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Update for students experiencing Study Permit delays

Published: 29 Jul 2013

Students experiencing study permit delays can start at McGill as late as September 17, 2013.

The labour dispute involving Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) Foreign Services officers, affecting the timeliness of Canadian study permit approvals, continues. You may be experiencing significant delays receiving notification of the approval of your study permit. If your study permit approval has been delayed, please read the rest of this message carefully as we are preparing alternatives for you.

Normally, new students are strongly encouraged to arrive at McGill for orientation in late August and to begin their classes in early September. However, we have made special provisions for students who are experiencing study permit approval delays.

Undergraduate students already registered in courses may arrive as late as September 17, 2013 to begin their studies at McGill. Residence rooms will be held until this date for those who have confirmed acceptance of their space.

Graduate students already registered in graduate programs are encouraged to arrive at McGill to begin their studies by September 17, 2013.


If you cannot meet the arrival date of September 17 because of delays experienced in obtaining your visa, please consider the following options:

Important note for US Citizens arriving from the USA:

  • U.S. citizens can apply for their Study Permits at the Port of Entry (border crossing / airport) - no advance application is required. (http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/applications/guides/5552ETOC.asp)
  • If you have submitted an on-line application and have not received the Study Permit approval letter by the time you enter Canada, you should inform the immigration agent and request to apply again in order to obtain the Study Permit right on the spot. Please bring copies of all the required documents necessary for the Study Permit approval.

Arrangements for all other Undergraduate (Bachelor's degree) students:

  • If you cannot arrive by September 17, 2013 because your study permit has been delayed, please contact us so we can arrange for you to begin your studies at McGill in January or in a later term. Send an email to deferral [at] mcgill [dot] ca using the subject line: Late study permit issues: [your name and McGill ID number].  Please do this by Friday, August 2.

Arrangements for all other Graduate (Masters & PhD) students:

  • Students experiencing study permit delays can start at McGill as late as September 17, 2013. If you cannot meet this date due to delays, we ask that you contact your graduate department by August 2, 2013 to inquire as to how a further delayed start date might be accommodated without jeopardizing the successful completion of your semester. Please call your department’s graduate program coordinator, administrator or director, or send an email using the subject line: Late study permit issues: [your name and McGill ID number].
  • Cases of students resuming their fall studies after September 17 due to this exceptional circumstance will be assessed on a case by case basis by both the academic program and by the Graduate Admissions Committee.
  • In certain cases it will be advised that students defer studies arrival to begin January, 2014 and your department can assist you with this deferral.

We look forward to welcoming you to McGill soon!