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New self-service tools available to students

Friday, May 3, 2019

University of Waterloo Logo

Date: May 3rd, 2019

To: University of Waterloo

From: Student Financial Services

Subject: New self-service tools available to students

What is happening?

To promote Canada as a destination of choice for international studies, the Government of Canada created the Student Direct Stream (SDS) for international students applying for a study permit from China, India, Philippines and Vietnam resulting in faster processing times.

To qualify for SDS, international students are required to provide a copy of an acceptance letter from a designated learning institution. In addition, students must satisfy key criteria, such as submitting:

  1. Proof of payment for tuition for the first year of study
  2. Proof of GIC for $10,000 at designated Canadian financial institutions (CIBC or Scotiabank)
  3. A copy of the upfront medical exam document
  4. A qualifying score of at least 6 for English (IELTS), or Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens score of 7 for French (TEF), or graduation from a Canadian-curriculum high school.

Students who do not have all of the additional information required for SDS can apply through the regular study permit application process, either online or at a Visa Application Centre.

Previously at the University of Waterloo, Student Financial Services (SFS) manually processed each request for a letter estimating tuition fees and subsequent requests for receipts.  Due to an increase in these requests and to streamline the process, a self-service tuition fee estimator has been created to enable students to generate their own tuition fee estimates.

Once the tuition fee estimate has been prepared, the individual will receive a pdf estimate letter attached to an automatically generated email from SFS. International applicants (both undergrad and grad) use this information to make their tuition payment using the Payment Options on the SFS website. 

Once payment has arrived at the University, international applicants who have accepted an offer from University of Waterloo will be able to access their Quest self-service account to see their payment and generate an official receipt.

When is this happening?

As of April 16th, 2019, the tuition fee estimator became available to everyone on the Student Financial Services website.  As of May 1st, international applicants who have accepted an offer from the University of Waterloo will have access to their Quest account and be able to generate their own receipt for pre-paid tuition.

What does this mean to me?

Providing a self-service tool for international students will reduce the wait time for applicants to receive these important documents. For students, it provides them with the convenience and accessibility to obtain required documents to expedite their study permit application process. This will also assist Finance in providing an improved service to applicants who request estimate letters and receipts. For Faculty and Staff, please refer students to the SFS website if they need access to this information.

What if I have questions?

An informal drop in session will be held in the Student Success Office located in South Campus Hall room 247 on May 7th, 2019 from 9:30am until 10:30am. Feel free to drop in and ask questions or request a live demo of either of these features. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact Student Financial Services at

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