As an international student you require valid immigration documents to live and study in Canada. Please use the resources below as a guide to help you get started and maintain your immigration and legal documents.
If you need help navigating this information, please reach out to one of our International Student Advisors.
For more detailed information, please visit Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
All full-degree international students are required to have a Study Permit to study in Canada.
You should apply as soon as you receive you letter of acceptance. The time needed to process an application to study in Canada may vary at different visa offices and may take several weeks.
Visit Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada - Visa offices outside Canada for a list of embassies.
US students may apply for a study permit at the US/Canada point of entry.
Only some people can apply for a study permit from within Canada. If you are currently in Canada and wish to apply for a study permit, please visit Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada for more information and to see if you meet the requirements.
NOTE: If your study permit is still valid, you do not need to change or apply for a new permit if you are moving between school levels (for example: high school to post-secondary). Make sure to change your DLI number within your Immigration account, which can be done online. If you wish to work while you are studying, you will need to exten your study permit.
For more information about applying for a study permit and visa, visit Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
A study permit is not a visa. Citizens from certain countries require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to enter Canada.
The Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) is placed in your passport to show that you have met the requirements for admission to Canada as a temporary resident. If you have been issued a study permit and are from a visa-required country, you will need to apply for a new TRV when the current TRV expires for future re-entry to Canada.
You should inquire at the Visa Office in your home country to determine whether you need a TRV or check the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website.
For students with families, you should ensure that your family members have the appropriate visas to enter and reside in Canada as well by inquiring at the Visa Office in your home country.
Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) Visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to or transit through Canada are expected to have an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). Exceptions include U.S. citizens and travelers with a valid Canadian Visa. Visit Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada - eTA for more information.
When you arrive in Canada, you will arrive at a Port of Entry (POE) which is an entry point into Canada selected by the Government of Canada. Most often, the Port of Entry that you will come through will be the first airport or land crossing that you stop at in Canada. It is important that you are prepared for your entry into Canada. Please continue reading for a list of documents you will need to obtain and carry with you when travelling to Canada.
It is important that you show the Immigration Officer the following documents to complete the process at the Canadian Port of Entry:
- Your Passport
- Your Study Permit, or a Letter of Introduction or an email (from the High Commission, Embassy or Consulate) confirming approval of a study permit
- Original letter of admission from the University of Guelph
- A list of any items that you may be sending separately
These documents and any cash or traveler's cheques that you may have should be kept in your carry-on luggage or on your person. It is a good idea to write down the address of the place you are planning to arrive at (residence office or temporary accommodation) and keep it in your carry-on luggage or on your person.
If you are bringing family members to live with you in Canada while you study, make sure they have the correct immigration documentation.
Your spouse and children will apply for the Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to join you in Canada. Minor children who are accompanying you may study in Canada without a study permit at the pre-school, primary, and secondary levels. Your spouse may be eligible to apply for an open work permit (SOWP) and can be employed both on- and off-campus. Immigration procedures change regularly. For the most up-to-date information, visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website.
Citizens of most countries require a visa to enter the United States. If you intend to travel to the USA, it is recommended that you apply for this visa in your country of residence. If you want to apply from Canada, you must be enrolled in school for at least six months and prove that you will be returning to school after your visit. You can prove this with a confirmation of enrolment letter from the University.
Read below for information about working on- and off-campus as an international student. For more information, please visit Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada or contact one of our International Student Advisors.
Full-time international students on a valid study permit are able to work on campus throughout the year in various academic and administrative departments.
There are various employment opportunities advertised on Experience Guelph. You may find on-campus job opportunities with the Work Study Program, Hospitality Services, Physical Resources, Teaching Assistant (if you are an upper-year student), and more. Other job search platforms include organization websites, Indeed, Workopolis, and more.
International students with a valid study permit can work off-campus for up to 20 hours per week during a regular academic term, and full time during regularly scheduled breaks. You must continue to meet the conditions of your study permit in order to remain eligible for off-campus work. Please pay attention to the working boundaries stated on your study permit and adhere to them.
Students who did not gain admission to co-op directly from their high school have another opportunity to apply to co-op through the University of Guelph's in-course admission process. This admission will be based on academic achievement, space in the program, and agreeing to the schedule of studies outlined in the Undergraduate Calendar. Application deadlines are the last class day in the Fall and Winter semesters depending on the program. For more information about the in-course admission process visit the Experiential Learning Hub website.
International students who are eligible to continue in co-op following their first year of studies must apply for and secure a co-op work permit prior to being given access to the job search system. You will receive a verification letter to include in your co-op work permit application. Working conditions listed on your study permit do not cover co-op work terms. Students must secure a co-op work permit. For more information about the co-op work permit, visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website.
After graduation, international students may work for a period of up to three years in Canada under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWP) of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). International students can receive an open work permit (no restrictions on the type of employment and no job offer requirement). Visit the IRCC website for recent regulation updates that may affect you. You must have a valid study permit and apply within 90 days of completing your degree requirements.
In order to maintain PGWP eligibility, international students are not authorized to take unscheduled breaks. This means not taking additional semesters off outside of what the University deems your break (summer, reading week, Christmas break). It is not advised as an international student to drop to part-time status at any time unless you are registered into your last semester. There are some exceptions but before taking a semester off or dropping down to part-time please consult with one of our International Student Advisors.
While working in Canada, you will have tax deducted from your earnings. In March, you can file your income tax with the Federal Government, and you may receive some of this deducted tax back. International Student Experience offers tax information sessions every March, and if you are on the international student email listserv, you will be notified of when and where these will happen. For more information on income tax for international students, visit the Canada Revenue Agency website.
A SIN allows an employer to process payroll while informing the Canadian Revenue Agency of the amount of money a person earns. You apply for a SIN in person at Service Canada. To get a SIN, you will need a valid study permit that includes statements such as "may accecpt employment", and your passport. Service Canada officials will be present at the University of Guelph at the beginning of each semester to issue SINs on-campus. For more information about when Service Canada will be at the University, visit GryphLife. The closest Services Canada location from campus is 259 Woodlawn Road West, Suite C, Gueph.
IMPORTANT: Do not reveal your SIN. Your SIN can be used to steal your identity. Learn to protect your SIN.
There are specific procedures for immigrating to Canada. While International Student Experience cannot assist you in this process, we are happy to direct you to the appropriate resources.
A permanent resident is someone who has acquired permanent resident status by immigrating to Canada, but is not yet a Canadian citizen. Permanent residents have rights and privileges in Canada even though they remain citizens of their come country. For more information on immigrating to Canada visit Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. They have provided a specific page about the requirements and steps to apply.
For information about applying to be a Canadian citizen, you need to visit Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.