Students – Processing: COVID-19 program delivery

Students – Processing: COVID-19 program delivery

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

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Requests for additional documents on applications in progress

An initial study permit application may be refused if the client does not provide a letter of acceptance.

If proof of payment is missing, officers will return a paper application and refuse an e-application.

Officers may request any missing information or documents or impose regulatory requirements for processing in relation to study permit applications in Canada and abroad as follows:

  • If the officer sent a request for additional documentation, but the applicant was unable to comply within the original deadline, officers should bring forward the application and allow an additional 90 days for the applicant to respond.
  • If clients are unable to provide missing documents such as biometrics, medical examinations, police certificates, passports, official civil documents and Quebec Acceptance Certificates (CAQs), officers should continue bringing forward the applications to allow applicants 90 days to submit missing documents. Until further notice, applications may not be refused for missing the above documents due to COVID-19.
  • If clients are unable to provide supporting documents or information requested by the officer, such as family information, client information, language test results, proof of funds, school transcripts or a new letter of acceptance due to deferred enrolment for more than 150 days, and provided no explanation with their application stating that they are affected by the service disruptions due to COVID-19, officers may use their discretion to either grant an extension or make a decision with the information on file.

Temporary residents in Canada

Temporary residents who are in Canada and who would normally be required to provide biometrics are temporarily exempted from the requirement to provide biometrics.

Requests to change DLIs after applying for a study permit

Outside Canada

Students may request to change their DLI prior to entering Canada if their visa or electronic travel authorization (eTA) has not yet been approved by IRCC.

If the student changed their DLI after submitting their study permit application and the application is still in progress, the student may submit their new letter of acceptance via the IRCC Web form.

If their visa or eTA has already been approved, the student should submit a new application and pay the appropriate fees online or at the visa application centre.

Inside Canada

Students engaging in post-secondary studies in Canada may transfer between institutions (both public and private) or change their course or program of study without applying for a change to the condition of their study permit, as long as the receiving institution is a DLI.

Students should notify IRCC through their MyAccount when they transfer to another DLI.

Students who transfer to a DLI that doesn’t have an approved COVID-19 readiness plan and decide to leave Canada may not be able to return because their DLI is not on the approved list.

Hong Kong student priority process

See Guidance for special measures to support Hong Kong residents to come to Canada for priority processing instructions on study permit applications for holders of a passport issued by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) or the United Kingdom to a British National Overseas (BNO).

Approval of a study permit application processed outside of Canada

Foreign nationals who are physically in Canada and who received a positive decision letter (letter of introduction) on their study or work permit application [IMM 1294 or IMM 1295] processed outside of Canada may request the examination and document issuance required by section 11 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) from within Canada using the IRCC Web form.

Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, these foreign nationals can’t leave and re-enter Canada to present their letter of introduction for examination (in other words, they can’t travel to a port of entry to flagpole or travel to another country and return). Therefore, a process has been developed to conduct the examination and issuance of documents required under section A11. This process will be in place until March 31, 2021.

See Foreign nationals who are in Canada with a letter of introduction (LOI) after approval of a study or work permit application processed outside of Canada: COVID-19 program delivery for more information.