Immigration Frequently Asked Questions
As per IRCC rules, students can work full-time during a scheduled break between academic sessions. At Concordia University, the last date of the Fall 2021 term is December 22 and thereby students can work full-time from December 23, 2021 to January 5, 2022. Even if you have completed your exams before the last date of the term, you must follow the dates specified above.
We have a handout titled “How many hours can I Work” that can be used to determine your eligibility to work full-time or part-time. It is also important to note that the total full-time work in a calendar year should not exceed 180 days (see details here)
The regulations relating to Off-Campus work can be verified from the IRCC website https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/publications-manuals/operational-bulletins-manuals/temporary-residents/study-permits/campus-work.html
Call early in the morning (before 9am) and be prepared to wait some time. It is important to take note of the time, date and name of agent you speak to.
Use the web from ONLY if your application has exceeded normal processing times: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/times/
During the current COVID-19 pandemic, there are strict travels restrictions in place and we do not advise inviting a family member to Canada. More information about the current travel restrictions are available here.
If the family member requires a TRV, you can assist them with their TRV application by providing them with the following documents. They can then upload the documents to their application:
- Your letter of invitation: see https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada/letter-invitation.html
- Copy of your study permit
- Copy of your passport
- Full-Time Attestation letter
- A letter of invitation issued by Concordia University available at LB-185
Although an immigration specialist (lawyer, consultant) can advise, represent and act on your behalf if you authorize them to, you are under no obligation to do so in order to submit a temporary or permanent residency application. It really is a personal choice. Should you decide to be represented, note that not all representatives are knowledgeable about student-specific issues. Consequently, before authorizing someone to represent you make sure to inquire on the following factors:
- Licence to represent immigrants
See IRCC`s tips on how to choose an immigration representative: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigration-citizenship-representative/choose.html
NOTE: Authorized representatives do not have special access to immigration-related programs and services, and no one can guarantee your application will be approved.
If a temporary resident applies to extend their period of authorized stay before it ends, their period of authorized stay as a temporary resident is extended by law until a decision is reached [R183(5)]. Such a person is considered to have a maintained (formely implied) status as a temporary resident during that period. https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/publications-manuals/operational-bulletins-manuals/temporary-residents/visitors/implied-status-extending-stay.html
In other words, if you extend your study permit before it expires, you can continue to study and work as a student while you wait for IRCC`s decision.
NOTE: You lose your maintained (formely implied) status if you leave Canada; therefore, unless absolutely necessary, it is generally advisable to avoid travelling outside of Canada while under implied status.
During the current COVID-19 pandemic, you will need to verify if the country you would like to travel to is accepting travellers, and make sure you follow the health and safety guidelines of that country upon your arrival. Please note that if you leave Canada, and due to the current strict travel restrictions, you may not be able to re-enter the country until said travel restrictions are lifted.
You need proper documents to re-enter Canada if you leave, so be sure to check your document expiration dates and renew them if necessary before you travel. If your study permit will expire while you are outside Canada, you should speak with an international student advisor before travelling. It is possible to apply for a new initial study permit (not a study permit extension) while outside of Canada, but it may take longer depending on your location.
It is best not to leave Canada while an immigration document extension is being processed, especially if your current document will expire while you are abroad. Please see an international student advisor for details.
A social insurance number is a nine-digit number issued by Service Canada. Your SIN allows you to work and access government programs. Note that your SIN is highly confidential information and should be kept in a safe place: If it falls into the wrong hands, your personal information and identity will most likely be used for fraudulent purposes.
Only the following persons can ask you for your SIN:
- Your employer
- Your accountant
- Financial institutions
- Federal and provincial governments
To find out how to apply for your SIN, please visit https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/sin/apply.html.
During the current COVID-19 pandemic you should not go to the border to apply for your study or work permit as they are not currently being issued by Canadian Border Service Agents.
Although applying at the border is an option for most students, ISO does not recommend students going to the border as it is a riskier method of filing an application. Also current Canadian/US immigration issues have given rise to reduced hours of service at the border, excessive wait times and supplemental documents requests (such as biometrics being for work permit applications). Speak with an ISO advisor for additional information on the matter.
- If your passport has been lost or stolen you must immediately contact the nearest police department (Station 20 is the closest to Concordia downtown campus Address: 1432 Saint-Catherine St W, Montreal, QC H3G 1R3 Phone: (514) 280-0120)
- Contact your country's consulate/embassy for instructions on how to obtain a new passport http://www.international.gc.ca/protocol-protocole/reps.aspx?lang=eng
- If your TRV was inside your lost or stolen passport, you can only apply for a new TRV once you receive your new passport.
If your study permit was lost or stolen, you can apply for a replacement for a fee (30$). Should you need a new study permit urgently because of travel plans or registration purposes, you can include 'proof of urgency' with your application. Make sure to include a letter of explanation as well as a copy of your police report with your application.
NOTE: You may continue studying and working as a student while your study permit is being replaced. You should NOT leave Canada until you receive your replacement study permit.
If you have lost your CAQ, remember you have a copy of your CAQ approval letter sent by email. Nonetheless, contact Ministère Immigration Diversité et Inclusion Québec (MIDI) at (514) 864-9191 if you are in the Montreal area or 1-877-864-9191 if you are elsewhere in Quebec
International students are expected to make their studies their primary activity in Canada. To this end, International Students who have a CAQ and Study Permit are advised to maintain full-time status for the duration of their degree. Failure to be full-time can lead to refusal of your CAQ and Study Permit extension and may lead to, employment and financial challenges. It is not recommended that international students pursue their studies part-time or take leaves of absence.
Find out more about how the university defines full-time status in the Undergraduate and Graduate calendars. Note, however, that even if a student meets the university’s definition of full-time status, discontinued courses, failed courses, and failure to receive credits for attempted courses can lead to challenges extending your CAQ and Study Permit. If you are in this situation, please speak to an ISO Advisor.
If you are considering reducing to a part-time course load or taking a leave of absence, it is important that you review the possible impacts. If, after reviewing the list below, there are extenuating circumstances that may require that you reduce your registration to part-time status or that you take a leave of absence, please contact the ISO to discuss your situation with an Advisor.
Impact on Future Immigration documents:
When applying for a CAQ, students “agree to comply with all the conditions for issuing your Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) for studies”, including “making your studies your principal activity”, meaning that you are studying full-time for the complete duration of your studies. The only terms students are not required to be registered in full-time courses is during scheduled breaks in your academic calendar, such as winter and summer break, and during your last academic term.
In order to be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit students must “have maintained full-time student status in Canada during the complete duration of their studies, except during scheduled breaks in the academic calendar, such as winter and summer break, and during your last academic term.
According to IRCC International students who work either on-campus or off-campus must maintain full-time status. If you reduce your registration to part-time or take a leave of absence, you must immediately stop working as you are no longer eligible to work.
IRCC states that students can work off-campus on a full-time basis during scheduled breaks in the academic calendar if they are enrolled full-time during the academic terms before and after a regularly scheduled break. If the student is on a scheduled academic break, they may work full-time even if they elect to take courses during the scheduled break. If these requirements are not met, then the student may only work up to 20/hrs per week off-campus.