Immigration: Avoid Hassles by Having all the Official Documents on Hand

Have you decided to come study in Montreal? Your engineering studies at ÉTS will soon be completed, and you want to stay permanently in Québec? In any case, you will have to comply with the immigration regulations. Here are some tips to help you avoid lots of hassles.

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Before your studies

Official Documents Required for Foreign Students

Passport, Quebec Acceptance Certificate, study permit, temporary resident visa... Find out what documents you’ll need to study at ÉTS. As these documents must be valid throughout the course of your studies, you may need to renew some of them during the year. Don’t forget to renew them, or you may not be able to finish your studies!

Any student who is not a citizen of Canada or who does not have permanent resident status and who wishes to study in Québec for more than six months must receive authorization from the Québec Government (provincial) and the Government of Canada (federal) by obtaining a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ – Québec Acceptance Certificate) and a study permit. It may take several months to complete these steps, so get started right away!

Instructions

Programs of Study of Less Than 6 Months

If you are registered for a mobility program of less than six months, you hold the status of visitor. You won’t need a Quebec Acceptance Certificate or a study permit. This is the case for exchange students who are staying for one session only.

Residents of some countries must hold a temporary resident visa to enter Canada. Find out if you need a visa on IRCC’s website. Be sure to look into this yourself, as this document will not be checked by the registrar’s office.

Insurance

This website has no legal value; it’s simply a summary of the procedures in effect, compiled to the best of our knowledge on the date it was prepared. This information is subject to change without notice. The laws and regulations of Québec and Canada, as well as the information found on the MIDI and IRCC websites take precedence over this website.

During your studies

Your CAQ and study permit must be valid throughout the course of your studies. Each semester, the registrar’s office must check to be sure whether your official documents, which are in your student file, are valid for the entire duration of your program of study.

Extend your stay – Renew your immigration papers

If your official documents expire before the end of your program of study, you must renew them and show the registrar’s office proof of their renewal before they expire. Don’t forget, or you may not be able to keep studying at ÉTS!

Instructions

Warning! It is important to start these procedures at least 4 months before the expiration of your documents. Failure to renew your study permit before it expires constitutes an infraction of immigration rules and could adversely affect your future immigration applications (e.g., post-diploma work permit application). If you need to restore your status, you won’t be allowed to study or work. You will be automatically unenrolled from ÉTS, and won’t be authorized to continue your work or internship, on or off campus.

Working in Canada

Most foreign students who hold a study permit are allowed to work during their studies in Canada. Refer to our section Work While You're Studying.

This website has no legal value; it’s simply a summary of the procedures in effect, compiled to the best of our knowledge on the date it was prepared. This information is subject to change without notice. The laws and regulations of Québec and Canada, as well as the information found on the MIDI and IRCC websites take precedence over this website.

After your studies

Did you enjoy your studies in Quebec? Would you like to work or live permanently in Canada after graduation? Here are some statuses and permits that give you the opportunity to stay in Canada.

Post-Graduation Work Permit

As an international student, you may apply for a work permit after you finish your studies. The post-graduation work permit (PGWP) is an open-work permit, which means that you don’t need a job offer to apply, and that you can work in any occupation and location.
This process is simple and straightforward. Here are some things to keep in mind.

 


Source: Mtl International

 

Eligibility conditions, in short:

Find all eligibility criteria and the procedure to follow for post-graduation work permit application on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada: Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Website.

  • Having successfully completed your program of study and having received the attestation of completed studies, and your final transcript, from the registrar’s office.
  • Apply within 180 days following the end of your studies at ÉTS;
  • Having studied full-time during your entire program (except if you have been granted an authorized leave from studies by ÉTS that didn’t exceed 150 days).
  • Attach an explanation letter and supporting documentation for any other specific case.
  • Having no prior PGWP on record.
  • If you are in Canada: holding a valid temporary resident status at the moment of applying (either a study permit or having applied for a change to the conditions of your stay as a visitor)


Validity

The duration of the work permit depends on the regular duration of the studies you’ve done.

  • Programs of 2 or more years (Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD): 3 years
  • Programs of less than 2 years (certificate, DESS): same duration as the program


Processing times

They change on a regular basis and different processing times may apply according to where the application is being processed. Check processing times on IRCC’s website.  

Fees

Regarding the IRCC fee list, the PGWP costs $255. There may also be biometric fees, depending on your situation.

How to apply

You can apply online within Canada, from abroad or at the US border (not recommended by ÉTS).

Online – From Canada

To apply within Canada, you need to submit your application within 180 days after the end of your program and have a valid legal status (study or visitor visa).

If your study permit expires BEFORE you apply for the PGWP, you need to change the conditions of your stay as a visitor by attaching an explanation letter. You don’t have the right to work during the processing time of your PGWP if you have visitor status.

Online – From Abroad

You can apply for a PGWP in a Canadian visa office from abroad.  If you leave Canada, you don’t need to respect the condition of having a valid student or visitor status when applying, but you still need to do it 180 days after you finished your studies.

You can apply online or submit a paper application through a Visa Application Center (VAC). Once accepted, the VAC will issue a letter of introduction for the PGWP and a temporary resident visa or, if needed, an electronic travel authorization (eTA).  Your PGWP will be issued by a Canadian border service agent upon your arrival in Canada.

Applying at a Canadian Port of Entry

While ÉTS do not recommend it, you can apply for a PGWP at a Canadian port of entry, such as at the airport when flying into Canada or at the border when travelling by land. The application will be processed by a Border Services agent (instead of an immigration agent) and the permit will be issued on the spot. There won’t be any form to fill out, but you still need to have all the necessary documents (official letter confirming the end of your studies, transcript, etc.).  For more information on what supporting documents are needed, conduct an online application simulation.

WARNING - If you plan to apply at a land port of entry, you’ll have to leave Canadian soil in order to cross the border again. When you re-enter Canada, you will be subject to the usual customs verification. In other words, flagpoling requires you to have a valid temporary resident status in Canada (student or visitor) in order to be readmitted. Otherwise, your entrance could be denied by the Canada Border Services Agency. Also check the operating hours of the border offices.

Permanent Residence in Canada

Each semester, Student Services invite Quebec’s Ministère de l'Immigration, de la Francisation et de l'Inclusion (MIFI) and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to the ÉTS campus to present their programs leading to permanent residency. Check Interface and register on Reservation to take part in those information sessions.
You can already check the content of their presentation and prepare your specific questions:


I Choose Montreal

Would you like to stay in the greater Montreal area after your studies? Montreal International, in partnership with the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion du Québec Quebec’s ministry of immigration, diversity and inclusion) is there to help you.

Visit the ichoosemontreal Website  and register for their newsletter so you won’t miss anything!

This website has no legal value; it’s simply a summary of the procedures in effect, compiled to the best of our knowledge on the date it was prepared. This information is subject to change without notice. The laws and regulations of Québec and Canada, as well as the information found on the MIDI and IRCC websites take precedence over this website.

Foreign students at ÉTS
Greater Montréal welcomes more than 30,000 foreign students at the post-secondary level, nearly 80%
of the Québec total
At ÉTS, 25% of graduate students are women
More than 60% of ÉTS graduate students come from outside Canada