Updating your name(s)
You are able to use up to two first names for different purposes. Your legal name is the name you provided during the application process. It is the name listed by default on campus, unless you add a chosen/preferred first name. Your chosen/preferred first name is the name you would like to be referred to across campus and it will be used instead of your legal name.
To change your legal name:
Changing your legal name on campus will change how your name will appear in the following places:
- the primary name field in Quest on the Personal Information page
- official documents (transcripts, diplomas)
- tax receipts (T4, T2202)
- official University letters
Changing your legal name on campus could create issues with government funding (e.g., OSAP), tax receipts, health insurance, travel visas and graduate school applications.
To change your legal name, complete the Change of Name Form and bring it to The Centre (Needles Hall South, first floor) along with legal documentation. If you do not have legal documentation, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your options.
To change your chosen/preferred first name:
Changing your chosen/preferred first name means this is what you will be referred to by your professors, during co-op interviews, during meetings with advisors and other staff, etc. You can use your chosen/preferred name on all campus forms and on any communication to faculty or staff.
If you included a preferred first name on your OUAC application, this name will be used as your chosen/preferred first name unless you make a change. To change your chosen/preferred first name, go to WatIAM and make the change. Choosing a name with racist or misogynistic overtones is a violation of the University’s ethical behaviour policy and will be addressed under Policy 33 and Policy 71.
Changing your chosen/preferred name will change your first name in the following places and more:
- email display name
- class lists
- exam lists
- Dean’s honours list and other graduation awards
Timing of your name change:
Changes will be reflected across applicable systems within 24-48 hours. However, depending on when in the term this change is made, it may take up to one term to see its usage implemented (e.g., if you change your name in the middle of term, it may take until the start of the new term for an instructor to begin using your name, unless you speak to them about it directly).
Updating your name on WatCard:
If you change a chosen/preferred first name, your WatCard must match in order to prevent issues when providing identification during exams and other scenarios. Go to the WatCard office to receive a replacement card. When requesting a replacement WatCard your original WatCard must be returned.
To change your student email:
If you would like to change your student email address you will first need to update your chosen/preferred name in WatIAM. Once you have updated your chosen/preferred name click on email settings in WatIAM and select your new email. If you have any questions contact the IST Service Desk.
To add or remove your middle name:
To add or remove your middle name so it does, or does not, appear on official documents (e.g., transcripts, diploma), tax forms, etc., fill out the Change of Name Form and visit The Centre (Needles Hall South, first floor).
To add or remove your middle name from your chosen/preferred name (which will appear in WatIAM, Quest, WaterlooWorks, LEARN etc.) log in to your WatIAM account to make the change.
To add an accent to your name on your diploma:
When completing the Application to Graduate Form, include all special characters in the name field. Instructions on how to do this can be found on the Application to Graduate Form. If you cannot find the desired accent, contact your faculty representative in the Office of the Registrar.
To add an accent or special character to the name on your diploma, email Kelly Heald, Manager, Graduate Records. Include your full name, student ID number, and the date and time of your convocation ceremony.
Update your contact information
Updating your contact information can be completed on Quest. Instructions on updating your home and mailing address, phone number, email address, and emergency contacts can be found at How do I view or update my personal information?
Update your gender
Undergraduate students: Use the Undergraduate Gender Update Form to update your gender on your University of Waterloo undergraduate student record.
Graduate students: If you have changed your gender designation and would like to update the University, please email Kelly Heald, Manager, Graduate Records.
Update your immigration status
All changes to your immigration status in Canada are to be reported to The Office of the Registrar or Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA). Documentation can be submitted in person to The Centre or by email to email@example.com. A change to your immigration status may result in a tuition fee reassessment and removal of the international differential fee. Tuition adjustments are applied to the term in which valid supporting documentation has been received in the Office of the Registrar or GSPA by the deadline. Retroactive fee changes for previous terms will not be granted.
Study permit to permanent resident
In Canada, permanent resident status allows you to enter, live, study and work in Canada; however, you have not been deemed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) as a Canadian citizen. You must have one of the following documents to claim permanent residency:
- Record of Landing (IMM1000)
- Permanent Resident Card (PRC)
- Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM5292)
Permanent resident status is attained as of the "Landed on" date indicated on the Record of Landing, not the "Date Issued".
Permanent residents are eligible for the domestic tuition rate.
New Canadian citizen
If you have become a Canadian citizen, provide a copy of either:
- a certificate of Canadian Citizenship, or
- a Canadian Citizenship card
International fee exemptions
Undergraduate students: For a list of international fee exemptions review the Fees for International Students with Student Authorizations in the Undergraduate Studies Academic Calendar
Graduate students: For a list of international fee exemptions review the Fee Schedule and Tuition Assessment Information in the Graduate Studies Academic Calendar.
Update your study permit
As a graduate studies student you are required to upload a copy of your valid study permit when you first arrive on campus and when your previous study permit has expired. Undergraduate students are not required to upload a copy of your study permit.
Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs will email you when you can upload your study permit in Quest.
Uploading a copy of your study permit:
Uploading a copy of your study permit can be completed on Quest. Instructions on uploading your study permit can be found at How do I upload my citizenship/immigration document?
Extend your study permit (Canada)
All students are responsible for applying for study permit renewal through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) at least 30 days before it expires, particularly, if you are planning to continue studying or are completing degree requirements past the expiry date on your study permit. Study permits can only be renewed from within Canada.
Once you have received your renewed study permit you are required to upload a copy in Quest.
Problems in accessing the Immigration document link in Quest - contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions about your immigration documents, health coverage, accommodation, working in Canada and other matters - contact an Immigration Consultant in the Student Success Office.