Two-term exchange student
If you are studying at Waterloo for two terms as an exchange student, you must have a valid study permit to study in Canada.
For instructions on how to apply for a study permit, please visit the Immigration Consulting page.
Note: Citizens and permanent residents of the United States do not require a TRV or eTA, but still require a study permit if studying for more than six months
One-term exchange student
If you are an exchange student studying in Canada for less than six months, you may come to Canada and study with either:
- 1. A valid Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) depending on your country of citizenship, OR
- 2. A valid study permit (a TRV or eTA is issued with a study permit application)
For instructions on how to apply for a TRV or a study permit, please visit the Immigration Consulting page.
Differences between a study permit vs a TRV/eTA:
A TRV/eTA is an entry document which allows you to visit Canada for six months at a time, unless a Border Services Officer decides otherwise. As a visitor in Canada, you are not authorized to work.
If you are applying for a study permit, the entry document (TRV or eTA) would be issued to you with a study permit approval. A study permit is a status document which is required for studies longer than six months.
As an exchange student with a valid study permit that includes both on and off-campus work authorizations, you are able to work on-campus without limitations on hours and work off-campus for up to 20 hours per week. In order to work, you would also be required to be registered in a full-time course load. If you're studying at Waterloo for only one term, you still need to apply for a study permit if you would like to work while studying. In your study permit application, it's important that you include a letter of explanation to clarify why you are applying for a study permit for one term of study. If you receive approval for a study permit, and wish to work on and/or off campus during your studies, you need to verify that the study permit has the R186(f) or (v) work condition for on and off campus work stated on it when it is issued to you at the airport.
Please check out the immigration applications webpage for additional resources.
Contact one of University of Waterloo's immigration consultants for free if you have questions.