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pre-departure

Pre-departure: applying for your immigration documents

Now that you’ve been admitted, you will need to apply for your immigration documents. We recommend that you start this process as soon as you received your PDF offer of admission from Concordia University (even if you receive a conditional offer of admission) as it may take 2 to 4 months to complete this process.

On this subject, you are strongly encouraged to read your offer of admission in its entirety, as it contains important information about:

  • the deadline to confirm your admission
  • the conditions on your offer of admission (if applicable)
  • the deadline by which you must meet the conditions of your offer of admission (if applicable)
  • course registration information
  • contact details for your program advisor or director
  • useful links for newly admitted students
  • and much more!

Most students will need to apply for a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ), a study permit and either a temporary resident visa (TRV) or electronic travel authorization (eTA). Find out which documents you will need to apply for.


What type of student will you be?


Now that you know which documents you will need to apply for, find out how to apply for them!



Step 1: Apply for your CAQ

Anyone undertaking a course or program of study of more than six months in the province of Quebec MUST be authorized to do so by Immigration Quebec. This authorization is given in the form of a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) which is issued for the level of study and duration of the length of your program, e.g.  generally three or four years for a Bachelor or Ph.D. program, two years for a Master’s program. You will need a CAQ unless you fall under one of the exemption categories. 

You must have an official Offer of Admission from Concordia University before applying for immigration documents. The Offer of Admission is sent by email in PDF format. Once you receive the PDF format of your Offer of Admission (even if it is a Conditional Offer), apply for your CAQ. 


Generally speaking, it takes 20 to 30 business days for a complete CAQ application to be processed.

IMPORTANT: Do not wait for the CAQ certificate to be sent to you, use the CAQ Approval Letter from your Immigration Quebec portal page to start applying for your Study permit.

Below are samples of a CAQ approval letter and a CAQ certificate.


Please remember to upload your CAQ (letter or certificate) to your student service centre once you receive it.


Step 2: Apply for your study permit

To study in Canada, you need to apply for a Study Permit. When your study permit is approved, you will receive a Letter of Introduction from IRCC (Immigration Refugee Citizenship Canada) and your study permit will be issued to you upon entry to Canada.  You will need to show this letter to officials at the port of entry when you arrive in Canada and then a Study Permit will be issued.

There are 2 ways to apply for a study permit:

  • Regular stream
  • Study Direct Stream (commonly called SDS)

The Regular stream applies to students from every country, whereas the SDS only applies to legal residents living in one of the following countries: 

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • People's Republic of China
  • Peru
  • India
  • Morocco
  • Pakistan
  • the Philippines
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Senegal
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Vietnam

If you are from one of the above-mentioned countries, you can apply either via the Regular stream or the SDS.



Regular Stream

You will need the following document:


Once you have gathered all your documents, go to https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/study-canada/study-permit/apply.html and apply online.

Remember, you will also need to pay the $150.00 Canadian dollars processing fees online, so have a credit card at hand.

Some students applying for their initial study permit via the Regular Stream will also need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV). Your initial TRV will be issued once you study permit is approved. You will need to send your passport to have your visa issued.

If you do not need a TRV to travel to Canada, you will likely need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). Your initial eTA will be issued once your study permit is approved.

Once your study permit is approved, you will receive a Letter of Introduction so that your study permit is issued at the point of entry. Please do not leave for Canada without this letter! Your actual study permit will be issued once you land in Canada. Please make sure to upload it to your student service centre as soon as it is issued.

 

Below is a sample of what a Letter of Introduction looks like. Please remember: an introduction letter is not a study permit. 

 

Your study permit will be issued once you land in Canada. Please make sure to upload it to your student service centre as soon as it is issued.

Below is a sample of what a study permit looks like.


Study Direct Stream (SDS)

Remember, the SDS only applies to legal residents living in one of the following countries: 

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Brazil
  • People's Republic of China
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • India
  • Morocco
  •  Pakistan
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Senegal
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Vietnam

You will need the documents listed in the Regular Stream above, to be living outside Canada, as well as the following documents:


Once you have gathered all your documents, go to https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/study-canada/study-permit/student-direct-stream/apply.html and start the application process.

Remember, you will also need to pay the $150.00 Canadian dollars processing fees online, so have a credit card at hand.

Depending on where you’re applying from, you may also need to provide other documents. Make sure you include all the documents required by the visa office that processes your application.

IRCC may ask you to provide additional documents to support your application. In this situation, your application will take longer to process.

It is also recommended that students include a Study Plan with their application.  A study plan is a letter that explains why you wish to study at Concordia University and the rational for your program of choice. Please read our Study Plan Info sheet for information on how to write a study plan.

Students applying via the SDS program will also need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV). Your initial TRV will be issued once you study permit is approved. You will need to send your passport to have your visa issued.

Once your study permit is approved, you will receive a Letter of Introduction so that your study permit is issued at the point of entry. Please do not leave for Canada without this letter! Your actual study permit will be issued once you land in Canada. Please make sure to upload it to your student service centre as soon as it is issued.

You may need another visa if you will transit through another country (for example if you flying from China, to the US and then Canada, you would need a visa to transit through the US). Please check with the proper authorities for the country in question.

 

Below is a sample of what a Letter of Introduction looks like. Please remember: an introduction letter is not a study permit. 

 

Your study permit will be issued once you land in Canada. Please make sure to upload it to your student service centre as soon as it is issued.

Below is a sample of what a study permit looks like.


Apply at the port of entry

Only certain people can apply at the port of entry at this time. You may be able to apply at the port of entry if you’re a

  • U.S. citizen
  • lawful permanent resident of the U.S.
  • resident of Greenland
  • resident of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon

You can apply for your Study Permit at a Canadian Port of Entry (Canadina airport or land border-crossing), consequently, a Letter of Introduction is not required. Since you are applying for a Study Permit upon entry, bring all supporting documents with you and be prepared to pay the processing fee.

Here are the documents you will need in order to apply at a Canadian port of entry.

 


Your study permit will be issued once you land in or drive into Canada. Please make sure to upload it to your student service centre as soon as it is issued.

Below is a sample of what a study permit looks like.


TRV or eTA

Your initial Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) will be issued once you study permit is approved. You will need to send your passport to have your TRV issued.

If you do not need a TRV to travel to Canada, you will likely need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). Your initial eTA will be issued once your study permit is approved.


Prepare to travel!

Now that you've applied for your immigration documents, you can start planning your journey to Montreal.

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