What you need to know as a new or returning international student for Winter 2022

What you need to know as a new or returning international student for Winter 2022

Dear International Students,

As you know, you must obtain proper authorizations in order to study in Canada, in the province of Quebec. If you are admitted to a full degree program or as an exchange student for 2 semesters, you must apply for a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) to the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) and once you receive the approval of your CAQ application you can apply for a study permit to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). You cannot study in Canada without these 2 very important documents if you are studying in a complete degree program.

If you are admitted as an exchange student for 1 semester and if you are considered fully vaccinated with approved vaccines in Canada, you can enter Canada as a visitor and complete your program of study of 6 months or less with this status. In this situation, you must apply for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

If you are a new student and want to study physically at Bishop’s University or remotely from within Canada, you must obtain the proper authorizations and you have to apply for these authorizations before coming to Canada.

Starting July 5, 2021, the Canadian government has issued new travel restrictions to allow entry into Canada, both by air and land. For more information about the required COVID-19 testing and quarantine requirements, please visit the IRCC website.

On this web page, you will find a summary of immigration information for new and returning international students traveling to Bishop’s this winter.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Lysange Gervais
International Student Success and Global Learning Coordinator
Bishop’s International
international@ubishops.ca
Bishop’s University
2600 College Street
Sherbrooke, QC J1M 1Z7, CANADA

Emergency outside regular operating hours:

Should you require immediate assistance for an emergency outside of the regular operating hours, please call Bishop’s Security Department at 819-822-9711 or from a phone on campus, dial extension 2711.

Important

All the information on this website is taken from the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website (IRCC, https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/study-canada.html) as well as the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration du Québec (MIFI, https://www.quebec.ca/en/education/study-quebec); in case of discrepancies, the IRCC and MIFI websites prevail. The information contained on this website does not constitute a legal opinion and is not binding on Bishop’s University.

Updated on December 15, 2021

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Information for All International Students

COVID-19 Travel Restrictions for International Students

As of October 20, 2020 international students travelling to Canada from outside of the United States who hold a valid study permit or whose application for a study permit was approved and have a letter of introduction could be allowed to enter Canada. International students travelling to Canada from the United States could apply for their study permit at the port of entry. Travels to Canada must be for a non-discretionary purpose. These students must attend a designated learning institution (DLI) with an approved readiness plan. All Québec DLIs have an approved readiness plan, including Bishop’s University.

The Canadian government has issued new travel restrictions to allow entry into Canada, both by air and land. For more information about the required COVID-19 testing and quarantine requirements, please visit the IRCC website.

Starting from July 5, 2021, new directives are in place for COVID vaccinated travellers.

As of January 15, 2022, only fully vaccinated students will be allowed to enter Canada to attend a designated learning institution in Canada. If you are a minor (under the age of 18) and are not fully vaccinated, you will be allowed to come to Canada if you are attending a designated learning institution with a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by the province or territory where the school is located, which Bishop’s is.

For more information on travelling to and within Canada, please see the announcement from the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Travel page: COVID-19 Boarding flights and trains in Canada.

Family members: There are some easing up of the restrictions for fully vaccinated students’ family members (visitors) traveling to Canada. As of August 9, 2021, American citizens and permanent residents of the United States who currently reside in the United States who are fully vaccinated will be able to enter Canada. As of September 7, 2021, all other fully vaccinated foreign nationals will be able to enter Canada as visitors.

As of April 1, 2022, a negative entry test is no longer required to come to Canada if you are considered a fully vaccinated traveller. If you are considered an unvaccinated traveller, then the pre-entry testing requirements remain.

Anyone entering Canada is required to have a written plan for their 14-day quarantine. Failing to do so may risk refusal of entry into Canada by the Canada Border Services Officer.

A sample quarantine plan is provided to you as a courtesy (see COVID-19 Institutional Readiness Requirements for International Students). Please note that you may still be refused entry to Canada, at the discretionary power of the Canada Border Services Officer. Remember to personalize this plan and print it out so you have it on hand when you need it.

Prior to departure, you and any co-arriving family members must download the ArriveCAN application. Use this mobile app to speed up your arrival process in Canada and spend less time with border and public health officers. Submit your information easily and securely using the app within 72 hours before arriving in Canada. The app helps you to:

  • provide mandatory information that’s required for entry into Canada;
  • reduce your wait time and points of contact at the border;
  • provide the Government of Canada with updates on your quarantine compliance.

Moreover, when you enter Canada, you will need a proof of enrolment at Bishop’s University (Verification of Enrolment Letter of Winter 2022 on myBU) to prove that you are coming to study this winter, and if you are a new student you will also need to bring your Admission Letter from Bishop’s University.

Travel from Canada

The Government of Canada has announced that, effective October 30, 2021, proof of full vaccination, with accepted vaccine in Canada, will be required for all travelers aged 12 years and older who are:

  • Air passengers travelling on domestic or international flights from Canada;
  • VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer train passengers;

For you, this means that:

  • If you arrive in Canada through an airport other than Montreal-Trudeau (YUL), you must be fully vaccinated, with accepted vaccines in Canada, to continue your trip to Montreal on a train or plane within Canada;
  • If you arrive directly at Montreal-Trudeau airport and you are not fully vaccinated, with accepted vaccines in Canada you will have to respect the quarantine rules in effect. It is important to understand that you will not be able to leave Canada until you are fully vaccinated. We remind you that you can be vaccinated for free in Sherbrooke.

For more information, please visit the Government of Canada website.

To enter Canada, students will need to have:

  • your passport;
  • a valid CAQ or approval letter of your CAQ application;
  • a valid study permit or a letter of introduction from IRCC confirming the approval of your study permit application;
  • for new students, your admission letter from Bishop’s University (3 pages offer of admission + table in the immigration package);
  • for all students, a proof of enrolment to prove that you are coming to Canada to study (Verification of Enrolment Letter of Winter 2022 on myBU);
  • a late arrival letter from Bishop’s if you plan your arrival after January 25, 2022 (ask for it by contacting Bishop’s International at international@ubishops.ca)
  • a detailed quarantine plan (14 days);
  • the receipt from ArriveCan proving that you completed the information asked before your departure;
  • a proof of a negative test result for COVID-19, if you are unvaccinated;
  • a proof of a negative laboratory test result (PCR) for COVID-19, carried out 72 hours before boarding your flight;
  • a reservation for arrival testing (optional);
  • proof that you have enough money for your stay;
  • for new students and students who left Canada for more than 6 months, a valid immigration medical exam result (if you needed one).

Residences and Quarantine

Visit the COVID-19 Institutional Readiness Requirements for International Student web page, which provides information regarding the mandatory 14-day quarantine and living in residences this Winter semester. Please read it and if you have any questions, write to international@ubishops.ca.

Information for New International Students Coming to Bishop’s for the First Time

If you are a new student and want to study physically at Bishop’s University or remotely from Canada, you must obtain the proper authorizations: a CAQ and a study permit.

If you are a new student and want to study remotely from your home country, you can study without a CAQ and study permit, but you will require a CAQ and study permit to eventually continue and complete your study program in Canada. Find below (see section “Post-graduation Work Permit (PGWP)” why studies abroad without CAQ and study permit may not count towards a post-graduation work permit.

Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ)

  • The first step is to apply for CAQ online. Go to https://www.quebec.ca/en/education/study-quebec/obtaining-authorizations and then select “Required document” and “File an online temporary selection application for studies”.
  • You will have to answer a series of questions. You will need to have your passport, letter of admission from Bishop’s University, the name and address of the person who will support you financially and pay the processing fees of $117 CAD (fees are valid as of January 1, 2021).
  • A Declaration, Commitments and Authorizations form, personalized checklist, and support documents form will be generated. You will have to print these forms, gather the required documents and create an account on ARRIMA portal and upload the documents. Click on this link to access the ARRIMA portal and create your account. To help you, do not hesitate to refer to the tutorial for ARRIMA (Tutorial in French but courtesy translation provided). When asked about your admission letter from Bishop’s University please include the 3-page letter and the table with your information from the immigration package.
  • The application normally includes the submission of original or certified copies but due to COVID-19, MIFI now accepts regular copies with the submission if originals or certified copies cannot be obtained but reserves the right to request original or certified copies.
  • Processing time: If your application is complete, it will be processed within 20 working days.
  • The Letter of Approval is being issued online and can be submitted with the study permit application, so you do not have to wait for your original CAQ.
  • Original CAQ will be mailed to your mailing address.

Study Permit Application Outside of Canada

The processing time for a study permit can vary by country and can take several weeks. We therefore recommend that you submit your application for a study permit as soon as possible. For those studying in Quebec schools and still awaiting approval of their Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ), proof of CAQ application (https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-covid19/students.html#quebec) can be attached to the study permit application.

  • You must apply online using MyCIC. If you do not have an account, you must create one. Visit the registration page https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/application/register.html to create your account.
  • You will need to upload documents such as your passport, an ID photo, admission letter from Bishop’s University (3-pages letter and table), proof of financial support and any document in support of your study plan in Canada and pay the processing fees of $150 CAD. To help you complete your study permit application refer yourself to the general instruction guide as well as the instruction guide specific to your country of residence if applicable.
  • Your application is processed at a Canadian Visa Office, likely the visa office that serves your country of citizenship or current residence.
  • Study permit application should not be refused if it is incomplete due to COVID-19. This includes being unable to give biometrics, undergo a medical exam, or provide an original travel document. Applications will be kept open until required documents are provided. You will have to put an explanatory letter in the place of the missing document and mention that you will add the missing document via IRCC web form when you will receive it (https://www.cic.gc.ca/english/contacts/web-form.asp).
  • When applying for a study permit outside of Canada, a visa for those who are not from a visa-exempt country and an eTA for those who are from a visa-exempt country will automatically be issued.

Online Studies Outside of Canada

If you have not been able to travel to Canada for prior semesters and are taking online courses from abroad, you can study without a CAQ or study permit. A study permit is not necessary if you want to study online from abroad. However, you will need to apply for a CAQ and a study permit if you plan to enter Canada at one point, to complete program requirements or to be eligible for the PGWP.

Information for Returning International Students

If you were already a student at Bishop’s and hold a valid CAQ and study permit, you can continue your studies in Canada as long as you maintain a valid student status by applying for a new CAQ and extend your study permit prior to the expiry date of your current authorizations.

If your CAQ and study permit are still valid, but you left Canada, you can of course continue your program remotely. It would be wise to consider coming back to Canada prior to the expiry date of your study permit in order to be able to extend that status after obtaining a new CAQ, which can be obtained while you are in your home country. If you decide to stay in your country past your study permit’s expiry date, you will not have the opportunity to extend that status. You would therefore need to apply for a new study permit from outside of Canada and wait for the approval before traveling to Canada.

If you have questions about renewing your CAQ and your Study Permit or would like to learn about the application process, you can participate in webinars given every two weeks by Lysange Gervais, Regulated International Student Immigration Advisor (RISIA). Here is the information to register:

My CAQ and study permit: How to renew it?

Register for the CAQ and Study Permit webinar

Study Permit Extension from Canada

  • You must apply online using MyCIC.
  • The processing fee is $150 CAD.
  • If you apply before the expiration of your current study permit, you will have a maintained (implied) status and therefore you can continue studying during the processing of your extension. Implied status is not maintained if you leave Canada during the processing of your application.
  • If you did not apply to extend your study permit prior to its expiry date, you will have to apply for a restoration of your student status.
  • If your student status expired and you had to apply for a restoration, you cannot continue studying until a new study permit is issued. The processing fee for the study permit is $150 and the restoration fee is $200.
  • Incomplete applications due to COVID-19 will not be refused (expired passports, medical exam, CAQ). Applications will be kept open until required documents are provided. You will have to put an explanatory letter in the place of the missing document and mention that you will add the missing document via IRCC web form when you will receive it (https://www.cic.gc.ca/english/contacts/web-form.asp).

*BIOMETRICS EXEMPTION:

IRCC has put in place until further notice a public policy to exempt temporary residence applicants applying from within Canada from having to give their biometrics. This is a major change that will help international students receive their study permits with less delay. Please read the details on the IRCC website.

Online Studies in Canada

If you were already studying in Canada and your classes were moved online due to the travel and health restrictions introduced due to COVID-19, you won’t be penalized with regard to your PGWP eligibility.

Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)

For students who have already started their program (before the pandemic situation)

Students who had become part-time students or put their studies on pause because of the pandemic during winter, spring and summer 2020 semesters will not see their PGWP eligibility and length impacted. Also, your eligibility for the PGWP will not be impacted if your in-person classes in Canada have been moved to an online-only format and you had to continue your classes online because of COVID-19. However, you will need to provide an explanatory letter with supporting documentation from the university to prove that it was related to COVID-19.

For students who started their program between Spring 2020 and Summer 2022

New measures were introduced to facilitate access to the PGWP for online studies. To be eligible for these measures, students must have submitted a study permit application before starting a program of study between spring 2020 and summer 2022. All students must eventually be approved for a study permit.

The following situations will not impact your eligibility to or the length of your PGWP:

  • You are completing 100% of your studies online from outside Canada.
  • All your time studying online outside Canada between spring 2020 and August 31, 2022, counts toward the length of a PGWP. This applies even if you’re completing 2 study programs.
  • You are completing 2 study programs, you can finish 100% of your studies online if the programs were ongoing or started between March 2020 and summer 2022, and
    • both study programs are from an eligible DLI and completed within 2 years
    • each program meets all PGWP eligibility requirements and is at least 8 months long

** If a student studies part of a semester in Canada and the other part of the same semester remotely abroad, that semester will be considered as in Canada studies.

RSA Student Health Insurance

Quebec Government regulations require all international students to purchase the RSA Health Insurance Plan to study at Bishop’s University.

Question: I am an international student at Bishop’s. Can I travel outside of Canada and still be covered by the RSA health plan?

The Student Health policy allows for travel outside of Canada. However, the travel advisory exclusion would not cover any sickness or injury suffered outside of Canada if a student departed after the Travel Advisory was issued by the Government of Canada:

Article 23 (from the policy):
Any sickness, injury or medical condition the insured person suffers or contracts, or any loss the insured person incurs in a specific country, region or area for which the Government of Canada, including Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada, has issued a travel advisory or formal notice, before the insured person’s departure date, advising travelers to avoid non-essential travel or to avoid all travel to that specific country, region or area. If the travel advisory or formal notice is issued after the insured person’s departure date, the insured person’s coverage under this policy in that specific country, region or area will be limited to a period of 10 days from the date the travel advisory or formal notice was issued, or to a period that is reasonably necessary for the insured person to safely evacuate the country, region or area.

The current policy would cover hospital accommodation, physician charges, etc. as it normally would when a student becomes ill while in Quebec. Please note that all limitations, conditions and exclusions would apply. We urge everyone to consult the policy or certificate of insurance that applies to their situation to determine how coverage is affected.

This situation is developing daily and RSA is committed to keeping students informed with the most current information. Please visit the RSA website for updates at https://www.rsagroup.ca/covid19

Question: I am an international student at Bishop’s. What if I get sick with COVID-19 while I am in Quebec?

The current policy would cover hospital accommodation and physician charges as it normally would when a student becomes ill while in Quebec. Please note that all limitations, conditions and exclusions would apply. We urge everyone to consult the policy or certificate of insurance that applies to their situation to determine how coverage is affected.

Quebec Health Insurance Plan (RAMQ)

If you are a citizen and a resident of Denmark, Finland, France, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Belgium, Romania or Greece, you may qualify for the Quebec Health Insurance Plan Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ).

You must apply online to the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ) by following this link Register for health insurance and by submitting the following documents in PDF format: (Social Security affiliation form, Verification of Enrolment, CAQ for students other than exchange students for 1 semester, study permit and/or passport). Exchange students from France do not need to provide proof of enrolment in their application to the RAMQ.

The procedure will be the same for extending your health insurance coverage. However, students accompanied by family members will still need to use a paper form, which can be obtained by calling the RAMQ.

RAMQ phone number for more information: 1-800-561-9749