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

 

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

COVID-19 Updates from International Student Services
International students with a valid study permit or study permit approval letter can now travel to Canada as long as they are registered at a designated learning institution (DLI) with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan. McGill is one of the institutions on the list of DLIs with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan. Students travelling to Canada will need to have a self-quarantine plan to ensure that they can self-isolate for 14 days after arrival.

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

Relevant current events

September 1, 2020

Your International Health Insurance has been Activated

The International Health Insurance (IHI) premium of $1,128 was billed to your student fee account along with your tuition. In order for the insurance provider (Medavie Blue Cross) to have your information on record and for you to be able to submit medical claims, we have now forwarded your information to the insurer, thus activating your single coverage until August 31, 2021. This will ensure that you have the security of an active IHI contract as soon as you arrive in Canada, namely upon landing or crossing a Canadian border.

Please note that while your IHI contract has been activated, you do not have coverage until you have entered Canada. Your coverage and benefits will only begin once you have arrived in Canada.

IHI ADJUSTMENT DUE TO COVID-19

If you have not yet arrived in Canada, exceptionally this year and as part of the COVID-19 adapted measures, international students may request an adjustment of the annual premium for the period they will not be in Canada. You may request this adjustment upon your arrival to Canada. Your annual premium will be then adjusted accordingly within 30 days of the request date, on a pro-rated monthly basis. You cannot request this adjustment if you have not arrived in Canada. Your adjustment will be processed for the months that precede the month of your date of arrival. Example: If you arrive in Canada on October 31st, you will get an adjustment for September only.

Simply complete this WEB FORM upon your arrival in Canada; either by landing or crossing a Canadian border.

If you do not enter Canada for the Fall 2020 term, you can fill out the form once you arrive in Canada for the Winter 2021 term. If travel restrictions are extended into the Winter 2021 term and students are unable to enter Canada, we will be in contact with our international students regarding how this will affect the International Health Insurance fee at that time.

INTEREST ON UNPAID IHI FEES

Exceptionally this year and as part of the COVID-19 adapted measures, interest on the unpaid default single coverage premium of the IHI fee ($1,128) will be automatically deferred until December 31st 2020. However, if you submit a request for an adjustment, the deferral will automatically end itself once the IHI premium is adjusted on your student fee account. You will be billed for the new adjusted amount for the IHI. From this point you will be responsible to pay for the new IHI fee by the due date indicated on the eBill or risk of incurring interest.

EXEMPTIONS

For students who are eligible for an exemption and have not yet sent their supporting documents, please note that exceptionally this year our office will be accepting exemption-supporting documents after the deadline since many students are experiencing delays.

Therefore, students who will obtain supporting documents for an exemption will have until December 31st 2020, to send us their exemption documents without incurring interest.

If you have already obtained your exemption-supporting documents, please send them to our office, along with your McGill ID number, immediately for review. You may send your documents directly to international.health [at] mcgill.ca.

PRINT AND SAVE YOUR IHI CARD

You can now view, save and print your IHI card on Minerva. In order to make a claim, please sign up to the Medavie Blue Cross App or member portal. Please note that claims can only be made if you have already entered Canada or that were incurred within Canada.

To sign up for Maple Virtual Care, that allows you to connect with Canadian doctors for online medical care from your phone, tablet or computer, please see the following instructions.

COVID-19 UPDATES

Please refer to our International Student Health Insurance Plan FAQs for more details or for further updates during the fall 2020 term.

For more essential information, please visit the official McGill University COVID-19 website.

IHI DISCLAIMERS

Finally, it is very important that you review the following IHI disclaimers:

End of Coverage as a result of a student's registration change:

In order to be eligible to use the International Health Insurance contract and make claims, you must be a student registered (an actively/currently enrolled student) at McGill University and you must pay* for the coverage.

* Exceptionally this year and as part of the COVID-19 adapted measures, interest on the unpaid portion of the IHI fee will be automatically deferred until December 31st 2020.

Any changes that effect your registration status at McGill University, such as Admission Deferral, University Withdrawal, Registration Gap or Leave of Absence in any given term or any other kind of absence of registration, may result in the automatic cancellation of your McGill’s International Health Insurance plan.

It is your responsibility to notify ISS immediately of any changes in your registration status, in order to comprehend the impact this change might have on your eligibility to use the McGill’s International Health Insurance contract. It is your responsibility to reimburse any claims to Medavie Blue Cross made after the change to your registration status.

Maternity benefits disclaimer:

Maternity benefits extend to you and your spouse if you re-register and were already covered under the Insurance Plan for McGill University International Students or if you or your spouse were previously insured by a benefit from a group insurance plan offered by a recognized Canadian education during the previous academic year.

If you or your spouse were not insured during the previous academic year, maternity benefits are insured if normal delivery takes place during the first 30 weeks following initial registration in the plan up to a maximum of $10,000. The 30-week limitation does not apply in case of a miscarriage or early delivery, as long as conception occurred during the first 6 weeks immediately prior or subsequent to registration.

Dependent disclaimer:

Please note that:

  • It is your responsibility to make necessary changes to your health coverage as dependents join you in Canada
  • You have 30 days from the date of birth of your child to change the coverage according to your new situation

These disclaimers are also available on the ISS website.

For any questions about the above disclaimers or if you need to make changes to your single IHI contract, please do not hesitate to contact us at international.health [at] mcgill.ca

July 14, 2020

Important News Release, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announces changes to facilitate online learning for international students

IRCC has announced additional measures to support international students beginning a new program online this fall with a Canadian learning institution. These new measures include the following:

  • providing priority study-permit processing for students who have submitted a complete application online, to ensure that permits are processed as quickly as possible
  • allowing students to count the time spent pursuing their studies online abroad toward their eligibility for a post-graduation work permit, if they have submitted a study permit application and if at least 50% of their program is completed in Canada
  • providing reassurances to international students who cannot submit all of the documentation needed to complete processing of their applications, and who choose to pursue programs through distance learning, by implementing a temporary 2-stage approval process

For full details, see IRCC’s news release.

August 28, 2020

Important Update: new measures on post-graduation work permit eligibility for students beginning programs online

IRCC has introduced new measures that facilitate students’ eligibility for the post-graduation work permit and who begin their programs online due to COVID-19.

These new measures include the following:

  • Students may now study online from abroad until April 30, 2021, with no time deducted from the length of a future post-graduation work permit, provided 50% of their program of study is eventually completed in Canada.
  • Students who have enrolled in a program that is between 8 and 12 months in length, with a start date from May to September 2020, will be able to complete their entire program online from abroad and still be eligible for a post-graduation work permit.
  • Students who have enrolled in a program with a start date from May to September 2020 and study online up to April 30, 2021, and who graduate from more than one eligible program of study, may be able to combine the length of their programs of study when they apply for a post-graduation work permit in the future, as long as 50% of their total studies are completed in Canada.

For full details, see IRCC’s news release.

July 14, 2020

Important News Release, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announces changes to facilitate online learning for international students

IRCC has announced additional measures to support international students beginning a new program online this fall with a Canadian learning institution. These new measures include the following:

  • providing priority study-permit processing for students who have submitted a complete application online, to ensure that permits are processed as quickly as possible
  • allowing students to count the time spent pursuing their studies online abroad toward their eligibility for a post-graduation work permit, if they have submitted a study permit application and if at least 50% of their program is completed in Canada
  • providing reassurances to international students who cannot submit all of the documentation needed to complete processing of their applications, and who choose to pursue programs through distance learning, by implementing a temporary 2-stage approval process

For full details, see IRCC’s news release.

July 14, 2020

Important Update: Biometrics exemption for temporary residence applicants in Canada

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced that temporary resident applicants applying from within Canada for their temporary immigration documents (e.g. study permit, work permit, visitor via/TRV) are temporarily exempt from providing their biometrics. For complete details, please see IRCC’s website.

This temporary measure does not apply to applicants applying from outside of Canada.

May 28, 2020

Important update: electronic submission of CAQ supporting documents.

As per the announcement made by the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI), students will now be able to submit their CAQ supporting documents electronically by using MIFI’s online system, Arrima.

All students must first complete an online CAQ application. After you submit the online application and pay the processing fee, you will receive a CAQ document checklist. The checklist will provide instructions on how to submit your supporting documents to MIFI electronically using the Arrima online system. You still have the option to submit your CAQ supporting documents to MIFI by mail if you prefer.

Only the following students should use the online system, Arrima, to submit their CAQ supporting documents:

  • Students who have not yet applied for their CAQ;
  • Students who have applied online for their CAQ, but who have not yet mailed their documents; OR
  • Students who have received a letter from MIFI requesting additional documents.

MIFI has created a 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.

*Note: Students who have already mailed their supporting documents to MIFI should NOT resubmit their supporting documents through the online system Arrima.

Finally, current McGill students who benefit from the automatic CAQ extension do not need to submit a CAQ application, for more information see our FAQs page under the Current Students FAQs tab.

April 30, 2020

Important update for students who will complete their program in the Summer 2020 or Fall 2020 term:

The Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) has made an important update that impacts students who hold a CAQ that expires on or after April 30th, 2020 and before December 31st, 2020. Students whose CAQs expire during this time period and who have not completed their program, will automatically be issued an extension of their CAQ until December 31st, 2020. This update only affects students who will complete their program in the Summer 2020 or Fall 2020 term (i.e. by December 31, 2020). We invite you to read the full details of this update directly on MIFI’s website.

Students affected by this update will still need to apply to extend their study permit online. When applying for their study permit, they should include a cover letter that makes reference to the MIFI update, a copy of MIFI’s website (print out or screenshot), and a copy of their current CAQ even if it is expired.

Finally, if you are completing your program in Fall 2020 and you would like to apply for your Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) and/or you would like to stay in Canada after December 31st, 2020, please refer to our Immigration Documents FAQs in the coming weeks for updates on what procedure to follow. We will be updating our website as new information becomes available. Please contact us directly in late summer/early fall if you have further questions.

March 18, 2020

Dear International Students,

We know that for many of you, McGill has become a second home, and that you’ve built incredible friendships and communities here. However, this is certainly a time to be in the place you feel best supported, and many of you may prefer to return home if you feel able to do so. It has been confirmed that students will not be required to be physically on campus for the rest of the Winter 2020 term; this means that there will be no in-person classes and no in-person sit-down examinations for this term. It has also been confirmed that the term will conclude on time as previously scheduled.

If you wish to leave Montreal or Canada to return home, you can do so without needing to return to campus later on in the term. It is, however, important to acknowledge that if you do return home, and home is outside Canada, it may be difficult to return to Canada for the time being, so please ensure that you are returning somewhere you feel safe and supported.

Your parents may also be very worried about your situation; we encourage you to share all communications that you receive from McGill with them. We will continue to share with you the most up-to-date information that we have to help you make decisions to ensure your safety and well-being.

  • International Student Services (ISS) will continue to provide information and advice on questions related to your immigration documents and status in Canada for the coming weeks: international.students [at] mcgill.ca.
  • ISS will answer questions related to your Blue Cross Health Insurance coverage as long as you stay in Canada. Testing and treatments for COVID-19 are fully covered. For more info, email international.health [at] mcgill.ca.
  • All questions related to your academics should be directed to your Faculty or Graduate Department.
  • McGill’s Scholarships and Student Aid office can offer some emergency financial aid for either travelling or living expenses. For more details, consult the SSAO website.
  • Bookmark and consult regularly both the ISS and McGill’s COVID-19 websites for the most up-to-date information for international students.
  • Many of McGill’s support services are moving online, meaning that you will still be able to access support from your home country.
  • Keep.meSAFE, a mental health counselling service offered to students in partnership with SSMU and PGSS, is available to all students, regardless of where you are in the world. This service provides 24/7 access to licensed counsellors through telephone and mobile chat in more than 60 languages. To access this service, download the MySSP app in the Apple App Store or Google Play. 

Stay safe!
The International Student Services Team

March 2, 2020

IRCC Expands Special Measures for Applicants in Iran and South Korea affected by the novel coronavirus.

December 3, 2019

Biometrics updates - Inside Canada applications

  • Effective as of December 3rd, 2019, foreign nationals applying for temporary resident documents from inside Canada must submit their biometrics. This includes study permit extensions, applications for post-graduation work permits and visitor extensions. For a full list of who needs to provide biometrics and for a list of exemptions, see IRCC’s website.
  • Once you receive a biometrics instruction letter, you must make an appointment to give your biometrics at a designated Service Canada office. Type “Quebec” in the box next to “Filter Items” for a full list of Service Canada offices in Quebec that collect biometrics. This list will also include ports of entry (POE), such as land borders and airports. If you have applied online for your temporary resident documents, you must provide biometrics at a designated Service Canada office and not at a POE.
  • If you are authorized to apply for a study permit or work permit at a port of entry, you will be able to apply for your temporary resident document and provide your biometrics at the port of entry.
  • Note: US citizens are exempt from the biometrics requirement.
  • For more information, please consult IRCC’s website.
November 12, 2019

PEQ Program updates

  • MIFI has temporarily suspended the changes to the PEQ.

  • Follow the MIFI website for most up to date news about the PEQ Program.

  • And for most recent news releases on PEQ, please visit the MIFI communications website.
November 1, 2019

PEQ Program Updates

On July 10, 2019 the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI), temporarily suspended the Programme de l’expérience québécoise (PEQ) for international students that have graduated from a Québec educational institution.

On October 30, 2019 MIFI announced that the PEQ program for Québec graduates will re-open on November 1, 2019. Effective as of November 1, 2019 the PEQ program eligibility requirements for Québec graduates has changed. These changes may effect your eligibility to the PEQ program for Québec graduates.

We invite you to consult MIFI’s website for full details on the changes to the PEQ program for Québec graduates.

We would also like to bring to your attention that there are other pathways to apply for permanent residence which you may be eligible for and that are offered by MIFI. For example the Regular Skilled Worker Program or the PEQ program for skilled temporary foreign workers.

 

Note: Our office still cannot provide individual advising on permanent residence. During the Fall 2019 term, two information sessions on applying for permanent residence in Quebec will be delivered by a representative of MIFI. These information sessions will be held on November 28, 2019 at our downtown campus and on December 4, 2019 at our Macdonald campus. Please visit our website to register for one of these sessions. We will be hosting additional sessions in the Winter 2020 term as well.

August 12, 2019

FREE French courses for immigrants living in Québec

French courses are now being offered free of charge by the Government of Québec.

Highlights

  • Immigrants taking a part-time French course are entitled to financial assistance of $15 per day of training.
  • Participants can also receive an allowance for child care, which has been increased from $7 to $9 per day of training, per child or dependent person.
  • Temporary workers, foreign students, as well as their spouse, are now eligible for part-time French courses as well as the accompanying financial assistance. Prior to this, individuals who were temporarily residing in Québec did not have access to in-class French courses offered by the Government of Québec. 

IMPORTANT notice for individuals temporarily residing in Québec.

"An immigrant holding a work or study permit must respect the conditions related to their status. If the registration for a full-time French course does not conform to these conditions, the immigrant could lose their temporary resident status. Failure to respect the conditions of their stay could also lead to a refusal of the next application to stay in Québec or elsewhere in Canada. It is the immigrant’s responsibility to know the conditions related to their status and respect them. For more information, contact Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada."

What does this mean?

Internationals students must respect the following conditions as CAQ and Study Permit holders:

  • Obligation to maintain a full-time status (12 credits or more for undergrads and non-thesis students) every academic term with the exception of the last term
  • Obligation to “actively pursue their studies” which means that students
    • Must be enrolled and
    • Must make reasonable progress towards the completion of program

*For example, if a student drops a course or withdraws from a course and this leads them to take less than 12 credits, then that academic term becomes a part-time term. Part-time terms, LOA and gaps in studies (i.e. not registered for academic terms) will affect a student’s ability to meet their CAQ and Study Permit obligations. As a result, students who do not meet those obligations would not be able to participate in these French courses.*

More Information from MIFI

July 30, 2019

Student Direct Steam Expanded to Pakistan

Highlights:

  • The Student Direct Steam (SDS) is now available to study permit applicants who are living in Pakistan.
  • SDS applications require prospective students to provide more up-front information to officers, including meeting language test requirements in English or French and providing additional information that shows their ability to finance their education.
  • The Student Direct Stream launched in 2018 as an option for study permit applicants in China, India, Philippines and Vietnam. Most SDS applications in those countries are being processed in under 3 weeks.

Official News Release from IRCC

April 17, 2019

New changes: Study Permit: Making an Application

  • IRCC now confirms that exchange students are eligible to work off-campus if they hold a study permit and meet the eligibility requirements to work off-campus.
  • Visitors that are authorized to apply for their study permit from within Canada are now authorized to start studying while waiting for their study permit application to be processed as long as they apply for their study permit before the expiry of the visitor status.
  • Students that hold a study permit used for secondary studies in Canada are no longer required to apply for a new study permit in order to begin their post-secondary studies. They may use the same study permit that they used for secondary studies to start their post-secondary studies, as long as the study permit is still valid.
  • IRCC has now clarified that it is the postmarked date (the date the application was received by the post office) that IRCC will consider as the effective date of the application for applications sent by mail.
April 9, 2019

Student Direct Stream Update (SDS)

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) had planned to expand Student Direct Stream (SDS) globally by April 2019, however, for the time being, there is a delay in the expansion of SDS into additional countries.

At this time, SDS will remain available to legal residents of India, China, Philippines and Vietnam who meet the current eligibility requirements. This includes the requirement for applicants to submit a GIC in the amount of $10,000 CAD and the requirement to provide proof of tuition payment for one year.

On May 1st 2019, IRCC will make available a list of banks who offers an SDS eligible GIC product on IRCC’s SDS webpage.

The full list of SDS requirements can be found on our website.

 

March 12, 2019

New Entry/Exit Program Instructions

IRCC has published a program delivery update on their New Entry/Exit Program instructions:

Highlights:

  • The regulations concerning the collection of entry and exit information on all travellers (including Canadian citizens) entering and exiting Canada will come into force on June 2019 for land borders and June 2020 for airports.
  • This data can be used by IRCC for many purposes, for example, to verify whether an international student has previously remained in Canada beyond their authorized stay.

 

(Updated) March 6, 2019

Important Information for Students with a Co-Op Work Permit

IRCC has informed us that there was an error on some students’ co-op work permits for their mandatory work components. On some work permits, there is a condition stating that the candidate is “not authorized to work for any employer other than stated” OR cannot work for an employer other than the educational institution. This condition is INCORRECT.

For more information from IRCC, please visit the Government of Canada website.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

                                            

For more information, please refer to our Co-op/Internship work and permits page.

Thank you very much for your cooperation,
International Student Services

(updated) February 21, 2019

Important Update on the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program

  • On February 14, 2019, IRCC made important changes to the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program
  • The new guidelines are effective as of February 14, 2019 and apply to applications received on or after this date
  • Students now have 180 days from completion of their studies to apply for their PGWP from within Canada or from outside of Canada.
    • Be careful: Your study permit becomes invalid 90 days after completion of studies or the day on which it expires, whichever comes first, as per section 222 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. If you don't apply for your PGWP before your study permit becomes invalid, you must either: apply to change your status to a visitor or leave Canada. See timeline below.
  • The new guidelines state that students who have changed their status to a visitor before their study permit expires, may subsequently apply for their PGWP from within Canada
    • Be careful: If you submit your PGWP application online from within Canada as a visitor, you will not have the authorization to work while you wait for your PGWP. Only PGWP applicants who had a valid study permit at the time they submitted their PGWP application can work full-time while waiting for a decision on their application as per section 186(w) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.
  • New guidelines now require applicants to include both their transcript and proof of completion of studies when applying for their PGWP.
  • Students that have taken a leave of absence, may still be eligible for the PGWP.
    • Be careful: The eligibility requirement for the PGWP is that you maintain a full-time student status in Canada throughout your studies. If you are concerned that you do not meet this eligibility requirement, please meet with an immigration advisor at ISS.
  • For the full text, please see IRCC’s website.

 

Timeline:

 

(Updated) March 6, 2019

Important Information for Students with a Co-Op Work Permit

IRCC has informed us that there was an error on some students’ co-op work permits for their mandatory work components. On some work permits, there is a condition stating that the candidate is “not authorized to work for any employer other than stated” OR cannot work for an employer other than the educational institution. This condition is INCORRECT.

For more information from IRCC, please visit the Government of Canada website.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

                                            

For more information, please refer to our Co-op/Internship work and permits page.

Thank you very much for your cooperation,
International Student Services

January 11, 2019

Important Immigration Update Concerning Your Study Permit

International students must meet the following study permit conditions:

  • Remain enrolled until they complete their studies and
  • Actively pursue their studies

The IRCC update now provides guidelines on how to determine whether or not an international student is compliant to their study permit conditions. These guidelines clarify the following (just highlights not full text):

  • International students in Quebec must be enrolled in full-time studies in order to be considered actively pursuing their studies.
  • International students are expected to make reasonable progress to complete their program.
  • International students who take an institutionally approved leave of no more than 150 days will be considered compliant and be considered to have actively pursued their studies.
  • If the leave is more than 150 days, then international students will need to change their status to a visitor or leave Canada prior to the end of the 150 day period.
  • International students in Canada with a valid study permit and who have deferred their admission can remain in Canada with their study permit up to 150 days, after which they must change their status to a visitor or leave Canada.

 

Please refer to IRCC’s website for the full details.

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