In the Know: End of Summer Session

UVic Global Community Newsletter: August 10, 2020

In the Know: Advice for International Students is a section of the UVic Global Community Newsletter that includes valuable information and important dates for undergraduate and graduate international students in the following categories: degree-seekingincoming exchange, and incoming study abroad/visiting.

Are you leaving UVic after summer session?

Maybe you are finishing up your UVic degree program. Maybe you plan to take a break from your studies at UVic. Or, maybe you will return home to finish your program after spending a few months studying at UVic.

No matter your reason for leaving UVic, take a moment to consider the following scenarios.

If you will stay in Canada

Make sure to keep meeting your conditions of your study permits or change status if you will to remain in Canada after you leave UVic. Your status in Canada should match the reason for your stay. The following are some options for you to extend your stay as a temporary resident in Canada:

To work:

  • You may be eligible to apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) AFTER successfully completing all your program requirements. Our international student advisers can support you on applying for a PGWP and discussing your work authorization while your application is being processed. 
  • If you want to take a break from your studies at UVic and stay in Canada, you should contact International Student Services to discuss potential implications on your student status and work authorization. 

Career Services is a wonderful resource available to all UVic students and alumni. They can help you search for employment and navigate your career in Canada.

As an international student in Canada, the onus is on you to understand the restrictions associated with working in Canada, and never work without the proper authorization. 

If you attended our Post-Graduation Work Permit information session on July 23, 2020, you can find a copy of the presentation slides on the event page.

Note: Working in Canada when you are not authorized may result in enforcement actions taken by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). It could also negatively impact your current temporary resident status and any future applications you make under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and its regulations.

To study:

  • If you have a valid study permit and will transfer to another institution in Canada, you will need to notify IRCC when you change institutions. Or, if your study permit will expire soon, you must talk to your future institution to extend your study permit. 
  • If you attended another post-secondary institution in Canada while on a break from your studies at UVic, you may need to notify IRCC about your return to UVic. To do so, follow the instructions on the IRCC 

As a visitor:

If you will move out of your current residence

Ideas for keeping your stuff out of the garbage:

  • Sell it online using a website like UsedVictoria or Craigslist.
  • Donate it at the UVSS Food Band & Free Store.
  • Donate it at one of Victoria's second hand stores, such as Value Village or WIN.
  • Find out how to recycle it on campus or off campus.
  • Move it to your next destination using a large vehicle or a portable moving container.
  • Ship it to your next destination using Canada Post or a private shipping company.
  • Rent a storage unit to keep it safe until you return.
  • Sell textbooks you don't want to keep back to the  (Note: Due to COVID-19, textbook buy back processes may be different. Contact UVic Bookstore or SUBtext for more information.)

Other things you may need to take care of:

  • Do you live on campus? Have you connected with Residence Services for guidance about moving out?
  • Do you live off campus? Have you given your landlord or roommates written notice? Make sure you understand your responsibilities as a tenant.
  • Consider each account that is in your name, such as your bank account, mobile phone, hydro, internet, cable, etc. Do you need to update your address, or do you need to cancel the account?
  • If you will leave British Columbia (BC) permanently, and you have BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) coverage, you must cancel your account.
  • If you will leave British Columbia (BC) temporarily, and you have BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) coverage, contact Health Insurance BC by phone and ask to speak with an enrolment specialist about your options.

Whether you spent four months or four years at UVic, your time here will have influenced your perspective of the world. You might think that moving to a new country and culture was the most challenging part of your international student experience, but returning home after spending time away is often just as challenging.

It is common for international students to experience a transition called "reverse culture shock". Module 2 on the What's Up With Culture website can help you prepare for this transition. The content is written for students returning to the United States, but it is valuable for anyone who has studied abroad.

Entry into Canada during COVID-19

If you are currently outside or travelling outside Canada, please make sure your Canadian immigration documents are in order before you return to Canada. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, travel restrictions may also impact your return to Canada. We would recommend regularly monitoring the IRCC COVID-19 website for the most up-to date travel information. At this time, travel exemptions apply to some international students.

When travel restrictions are in effect, if you are an international student who can prove you’re travelling to Canada for non-discretionary or non-optional reason, you must also meet the travel exemptions by demonstrating one of the following:

  • you’re an international student who has a valid study permit or
  • you were approved for a study permit on or before March 18, 2020, or
  • you’re coming from the United States with a study permit approval

Please note that, at this time, no applications can be submitted at the Port-of-Entry.

At the airport and the Canadian Port-of-Entry, be prepared to present:

  • a valid study permit ora letter of introduction from IRCC dated on or before March 18, 2020 or a letter of introduction from IRCC that shows you were approved for a study permit if you are coming from the United States
  • proof that your travel to Canada is essential (e.g. document stating your courses are being offered face-to-face)
  • a plan for your quarantine
  • valid entry document(temporary resident visa or electronic travel authorization, if required)
  • valid passport or other travel document
  • admission letter from UVic or verification of enrolment from UVic
  • documentation to show proof of sufficient funds to study in Canada
  • typed list of all items you are bringing into Canada, including items sent separately

When you arrive in Canada your health will be assessed before you leave the port of entry. You must isolate for 14 days even if you have no symptoms. This is currently mandatory.

The onus on you to prove your travel to Canada is non-discretionary. Ensure you are exempt from the travel restrictions before travelling to Canada. A border services officer will make a final decision on your eligibility to enter Canada when you arrive.

Before you travel, you can contact the Border Information Service for more information.

If you are transferring to UVic in September from another Canadian institution?

Congratulations on your admission to UVic!

If you have a valid study permit and you will transfer to UVic in September, you must notify IRCC about your institution change to ensure your enrollment reporting will be submitted by UVic to IRCC. 

Visit our website for valuable information that will help you prepare for a successful start. 

This may not be the start to your time at UVic that you expected, but we are all here to support you and to help you .

All new international students should register for fun and informative online orientation events. When you sign up for the major orientation events, you should also sign up for the online International Student Welcome.

For new undergraduate students, you can also complete an online pre-arrival orientation program before you arrive to campus. Every eligible student who completes the program by Wednesday, September 9, 2020 will be entered in a draw to win a $200 bookstore gift card. 

If you have questions about any information discussed above, please contact International Student Services (ISS).

Upcoming event: 

August 14: IRCC Information Session: COVID-19 and International Students

If you have questions about any information discussed above, please contact International Student Services (ISS).

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