International Students

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Initial Requests for Documents Outside Canada

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 MIDI (Ministère de l'Immigration, Diversité et Inclusion du Québec) and IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) Websites prevail over this website.
Last update of this page: 2016-05-16

As soon as you receive your letter of admission, you should start immigration proceedings to obtain the authorizations required for all international students. These procedures can be lengthy (3 to 6 months on average) and vary according to your personal situation.

ATTENTION! These are fundamental procedures for allowing you to enter Canada as a student.  You must have received all the necessary authorizations to arrive at Polytechnique prior to the beginning of classes, so that you can arrive in Montréal, settle down and attend orientation activities.  You will not be allowed to arrive after the deadline set each trimester by the Registrar's Office.

Note, too, that having a family member or friend already in Canada does not serve to speed up the procedure. Though the CAQ application can be sent from Montréal, in most cases, you will have to apply for an initial study permit through a Canadian Visa Office abroad. If needed, contact us to know in which cases a first study permit can be processed in Canada.

As a general rule, individuals who are neither Canadian nationals nor permanent residents and who wish to study in Québec must obtain the following authorizations:

  1.  A Certificat d’acceptation du Québec for studies (CAQ) from the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l'Inclusion (MIDI);
  2.  A study permit from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
  3. You will also need a Temporary Resident Visa to Enter in Canada or an Electronic Travel Authorization.  
  4. If you need to do a layover in another country, a transit visa from that country may also be required.

These procedures vary according to the lenght of your stay in Canada and according to your nationality.  Note that specific conditions apply to those with a diplomat status in Canada. 

ATTENTION: You must have the required authorizations by the start of classes!  


You need first of all to hold a passport that, if possible, covers the whole duration of your studies.  

Certificat d’Acceptation du Québec (CAQ)

Learn how to ask for a CAQ, what forms need to be filled out, and what supporting documents to include. Processing time: 3 to 4 weeks, excluding postal delays.

Study permit

Find out how to apply for a study permit, what forms need to be filled out, and what supporting documents to include. Processing time : 2 weeks to 3 months, depending on where the application will be processed.

Temporary resident visa and electronic travel authorization

Do you need a temporary resident visa or an electronic travel authorization?  Find out more in this section

Transit visa

If you need to do a layover in another country on your way to Montréal, you might need to get a transit visa.

Studying without a CAQ or study permit

Find out in which cases you can be exempted from a CAQ and/or a study permit.