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CAQ Renewal Guide

Students whose program length is more than 6 months in total are required to have a valid CAQ for the entire duration of their studies. If your CAQ expires at any point during your program, you must renew it – even if it expires in your final semester of studies.

IMPORTANT: Applying for your CAQ before your current CAQ expires does not give you maintained status in Canada. In order to have valid immigration status as a student in Canada, you must have a valid study permit or maintained status (i.e., you applied to extend your study permit from inside Canada before it expired and you have remained in Canada since the expiration of your study permit).

Do you need help renewing your CAQ?

  • View our short IG videos before getting started (below)
  • View Immigration Quebec’s tutorial video (available in French only) that explains how to submit CAQ supporting documents electronically. There is also a webform that students can use to ask technical questions.​​
  • Follow the CAQ application steps on our PDF tutorial 
  • Read our Step-by-Step Guide (below)

Step 1: Complete the online application and pay the fee

  • Complete the online application for a CAQ for studies on the  Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) website.
  • In the Accompanying persons section, immediate family members include: spouse (married), de facto (common law) spouse, or child. If you are a student under 18 years old, an immediate family member may be your mother, father, or your legal guardian who are temporary or permanent residents in Canada or who are Canadian citizens.
  • For the start and end date of your program, indicate approximate dates. For the start date, indicate the first day of classes for the term you began your program. For the end date, indicate the last day of the last semester of your program.
    Three things I wish I knew about CAQ applications
    Three things I wish I knew about CAQ applications
  • For the annual tuition fees, refer to the McGill Fee Calculator for Undergraduate and Graduate studies.
  • Indicate who will pay for your living expenses and tuition. If you are a graduate student receiving a stipend, award or grant, select “Myself”.
  • Once you complete your online application and pay the processing fee, you will obtain a personalized checklist of documents that you must submit to Immigration Quebec.

Step 2: Gather your supporting documents 

  • Once you complete your online application on the MIFI website, you will be prompted to submit the payment for the processing fee on the Arrima online system.
  • Once you pay the processing fee on Arrima, you will obtain a personalized checklist of the supporting documents, on your MIFI portal, that you need to submit to Immigration Quebec.
  • Along with your document checklist, you will receive a Declaration, commitments and authorizations form that describes the obligations you must respect as a student in Quebec. This form must be signed by hand. Your name and signature must match the name and signature in your passport. Electronic signatures will not be accepted.
  • Follow these steps to apply for your CAQ
    Follow these steps to apply for your CAQ
    Scan and save a copy of your documents for your records before submitting them to Immigration Quebec. 
  • For proof of financial capacity, you and/or the person(s) supporting you must demonstrate that you/they have the funds to pay for one year of tuition and fees plus one year of living expenses. You can include a recent bank letter indicating the current balance in the account(s) of the person paying for your studies and/or bank statements for the last 3 months. If you are unable to demonstrate sufficient funds with either of these documents, see Immigration Quebec's Your proof of financial capacity webpage for examples of other documents to include.
  • To calculate living expenses, see Immigration Quebec's Costs of studies and living webpage. The amount of living expenses expected by Immigration Quebec varies depending on the age and number of people included in your application (e.g. spouse and/or children).
  • If someone other than yourself will be paying for your tuition and fees and/or living expenses (e.g. parents, legal guardian, other family member, etc.), they must sign and date, by hand, the Declaration of financial support letter. Electronic signatures will not be accepted.
  • If you plan to pay for your studies with a scholarship, loan, or other financial aid (e.g. U.S. government aid), a copy of your application for aid will not be sufficient to demonstrate your financial capacity. You must include proof that the scholarship, loan, or other financial aid has been awarded.
  • 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.
  • Include your official electronic transcript (eTranscript) with your application. It is possible that the "COPY" watermark will appear on the eTranscript when the immigration agent opens the file. You should mention this possibility in a cover letter and also ensure that you view/save your eTranscript according to the instructions provided by MyCreds when you order your eTranscript.
  • If you are an undergraduate student, include a Proof of Credits Completed To-Date letter that you can print from Minerva. If this letter does not accurately reflect the number of credits you have completed, or if you have already completed 120 or more credits, include a letter from your Academic Advisor explaining your situation (including your expected graduation date) and a Proof of Enrolment letter that you can print from Minerva. Your Proof of Enrolment letter should be for your most recent academic term and, if available, any upcoming term(s) for which you are already registered.
  • If you are a graduate student, include a letter from your department stating your expected graduation date and any other relevant information (e.g. funding, expected dates for initial and final thesis submission, etc.) and a Proof of Enrolment letter that you can print from Minerva.
  • Include scanned copies of original documents for all items listed on your personalized checklist. Any document not in English or French must be accompanied by a certified translation.

Step 3: Include a Letter of Explanation (Cover Letter)

  • Include a letter of explanation with your application. Your cover letter should indicate: (1) Your program name, (2) Your expected date of graduation – i.e., indicate your expected final semester of studies (Fall/Winter/Summer and Year) and the month/year your degree will be granted, (3) The amount of tuition and fees for your next year of studies, and (4) How you will be paying for your tuition and fees and living expenses for your next year of studies.
  • If you were not a full-time student in every academic semester (not including regularly scheduled breaks and your final semester of studies) explain your reason(s) for this in your letter of explanation. Where applicable, include supporting documents that help to confirm the explanations you have provided. Contact ISS if you have any questions about what documents to include. Examples of not maintaining a full-time student status include: taking less than 12 credits in a semester; starting off full-time but then withdrawing from a course (or courses) and attempting less than 12 credits; withdrawing from the university; being on a leave of absence (LOA); not being registered for a semester and then being re-admitted.
  • If your transcript includes semesters where you earned less than 12 credits due to failed or abandoned courses (e.g. Fs, Ws, Js, Us, Ks, etc.), explain your reason(s) for this in your letter of explanation. Where applicable, include supporting documents that help to confirm the explanations you have provided.

Step 4: Submit your supporting documents via Arrima 

  • Log back into your Arrima account in order to upload your supporting documents. 
  • Immigration Quebec has created a webform that students can use to ask technical questions about Arrima, as well as a video tutorial (in French only).
  • You can begin to upload the documents on your checklist by clicking “Joindre des documents”; a drop-down menu indicating the type of document you are uploading will appear. You will receive a confirmation pop-up message once all your required documents have been uploaded. 
  • Any additional document that is not included on your checklist, such as a letter of explanation, can be combined into one pdf and uploaded in the “Autres types de documents” (other types of documents) section of your Arrima account.
    Uploading CAQ documents on the Arrima portal
    Uploading CAQ documents on the Arrima portal
  • After uploading all your required documents, click “Déposer” (Deposit) to submit them to Immigration Quebec and complete the application process. If you do not click “Déposer”, your documents will not be submitted and your application will remain pending.
  • If, after submitting your documents, you receive an Intention of refusal letter (Intention de refus) from Immigration Quebec, contact ISS for assistance. For a tutorial on how to submit your additional document(s), please refer to our CAQ: Intention of Refusal Tutorial.

 

Step 5: Obtain your Letter of attestation of issuance of your CAQ for studies from Immigration Quebec

  • Uploading Additional Documents to the Arrima Portal
    Uploading Additional Documents to the Arrima Portal
    Once your CAQ application is approved, Immigration Quebec will send you a Letter of attestation of issuance of your CAQ for studies directly in your online MIFI portal. This is your official document confirming that you have been issued your CAQ for studies. You will not receive a hard copy of your CAQ Certificate in the mail.
  • You must submit this Letter of attestation of issuance of your CAQ for studies when applying to renew your study permit.
  • If you are a US citizen or permanent resident and will be applying for your study permit at the Port of Entry (POE), print out your Letter of attestation of issuance of your CAQ for studies and bring it with you when travelling to Canada.
  • NOTE: You should always travel with a printed copy your Letter of attestation of issuance of your CAQ for studies, in addition to your valid study permit, passport, and, if required, your TRV or eTA.

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

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