Required Immigration documents
As an international student, you have temporary resident status in Canada. You are required to have the following documents and you are responsible for keeping them valid at all times during your stay in Canada.
Apply as early as possible for your required documents to make sure you will be able to start your studies as planned.
Your passport is your most important immigration document. Your Canadian immigration documents will not be issued for a period of time longer than the expiration date on your passport. As such, if your passport expires, all of your immigration documents expire as well. To renew your passport, contact your closest Embassy or Consulate. Processing times vary by country and you should allow for up to 6 months of processing time to avoid potential delays and interrupting your studies.
2. Study Permit
A study permit is an immigration document issued by the Canadian government that gives you permission to remain in Canada, on a temporary basis, to study. To find out more about how to apply, keep your study permit valid, and comply with the permit conditions, keep reading further below.
3. Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
Everyone (except Canadian citizens, Canadian Permanent Residents and American Citizens) require either a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to travel to Canada. TRV’s and eTA’s authorize the holder to present themselves at a Canadian port of entry. Whether you need a TRV or an eTA depends on your country of citizenship.
Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)
A Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) is also commonly known as a visitor visa. When you apply for your initial study permit from outside of Canada, a TRV is issued automatically. It will say "student" visa in your passport.
If you have a valid study permit, a valid TRV is not required while you are inside Canada. However, it is highly advisable to keep your TRV valid at all times and apply for a new one when it expires in case you need to travel abroad urgently, as a valid TRV is required to return to Canada.
Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
An eTA is obtained through an online application and is usually processed within minutes. When you apply for your initial study permit from outside of Canada, you are automatically issued an eTA.
Unlike a TRV, you will not receive a physical visa document. You will receive an email stating your eTA number or, if you applied for an initial study permit outside of Canada, your eTA number will be on your letter of introduction. eTA’s are required to fly to or transit through a Canadain airport. eTA's are not required if travelling to Canada by car, bus, train or boat.
Immigration documents for your family or friends
As an international student at the University of Saskatchewan, you may be considering inviting your family to visit and/or accompany you during your studies in Canada.
Travelling to and outside of Canada
If you are planning on travelling to or outside of Canada, it is important to plan ahead according to the newest travel rules and exemptions for international students.
Understanding your immigration status
At the International Student and Study Abroad Centre, we understand that the immigration process can be very confusing and complex process. None the less, it is every student’s responsibility to comply with immigration regulations while studying at the University of Saskatchewan.
All students should actively seek to understand the immigration regulations as they apply to them and to use the available resources and supports provided by the department of the Canadian government called Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). IRCC is responsible for implementing and regulating immigration, refugees and citizenship policy in Canada. If at any time you have any questions or concerns, please come to ISSAC to speak with an International Education Officer.
ISSAC hosts several IRCC Information Sessions during the academic year. Find our next session in our events calendar and come meet IRCC representatives in person.
Taking a leave from studies
If you need to take a leave from your studies because you are Required To Discontinue (RTD) from your program, or because of a personal, medical, financial or any other reason, please come talk to ISSAC to discuss the immigration implications and your leave options, supports and resources.
A condition of having a study permit is to actively pursue your studies. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada allows a student to take an authorized leave for up to 150 days and still be considered in active pursuit of their studies. Please see IRCC information on what counts as an authorized leave.
Following changes to the June 1, 2014 Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) regulations, the University of Saskatchewan is required to report on a bi-annual or ad-hoc basis on your enrolment status. It is your responsibility to maintain enrolment and make timely progress toward the completion of your studies. If you are unable to do so, please review the information below.
If any of these scenarios pertain to you, please follow the guidance provided.
1. Required to Discontinue (RTD): If you are not registered in your program of study because you are Required to Discontinue, please come talk to ISSAC to discuss the immigration implications this may have and to access or be referred to supports and resources you may need.
2. Undergraduate Students: if you are not registered in your program of study because of a compassionate, parental, medical, or any other reason, speak to an International Education Officer at ISSAC to enquire about the Designated Learning Institution (DLI) Authorized Leave Request for Undergraduate International Students.
3. Graduate Students: if you are not registered in your program of study for a compassionate, parental or medical leave, or for any other reason, please refer to the College of Graduate and Post-Doctoral Studies Policy Section on Appeals, Leaves of Absence, and Extensions to Time in Program and speak to your graduate administrator in your academic unit.
4. University of Saskatchewan Language Centre Students: If you wish to take a leave of absence from your program or you wish to leave your program at the Language Centre, you must talk with Lynn Bytyqi, U of S Language Centre Student Advisor.
Designated Learning Institution (DLI) Authorized Leave Request for Undergraduate International Students
If you are an undergraduate international student and are not registered/enrolled in your program of study because of a compassionate, parental, medical, or any other reason, speak to an International Education Officer at ISSAC to enquire about the Designated Learning Institution (DLI) Authorized Leave Request for Undergraduate International Students.
Requests for DLI Authorized Leaves for Undergraduate International Students are handled through ISSAC. An International Education Officer will work with your college to complete the process involved. The decision on whether to grant or deny the leave is made by your college.
A request for leave is only considered for international undergraduate students for immigration purposes. If your leave request has been approved, when the University of Saskatchewan is required to report on your enrolment status to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), you will be reported to IRCC as being on an “authorized leave” from study.
- Leaves can only be requested for one academic term at a time, up to a maximum of two approved leaves within one academic year (May 1 to April 30).
- No extensions will be granted and each new request will require new supporting documentation.
- Retroactive leaves will not be considered – you can only request a leave by the deadline for registration changes in the Fall and Winter terms only.
- Leaves will not be considered if you are unable to register in an academic term due to outstanding tuition fees.
Reporting Enrolment Status
Canadian Designated Learning Institutions Compliance Reporting
Reporting to IRCC International students’ Enrolment Status
As a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada, the University of Saskatchewan is 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 enrollment status options, please visit the IRCC website.
Reporting will take place twice a year at the discretion of IRCC. The University of Saskatchewan will receive an email notification from IRCC when a report becomes available for completion and submission.
The International Student and Study Abroad Centre is taking the lead to report to IRCC the enrolment status of international students. We will be contacting international students if we have questions about their enrollment status at the time of reporting. Please check your PAWS account regularly.
Overview of the Compliance report
The University of Saskatchewan will be completing the Compliance report using the Government of Canada online portal. To overview the structure of the compliance report, please visit the IRCC website here.
There are two types of compliance reporting requests according to IRCC:
- Periodic verification: The report is sent to the IRCC twice a year usually in the fall and in the winter or spring, subject to the IRCC notice.
- Ad-hoc verification: Reporting can take place outside of the regular reporting periods upon IRCC’s request.
For help or more information, please contact the International Student and Study Abroad Centre. Or speak to an International Education Officer at ISSAC during drop-in hours Monday to Friday, 9 am to noon. No appointment necessary.
We are here to assist you with questions regarding the IRCC Compliance report. All international students who have a study permit must comply with the Government of Canada’s regulations.
Staying in Canada permanently
You may choose to apply for permanent residency so that you can stay in Canada permanently. Permanent Resident status is a requirement in the processes to obtaining Canadian citizenship.
ISSAC hosts workshops on permanent residency by provincial and federal government partners, the SINP and IRCC, respectively. To see when our next workshop will take place check our events calendar or contact us.
Start by exploring the following:
- Express Entry
- Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)
- Find a Regulated Immigration Consultant or Lawyer by following tips from IRCC.
Effective May 1st, 2018, the university will only accept Permanent Resident Cards as proof of permanent residency. A Permanent Resident card offers many security features and is the recommended official proof of immigration status by Canada Border Services Agency.
One you become a permanent resident, you will normally receive your Permanent Resident card within 60 days of becoming a permanent resident (check the current processing time). The university will update your student record upon receipt of your card and your immigration status will be updated to reflect the day you became a permanent resident.
Use the International Student Guide to learn about life as an international student at the U of S including immigration matters and information on working and living in Canada.
If you can't find what you need in the International Student Guide contact The International Student and Study Abroad Centre (ISSAC). We are here to help! Drop-in advising is available.