  4. If you remain in Canada during your LOA and are ready to return to school – You may resume your studies at McGill as long as your CAQ and study permit remain valid.
  5. If you leave Canada during your LOA and wish to return to resume your studies at McGill – You must have a valid CAQ, study permit and TRV or eTA depending on your country of citizenship. *We suggest you also travel with a Proof of Enrolment letter from MINERVA for the term you are resuming your studies and proof that your LOA was approved by McGill.
  6. When renewing your CAQ or applying for your post-graduation work permit (PGWP), you will need to provide an explanation regarding your leave of absence and provide supporting documents, if applicable – If you are considering an LOA, contact our office to learn more about the potential immigration impacts.

*** GOOD TO KNOW ***

  • International students on an approved LOA may need to request formal re-admittance or re-enrolment to McGill in order to register for courses following their leave. Please consult your Faculty directly for more details!
  • If you remain in Canada during your LOA, you must be covered by health insurance. You can opt-in to the International Health Insurance (IHI) plan while on an LOA. Contact [at] for more information.

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In addition to the information above, please also review ISS' FAQs page.

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