McGill Alert / Alerte de McGill

Updated: Fri, 07/12/2024 - 12:16

McGill Alert. The downtown campus will remain partially closed through the evening of Monday, July 15. See the Campus Safety site for details.

Alerte de McGill. Le campus du centre-ville restera partiellement fermé jusqu’au lundi 15 juillet, en soirée. Complément d’information : Direction de la protection et de la prévention

ISS is available virtually and in-person Mondays-Fridays during business hours.

Applying For Your Study Permit From Outside Canada

How to apply for your study permit from outside Canada

Read the Instruction Guide before you start the application process.

  • You can apply for your study permit online from outside of Canada.
  • Check the Visa Office Instructions Guide for your region to see if there are any required documents for you to submit that may not appear in your "Document Checklist". If additional documents are required that do not appear on your "Document Checklist", merge them into one file and upload under the Optional Documents - Client Details section of your online account. See Application to study in Canada – Study permits on the Immigration Canada website to find the Visa Office Instructions for your region.
  • Complete the IMM 1294 form for outside Canada applications (Application for Study permit Made Outside of Canada). Do not use the IMM 5709 form.
  • Undergraduate students will be required to provide a Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) when applying for a study permit outside of Canada. Your CAQ can serve as your PAL as long as your CAQ includes this remark: “This letter of attestation confirms that the applicant has a place in the Québec share of the distribution of study permit applications or that he or she has been exempted." If your CAQ does not include this remark, you need to request an updated CAQ attestation letter via the Immigration Quebec webform before applying for the study permit.
  • You may have to provide biometrics.
  • If your study permit expires while you are outside of Canada, you will only be authorized to resume your studies once your new study permit has been issued to you at a Port of Entry. There is no maintained status for outside Canada study permit applicants.

Overview of the outside Canada application process

Step 1: Decide whether you want to apply for your study permit online or by paper application at a Visa Application Centre (VAC). If you have not provided biometrics to Immigration Canada within the past 10 years and:

  • You apply online, you will have to go to a biometrics collection centre after you submit your application and receive a Biometrics Instruction Letter.
  • You apply by paper application at a VAC, you can submit your application and do your biometrics at the same time.

Step 2: If you apply online, complete the “Check your eligibility” questionnaire after signing into your IRCC account.

  • "How long are you planning to stay in Canada?” Select “Temporarily – more than 6 months” even if you have less than 6 months of studies remaining to complete your program.
  • "What is your current country/territory of residence?” Select the country outside Canada from which you will be submitting your application. *Do not answer “Canada”, as this will result in the wrong form being generated for you in your Document Checklist.
  • “Do you have a valid work permit or study permit, and need a visa to return to Canada?” If you want to obtain a new study permit, you must answer “No”. *If you only want to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV/Entry Visa), you must answer "Yes".
  • “Is work an essential component of your studies?”. If you are required to complete a mandatory work component as part of your program of study, select “Yes”. *Most students at McGill are not eligible for a Co-Op Work Permit and should answer “No” to this question.
  • "Have you had a medical exam performed by an IRCC authorized panel physician (doctor) within the last 12 months?" If you have had such an exam, answer “Yes”. Later, you will have to upload proof of the medical exam. *If you have lived in a designated country or territory for 6 consecutive months or more in the past year and/or you want to work in certain fields and/or your program includes a mandatory work component, you may require a medical exam. Not sure if you need to do a medical exam? For more information, see Immigration Canada’s webpage and the ISS webpage on the Medical Exam Requirement.
  • "In the past 10 years, have you given your fingerprints and photo (biometrics) to Immigration Canada?" If you have not provided biometrics in the past 10 years, you must answer “No”. Your Document Checklist will include a biometrics fee in addition to the study permit processing fee. After you submit your application, you should receive a Biometrics Instruction Letter with information on how to have your biometrics collected. *If you can’t remember whether or not your biometrics are still valid, use the “Find out if your biometrics are still valid” tool.

Step 3: Complete the “Application For Study permit Made Outside of Canada (IMM 1294)” form and validate the form (bar codes will appear once the form is properly validated). If you cannot view the form, download the form and open it with Adobe or follow other troubleshooting tips offered by Immigration Canada.

Step 4: Upload all of the required documents listed on your personalized Document Checklist, including:

  • A Proof of Enrolment letter confirming enrolment in a future term. Upload this in the “Letter of Acceptance” section. Since you are a returning student, do not upload your original Letter of Acceptance/Offer of Admission Letter to McGill. *If your study permit expires in the middle of a semester, you can include a Proof of Enrolment letter for your current semester.
  • CAQ.The document must be valid past the date your current study permit expires. You can use your “CAQ Approval Letter” if you have recently renewed your CAQ. Important: If your CAQ expires on the same date as your study permit and you do not yet have your new CAQ, contact ISS right away.
  • (Only if applicable) Co-Op Letter from your department or faculty confirming that you have a mandatory work component as part of your program. Upload the letter in the “Evidence of Work Requirement in Study” section.
  • (Only if applicable) Proof of upfront medical exam. This is required if you have lived or travelled in a designated country or territory for more than 6 consecutive months  in the past year or if you want to be able to work in occupations that require a medical exam (e.g. some Co-Op placements, work as a babysitter, etc.). 
  • (Only if applicable) An explanatory letter and other supporting documents. Upload this in the optional “Client Information” section. This is necessary if, for example:
    • You previously remained in Canada beyond your authorized stay; you previously studied and/or worked without authorization, etc.
    • You are applying for a study permit from a country where you are not a citizen or permanent resident. In this case, explain why you are currently in the country and include proof of your current activity and  valid immigration status in that country

Step 5: Take a screenshot of your Document Checklist, including the total fees. Keep this for your records.

Step 6: Pay the required fees and provide your electronic signature (by answering a security question). After you submit your payment, you will see a message confirming that your application has been successfully transmitted. Print a screenshot of this page as proof of having submitted your application. After you submit your application, you will receive a message in your online account confirming that your application was received.

Step 7: After your study permit application has been approved, you will receive a Port of Entry Letter of Introduction. You must present this letter to the border officer when you return to Canada.

Step 8: Obtain your actual study permit document at your Port of Entry (i.e., airport or land border) when you arrive in Canada. If you applied for a Co-Op Work Permit (CWP) within your study permit application, you should also receive the CWP at your Port of Entry.

Step 9: Submit a copy of your new study permit to McGill's Legal Documents.

How to fill out the IMM 1294 form

Read the Instruction Guide before you complete the IMM 1294 form.

Top section of IMM 1294 form/Personal Details Section

Question 1: Your UCI is the 8 to 10 digit “Unique Client Identifier” number located on your Study permit. It looks like this: 0000-0000 or 00-0000-0000.

Personal Details

Question Notes


Current country or territory or residence:

  • “Country or Territory” = country where you are currently residing
  • “Status” = your status in the country in which you are currently residing


Previous countries or territories of residence *Be sure to include your time in Canada as a student.


Country or territory where applying. If you are currently residing in a country where you are not a citizen and you would like your application to be processed at a Visa Office in your country of citizenship, you must do the following:

  • “Same as current country or territory of residence?” = “No”
  • “Country or Territory” = your country of citizenship
  • “Status” = citizen

National Identity Document

Question Notes


Answer “Yes” only if citizens in your country have a national identity document.

Details of Intended Studies in Canada

Question Notes


“Complete address of school” = 845 Rue Sherbrooke O, Montreal, QC, H3A 0G4.


“Designated Learning Institution #”

  • O19359011033


“Duration of expected study”

  • “From” = The date you are completing the form (i.e., today’s date) or a future date if you are applying for a Study permit for a new program of study.
  • “To” = Last day of your final term of studies *E.g. April 30 if the final term is Winter; August 31 if the final term is Summer; December 31 if the final term is Fall.


“The cost of my studies will be”:

  • “Tuition” = Total tuition and related fees for the next academic year (refer to Fee Calculator for undergraduate and graduate students)
  • “Room and Board” and “Other” = Indicate your estimated living expenses in the “Room and Board” section or the “Other” section. You can put amounts in both sections or leave one of the sections blank.


“Funds available for my stay (CAD)” = The amount of funds available to you as per your financial capacity documents. This amount should be equal or greater to the sum of your tuition and living expenses – i.e., equal or greater to the sum of “Tuition” and “Room and Board” / “Other” sections.


“My expenses in Canada will be paid by” = Indicate who will be paying for your studies in Canada. If you will be paying for your studies through loans, bursaries, scholarships, stipends, or other financings from McGill or any other institution, you should select “myself” in the drop-down menu.


Include your current and all previous employment in every country you have worked in for the past 10 years. 

Background Information

Read each of the questions in this section carefully and reply to all questions accurately. If you do not have enough space you can upload a letter of explanation in the “Client Information” section of your Document Checklist.

Question Notes


“Have you previously applied to enter or remain in Canada?” = Answer “Yes” and then provide details in section 2d – e.g. I previously obtained a study permit which expires on X DATE.

Review and Validate the IMM 1294 form

After you have completed and reviewed the IMM 1294 form, you must validate the form by clicking on the “Validate” button. This should generate a bar code. Save and then upload the file to your Document Checklist. You do not need to print and sign this form by hand. After you upload all of your documents and pay the processing fee, you will have to submit your electronic signature.

If you make any additional changes to your form after validating, you must click “Validate” and save again.


If you have never done biometrics:

  • All foreign nationals applying to extend their study permits from outside Canada must submit their biometrics unless you have previous provided biometrics (see section below). Only U.S. citizens are currently exempt from the biometrics requirement.
  • If you have not provided biometrics to Immigration Canada within the past 10 years, you should receive a Biometrics Instruction Letter BIL after you submit your study permit extension application. Immigration Canada must receive your biometrics in order to continue processing your application. You can give your biometrics inside Canada at a Visa Application Centre (VAC).
  • Biometrics are valid for 10 years. If you can’t remember whether or not your biometrics are still valid, use the “Find out if your biometrics are still valid” tool.
  • For more information, see Immigration Canada's "Facts about biometrics" webpage.

If you did biometrics previously but your biometrics will expire before the end of your program:

  • Before renewing your study permit, be sure to check the expiry date of your biometrics.
  • Your study permit may only be issued until the expiry date of your biometrics and not to the expected end date of your program or expiry date of your CAQ.
  • You must answer No to the question “In the past 10 years, have you given your fingerprints and photo (biometrics) for an application to come to Canada?” in your eligibility questionnaire for the study permit renewal – even if you have done your biometrics within the past 10 years. This will allow you to pay for new biometrics, receive a Biometric Instruction Letter (BIL) and give your fingerprints and photo at the closest VAC. Once you have provided updated biometrics, your study permit should be issued until the end of your program or the expiry date of your CAQ.
  • Include a cover letter in the “Client Information” section of your document checklist explaining why you answered No to the biometrics question in the eligibility questionnaire even though you provided biometrics to IRCC within the past 10 years and the reason you need to submit new biometrics with your study permit renewal application.

Processing Time

You can check the current estimated processing time for study permit applications made from outside Canada on Immigration Canada’s website.

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

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