Fall Office Hours

Monday - Friday: 9am-5pm

Closed for Lunch: 12-1:30pm

NOTICE: We will be closed November 15th from 9AM to 1:30pm for a Student Services staff development event. 

Relevant current events

October 26, 2018

Update for Saudi Students

The Saudi Ministry of Education made the decision to allow Saudi scholarship students (including dependents), currently on authorized leave from their Canadian studies, to rejoin their academic programs, beginning either in the fall or winter term. The following students (who may be bringing dependents with them) are now eligible for, and will receive, new financial scholarships issued by the Saudi Arabia Cultural Bureau:

  • Medical trainees, which includes physicians, dentists and nurses
  • Graduate (master’s and Ph.D.) students in all academic disciplines
  • Undergraduate scholarship students in the final year of their bachelor programs

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will only consider financial sponsorship certificates from the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia Cultural Bureau as valid proof of funds for applications for study permits and study permit extensions from these students (listed in the bullets above) and their dependants.

Important: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will NOT cancel or revoke valid study or work permits. As per subsection R222(1), these permits remain valid until their date of expiry if students with to stay in, or re-enter Canada, even if their scholarship is taken away.

For the full text, please refer to the two links below:

Program delivery update: Study permits for Saudi Arabian nationals – new instructions

Study permit applications for Saudi Arabian nationals

October 16, 2018

VAC Service Changes as of Nov 2, 2018

Original article

IRCC has released new information about service changes in Asia, Asia Pacific and the Americas in November, 2018.

September 12, 2018

Closure of VACs in NY and LA as of November 1, 2018

Original article

IRCC has released more information about the closures of certain VACs, see their website for details.

UNE 12, 2018

IRCC improves the processing of student applications from China, India, Vietnam and the Philippines

Original article

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is making great strides in promoting Canada as a destination of choice for international students seeking a quality education by finding efficient ways to process applications.

To support the growth in study permit applications, IRCC today announces the Student Direct Stream (SDS), which is available to students applying for a study permit from China, India, Vietnam and the Philippines.  Students from those countries who demonstrate upfront that they have the financial resources and language skills to succeed academically in Canada will benefit from faster processing times.

IRCC is working on expanding SDS to Africa and are looking at options in Kenya and Senegal. Expansion to Senegal would be in line with the department’s focus to attract more French-speaking students to Canada.

To qualify for SDS, applicants need to meet additional requirements, in particular language levels that are stricter than regular study permit requirements. Students who do not have all of the additional information required for SDS can apply through the regular study permit application process, either online or at a Visa Application Centre.

The SDS complements the Express Entry system as these students will be well placed to continue on the path to permanent residence and Canadian citizenship after completing their studies in Canada, if they wish to.

IRCC is committed to finding ways to improve its International Student Program by making its services faster, easier and more accessible. The success of the SDS program will be evaluated with the intention to expand the program in 2019.

To learn more about SDS, visit the website.

May 22, 2018

Be aware of a scam targeting Chinese students

Original article

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police recently informed us of a scam currently targeting Chinese students in Canada. The Chinese community in Canada is being targeted with calls claiming to be the Beijing Police, Interpol, the Chinese Consulate or in some cases a delivery agency.

May 14, 2018

Biometrics Update:

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) plans to expand their biometric program. Biometrics is the collections of fingerprints and a photograph of the face. All foreign nationals applying for temporary and permanent residence will be required to provide biometrics.

There are exceptions to this requirement (not exhaustive):

  1. US citizens applying for temporary resident documents (e.g. study permit or work permit)
  2. TRV-exempt nationals coming to Canada as tourists and who have a valid eTA
  3. Children under the age of 14
  4. Diplomats and their dependents

For a full list of exceptions, please see IRCC’s website. The Biometrics will be valid for 10 years and must be valid for the total duration of your immigration documents. The processing fee for the biometrics is $85.

The new regulations will come into force in two phases:

  • starting July 31, 2018 applicants from Europe, Middle East, and Africa will be required to provide biometrics and
  • starting December 31, 2018 applicants from Asia, Asia Pacific and the Americas will be required to provide biometrics.

For the moment applicants applying for temporary residence (e.g. visitor records, study permits, work permit) and permanent residence from within Canada are exempt until proper facilities in Canada are established, which could be as soon as February 2019. Currently biometrics can only be done outside of Canada at a Visa Application Center (VAC) and at certain ports of entry (airport or land borders).

For more information, please consult IRCC’s website at: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/campaigns/biometrics.html

Want More Information? Biometrics Fact Sheet and Biometrics Video Guide.

April 26, 2018

Be aware of an ongoing scam targeting international students

Original Article: 

International students in Canadian cities including Ottawa and London have recently reported receiving phone calls from individuals claiming to be employees of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The caller tells the student that to avoid deportation, they must send prepaid credit and gift cards, money wires or e-transfers as payment to avoid arrest or deportation.

It appears that the calls are coming from local phone numbers, but it is believed that the calls are coming from outside Canada. IRCC wants international students to know that these phone calls are a scam. It is important not to respond to the caller or transfer any money to them.

In these calls, the caller identifies themselves as an IRCC officer and tells the student that they are subject to an immigration investigation, or that they have been charged with a crime in their home country. The student is told to provide personal/financial information or send payment, or face deportation if they do not.

While this scam has emerged most recently in Ottawa and London, international students across Canada should be aware of these types of phone calls.

The Government of Canada is committed to protecting immigrants and Canadians alike from this type of fraud. IRCC wants to remind everyone that if someone posing as an immigration official threatens to arrest or deport you, suspend your account if you don’t pay money or give your personal information, or tells you that your visa or immigration status is in jeopardy, it is a scam.

IRCC will never contact you in person, online, or by telephone to collect fees or fines and say it’s to avoid deportation or face other consequences.

For more information on how to protect yourself against immigration scams, visit the IRCC website. You can also find a number of helpful questions and answers on how to identify fraud, and how to report it, in our Help Centre.

March 26, 2018

Important Update on Off-campus Work: On March 12, 2018, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) published new guidelines concerning off-campus work.

Two important updates that we would like to highlight are the following:

1) The new guidelines confirm that students who have regularly scheduled breaks during the summer as per their program of study and who decide to study part-time or full-time during the summer are eligible to work off-campus on a full-time basis during the summer as long as they meet the eligibility criteria for off-campus work.

2) The new guidelines confirm that students who complete one program of studies and then commence a new program within 150 days from the completion of their program, are eligible to work off-campus full-time until the start of their program.

For full details on all the changes to the off-campus work program for students, please see IRCC's website.

JANUARY 3, 2018
As of December 1, 2017, citizens of Romania and Bulgaria no longer need a visa to travel to Canada for short stays (normally for up to six months) for visiting, business and tourism activities.

However, similar to other visa-exempt travellers, they will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly to or transit through a Canadian airport. See the IRCC website for further details.

DECEMBER 15, 2017

Be aware of an ongoing scam targeting international students

Original article

"Ottawa, December 15, 2017 — International students across Canada have recently reported receiving phone calls from individuals claiming to be employees of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The caller tells the student that to avoid arrest and deportation, they must obtain an immigration lawyer.

IRCC wants international students to know that these phone calls are a scam. It is important not to respond to the caller, or transfer any money to them.

In these calls, the caller identifies themselves as an IRCC officer and tells the student that there is an arrest warrant in their name. The student is advised to obtain an immigration lawyer and is told that they could face arrest or deportation if they do not.

In some cases, students have transferred thousands of dollars to these individuals under the false belief that they are obtaining an immigration lawyer.

The Government of Canada is committed to protecting immigrants and Canadians alike from this type of fraud. IRCC wants to remind everyone that if someone posing as an immigration official threatens to arrest or deport you, to suspend your account if you don’t pay money or give your personal information, or tells you that your visa or immigration status is in jeopardy, it is a scam.

IRCC will never contact you in person, online, or by telephone to collect fees or fines to avoid deportation or other consequences.

For more information on how to protect yourself against immigration scams, please visit our website. You can also find a number of helpful questions and answers on how to identify fraud and how to report it in our Help Centre."

DECEMBER 11, 2017

Change in opening times at 2 US border crossings

If you're headed to the US border for your study or work permit:

Beware that the hours when permits are issued to people already living in Canada changed effective December 11, 2017 for the St-Bernard-de-Lacolle and the St-Armand/Philipsburg crossings. Hours are now Mon-Thurs noon to 7pm, and Sat 9am to 5pm. Details here: PDF icon Border_hours