For many international students that means leaving Canada for the summer to travel with friends or visit family outside the country.
If you are one of the lucky ones going off on a summer holiday out of the country, here are some things to consider as you pack your bags and prepare for the summer months ahead.
Maintaining your immigration status during the summer months
Students studying at a Designated Learning Institution, or DLI, in Canada for longer than six months need to have a valid Canadian study permit before starting their studies.
A study permit is a document issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) to foreign nationals interested in pursuing studies at a DLI in Canada. In most cases, a study permit is valid for the duration of your study program, plus an extra 90 days.
The additional 90 days are to give students enough time to prepare for a study permit extension or to make any other arrangements after completing their studies. IRCC advises that you leave three months to extend your study permit and (at least) six months to apply for a new passport. Be sure to check the expiry date for both.
IRCC says a Canadian study permit is not a visa. Students with a valid study permit who are planning to leave Canada for the summer months need to have up-to-date documents to re-enter Canada.
If you want to travel outside Canada and re-enter, you will need the following documents in addition to your study permit:
- A Temporary Resident Visa (if you are not from a visa-exempt country); or
- An Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) (if you are from a visa-exempt country and you are traveling to Canada by air); and
- A valid passport.
It is important to note that having all the necessary documentation is not a guarantee that a Canadian border services officer will let you back into the country. A Canadian border officer must be satisfied that you meet all the travel requirements to enter Canada.
Extending your study permit
IRCC recommends that you apply to extend your study permit if you plan to travel outside Canada and your permit expires while you are travelling.
You should apply for a new study permit before your current one expires, and it is recommended that you submit the application for renewal at least 30 days before your current permit expires. The application can be sent to IRCC by mail or online.
Biometrics program expansion
The Government of Canada is expanding its Biometrics program starting July 31, 2018. Therefore, the federal government says starting July 31, 2018, you will need to give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics) when you apply to extend your study permit if you are from Europe, the Middle East or Africa.
However, a temporary exemption applies to in Canada study permit extension applicants. If you are applying for a study permit extension in Canada, you will be temporarily exempt from giving biometrics for your extension application until 2019. This is when Canada will set up biometrics collection points.
Staying in Canada over the summer months
So, if you don’t have an out of country vacation planned and you would like to stay in Canada, you’ve got options.
If your study permit authorizes you to work off-campus, you can work up to 20 hours per week during the school year and work full-time during scheduled breaks, such as the summer or winter holiday and spring break.
If you recently graduated, you can either apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit to work in Canada, apply to extend your stay in Canada as a visitor, or find your pathway to Canadian permanent residence.
It is important, however, that you verify the eligibility requirements and deadlines for all these options with IRCC, a licensed attorney or an authorized Canadian immigration consultant.
If you have any questions, feel free to write us now.
© 2018 CanadaStudyNews All Rights Reserved