Immigration Consulting

This section provides general information only. Please refer to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada for the most current information.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has published detailed information on how the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is affecting immigration services, including information about travel restrictions, PGWP eligibility, extend your stay, offices closure and biometrics. Due to the rapidly changing situation, Brock International encourages you to read through and consult the government websites regularly. Should you have any concerns, please reach out to Brock’s International Student Advisor.

IRCC continues to accept applications during the COVID-19 response. Visa offices and Visa Application Centres (VACs) may be closed in your region. Applying online as soon as you have the necessary documents is highly recommended as estimated processing times are likely to be extended.

Resources

Studying in Canada

A study permit is an immigration document issued by the Canadian government. It allows you to be in Canada and to study. It can also allow you to work, if you meet the eligibility requirements (see the “Working in Canadasection for more information). 

See a sample study permit 

Who needs a study permit 

Anyone who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada must have a study permit if they plan to study at Brock (or another Designated Learning Institution (DLI)) for more than 6 months. 

Who does NOT need a study permit  

Students that will study at Brock for less than 6 months (eg. 1-term exchange or 1-session English-language) are not required to have a study permit BUT may choose to apply for one. Note: A study permit may allow for on or off-campus work and makes it easier to extend studies in Canada. 

 Even if a study permit is not required, most visitors will require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to travel to Canada (see the “Temporary Resident (Entry) Visa section for more information). 

Study permit applications can take months to be processed. It is a good idea to apply as soon as you have your proof of admission to Brock.

How to apply for a study permit 

  • Generally, applications can be submitted online or on paper to Canadian visa offices and Visa Application Centres (VACs). Please note that application requirements depend on how and where you are applying. See IRCC details about the study permit application process 
  • Citizens and permanent residents of the United States have the option of applying for a study permit when they enter Canada (processed immediately).  
  • Brock University’s DLI# is: O19394569014. This number must be included on a study permit application. 

How long will it take to get a study permit approved 

Expected processing times are published by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). 

Select: “Temporary residence (visiting, studying, working)” > “Study permit (from outside Canada)” > name of country from where you are applying. 

After applying 

  • Successful applicants for a study permit from outside Canada will automatically receive a Temporary Resident (Entry) Visa or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) if their citizenship requires it. No separate application is required. 
  • Successful applicants should receive a ‘Port of Entry Introduction Letter’. This letter must be presented to Canadian immigration officials when entering Canada to get the actual study permit issued. Do not leave the airport before getting the study permit. 

How does COVID-19 impact the application 

IRCC continues to accept applications during the COVID-19 response. Visa offices and Visa Application Centres (VACs) may be closed in your region. Applying online as soon as you have the necessary documents is highly recommended as estimated processing times are likely to be extended.  

IRCC information about the impact of the COVID-19 response. 

A study permit application can be submitted within Canada by someone that is already in Canada with:  

  • A study permit or work permit; OR, 
  • Visitor status AND: 
  • A spouse/partner in Canada with a work or study permit; OR, 
  • Is an exchange student; OR, 
  • Is a visiting student. 

How to apply to extend student status 

Students transferring to Brock  

From Canadian colleges or universities:  

From Canadian high schools: 

  • Must have a valid study permit. Can use high school study permit until its expiry date, but it is wise to apply for a post-secondary study permit as soon as possible. 

Entry Visas

Temporary Resident Visas (TRVs)
Temporary Resident Visas (TRVs) (sometimes called visitor visas) are required by citizens of some countries that want to travel to Canada. They are stickers placed on the page of a passport by Canadian immigration officials before travelling to Canada.  

  • The expiry date on the TRV indicates the deadline for you to enter Canada. It is not the last day that you are allowed to stay in Canada. The last day you are allowed to stay in Canada is the expiry date of your permit. See the “Studying in Canada” section of this page for more information. 
  • The TRV does not need to be renewed when it expires unless you are planning to leave and then re-enter Canada. 
  • Unless otherwise noted, TRVs are valid for multiple entries. 
  • If you hold a valid study permit (or work permit), you do not need a TRV to come back to Canada following a visit only to the United States IF you return before the expiry date of your study permit (or work permit). 

Electronic Travel Authorizations (eTAs)
Electronic Travel Authorizations (eTAs) are required by citizens of most visa-exempt countries that want to fly into Canada. There is no physical sticker, the eTA is just associated with the passport number. 

  • If you do not have a TRV in your passport, you may be from a country that is exempt from the TRV requirement. Check the IRCC site to see if you need a TRV, an eTA, or neither. 
  • An eTA costs $7 CAD and is valid for 5 years or until the expiry of your passport (whichever comes first). 
  • Applications are made online and require a valid passport, e-mail address, and credit card. In most cases, an eTA will be issued in minutes. 
  • Successful applications for study or work permits automatically include an eTA for those whose citizenship requires one. 

If you submit a successful application for a study permit outside of Canada (and your citizenship requires you to have a TRV or eTA), it will be issued with your letter of introduction. It is not necessary to submit a separate application.  

If you already have a study permit (or work permit) but your TRV has expired, or if you do not require a study permit (because you will study for less than 6 months), you need to apply for a TRV. 

How to apply for a TRV 

  • Applications can be processed inside or outside of Canada. Though the application can be made online, immigration officials will require the passport to place the visa in it. This can require extra time. 

How long will it take to get a TRV approve 

Expected processing times are published by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Select: “Temporary residence (visiting, studying, working)” > “Visitor visa (from outside Canada)”  > name of country from where you are applying. 

Working in Canada

On campus 

Students can work on campus if they: 

  • are enrolled full-time, 
  • have a valid study permit (with conditions/remarks allowing work) and, 
  • have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN). 

 IRCC does not limit the number of hours an eligible student can work on campus. 

Off campus 

Students can work off campus if they: 

  • are enrolled full-time in an academic, vocational or professional program (does not include ESL/IELP) that is at least 6 months and leads to a degree, diploma or certificate, 
  • have a valid study permit (with conditions/remarks allowing off-campus work) and, 
  • have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN). 

 Full-time enrollment is different for graduate and undergraduate students, please refer to “Academic Regulations” in Brock Calendars 

IRCC limits off-campus work to no more than 20hrs/week during study periods. Eligible students can only work more than 20hrs/week during “scheduled breaks”. This is when the university/program can document that students are not required to be taking courses (eg. summer for undergraduate students). Not all programs have scheduled breaks. 

Note: If you plan to work in areas where the protection of public health is essential, like with children or in a medical environment where you will have contact with patients, you may need to take an immigration medical exam.

Co-op/Internship work permit 

This co-op/internship work permit program allows international students to participate in Canadian programs of study that require a co-op, internship, or other kind of placement (paid or unpaid).  

 If you have been offered an ‘internship’ as a summer job, but it is not a requirement of your program, you may be able to complete it using the on/off-campus work rules noted above.

Spousal open work permit 

Accompanying spouses and partners of international students are eligible to request a work permit if they want the right to work in Canada.  

  • This can be requested along with an initial study permit application or can be requested after a spouse or partner arrives in Canada. 
  • If your spouse/partner has an open work permit and you are about to graduate and apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), make an appointment with the International Student Advisor to discuss important considerations about that transition.

Post-graduation work permit (PGWP) 

This is an opportunity for students that successfully complete a qualifying program of study in Canada to get a work permit for up to 3 years. 

  • The length of the permit depends on the length of the qualifying program. Usually, programs between 8 and 23 months qualify for one month of work for every month of study (eg. 8 month program qualifies for an 8 month work permit). One exception to this rule is for graduate programs between 16 and 23 months, that don’t have scheduled breaks. These ‘intensive’ programs can qualify for a 3-year work permit. Programs that are 2 years or longer qualify for a 3-year work permit. 
  • This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (meaning it is an option after only one program). 
  • A PGWP application requires confirmation of degree completion and a transcript.  
  • See  IRCC details about applying for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). 

Request Brock Documents for Immigration Applications

Undergraduate students 

    • Request Confirmation of Enrollment Letter via my.brocku.ca. It is important that you select the correct academic year of study and session for which you are requesting the letter. 
    • Brock Central @ the Registrar’s Office (3rd floor, Schmon Tower) can assist you with questions about the document.

Graduate students 

ESL/IELP Students 

ESL/IELP students should request an Enrollment Letter/Attendance Letter from the ESL Services (GLN_B 208, Information Desk on the 2nd floor of the International Centre).

Students who have study permits without these conditions must either apply for a new study permit, or an amendment to their current permit. 

Undergraduate students 

  • For Visa application: Request transcripts via my.brocku.caPlease note: don’t select “hold for official marks” unless you’re finishing your program and applying for PGWP. 
  • For PGWP application: Request final transcript via my.brocku.caPlease note: by selecting “hold for official marks”, you will receive the final transcript once the final marks become official. 
  • Brock Central @ the Registrar’s Office (3rd floor, Schmon Tower) can assist you with questions about the document.  

Graduate students 

  • For Visa application: Request transcripts via my.brocku.caPlease note: don’t select “hold for official marks” unless you’re finishing your program and applying for PGWP. 
  • For PGWP application: Request final transcript via my.brocku.caPlease note: by selecting “hold for official marks”, you will receive the final transcript once the final marks become official. 
  • Brock Central @ the Registrar’s Office (3rd floor, Schmon Tower) can assist you with questions about the document. 

ESL/IELP Students 

ESL/IELP students should request transcripts from the ESL Services (GLN_B 208, Information Desk on the 2nd floor of the International Centre). 

Students who have study permits without these conditions must either apply for a new study permit, or an amendment to their current permit. 

Undergraduate students 

  • Brock Central @ the Registrar’s Office (3rd floor, Schmon Tower) can assist you with questions about the document.

Graduate students 

Social Insurance Number (SIN)

Social Insurance Number (SIN) is required for anyone that wants to work and be paid in Canada. Understand employer’s role of requesting SIN. 

  • International students applying for a SIN require a permit that confirms their right to work. The options are:
    • a work permit; or,
    • a study permit that includes conditions allowing work on and/or off-campus
  • These documents, along with a passport can be taken to any Service Canada office to apply for the SIN. These applications are usually processed within minutes. The nearest Service Canada office is at 395 Ontario St. Henley Square Plaza.
  • Brock International Services invite Service Canada officers to issue SIN on campus multiple times through the year, please follow our upcoming events on ExperienceBU.
  • Service Canada offices are currently closed due to the COVID-19 response. Social Insurance Number applications are being processed online or by mail until Service Canada offices re-open.

Service Canada information about the impact of the COVID-19 response on SIN applications

Students who have study permits without these conditions must either apply for a new study permit, or an amendment to their current permit.

Applying for a new permit 

If the conditions were correct when the permit was issued (eg. Excluding off-campus work for English-language students), it will be necessary to apply for a new permit. 

Requesting an amendment 

  • If the conditions were wrong when the permit was issued (eg. Excluding work for a student in a post-secondary degree program) an amendment can be requested.  
  • Amendment applications must include the original offer of acceptance used in the application for the current study permit AND current confirmation of enrolment. 
  • There is no fee for an amendment request. 
  • See IRCC details about applying for an amendment 

Inviting Parents, Relatives or Friends to Visit Canada

If you have family or friends that require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to enter Canada, you can provide them with a letter of invitation to include in their application. 

In order to assist your family or friends with their TRV application, you should send them the following supporting documents:
 

  • Invitation letter written by you (Brock does not provide an invitation letter, since you are the one inviting them.) 
  • Copy of your study or work permit 

U.S. Visitor Visa

U.S. Visitor Visa

International students may apply for a U.S. visa via the U.S. Consulate in Toronto. To apply for a U.S. visa you must book an appointment online. 

The United States Embassy Consular Services Canada’s website provides current information about applying for a U.S. visa. 

Learn more about the process of applying for a U.S. visa 

Support During Immigration Applications

You can book an appointment with the International Student Advisor to discuss these and other topics through the International Student Support calendar #1 or send an email to isa@brocku.ca.

  • IRCC Help Centre (frequently asked questions – online)
     
  • IRCC Client Support (Call) Centre  – 1-888-242-2100 (for those already in Canada)
    Automated telephone service (available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)You can listen to pre-recorded information about IRCC programs and check the status of your application. 

Call Centre agents (Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Local time, excluding holidays) Services are available in French and English. 

  • IRCC Web Form (direct inquiries can be submitted through the web form) 

It is always recommended to download the most up-to-date forms directly from the CIC website any time you are about to apply for anything. Never save forms for future use.

Visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to or transit through Canada will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). Exceptions include U.S. citizens and travellers with a valid visa. Read about the eTA.