International Students

You are here

New Immigration Regulations

IMPORTANT: The procedures found on this website have no official status. Changes may occur at any time without notice. The Law and Regulations of Québec and Canada, as well as the information found on the MICC and CIC Websites prevail over this website.

Dernière mise à jour de cette page: 2015-02-13

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has released the new version of the International Student Program (ISP), which amends the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) of Canada from June 1, 2014.

GENERAL RULES REGARDING STUDIES

  • All students with a study permit (SP) will be required to "remain enrolled" and "actively pursue" their studies.
    • We remind you that in Quebec, the holders of a SP also have a CAQ from the government of Quebec, and the Regulation respecting the selection of foreign nationals (RSFN) of Quebec already requires to “make studies your main activity”. Full-time student status is therefore already required every fall and winter term to meet the requirements of the CAQ. The new requirement of Canada comes in addition to the requirement of Quebec after June 1, 2014.
    • We also remind you that the rules of the Ministry of Higher Education of Quebec (MESRS) requires Polytechnique to unregister from a particular term the students who do not have valid CAQ and SP for the entire term.
    • CIC precised the notions of "actively pursuing studies" and "remaining enrolled" by stating that "you must remain enrolled and make reasonable and timely progress towards completing your program". However, CIC did not communicate the criteria that will be used to define "remain enrolled" and "reasonable and timely progress".
      • We do not know yet whether the study plan, course selection and registration must meet additional requirements (number of credits per quarter or per year, full-time status, etc.).
      • We therefore do not know neither yet whether the cases of cancelled registrations because of invalid CAQ/SP or for other exceptional reasons (eg. illness, death of a relative) will be considered as an offence or not.
  • New sanctions are created for students who do not respect the obligation to "remain enrolled" and "actively pursue" their studies. In case of non compliance with the criteria to be defined by CIC for this requirement :  
    • it becomes impossible to apply for restoration of status in Canada, and therefore impossible to apply for SP after the expiration of the previous SP ;
    • the applicable provision is an order of removal from Canada (exclusion) with an interdiction to return to Canada without an official authorization for one year, or for two years in a case of misrepresentation.
  • You must notify CIC via your MyCIC account when you are transferring from one learning institution to another, even if it is at the same level of study.

RULES REGARDING OFF-CAMPUS WORK

  • Holders of a SP enrolled in a program leading to a Canadian degree may, without an off campus work permit (OCWP), work off campus within the limit of 20 hours per week during regular sessions of the program, and may work full-time during official academic breaks and during the transition to the post-graduation work permit (PGWP) .
    • CIC has pusblished the rules that apply to current students with existing SP:
      • "On June 1, 2014, if you hold [a SP and an OCWP], you may continue to work off campus under your existing [OCWP]."
      • "On June 1, 2014, if you hold a [SP] and you have applied for but not yet received your [OCWP], you should wait for your work permit application to be processed and begin working off campus once you have received your [OCWP]".
      • "On June 1, 2014, if you hold a [SP] but you have not yet applied for an [OCWP], you are authorized to work off campus without a work permit as long as you meet the eligibility requirements for working off campus.
      • No procedure is required to gain the right to work with an existing SP. However, "If you apply for a [SP] on or after June 1, 2014, the conditions relating to your eligibility to work off-campus will be written [explicitly] on your [SP]."
      • "It is your responsibility and your employer’s responsibility to ensure that you are eligible to work off campus without a work permit before you begin working. If you begin working off campus without meeting the eligibility requirements, you may be subject to enforcement action under theImmigration and Refugee Protection Regulations."
  • The work permit for co-op and compulsory internships (C30-WP) remains in force. It will continue to be the only work permit that allows compulsory internships during fall and winter terms for more than 20 hours per week (Note: students with differential fee exemptions granted by their home country must complete their compulsory internship in the summer term to keep their exemption).

 

RULES REGARDING GRADUANDS

Some context concerning the period between completion of studies and degree conferral at Polytechnique:

Degree Audit

Once a student has completed his final exam or has defended his thesis or dissertation to his committee, the degree audit process begins. During this period:

  • Course-based programs (Bachelor’s degree, Specialized Graduate Diploma or “DESS” and Non-Thesis Master’s [Professional Master’s]: exams are corrected, final grades are recorded in the student file online, and an audit is completed to ensure that all requirements for graduation outlined in the academic regulations have been met.
  • Research programs (Thesis Master’s [Research-based Master’s] or PhD): changes requested by the committee or by the Registrar’s Office are made by the student and an audit is completed to ensure that all requirements for graduation outlined in the academic regulations have been met.

At the conclusion of this process, the authorities of Polytechnique Montréal recommend degree conferral. It is at this moment that the final transcript with the notation “diplôme recommandé” (degree conferral recommended) is issued and made available in the student file online, and that an “attestation de fin d’études” (official attestation) may be requested from the Registrar’s Office (the diploma will be issued at a later date).

Final transcript issuance dates

Final transcripts with the notation “diplôme recommandé” will be available online in your student file as follows:

  • Course-based programs (Bachelor’s degree, Specialized Graduate Program or “DESS” and Non-Thesis Master’s). These dates are approximate:
    • between January 16 and January 30, 2015, for a student completing studies in Autumn 2014
    • between May 22 and May 30, 2015, for a student completing studies in Winter 2015
    • between July 16 and July 30, 2015, for a student completing studies in Summer 2015 (short term)
    • between September 10 and September 30, 2015, for a student completing studies in Summer 2015 (long term).
  • Research programs (Thesis Master’s or PhD): Issuance dates vary in accordance with the dates of thesis or dissertation defense and in accordance with completion of subsequent steps leading to recommendation for degree conferral.

Warning! It is your responsibility to confirm the availability of this document in your student file online.

Can I work during the degree audit process?

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) considers an international student to be enrolled full-time in a program of study as long as he has not received written notice of termination of studies from his school, even if the student obtains such a notice after the last day of his final term of study. According to CIC, the student is therefore authorized to continue employment until receipt of this notice.

CIC has not yet determined if such authorization will be for part-time work according to the terms of the student’s study permit (SP) or off-campus work permit (OCWP), or if the authorization will be for full-time work during the degree audit process. For further clarification regarding this topic, you may communicate directly with CIC at question@cic.gc.ca

As a reminder, below are the terms of your SP, or of your OCWP if you are in possession of an off-campus work permit issued before June 1, 2014:

  • Off-campus work: limited to 20 hours of work per week during regular school sessions (there is no limit on number of hours worked during scheduled school breaks).
  • On-campus work: no limit on number of hours worked.

For further information regarding the terms and conditions of student employment, please click here.

Completion of studies

Final transcript with the notation“diplôme recommandé” (official completion of studies)

As indicated by CIC, "Your program is considered completed when you have received written notification (for example, a [final]transcript or an official letter [of end of studies]) from your institution confirming that you have successfully completed your program, or once you obtain your degree, diploma or certificate."

At Polytechnique Montréal, this moment is when your final transcript with the notation “diplôme recommandé” is available via your student file online. From this date, you have 90 days to submit your application for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP). To apply, you will need your “attestation de fin d’études” which is now available by request in the Registrar’s Office. For further information regarding this application, please click here.

Caution! The Registrar’s Office does not notify you when your final transcript has been issued and made available online. It is your responsibility to check your student file online for your official completion date.

Can I work once I have submitted an application for a PGWP?

  • Yes. You are authorized for full-time work once you have submitted your PGWP application (i.e., on the day of submission). If the PGWP is denied, you must stop working immediately.
  • If there is a gap between the day on which your final transcript with the notation "diplôme recommandé" appears in your student file online and the day on which you submit your PGWP application, you are not authorized to work during this period.

What must I do if I am not applying for a PGWP?

  •  You must stop working on the day that your final transcript with the notation "diplôme recommandé" is available in your student file online.
  • The regulatory changes in effect as of June 1, 2014, stipulate that the study permit (SP) becomes invalid 90 days after a student completes his program of study, even if the expiration date listed on the SP indicates a date in the future. It is thus forbidden to remain in Canada with an SP for more than 90 days after completion of studies, even if the SP has not yet expired.

For more information

Changes to the ISP - Information of April 11, 2014
Canada Gazette - changes to the IRPR on June 1, 2014
CIC Notice on new regulations
Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) of Canada - current version
Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) of Canada - current version
Regulation respecting the selection of foreign nationals (RSFN) of Quebec