In the Know: Academic Enrolment Status

UVic Global Community Newsletter: June 06, 2022

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-seeking, incoming exchange, and incoming study abroad/visiting.

Study permit conditions and enrolment status

According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), if you are in Canada with a valid study permit, you must be compliant with study permit conditions to actively engage in your studies and make timely progress towards completing your program at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). You should demonstrate your active enrolment by:

  • being enrolled full-time or part-time during each regular academic semester (excluding regularly scheduled breaks)
  • making progress towards completing your program’s courses, and
  • not taking authorized leaves longer than 150 days from your study program

To monitor your compliance, IRCC requires DLIs to submit regular reports on the academic enrolment status of international students who hold a study permit.

Depending on your academic enrolment status, you will be reported as one of the following options:

That is why it is important that you know and understand your academic enrolment status at UVic because it will be reported to IRCC and may, therefore, have a direct impact on your temporary resident status and work authorization in Canada.

Note: Depending on the program you are in, your regular academic sessions may be winter session or both winter and summer sessions. If you have questions about your program structure, undergraduate students should contact your Academic Adviser for a consultation. If you are a graduate student, continuous enrolment is required according to the UVic calendar, but you may contact your Graduate Secretary, supervisor or Academic Adviser in your department if you have questions about your program structure.

Make sure your academic enrolment status is reported by UVic

If you came to UVic from a college, university or language school in Canada, and you are using the same study permit, you must notify IRCC that you changed institutions. Follow the instructions on the IRCC website to complete your school change in your IRCC account.

If you applied for your current study permit with a letter of acceptance from UVic, you do not need to take any action. IRCC will know that UVic is the DLI responsible for reporting on your academic enrolment status.

Based on current COVID-19 policies, IRCC has updated the process for requests to change DLIs after applying for a study permit based on whether you are inside or outside Canada. Please be sure to review these updates based on your location if you will be changing your DLI.

Note: If you hold a high school study permit and it is still valid, you do not need to notify IRCC on your school change, but you may have to extend and/or change conditions on your study permit before starting classes if you wish to work with your study permit. Refer to the IRCC website for detailed information about when and how to extend your study permit in Canada or connect with an International Student Adviser for help. We recommend extending your study permit 4-6 months before it expires. 

Understand UVic full-time definitions for immigration purposes

As IRCC does not have definitions for full-time enrolment, they defer to each DLI for enrolment status definitions. Thus, you must understand the structure of an academic year at UVic and familiarize yourself with the definitions for undergraduate students and graduate students available in the UVic Calendar.*

Please note that there are different definitions for JD students in the Faculty of Law.

An easy way to confirm your enrolment status is to check your Verification of Enrolment (VOE) on your UVic Online Tools > Student Services > Online Request Forms tab. If you meet the full-time definition but the online VOE does not reflect the right enrollment status, you may contact Student Support Services at to adjust your VOE manually.

Note: Even though UVic allows authorized leaves, length and reason of an authorized leave may affect your immigration status, student work authorization, and post-graduation work permit (PGWP) eligibility. If you have questions about immigration implications associated with an authorized leave(s), please contact ICS to speak with an adviser.

Academic enrolment status and possible implications

Study permit holders are required to be compliant with their study permit conditions at all times while they study in Canada. One of the conditions for your study permit is having “active enrolment” during your regular sessions. You can take either part-time or full-time course load during regular academic sessions to meet this condition.

However, to meet the conditions to work while studying or maintain your post-graduation work permit (PGWP), you must remain full-time continuously during your regular academic sessions except for the final term or an authorized leave. Students on authorized leave must not work with their study permits according to R186 (f) (v). It is your responsibility to make sure you are eligible and have proper work authorization before you start working.

If you need to take a leave of absence during regular academic sessions from your studies at UVic and stay in Canada, refer to the IRCC website to learn more about what counts as an authorized leave. In the case that your leave of absence is longer than 150 days and you plan to remain in Canada while you are on leave from your program, you should prepare to apply for a visitor status to stay compliant with your study permit conditions unless you are exempt from meeting the those conditions.

For full information about study permit conditions and exemptions, refer to the IRCC website.

For COVID-19 special measures regarding enrolment status and work authorization, please refer to the IRCC website.

What other supports can help me with program planning?

Careful program planning is very important for international students as your enrolment status may allow you to work during your studies or apply for a PGWP after graduation. Seek academic advice early and often to make sure you are on the right track:

The International Student Advising (ISA) team in the International Centre for Students (ICS) is the best resource to help you navigate immigration matters (e.g., your temporary resident status, work privileges in Canada during your studies and PGWP eligibility) as they may relate to your program planning choices.

Do you have a quick immigration question?
International Student Advisers (ISAs) are available during drop-in hours, weekdays between 2:00pm and 4:00pm (PT), except for statutory holidays or scheduled office closures. To meet with an ISA for a short appointment, phone us (+1 250 721 6361) or visit our office (JCC B202d) starting at 1:30pm(PT) for a same day drop-in appointment. Students meet with an ISA on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Note: UVic is subject to the British Columbia's privacy legislation.  UVic staff must follow UVic's privacy and access to information policies. We will not discuss your situation with unauthorized people or government officials, including IRCC. Regular reports on the academic enrolment status of international students at UVic are submitted by the Office of the Registrar through a formalized process and will not include personal information shared with UVic staff when accessing resources and supports.