Complying with immigration regulations while studying

Information for graduate degree students

Learn what documentation you need and the university processes you must follow to legally study and work in Canada.

Please note:

  • Waterloo's graduate level programs are intensive and do not have regularly scheduled terms off. 
  • If you want to stay in Canada to work after completing your degree, then it is important to remain registered full-time. Post-graduation work permit eligibility requires continuous full-time study with the exception of part-time registration in your final academic term.
  • If your program allows for part of your program to be completed outside of Canada, it is important to note that only studies within Canada count towards the length of the post-graduation work permit. Exceptions have been made to this policy due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about working after your degree.
  • There may be serious consequences if you incorrectly change your enrolment status and fail to abide by the IRCC's regulations. For example, IRCC may take enforcement action and/or your future applications may be negatively impacted, such as a refused study permit, post-graduation work permit or permanent residency application.
  • If you still hold a valid open work permit that was obtained prior to starting your studies at Waterloo and you want to use it to work more than the study permit regulations allow, please speak with one of our immigration consultants.
  • Your University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) will continue in all the scenarios. Contact Student Financial Services for more information about your specific situation. 

The following scenarios outline how Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada's (IRCC) policies regarding working as a full-time student relate to the University of Waterloo's enrolment rules.