Answers to your frequently asked questions

Immigration and living in Canada

An immigration medical examination (IME) is usually required for any students coming from or living in a designated country or territory for at least six months within the last year or if the student will attend any placement in a teaching or medical environment in Canada.

An IME is usually valid 12 months from the exam date and must 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.

Continuing students with valid study permits who have left Canada might need a new IME result if they have stayed in a designated country or territory for more than six months in the past year.

The Saitsa Health and Dental Plan covers all international students at SAIT.

The health plan is paid for as part of your tuition. Coverage commences on the first day of September, January, or May, based on the semester you begin your studies at SAIT.

If you have alternate comparable insurance, you must request to opt out of the Saitsa benefits if eligible.

You may also be eligible to apply for Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (ACIP) for free if you meet the eligibility requirements below:
  • legally entitled to be in and remain in Canada and make your permanent home in Alberta
  • committed to being physically present in Alberta for at least 183 days in any 12 months
  • not claiming residency or obtaining benefits under a claim of residency in another province, territory or country
  • any other person deemed by the regulations to be a resident or temporary resident, not including a tourist, transient or visitor to Alberta.

If you are under 18, you must be added to the AHCIP account of a custodian to be eligible.

Find more information about health care coverage for temporary residents.

Find out what healthcare services are covered by AHCIP.

Applications and admission

SAIT accepts several different payment options from students.

There are now more online payment options for students from Canada, most countries worldwide, 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 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 the CIBC International Student Pay portal.

At SAIT, all applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency. English is the language of instruction for all programs at SAIT and is the most common language used in business in Alberta.

If you're in Calgary, you can also take your test via the IELTS test centre at SAIT.


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.

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 seat in 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.

Deferrals cannot be approved if your study permit application is denied.

If you wish to move to a later intake, you must cancel your current seat and reapply for a later term by paying the $150 application fee.

Review the deferral process for 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 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 read and review the deferral process and submit the deferral request form by the deadline.

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 requesting 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 our refund policy.


Below are commonly used terms used during the application process and while studying at SAIT.

Good standing: All students at SAIT begin their program in good standing, which is associated with a student's Grade Point Average (GPA). You'll remain in good standing as long as your SGPA and CHPA are 2.0 or above.

Academic probation: The academic status assigned to a student who doesn't meet the progression requirements for a program — typically a minimum Grade Point Average of 2.0. Academic probation also refers to the status of a student who has academically been withdrawn from a program and who has now returned to the same program or another program at SAIT.

Academic withdrawal: Students are placed on academic withdrawal when both SGPA and CGPA requirements are not met for the second time. Students on academic withdrawal are suspended from SAIT for eight calendar months without access to courses or programs.

Academic misconduct: Misconduct generally means unacceptable and improper behaviour by students in academic settings. Examples of academic misconduct are plagiarism, cheating and collusion. There are consequences to academic misconduct while you study at SAIT, and it will be noted on your academic transcript and will remain on your record indefinitely.

Non-academic misconduct: Non-academic misconduct refers to unacceptable and improper behaviours of students, generally outside the classroom settings aside from their quizzes, assignments, and exams. To avoid non-academic misconduct, students are expected to behave with respect to others on campus, properties of SAIT and others, and abide by laws, regulations and rules.

Grade point average: A grade point average is assigned to your letter and percentage grade for each course you take at SAIT. Most credit courses are assigned letter grades and percentage grades, which are used to calculate your grade point average.

To check your GPA, log into your mySAIT account, select 'Student Records' and select 'Final Grades' or 'Grade Details'.

Your grade details provide information on the breakdown of your accomplishments in each course. Some instructors choose to provide every detail, but some instructors don't. Check SAIT's grade scale, percentages and how GPA works, and stay up-to-date with your progress in each course.

Cumulative GPA (CGPA) and semester GPA (SGPA): CGPA is the overall cumulative weighted GPA for all courses you complete. SGPA is the weighted GPA for all courses you complete in a semester.

Requirements to graduate from a full-time academic program may vary from program to program.

A student must complete the number of credits required for their program and achieve the required minimum credential grade point average for all courses to meet a student's credential requirements to graduate.

Transcript: A transcript is a complete academic achievement record showing everything you have taken at SAIT.

Official transcript: Official transcripts are intended for government applications, professional licensing and accreditation with licensing bodies, regulatory bodies, associations and applications to colleges and universities to further your education.

Unofficial transcript: An unofficial transcript is used for job applications, quick reference for personal use and various types of applications when official transcripts are required but not attainable due to unprecedented circumstances such as the global pandemic due to COVID-19.

Prerequisites and corequisites: Courses that must be completed as a requirement for registering in a particular course are known as prerequisites. Two or more courses must be taken simultaneously are known as corequisites.

Add/drop deadline: Registering in a new course or adding a new course to your schedule is known as "add." Unregistering from a course is known as "drop".

For most programs, the first few days or weeks will allow you to change your schedule (add/drop) without the changes being recorded on your transcript if you drop a course after the add/drop without the changes being recorded on your transcript. If you drop a course after the add/drop deadline, your transcript will record it as a "W" (withdrawal). Please ensure you maintain your status as an international student before dropping a course.

Withdrawal deadline: This refers to the period between the add/drop deadline and the date with which you can withdraw from your course without receiving an "F" for the course. A "W" will be recorded next to the course on your transcript to indicate that you have withdrawn from the course. No refunds are given for course withdrawals. For the most up-to-date information, please view our important dates.

Major/minor: Major indicates specialization and most of the total courses will be drawn from this study area. Minor indicates a lesser degree of specialization, with only a few courses drawn from the area of study (for example, a business major with a minor in music).

Co-op/practicum: A co-op or practicum is a work placement that is a mandatory requirement of completing your program.

Letter of introduction: A letter of introduction is a document from IRCC which confirms the approval of a study permit (or another temporary resident status) and must be presented upon arrival at the port of entry to Canada. Please note this letter is not your study permit. The study permit will be issued at the port of entry following an inspection by the Canada Border Service Agency and also known as a Port of Entry (POE) letter.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC): Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is a department of the Canadian Federal government that facilitates the arrival of immigrants, provides protection to refugees and offers programming to help newcomers settle in Canada—formerly known as CIC.

Temporary resident: A foreign national permitted to enter and reside in Canada temporarily legally — may include students, workers and visitors — hold temporary resident status when physically inside Canada.

Permanent resident: An individual who has legally immigrated to Canada and has been granted permanent resident status but is not a Canadian citizen.

International student: Students studying in a country other than their country of citizenship or permanent residence are considered international students. In Canada, students who are foreign nationals are authorized to study on a temporary basis and typically require a study permit.

Designated learning institution (DLI): Canadian schools have been approved to accept international students, and students must have acceptance to a DLI to apply for a study permit. SAIT is a DLI with the following DLI #O18761749692

Study permit: A study permit is a document issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) which allows a foreign national to study in Canada legally and outlines the conditions of their stay as a student.

Letter of enrolment/acceptance: A Letter of Acceptance (LoA) is issued to applicants who have been offered a seat in a SAIT program and have paid a deposit to confirm their seat. This letter is needed to apply for a study permit. Letters of Enrolment are for current students and verify their current enrolment status at SAIT, and may be used to renew a study permit if necessary.

Electronic travel authorization (eTA): A requirement to enter Canada by air for foreign nationals from visa-exempt countries. The eTA is electronically linked to the passport for five years (or when the passport expires).

Temporary visa: A counterfoil (sticker) placed inside the passport of a foreign national from a country that requires a visa to enter Canada. It is an entrance document that shows that the individual has met the requirements for admission to Canada as a temporary resident. Typically, students are issued a visa for multiple entries. Also commonly referred to as a TRV or visitor visa.

Full-time student: As a SAIT student, you are considered full-time when registered in at least 60% of the program credits (usually nine credit hours per week) for each academic semester. You are also considered full-time when registered in their mandatory work placement (co-op/practicum/internship course).

Part-time student: As a SAIT student, you are considered part-time when registered in 59% or less of the program credits (usually less than nine credit hours per week) for each academic semester.

Scheduled breaks: Scheduled Breaks are a part of SAIT's academic calendar and are pre-scheduled as breaks for all students in a particular program and intake. It is not considered a scheduled break if you decide to take a semester off. 

Please do not let your study permit expire during your scheduled break, especially if you are out of country. If your study permit expires when you are outside Canada, you will need to apply for a new study permit and it can take additional time to receive a Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) from SAIT. As a result you may not receive your study permit in time to continue your program, which may negatively impact your program progression and delay your completion date. Any questions please book an appointment with an International Student Advisor.

Actively pursuing status: Most study permit holders must "actively pursue studies" as a condition of their study permit. This means maintaining full or part-time enrollment during each academic semester, making continual progress towards completing your program and not taking authorized leaves longer than 150 days from your program.

Program withdrawal: If you choose to discontinue your program without any immediate plans to return to it, you can apply for Program Withdrawal. In cases where students have withdrawn from their program and wish to return, they must discuss this request with their Academic Chair and complete the Intent to Return process. 

Withdrawing from your program can put your study permit at risk and substantially impact future immigration applications. We strongly recommend consulting with your academic and international student advisor if you are contemplating withdrawing from your program.

Maintained status: When you, as a temporary resident, apply to extend your permit of authorized stay before it expires, your stay is legally extended until a decision is made on your application. For instance, if you, as a student, apply to extend your study permit before your current permit expires, and if the study permit expires before a decision is made, individuals who have maintained their status can continue studying or working under the same conditions while awaiting a response, as long as you remain in Canada.

Withdrawing from a course: Course withdrawal is when you must withdraw from a course after the add/drop deadline. If you withdraw from a course before 70% of your course’s duration, you’ll receive a “W” grade, which won’t be calculated in your grade point average (GPA). Before withdrawing from a course, speak with your academic and international student advisor.

Leave of absence: As a student, you can request and potentially receive approval for a Leave of Absence when you encounter life circumstances that may require you to be away from your program for an extended period. For immigration purposes, if the leave is no more than 150 days, it meets IRCC’s requirement of Authorized Leave.

Please do not let your study permit expire during your leave of absence, especially if you are out of country. If your study permit expires when you are outside Canada, you will need to apply for a new study permit and it can take additional time to receive a Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) from SAIT. As a result you may not receive your study permit in time to continue your program, which may negatively impact your program progression and delay your completion date. Any questions please book an appointment with an International Student Advisor.

Authorized leave that exceeds 150 days: If you take a leave that exceeds 150 days, you will not be considered “actively pursuing your studies” after 150 days. To ensure compliance with your study permit conditions, you must choose one of the following options, depending on whether you intend to stay in Canada beyond 150 days:

  • If you remain in Canada beyond the 150 days, you need to change your status to "Visitor" before the 150 days are up.
  • If you are leaving Canada, you must leave as soon as the 150 days are over. You may use your existing study permit and visa to return to Canada and continue your studies as long as your documents remain valid upon re-entry.

Failing a course: If you fail a course the grade “F” will appear on your transcript and will be used in calculating your GPA. However, an “F” does not impact your enrolment status. If you are at risk of failing a course, speak with your academic and international student advisor before making any changes to your schedule.

Restoration status: Restoration of status is a process required to restore a legal status (such as student status) within Canada if it has been 90 days or less since the status expired.

Co-op work permit: Some of the programs at SAIT involve students participating in a co-op or internship/practicum work placement. You should apply for it along with your initial study permit application or 3- 4 months before your co-op term starts.

The co-op work permit will be issued for the same length as your study permit and will allow you to work for any institutions participating in the SAIT co-op program. In other words, you can only use this work permit to do the jobs approved by the co-op program that will grant you program credits. You cannot work full-time for any other institutions or any other purposes, even though your co-op work permit is still valid. You are responsible for tracking the number of hours you are working while in the practicum and ensuring it doesn't exceed the number of hours as per your program expectation.

You might simultaneously hold a co-op work permit and work up to 20 hours per week for off-campus jobs if you meet both eligibility requirements. However, you can only start working full-time once you receive your co-op work permit, and the co-op employment period cannot exceed 50% of your study program.

Visit the IRCC website for further information about a co-op work permit.

Confirmation of enrolment: A confirmation of enrolment letter can be requested through your account and can be used to show proof of address when required, such as opening a bank account or applying for your Alberta Health Care card.

Contact us

International Centre

AA206, Heritage Hall, SAIT Main Campus


Monday - Friday | 8 am - 4:30 pm

a view of the moutains and stream in between

Oki, Âba wathtech, Danit'ada, Tawnshi, Hello.

SAIT is located on the traditional territories of the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) and the people of Treaty 7 which includes the Siksika, the Piikani, the Kainai, the Tsuut’ina and the Îyârhe Nakoda of Bearspaw, Chiniki and Goodstoney.

We are situated in an area the Blackfoot tribes traditionally called Moh’kinsstis, where the Bow River meets the Elbow River. We now call it the city of Calgary, which is also home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.