International Students

Renewing your immigration documents

IMPORTANT
This website has no legal value; it’s simply a summary of the procedures in effect, compiled to the best of our knowledge on the date it was prepared. This information is subject to change without notice. The laws and regulations of Québec and Canada, as well as the information found on the MIFI and IRCC websites take precedence over this website Updated: May 2024

 

This video shows the different steps in renewing your immigration documents

  Renewing your immigration documents : This video shows the different steps in renewing your immigration documents.

General Tips

We would like to remind you that authorization documents for your stay (CAQ and Study Permit) must always remain valid, from the first to the last day of each term for which you are registered and present in Quebec:               

  • keep your documents valid and up to date (CAQ and study permit) as per rules set by the Ministère de l'Éducation et de l'Enseignement supérieur (Québec Education Ministry). If you do not renew your documents in time, you will lose your registration at Polytechnique - even if you've already begun your session.
  • legal status in Canada relies on these documents; if you do not renew them, you will be forced to either leave the country, or ask for restoration of status (which can take several months to process). Note that you are not allowed to study or work during the restoration process.  

If you wish to extend your study permit, please note that you need to have a valid CAQ and a valid passport for the duration of the extension period. Always ensure that your passport and your CAQ are valid, should these documents be set to expire. 

Authorization documents for your stay (CAQ and study permit) are valid for a given period. Further, the CAQ is only valid for a determined study cycle. If your study cycle changes, you will need to reapply for a new CAQ.

When should you start the renewal process?

We recommend that you start the renewal process roughly 6 months before your CAQ and SP are due to expire. If you only need to renew your SP, apply 3 or 4 months in advance.

For instance, a student whose CAQ and/or study permit expires in August, must take the appropriate steps in order to ensure their new documents are valid the whole session from first day of the fall term (late August), to the last day of that term (end of December). Therefore, it is advisable to gather all the required documents in February, and start the renewal procedure in March.

If you are leaving the country after an academic term, it is important to follow the renewal process as soon as possible to ensure you possess all your new documents before you leave, especially if you need a TRV. If you don't have all of your documents, you might not be able to re-enter Canada on time to start your courses

Attention! Bring or send the proof(s) of renewal (receipt of payment and screenshot confirming that your online application has been sent) to the Registrar’s Office to keep your file up to date and to ensure your continued registration. You will need to do the same once you receive your documents.

Québec Certificate of Acceptance (CAQ)

Your CAQ must remain valid your entire semester right from day one. The average application processing time is 25 working days (at least five weeks). 

ATTENTION: The Certificat de sélection du Québec cannot usually be used to replace a CAQ for studies.  If you hold a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ) and have not yet obtained your permanent residence, you will need to apply for a CAQ for studies as well, except if you are:

  • protected persons in Canada (including refugees) under Section 95 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act;

     or

     
  • a person residing in Québec whose spouse or de facto spouse is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident who has submitted a sponsorship application on your behalf

video on how to extend your caq for studies

This video shows the different steps in renewing your CAQ for studies.
Online Renewal

You must apply for your CAQ by filling out the online form and paying the processing fee on the Arrima platform by credit card, either your own or someone else's. 

Once you have paid the processing fee, you will need to upload the required documents to Arrima and submit them.  MIFI provides a tutorial to help you with this process.  

It is essential that you include all the documents required by MIFI in a single submission.  If you forget, you will have to wait until MIFI has processed your application and sent you the letter of intent of refusal before sending the missing documents.  

Please note: once your application has been submitted, MIFI will communicate with you via your online file and not via the Arrima platform.  

 

Supporting Documents

BELOW IS A LIST OF SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION YOU NEED TO SEND:

  • A passport format photo;
  • A photocopy of the identity pages of your passport. These pages list your personal information, your photo, as well as the dates indicating your passport’s validity;
  • An “Attestation d’inscription” (Attestation of School Attendance - order form available in French only) for the current semester at Polytechnique, that indicates your full-time or part-time status, and the expected date you will finish your studies.  Make sure to indicate on the order form during which term you expect to finish your program. Note that this document can also be obtained in person at the Registrar's Office. The document must be issued by the Registrariat and not through your online student file.  If you are registered in a Ph.D. or Research-Master’s program, request that all semesters wherein your status is full-time, since the start of your program, be indicated on your Attestation of School Attendance.
  • A transcript for the current and entire valid CAQ (issued by the Registrariat - Registrar’s Office, and can be requested via the same above-mentioned form or at the counter). If you are a Double Degree student, remember to include the transcript from your "trimestre d'intégration” (Integration Semester), to the transcript for your Master’s program. If you were registered in a different university or institution prior to coming to Polytechnique, you must also attach a copy of your transcript from that university or institution;
  • The original or a photocopy of proof of financial capacity, as applicable to your specific situation (see: Section 20 of the CAQ form). For more details about acceptable documents and required financial capacity, refer to the following page: Financial capacity.  Proof of financial capacity must be recent (less than 3 months old). Each individual whose name is mentionned on the financial capacity documents must complete a “Declaration of financial support" form. This form is automatically generated when you indicate in the online form that someone will finance your studies. Each person completes and signs a single form, therefore all individuals who are assisting you financially must each complete and sign their own form that you can download here.  Note that banking statements used as proof of financial capacity must be from personal accounts – commercial account statements, property or goods titles are not accepted as proof for CAQ applications. 
  • Other documents, specific to your situation (ex: if you graduated and moved on to the next academic tier, the Offer of Admission Letter for your new program, should you need to submit a new CAQ application).

Note - Important!

You are required to prove and indicate that studying will be your main activity during your time in Québec, you must also demonstrate that you have health and hospitalization insurance (including for any family members that accompany you*) for the entirety of your stay in Québec. Therefore, you must provide an explanatory letter (signed and dated) supporting your extension request if one of the following situations below applies to you:

  • You have deferred your admission a semester, and therefore your CAQ began a semester before your arrived in Canada;
  • You have not studied full-time, you have dropped a course (indicated by an "R" on our transcript or have obtained fewer credits than the minimum number to be considered full-time), or you were not registered during a mandatory registration period (Autumn or Winter);
  • You have had several failures during your academic path. 

Depending on your specific circumstances, you may be required to provide medical proof, proof of absence from Canada (ex: airline tickets) or other supporting documents. If one of the above-indicated circumstances applies to you, please contact us.  Missing supporting documentation may result in an intention of refusal letter, which can delay the entire process by roughly one month, and may also result in refusal to issue a CAQ.

*Certain CAQ for Studies categories are exempt from these conditions. Refer to this page to determine if an exemption applies to you. 

Study Permit

A study permit (SP) is a document that authorizes the holder to stay in Canada to study until its expiration date; it grants the holder a specific legal status. All foreign nationals who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada require a SP to study in Canada unless they have a SP exemption

The SP does not allow entry into Canada - a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) combined with a passport is required when to proceed to a point of entry. Some foreign nationals are exempt from requiring a TRV, but may instead need an electronic travel authorization (eTA) to board a plane to come to Canada.  

Your immigration documents (Passport, CAQ, and SP) must all be valid from the very first day until the very last day of each term you are enrolled as a student at Polytechnique. If your SP is not valid - even for a portion of the term - you will be unregistered from the term in question, even if it has already begun or is nearing completion. Be aware that you must act promptly, and start the renewal process 6 to 7 months before your documents expire.

video on how to extend your study permit

Respect of your study permit conditions

Below is a reminder of the main conditions associated with your study permit, which must be respected during your studies:

  • remain enrolled full-time at a designated learning institution (except during scheduled breaks in your program - such as holiday periods, authorized leaves up to 150 days, and the last term in your program)
  • continue making progress toward completing your program
  • inform IRCC of any change(s) of post-secondary institutions
  • respect any limitation written on your study permit

During the course of your stay in Canada, if you have either taken an authorized leave of up to 150 days (therefore leaving a gap in your transcript) or have breached one or more conditions of your study permit, you may need to submit explanations and/or justifications along with your application renewal. Contact us so we can help determine if you should do so.   

When should you renew your study permit (SP)?

The validity period of a SP cannot normally exceed that of your passport, nor that of your CAQ for studies. 

If you only need to renew your study permit, start the process 3 to 4 months before it expires.

If you are in Canada while your application is being processed, it is imperative that you send in your application before your SP expires, to maintain your legal status.  This means sending your application before midnight UTC of the last day of validity of your document.  You will then be authorized to remain registered and continue the activities associated with your study permit (study and work), even if your permit expires before you receive a response from IRCC regarding your application.  

This waiting period between the expiry of the SP and the receipt of IRCC's response is called "maintained status" (formerly known as "implied status").  To maintain your status, you must remain in Canada until your application is approved. 

We advise you to avoid sending an application for renewal of your SP shortly before it expires, as if you receive a refusal to renew after the document has expired, you will be unenrolled from the ongoing term and will have to apply for restoration of your status.

How should you apply for your study permit extension?

In-Canada applicants

You must submit your SP application online.  Mail-in applications are now accepted only in rare cases.   Once your SP application has been processed, it will be mailed to the Canadian mailing address you provided in your application.  If you require a TRV, you will need to apply for it separately.  

Download this guide (.pdf) to find out how to apply for a renewal of your study permit from within Canada.

Applicants abroad

If you are physically outside Canada, you must submit your SP application online, except in exceptional cases. The main form to complete for this application is entitled "Application for a Study Permit Made Outside Canada" (IMM1294).

Once the application has been processed, you will be issued a letter of introduction which you must present at the Canadian port of entry on your return, so that your study permit can be printed.   If you require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), you do not need to fill out a separate application; your TRV will be processed at the same time as your SP.  Once your application has been approved, you'll need to send your passport to the Canadian Visa Office (CVO) to have the visa sticker affixed, and wait for it to be returned to you before returning to Canada.  

Please note!  Students who submit an SP application from abroad must wait for their application to be approved before returning to Canada.  The notion of maintained status (implied status) does not apply to applications submitted from abroad.  Thus, if you submit an SP application to a CVO before your document expires, you cannot count on maintained status to continue your studies.  

Ex: A student has a study permit and a TRV that expire on August 31.  While abroad, the student submits an SP application online and returns in early August with his or her documents still valid.  If the application is still not processed by September 1, the student will find himself or herself without legal status in Canada, and unable to study or work.   This could lead to cancellation of the study permit application and the need to restore status.

If your status has expired before sending your renewal (students in Canada)

If you are in Canada and do not send the renewal application before your study permit expiry date, you will not have a legal status. You will have 90 days of the expiration of your previous legal status, to apply for restoration of status. During this 90 day period (and while you await the processing of your application), you are permitted to remain in Canada, but this does not constitute legal status: it will not allow you to be enrolled at Polytechnique during this 90 day grace period, nor while you await the processing of your application, which will take several weeks.  You will not be able to work either during that period.

A SP+SR application is the same as a normal SP extension, but a $200 penalty fee is added to the normal processing fee, and will permanently record an infraction in your immigration record. Severe consequences are possible when a SR is recorded in your file. It may be grounds for refusals of any study or work permit, as well as permanent residence. It can sometimes be more prudent to return to your home country and apply for a new SP from outside of Canada and not use the SR option. Come discuss your strategy with the international student advisor.

To apply for SP + SR, you must use the same forms:

  • You must check the Restoration of temporary resident status box in the header of the IMM5709 form, answer YES when asked if you remained in Canada after your status expired, and explain why.
  • In some cases, you'll need to add supporting documents to back up your explanation
Applicable processing delays

Note that processing times change from week to week. Our experience shows an average processing time of one to three months for online applications processed in Canada, but these do not include postal delays for sending back your study permit.

If your application is being processed in a Canadian visa office abroad, note that delays can vary greatly from one office to another.  They range from a few days to several months.  If you must leave Canada and your immigration documents are set to expire during your stay abroad, we advise you to contact us before your departure, so that we could help you evaluate whether your return in Canada at the expected date could be compromised.

Work permit linked to your study permit (C32-WP)

If you have remaining compulsory internship in your program, you must include with your application a work permit application for (C32-WP), which is free.  If you send a joint SP and WP application, the processing for the study permit will apply.

Supporting documents and financial capacity

You should provide an “Attestation d’inscription” (Attestation of School Attendance - order form available in French only) for the current semester at Polytechnique, that indicates your full-time or part-time status, and the expected date you will finish your studies.  Make sure to indicate on the order form during which term you expect to finish your program.  You can also request this document in person at the Registrar's Office.  The document must be issued by the Registrariat and not through your online student file.  If you are registered in a Ph.D. or Research-Master’s program, request that all semesters wherein your status is full-time, since the start of your program, be indicated on your Attestation of School Attendance.

If you have renewed your CAQ for studies and that your proofs of financial capacity are very recent (less than two months old), you could present the same proofs for your SP renewal.  However, your should always rely first on the requirements listed on the IRCC website, as they may change at any time.  If your application is processed in a Canadian Visa Office abroad, make sure to follow the CVO instructions.  Don't forget that if persons finance your studies, they will need to each present a separate letter dated and signed confirming that they will be supporting you, as well as present documents proving their financial capacity.

Biometrics

Biometrics consist of a photograph and fingerprints, which are used by the Canadian government to establish a person's identity. If you are required to provide them, the fee is $85 CDN (170$ for a family unit); you will need to present yourself at a Service Canada collection center for in-Canada applications, an Application Support Center in the USA, or to a Visa Application Center (VAC) in other countries.

If you have to provide biometrics, you can still complete the online application for your study permit renewal. To proceed with biometric data collection, IRCC will upload an instruction letter on your MyCIC account once they receive your application. Follow the instructions in the letter. Print a copy of the letter and bring it with you, as well as all required documents when you go to the biometrics data collection centre. Note that processing times posted on the IRCC website do not include the time required to travel to the VAC for biometrics collection purpose.

Once collected, biometrics remain valid for ten years.

To learn more on biometrics, visit the IRCC website.

    LINKS

    Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)

    The temporary resident visa (TRV) is a document that allows an alien to proceed to an entry point of the territory to enter Canada.

    All foreign nationals who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada require a visa to enter Canada unless they have a visa exemption*. A permit is therefore different from a visa. A visa allows you to enter Canada, but it is the study permit that authorizes you to remain and study in Canada. You do not need to renew your TRV if you do not leave Canada and do not plan to travel to another country.

    TRAVEL TO THE UNITED STATES

    If you leave Canada but do not enter a country other than the USA, a valid TRV is not required as long as your study permit is valid on the day of your re-entry into Canada (article 190(3)f) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations).  Note however, that if you come back to Canada by plane, you could be prevented to board the plane if you do not have a valid TRV.

    This exception in no way alters the need for a US Entry Visa when applicable. For more information on Visa for entry into the USA refer to the Consulate General of the United States - Montréal website.

    When should i renew my TRV?

    In principle, the TRV issued with your study permit is valid for multiple entries into Canada.  We recommend, however, that you check after receipt of your TRV that it does in fact indicate multiple entries.  If it was issued for a single entry, it will only be valid for your initial entry into the country.  If you subsequently leave Canada during your studies, you will need to apply for a new TRV to re-enter, unless you are returning from the USA.

    The validity period of a TRV cannot normally exceed that of your passport, nor that of your study permit. To renew a TRV, you must have a study permit or work permit valid for a minimum of 6 months on the day you apply.

    Where do i submit my TRV renewal application?

    In-Canada applicants

    If you are physically in Canada, and if you have a valid study permit or work permit and your passport is being returned to you at an address in Canada, you must send your TRV application online to the Case Processing Centre in Ottawa (CPC-O).  The CPC-O will send you an e-mail message when you finalize your application, asking you to provide your passport. Please note that TRV applications by mail are now accepted only in rare cases, which are described on the IRCC website.

    Applicants abroad

    If you are physically outside Canada, you must submit your TRV application online, except in certain specific cases. The Visa Office will send you an e-mail message when they will have finalized your application, asking you to provide your passport.

    It is not advisable to leave Canada for vacation without first renewing your TRV, as you may not be able to return in time for the start of classes if processing times at your Canadian visa office are longer than expected.  Instead, you should renew your TRV from within Canada, before leaving the country.

    Biometrics

    Biometrics consist of a photograph and fingerprints, which are used by the Canadian government to establish a person's identity. If you are required to provide them, the fee is $85 CDN (170$ for a family unit); you will need to present yourself at a Service Canada collection center for in-Canada applications, an Application Support Center in the USA, or to a Visa Application Center (VAC) in other countries.

    If you have to provide biometrics, you can still complete the online application for your TRV renewal. To proceed with biometric data collection, IRCC will upload an instruction letter on your MyCIC account once they receive your application. Follow the instructions in the letter. Print a copy of the letter and bring it with you, as well as all required documents when you go to the biometrics data collection centre. Note that processing times posted on the IRCC website do not include the time required to travel to the VAC for biometrics collection purpose.

    Once collected, biometrics remain valid for ten years.

    To learn more on biometrics, visit the IRCC website.

    Where do i find the instructions?

    IMPORTANT: You should always rely on the CPP-O, CVO or VAC website that you are sending your application to. Be aware that instructions are forever changing.

    In Canada Applicants

    • Specific and Shipping Instructions
    • Processing Delays for CPP-O are displayed on the IRCC website under the category "Visitor visa (from inside Canada)" and are updated regularly.  Add postal delays for sending and receiving your passport.
    • A 100$ processing fee is required.  Moreover, should you be required to provide your biometrics, you will need to pay 85$, or a maximum of 170$ for a family.
      Payment is made through your MyCIC account at the time of submission, by credit card.
    • Required documents from Polytechnique
      • Recent confirmation of enrolment
      • Transcripts from the Registrar's Office (do not use the unofficial version generated by your online student file)

    Other Applicants (Outside Canada)

    • VAC instructions: Go to the website of the VAC in charge of the territory you have been legally admitted to.
    • The processing delays vary from one CVO to another and are displayed on the IRCC website under the category "Visitor visa (from outside Canada)".  Add postal delays for sending and receiving your passport.
    • A 100$ processing fee is required.  Moreover, should you be required to provide your biometrics, you will need to pay 85$, or a maximum of 170$ for a family.
      • For online application, payment is made through your MyCIC account at the time of submission, by credit card.
      • For paper application, you should refer to the accepted payment methods described in your corresponding VAC website.
    • Required documents from Polytechnique
      • Recent confirmation of enrolment
      • Transcript from the Registrar's Office (do not use the unofficial version generated by your online student file)
        Make sure to request these documents before leaving Canada.  Otherwise, you will need to order them using the appropriate form.

    LINKS