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I am an international student and was admitted to study at Waterloo in the fall, should I apply for a study permit?

At this time, it’s uncertain which courses will be offered on-campus or online for the upcoming fall term. We recommend that you apply for your study permit as soon as possible, as there will be a delay in processing times due to COVID-19. The sooner you submit your application, the sooner it will begin being processed. Check the IRCC website to see estimated processing times, however recognize that these may not be accurate during the COVID-19 interruptions.  

It is not required that you have a study permit if you are studying online outside of Canada. However, we recommend having a study permit approval before beginning your studies in September, even if you’re planning to study online and from outside of Canada. Reasons why this is recommended: 

  • Once in-person studies resume, a valid study permit and temporary resident visa (TRV) or electronic travel authorization (eTA) will be necessary to enter Canada and continue your studies. If you start your studies without a valid study permit, there’s no guarantee you’ll be approved in the future to come to Canada.  

  • Having a valid study permit before beginning your studies, whether you're inside or outside of Canada, is especially important for those who want to remain eligible for the post-graduation work permit (PGWP).  

You may be required to provide biometrics as a part of your application. Due to the various office closures, the biometrics deadline has automatically been extended from 30 to 90 days. See the FAQs about biometrics for more details. 

If you’re facing delays with completing other aspects of your IRCC application after it’s been submitted, such as the medical examination, please use the IRCC webform to notify them.