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Preparing to study in Canada - future students
Apply for a study permit
If you wish to study in Canada you will need a Canadian Study Permit. The Canadian government's department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issues study permits. Visit their website to find out more information about study permits. Remember, the processing times for study permits can be lengthy.
How long will it take?
The process and wait time will depend on what country you are in. Visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website to find a visa office, or embassy outside Canada, or contact a visa application centre.
What will it cost to study in Canada?
For information on financial requirements, please visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website.
Do I need other documentation?
Depending on your country of origin you will also need either a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or an electronic travel authorization (eTA). To find out which travel document you require visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website for more information.
What is next?
The International Student Office has prepared a New Student Orientation module in Moodle. Please sign in using your UPEI username and password. The module contains more information about what to pack, and tips to help you prepare for your upcoming travel.
Once you have been approved you will receive a Letter of Introduction to present to the border officer when you reach Canada.
Helpful hint: if you are taking a program of study that is less than six-months in length a study permit will not be required; however, it may be recommended. Many exchange students decide that they would like to stay longer than the six months. Some visiting students even decide to move to PEI to continue their education. If you already have a study permit it is much easier to make this transition.
Are you a minor?
Will you be under the age of eighteen when you enter Canada? If so, special rules apply to you. You will need a completed Custodianship Declaration Form. Please see the section about minors studying in Canada.
*please note UPEI does not provide custodianship services for minors. Potential students must provide their own custodian.
Important immigration information for current students
Will I be able to work part time?
International students are able to work on/off campus up to 20 hours a week while they study full time at UPEI. If you have conditional admission to UPEI and you are taking our English Academic Preparation program, you are not authorized to work. Also, you are NOT permitted to work before you start your program of study, or if you are no longer a full-time student. For more information, please visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website.
My program has a work component, do I need a special permit?
Canadian immigration guidelines require students with a co-op work term, or a paid or unpaid work internship to have a co-op work permit. It can take a few months to receive this permit, so please make sure that you apply in time. More information can be found here.
Are there opportunities to stay and work in Canada after graduation?
Yes, Canada has one of the best post-study work options in the world. The post graduate work permit (PGWP) is a special work permit created just for international students. In order to qualify for a post graduate work permit, students must be continuously enrolled in full time studies, with the only exception that they can be part-time in their last semester. Permits are available in varying lengths and are tied to the length of the student’s program.
Do you assist with applications for permanent residence?
No, staff of the international student office are not permitted to advise on permanent residency. However, every year we have visitors from the provincial and federal government come to campus to provide information and answer questions on how those with valid student status can transition to permanent residence. Please check your email for important updates from our international team.
Does the International Student Office provide help with study-permit and visa renewals for students?
Yes, we are pleased to say that our international student advisors are available to meet with students one-on- one to provide individualized immigration support. However, you do need to book an appointment a few days in advance. Please bring your immigration documents with you when you come to an appointment.
Can I take a “gap” year?
No, students are considered temporary residents of Canada and are governed under the Immigration Refugees Protection Act (IRPA). Canadian law requires all international students to be continuously enrolled at a designated learning institution (DLI) while they are in Canada. Violations of your study permit rules can result in deportation.
My study permit has expired, what do I do?
You must stop studying and working immediately! You are now in violation of Canadian immigration law. If your study permit expired less than 90 days ago you can apply for restoration of status. If it is over 90 days, you must return home and apply for a new study permit before you will be able to resume classes. Please come and see an advisor at Dalton Hall, 4th floor.
Other immigration services we supply:
- Confirmation of enrolment letters for undergraduate students.
- Letters of Invitation for graduation for undergraduate students.
- Pick up a handy package to help you prepare for an American Visitor Visa appointment.
The University of Prince Edward Island employs Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) and Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors (RISIAs) in order to provide existing UPEI international students with relevant immigration information, and assistance with immigration document renewals that are within the licensees’ scope of practice. Staff also provide basic immigration advice to incoming students to UPEI. These staff members work within the International Student Office and the Office of Study and Stay. These services are provided free of charge to all UPEI International Students.
The work of these staff members falls under the oversight of the College of Citizenship and Immigration Consultants. All advisors are required to follow the CICC Code of Professional Conduct. The Code in intended to protect individuals from unprofessional, unethical, or incompetent practice by licensees (note sections 23, 24 and 25 do not apply).
For more information on The College of Citizenship and Immigration Consultants, their mandate, work to educate the public about unlicensed consultants, and complaint procedures please click here.
Have a question or need help? Contact one of our International Student Advisors, or drop in to see us at the International Student Office in Dalton Hall (4th floor)
Note: The information on this webpage was accurate at the time of publication, and was prepared by a Regulated International Student Immigration Advisor (RISIA). However, immigration rules change frequently, so please refer to the Canadian government Immigration webpage for the most up to date information.
Following changes to the June 1, 2014 Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) regulations, the University of Prince Edward Island is required to report on a bi-annual or ad-hoc basis on your enrolment status. International students have the responsibility to maintain full time enrollment and make timely progress toward the completion of their studies. Students are not permitted to take unauthorized leaves from their studies and remain in Canada. Please speak to an international student advisor if you have concerns about your current or future enrolment status. Students who are not enrolled for more than one semester are also required to reapply to the University of Prince Edward Island. Please note that readmission to the university is not guaranteed. Admissions staff will review your progress to date at the university and consider academic, financial and immigration matters when making a decision about your eligibility for readmission.
Reporting to IRCC International students’ Enrolment Status
The University of Prince Edward Island is a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada. All DLIs are required to report to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) the enrollment status of international students who have applied for a study permit as of June 1, 2014 and are enrolled in a program of study of at least six months in duration. To learn more about the compliance reporting and student enrolment status options, please visit the IRCC website.
Reporting will take place twice a year, or at the discretion of IRCC. The International Student Office (ISO), is required to report on your enrolment status, and if we have any questions about your status we will reach out to you. Please be prepared to provide any information about your whereabouts or course registration and attendance. All international students in Canada are required to keep their address and contact information updated. Make sure that you notify the University of any changes to your address via the MyUPEI portal. Changes in address can be sent to IRCC via your GC account portal.
Overview of the Compliance report
The University of Prince Edward Island uses the Government of Canada online portal to complete these reports. To overview the structure of the compliance report, please visit the IRCC website.