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Immigration

As an international student, it is your responsibility to ensure that you have the necessary immigration documents to live and study in Canada. International Student Advisors are available to answer your questions and help you understand your rights and responsibilities.

If you are a new student, please review how to apply for your initial study permit.   

Immigration documents

Study Permit

A document issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRRC) that allows foreign nationals to study and remain in Canada as a temporary resident for a specific amount of time-usually the duration of your program.   

Note: Your study permit is not the same as a temporary resident visa (TRV) and does not allow you to enter or re-enter Canada. To enter Canada, you also require a Temporary Resident Visa or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). 

When should I apply to extend my study permit?

If you need to continue studying, we recommend that you apply to extend your study permit 3-4 months prior to the expiration date on your current study permit.

If your study permit will be expiring shortly and you are graduating, please meet with an advisor in the International Centre.

How do I extend my study permit?

You can extend your study permit online within Canada. It costs $150 to apply.

The application form that you will be submitting is the Application to Change Conditions, Extend My Stay or Remain in Canada as a Student (IMM5709).

What documents do I need to extend my study permit?

Once you have signed into your account, you will complete a questionnaire to generate your own personalized document checklist. In addition to the application form, the standard required supporting documents for all students include:

Letter of acceptance or enrolment — current SAIT international students can request the letter by completing the online letter request form

Proof of means of financial support  you must provide proof that you can support yourself and any accompanying family members while you are in Canada. Proof may include:

  • your bank statements for the past four months
  • a bank draft in convertible currency
  • pay stubs
  • an employment letter
  • proof of assets or business
  • proof of payment of tuition and accommodation fees
  • tax reports, declarations or statements
  • proof of a student or education loan from a financial institution
  • a letter from the person or institution providing you with money
  • proof of funding paid from within Canada, if you have a scholarship or are in a Canadian-funded educational program
  • proof of a Canadian bank account in your name if money has been transferred to Canada

Passport — scans of the page that shows your birth date and country of origin and any pages with stamps, visas or markings. Please note that your study permit cannot be extended past the validity date of your passport. 

Digital Photo

Will my TRV be automatically renewed with my study permit?

No. Once you receive your extended study permit, you can then apply for a new TRV - if required for your country. 

Do I need to renew my Social Insurance Number (SIN) and Alberta Health Care Card after I receive my new study permit?

Yes. You can visit a registry office to extend your Albert Health Care coverage and visit a Service Canada location to extend your SIN. Coverage duration is tied to the validity on your study permit.

What if my study permit expires?

The answer depends on which situation applies to you:

  1. I applied to extend my study permit before it expired — In this situation, you now have "implied status". This means that you can continue to live and study in Canada (and continue working if you meet eligibility requirements) until a decision is made on your extension application.

    If you plan on leaving Canada while you are on implied status, please review the Government of Canada guidelines on implied status as a temporary resident.   

  2. I did not apply to extend my study permit before it expired — In this situation, you do not have implied status and are now out of status. 

    You will need to stop studying (and working) immediately and will need to apply to restore your status. Please visit the International Centre to talk with an advisor if this happens. 
What are the rules or regulations associated with my study permit?

There are a number of conditions associated with your study permit that you must meet. These include:

  • be enrolled at a designated learning institution (DLI)
  • show you are actively pursuing your studies by:
    • being enrolled full-time or part-time during each academic semester (excluding regularly scheduled breaks)
    • making progress towards completing your program's courses, and
    • not taking authorized leaves longer than 150 days from your study program

Please note that part-time studies have implications for working and post-grad work permit eligibility. 

As an international student, it is your responsibility to be aware of when your status will expire and ensure that you take the necessary steps in order to extend your status if necessary. 

What if I take a break in studies or study part-time?

Studying part-time during the academic semester means that you are no longer eligible to work (if you were previously). Part-time studies can also affect your eligibility to apply for a post-graduation work permit upon completion of your program. If you are considering studying part-time, please visit the International Centre to meet with an advisor first.  

The Canadian government mandates that International students should be actively and continuously pursuing studies. Having a gap in studies (not including your scheduled break) can impact your eligibility to work while studying, and your eligibility to apply for a post-graduation work permit. If you are considering taking a leave in studies, please meet with an advisor first.  

What if my study permit is lost or stolen?

If you lose your study permit (or co-op work permit), you will need to request a replacement from IRCC as soon as possibleTo do so, please follow the steps to submit an Application for Replacement of an Immigration Document.   

We recommend that you always keep a photocopy of your immigration documents and passport

Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)

Your TVR is a document (counterfoil sticker) issued by IRCC, which is placed in your passport. This means that you have met the requirements for admission to Canada as a temporary resident. A TRV can be issued for a single entry or for multiple entries. Typically, international students are issued multiple entry visas. 

If you are from a visa-exempt country, you require an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) instead of a TRV.

What happens if my TRV expires?

It is okay if your TRV expires as your status in Canada is tied to your study permit. However, if you intend to travel outside Canada, you will need a TRV to re-enter Canada. We recommend that students maintain a valid TRV in case emergency travel is required. 

How do I apply for a new TRV?

We recommend that you apply for a TRV online within Canada. Typically, your TRV will be granted for the duration of your study permit.

Once you apply online and if your application is approved, IRCC will ask you to mail your passport so that the visa can be added to it. 

Note: If your study permit is expiring soon, you should renew your study permit before you apply for your TRV. The validity date on your TRV will be tied to your study permit. 

Co-op Work Permit

This is a work permit issued to international students who have mandatory work experience (co-op, internship or practicum) as part of their program of study. The co-op work permit allows you to work full-time if necessary during your work experience.

Do I need a co-op work permit?
You only need this permit if your program has a mandatory work component. At SAIT, this is typically called a co-op or practicum. If you are unsure, please speak with an advisor at the International Centre.
When should I apply for my co-op work permit?
If you were not issued a co-op permit along with your study permit, then you will need to apply for the co-op work permit online from Canada. You cannot begin your internship or practicum until you have received your co-op work permit, so it is important that you apply early. 
How do I apply for my co-op work permit?

If you are a current student with a study permit, the application can be submitted online. This is a free application. 

You will be submitting the Application to Change Conditions, Extend My Stay or Remain in Canada as a Worker (IMM 5710) application form. 

My co-op work permit lists SAIT as my employer, is that ok?
Yes, that is normal. The co-op permit should list your post-secondary institution as the employer. 
My study permit allows me to work off-campus, do I still need a co-op work permit?

Yes, you must have a co-op work permit if you have mandatory work experience as part of your program. The co-op work permit is for work pertaining to your program only. 

Your study permit does not allow you to work full-time during your academic semester, it is for non-program related work. 

Post-Graduation Work Permit

A post-graduation work permit (PGWP) is an open work permit that allows international graduates to live and work in Canada for a designated period up to three years. It has no geographic or field of employment restrictions. 

Am I eligible to apply?
You can apply for a PGWP if you have completed a degree, diploma or certificate program at a DLI (such as SAIT) that is a minimum of  8 months in length. You also need to meet the following criteria: 
  • maintained full-time status as a student in Canada during each semester of your program (except your final semester, which can be part-time, or if you took a leave from studies) 
  • Have a valid study permit (or a study permit that was valid at some point in the last 180 days since you completed your program) 

As a student, it is your responsibility to understand and meet the full eligibility requirements. 

For how long will my PGWP be issued?

If you completed a program with duration: 

  • Shorter than 8 months — not eligible  
  • 8 months to less than 2 years — eligible for a work permit for the  same duration as your program. For example, if you completed a 1-year program, you are eligible for a 1-year work permit 
  • 2 or more years — eligible for a 3 -year work permit  

Important: Your PGWP validity date can never extend past the date of your passport validity. Make sure your passport is valid for the entire length of time you should be eligible

When can I apply for my PGWP?

You must apply within 180 days of SAIT issuing your final marks. Either: 

  • Within 90 days of receiving confirmation of graduation with a valid study permit, or 
  • Within 180 days of receiving confirmation of graduation if you: 
  • Changed your status to a visitor 
  • Applied for a restoration of status 
  • Apply outside of Canada  

We recommend that you apply as soon as possible after receiving written confirmation of completion while your study permit is still valid.  

Please note that you can receive a PGWP only once. If you intend to continue your studies, you might want to wait to apply for your work permit.  

How do I apply?
The application can be submitted  online and costs $255.  

The application form that you will be completing is the “Application to Change Conditions, Extend my Stay or Remain in Canada as a Worker (IMM5710)”.

What documents do I need from SAIT?
  • Letter of Completion: If you are graduating on schedule (end of April or December) this letter will be automatically produced and emailed to you along with a transcript. If you will complete your program any other time of year, please request this letter by completing the online letter request form.
  • Final transcript  

Please note that as of  Feb. 14, 2019, both the letter of completion and transcript are required for the PGWP application. 

Can I travel while waiting for my PGPW?
It depends. Refer to the  IRCC Help Centre for more information before you travel.  
Will my TRV be renewed with my PGWP?
No. Once you receive your PGWP you can then apply for a new TRV.  
Can I work after I finish classes?
  • Before you receive written notice of program completion: If you were eligible to work part-time (up to 20 hours per week) during your final semester, you can continue working part-time until you receive notice of program completion (letter from SAIT)
  • Once you receive the notice of completion: you must STOP working until you submit the PGWP application
  • After you submit the PGWP application you can start working full-time if you: 
    • Were eligible to work part-time during your academic semester 
    • Have a valid study permit at the time of applying for your PGWP and applied within 90 days of program completion   

 

NOTE: Information on this page has been reviewed by a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) or Regulated International Student Immigration Advisor (RISIA) in compliance with the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. However, please be aware that this is not a legal document and information may sometimes change without notice. For the most current information, always refer to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.

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