FAQs for New International Students
COVID-19 information for international students
As the COVID-19 situation is continually evolving, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) continue to make updates and revisions to their policies and procedures. While SAIT strives to keep this page as updated as possible, for the most recent updates please continue to monitor the following resources for the latest information as it is made available directly from IRCC and other government departments.
Supporting Ukraine Nationals
IRCC has set up special measures supporting Ukrainian nationals' visit and stay in Canada. Both in Canada and outside of Canada applications to visit, study and work will be prioritized. A dedicated call number 613-321-4243 is accepting both in Canada and abroad calls. For more information, please see here.
RCC News Release: Canada launches new temporary residence pathway to welcome those fleeing the war in Ukraine
"March 17, 2022—Ottawa – The resiliency and courage of Ukrainians have inspired the world, and Canada is unwavering in its commitment to provide support to Ukraine as it fights for its sovereignty and for the democratic ideals that our countries share. .... the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today announced the launch of the Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel (CUAET). The CUAET is a special, accelerated temporary residence pathway for Ukrainians seeking safe haven in Canada while the war in their home country continues."
To read the full news release, click here.
Updates from the Government of Canada
Travel to Canada
Please see below to arrange your travel and know what to expect:
- Find out if you can enter Canada
- Prepare for your travel
- Gather all required documents and make sure they are all valid
- Book your ticket and check if you qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller
- Pre-entry tests are not required for fully vaccinated travelers.
- Use ArrivaCAN to provide mandatory travel information before and after your entry into Canada.
- Connect with us
- Register for the international student transition webinars to learn important information about living in Canada, immigration, insurance, academic success and much more.
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you don’t receive our newsletters about the transition program
- After arriving in Canada
- You may be randomly chosen to take an on arrival COVID-19 test
- If you meet one of the few exemptions to enter Canada without being fully vaccinated please refer to the information here
As per the Government of Canada, travellers are eligible to enter or return to Canada if they qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller.
As of April 25, 2022, at 00:01:00 EDT, the Government of Canada announced further changes to Canada's border measures for certain eligible travellers.
Qualified fully vaccinated travellers, will no longer be required to provide a quarantine plan upon entry.
All travellers are still required to use ArriveCAN to provide mandatory travel information.
For the requirements of arrival testing and quarantine, please visit the Government of Canada website for the latest updates.
Please follow guidelines as per the ArriveCAN for fully vaccinated traveller.
An immigration medical examination (IME) is usually required for any students coming from or living in a designated country or territory for at least 6 months in a row within the last year, or if the student will attend any placement in teaching or medical environment in Canada.
An IME is usually valid for 12 months since the exam date and needs to be valid upon entry to Canada. Usually, it is first taken during the initial study permit application period, therefore, for students who have been studying outside Canada since their study permit approval, they will need to make sure the IME results are still valid when they travel to Canada.
For continuing students with valid study permits who have left Canada, they might need a new IME result if they have stayed in a designated country or territory for more than 6 months in the past year.
Yes, there will be a SAIT welcome booth at Calgary airport from August 15 till September 02 (8:00 AM- 8:00 PM MDT). If you arrive at the Calgary Airport during the open window of the booth, our SAIT Ambassadors will welcome you and provide on-arrival support. Please complete this survey to let us know your arrival details and allow us to provide support services to make your arrival experience as smooth as possible.
Applications and admission
SAIT accepts a number of different payment options from students.
There are now more online payment options for students from Canada, most countries around the world, and in most currencies. There are also various payment options for third parties, such as parents, family, friends or others, to pay fees online.
If you have a Canadian bank account, you can pay with pre-authorized debit (PADs) or Online banking. There are no charges to use these systems. If you use PADS please ensure you carefully check your account information before submitting your payment and be sure to leave sufficient funds in your bank account. It may take a few days for this to process through your bank.
If you don’t have a Canadian bank account, you can pay using a credit card, PayMyTuition, or CIBC International Student Pay portal.
You can access instructions on how to use PayMyTuition in 11 languages, instructions on how to use CIBC International Student Pay portal, PADs, and Online banking by clicking here.
We understand how life can happen and affect your study plan. If you would like to attend SAIT in a future intake, we recommend you read and review the Deferral process. Please note, timing is important when it comes to a refund request. If you are not planning to attend SAIT in the future, please review our refund policy here and cancel your program.
You do not need an approved study permit to register for your courses. If your study permit is denied, you must contact us to cancel your spot before the first day of classes. If you cancel after this, you will not be eligible to receive a full refund. Review tuition and fees for our full refund policy.
Deferrals cannot be approved if your study permit application is denied. If you wish to move to a later intake for this reason, you will need to cancel your current seat and reapply for a later term by paying the $150 application fee. Review how to apply for full international application deferral eligibility rules.
You do not need an approved study permit to register for your courses. If you do not register before the deadline, your seat could be rescinded and offered to someone from the waitlist. If this happens, you will need to contact us to see if there is a still a spot for you in the program which will allow you to choose your courses. If the program is full at that time, you will be placed on the waitlist. Review waitlists to learn your next steps in this situation.
Study permit processing delays may be considered eligible for a deferral in some cases. Supporting documents and proof of study permit application submission are required for consideration. If you wish to pursue a deferral, please complete the admission deferral request. A declined study permit is not eligible for a deferral.
You will not be eligible for a full refund if you cancel after the first day of class. Cancellations made after the add/drop period (the first two weeks of the semester) will not receive any money back. If your study permit application is declined, please let us know by submitting a support ticket and request to cancel your application. You will be eligible for a refund of the full amount you paid minus your tuition deposit and application fee if you cancel before the first day of classes. You must include a copy of your refusal letter for us to refund your tuition deposit minus a $250 administration fee. Review tuition and fees for our full refund policy.
Study permit and Co-op work permits
International students who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada require a study permit issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to study in a program that is longer than six months.
Once you have received your SAIT confirmation/acceptance letter and accompanying documentation for IRCC, you can start the application process for your study permit. The application for your initial study permit must be submitted outside of Canada (if you are already in Canada as a visitor or worker, please contact the International Centre for more information.)
Visit the IRCC website to learn more about how to apply for your initial study permit.
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.
If you are located outside of Canada, please note currently some Visa Application Centres (VAC) are still closed. Please check on the website whether the VACs close to you are open before you go there.
If the time exceeds the 90 days on your biometrics letter and the VACs are still not available for you, you do not need to request a new biometrics letter as the deadline will be automatically extended and your application will not be refused because you can’t provide your biometrics.
If you are located in Canada, please note that IRCC has recently removed the biometrics requirement for temporary residents who apply from inside of Canada. Types of application include:
- A study permit, work permit and visitor record extension
- Temporary residents status restoration
- A new study permit, work permit or visitor visa application
- Temporary resident permit application
For the newest biometrics information, please check the government website here.
If you were not issued a co-op permit along with your study permit and your program has a mandatory work component, then you will need to apply for the co-op work permit online from Canada. You must apply for a co-op work permit before you start your work placement.
For information about working as a co-op student or intern, please check the government website here.
According to the COVID-19 program delivery, students who are already in Canada and have applied for a co-op work permit may begin their co-op placement using their on-campus and off-campus work authorization, provided they meet all the eligibility requirements. Please be mindful of off-campus work hour limitations.
Please click here to read further information about working while waiting for a co-op work permit to be processed.
You are able to take a break from your study if it is your programs scheduled break. Scheduled breaks are part of SAIT’s academic calendar and are pre-scheduled as breaks for all students in a particular program and intake. You should contact your Academic Advisor if you are unsure when is your program scheduled break. International students cannot create their own scheduled breaks.
If you feel you need to take a leave from your studies please contact your school and an International Student Advisor.
Study Permits - Delays and Denials
Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP): Students with a valid study permit are eligible for the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP). The AHCIP is FREE but you need to apply for it. You can do it by going to your nearest Registry Office when you're in Canada, or sending a mailed-in application. Make sure to carry your Alberta Health Services card (AHS card) with you at all times.
Find more information about health care coverage for temporary residents in Alberta here.
Saitsa Health & Dental Plan: All International Students are covered by the Saitsa Health and Dental Plan as of September 1st, 2021. The health plan is paid for as part of your tuition with SAIT. Its coverage commences on the first day of the month of your program start date at SAIT. If you have alternate insurance, you need to request to opt-out of the Saitsa benefits if eligible.
Taxes and SIN number
The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a 9 digit number that you need to work in Canada or to access government programs and benefits. SIN number is a piece of sensitive personal information so you should protect it. Usually, except for your school or your employer, you should not share it with anybody else.
You can ONLY get your SIN after you’ve arrived in Canada and you retrieved your study permit. In addition, your study permit needs to list your eligibility to work on or off-campus if you meet certain eligibility, e.g. “may work 20 hours per week off-campus or full time during regular breaks if meeting criteria outlined in paragraph 186 (v) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations”.
You can apply for a SIN online, by mail or in person at Service Canada. You will mainly need the following documents:
- Your study permit
- Your passport
- Proof of in-Canada address (e.g. bank statement, phone bill or your tenancy agreement)
For detailed instructions, please see here.
Residents of Canada are required to file taxes to determine their tax status. International students might have tax credits from their paid tuition (reflected on T2202) and it can be carried forward to use in the future. If you have studied or worked in Canada in 2020, you’ll need to file your taxes.
If you have not arrived in Canada since your study permit was approved, you do not need to worry about your tax filing as you are not considered a resident of Canada yet.
If you were studying in Canada before and currently studying outside Canada due to COVID-19 interruption, you can choose to file your tax retroactively in the future as long as you don’t owe income tax to the government of Canada. If you have other income sources from outside Canada or any other questions, please see the Canada Revenue Agency website to learn more about your tax obligation.
SAIT Residence FAQs
Begin Tower is situated right on campus and offers two spacious living suites to choose from: Studio apartments and two bedrooms, one-bathroom shared suites.
East Hall is right on campus and offers two spacious living suites to choose from: one-bedroom, one-bathroom suites and four-bedroom, two bathrooms shared suites.
When you live in Residence, the rate you pay covers the following:
- All units come fully furnished with utilities included — water, sewer, trash and high-speed internet.
- Access to all amenities
- Same Rates for all students
To apply for residence at SAIT, you must register and complete a full application with a $50 non-refundable application fee and a $250 refundable security deposit.
The residence fees do not include:
- Meal plan
- Cleaning services
- Laundry fees
At SAIT Residence we give you the privacy and lifestyle you deserve in an on-campus student community that is built specifically with you, the student, in mind.
- 24-hour Campus security
- On -site management and maintenance
- Smart card operated laundry facility
- Yoga Studio
- Cardio Rooms
- Art Room
- Social Lounges
SAIT Residence offers different rates depending on the term of your program. We provide academic year rates, apprentice rates, summer rates, fall rates and early arrivals or extensions.
The rates are based on your building and room preference. For further information, check our website here.
Please note that rates, fees, deadlines and utilities are subject to change and floor plans may vary.
Yes, the Begin Tower Dining Centre is managed by Hotel Arts and residents can enjoy healthy and comforting food for every palate. Daily culinary adventures with our worldly features alongside your favourite staples.
Begin Tower Dining Centre is open from 7 am to 9 pm — hot entrée- style meals are available during designated meal periods.
The Begin Tower Dining Centre offers semester and apprentice meal plans. Residents can choose from our five- or seven-day option. Day rates and drop in rates are also available.
Yes, you have the privilege of hosting guests only if you have permission from all of your roommates. Each resident may only have overnight guests for a maximum of five nights per month if all roommates agree.
Your guests are your responsibility, and if they should do anything that warrants disciplinary action, you are personally responsible and will receive a fine or discipline. Guests must always be accompanied by their host and not left alone in residence.
Feeling overwhelmed? We're here to help.
Students have access to the following support and well-being resources: