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International students

With classes now online, can I work extra hours or full time at my job?

You are still subject to your authorized number of work hours. You can continue working part-time off-campus if you are already eligible to do so — up to 20 hours/week during an academic session — and you can work full-time during a regularly scheduled break.

Given the extreme nature of the COVID-19 situation, if you were eligible to work on or off-campus, you can continue to work even if you have to drop to part-time studies or take a break in your studies.

Will taking online classes affect my Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)?

In alignment with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), if your in-class courses are being moved to an online-only format because of COVID-19, your eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) won't be affected.

Under normal circumstances, you must maintain full-time student status during each academic session of the program or programs of study you complete, and submit this as part of your PGWP application. If you are unable to meet this criteria due to reasons related to COVID-19, you will still be considered eligible for the PGWP program, provided you meet all other criteria. IRCC will require SAIT to provide a letter explaining this change and you will need to include with your PGWP application. 

Can I drop classes and go to part-time studies? If so, can I still work?

If you need to drop classes because of a direct result of the COVID-19 situation — such as, you’re sick or your class has been cancelled — you can do so. 

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will require SAIT to provide a letter explaining this change for you to include with your Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) application.

If your decision to drop from full-time to part-time studies is not related to COVID19 and is not supported by a letter from SAIT, this would be considered as not fulfilling conditions to qualify for the PGWP program.

Given the extreme nature of the COVID-19 situation, if you were eligible to work on or off-campus, you can continue to work even if you have to drop to part-time studies or take a break in your studies.

You are still subject to your authorized number of work hours. You can continue working part time off-campus if you are already eligible to do so — up to 20 hours/week during an academic session — and you can work full-time during a regularly scheduled break.

Since classes are now offered online, will the price of tuition be lowered?

Many students have recently inquired about the difference between domestic and international tuition, especially given the recent switch to alternate delivery as a result of COVID-19. The cost to deliver our programs does not change because of the mode of delivery (online vs. face-to-face). International tuition costs are determined in large part to cover off the full cost of an academic program. This includes the cost of instructional staff, administration, equipment and labs, infrastructure and maintenance, as well as ensuring our curriculum aligns with quality standards and industry needs. 

Domestic tuition costs are subsidized for Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Both levels of government (through different grant and funding initiatives) subsidize post-secondary education in Canada. These subsidies are drawn from taxes Canadian citizens and permanent residents pay. International tuition is not subsidized. 

As part of its annual international tuition review process, SAIT conducts a pan-Canadian analysis of SAIT’s programs against comparable programs in other Canadian institutions to ensure our international tuition rates remain competitive and international students receive high value for their tuition dollars while continuing to receive a world-class education. 

For these reasons, tuition for international students is remaining as listed on our website. However, some of our auxiliary services and their associated fees for the upcoming semester have been suspended — this includes UPass and recreation fees.  

Please don’t hesitate to connect with SAIT’s International Centre through email international.advising@sait.ca.  

Can I leave Canada now that my classes are delivered online?

All temporary residents who are already in Canada and unable to depart are encouraged to apply for an extension to maintain their temporary resident status in Canada. International students are considered to be temporary residents.

Once the application is submitted, you may remain in Canada until a decision is made on your application or until any required documents can be submitted.

As of March 16, it can be assumed that international students registered with a Canadian institution but currently abroad — either in a third country or in their home country — will not be authorized to re-enter Canada. Please keep in mind that this could be the case for an extended time and could disrupt your future studies. At this point, we discourage you from leaving Canada.

I don’t have my study permit yet and might not get it in time for the May 2020 semester. Can I still attend online classes for my program?

A recent update from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) indicates you don’t need to have a valid study permit to start online classes for your Spring 2020 semester.

What happens when we return to in-class delivery?

All international students will need to have a study permit by the time SAIT returns to in-class delivery. Please note, it’s the student’s responsibility to make sure they’re eligible to apply for a study permit. You won’t be able to continue in your program when it resumes in-person if you don’t have your permit.

If I attend classes online in my country of residence/outside of Canada, will that time count towards the length of my Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP)?

Last week, the Government of Canada’s Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) department published a statement communicating the relaxation of immigration regulations related to in-class courses being transferred to the online format: "If your in-class courses are being moved to an online-only format because of COVID-19, your eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program won’t be affected."

However, no definitive response was received on whether this also applies to students who would have to start their program online in their country of residence due to Canadian travel restrictions.

SAIT, along with universities and other stakeholders across Canada, is working with IRCC for clarification on this issue, and we will update you as soon as we receive more information.

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