In the Know: Academic Enrolment Status

UVic Global Community Newsletter: August 22, 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-seekingincoming exchange, and incoming study abroad/visiting.

Content of article:

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 your study permit conditions

The main condition of your study permit is to actively pursue 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 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 UVic and other 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:

It is important to know and understand your academic enrolment status at UVic because it will be reported to IRCC and will have a direct impact on your temporary resident status and work authorization in Canada.

Note: Depending on your program of study, your regular academic sessions may be winter sessions only or both winter and summer sessions.

  • Undergraduate students: If you have questions about your program structure, including whether your program includes scheduled breaks, contact your Academic Adviser for a consultation.
  • Graduate students: If you are a graduate student, continuous enrolment is required according to the UVic calendar, but you may contact your Graduate Secretary 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 high school in Canada, you may need to change the conditions of your study permit (for example, if you would like to have work eligibility conditions added to your permit). Please contactthe International Centre for Students (ICS) if you are registered in a program of study at UVic and your current study permit was issued for study at a Canadian high school.
  • If you came to UVic from a college, university or language school in Canada, and you are holding a valid study permit that was issued based on acceptance to your previous institution, you must notify IRCC that you changed institutions. Follow the instructions on the IRCC websiteto complete your school change in your IRCC account. We recommend taking a screenshot of the confirmation message stating that your transfer request was successfully transmitted to IRCC, and keeping it for your records as proof that you notified IRCC of the change to your school.
  • 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.
  • If you applied for your study permit with a letter of acceptance from another institution and you have not travelled to Canada yet, you may need to apply for a new study permit before coming to Canada. Please visit the IRCC website for instructions.

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 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:

  • If you are registered with the UVic Centre for Accessible Learning, consult with your CAL Adviser to confirm the full-time definition based on your academic accommodations. The definition of full-time enrollment used for scholarships, bursaries, student loans, and external providers may differ from the full-time definitions in the UVic Calendar.
  • There is a different full-time definition for undergraduate (e.g. JD and JID) students in the Faculty of Law.

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

Note: Even though UVic may allow an authorized leave, a leave may impact your study permit, student work authorization, and post-graduation work permit (PGWP) eligibility. If you have questions about immigration implications associated with an authorized leave, please contact ICS to speak with an adviser.

Academic enrolment status and possible implications

Your academic enrolment status at UVic impacts compliance with your study permit conditions. It will also impact your authorization to work in Canada, now and in the future.

To meet the conditions to work while studying, you must maintain full-time enrolment during your regular academic sessions, with the possible exception of your final term. Similarly, to meet the eligibility criteria for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP), continuous full-time enrolment in all academic sessions is required, again with the possible exception of your final term, or an authorized leave of 150 days or less. You will also need to ensure that your study permit includes conditions stating that you may accept on- or off-campus work. If your study permit does not include conditions that allow you to work, please contact an International Student Adviser.

It is your responsibility to make sure you are eligible and have proper work authorization before starting a job. For more information about the conditions you must meet to legally work on or off campus as an international student at UVic, visit our Working in Canada webpage.

If you need to take a leave of absence during regular academic sessions from your studies at UVic and stay in Canada, there are a few cases where you may be able to take a leave of up to 150 days from your program and still be considered to be actively pursuing your studies. Refer to the IRCC website to learn more about what counts as an authorized leave. If your leave is longer than 150 days and you would like to stay in Canada during that time, you may need to apply for visitor status to maintain compliance with your study permit conditions, unless you are exempt from the requirement to actively pursue studies. Keep in mind that you cannot work on or off campus during an authorized leave from your program.

If you have questions about the immigration implications of your academic enrolment status at UVic, or if you would like to know the potential impacts of different enrolment decisions on your study permit or work eligibility, contact an International Student Adviser.

What other supports can help me with program planning?

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

The ICS International Student Advising (ISA) team is the best resource to help you navigate the impacts of your program planning choices on your temporary resident status, work privileges in Canada during your studies and transitioning to a PGWP after graduation.

Do you have a quick immigration question? Visit our International Student Advising page for details on how to connect with an International Student Adviser.

Note: UVic is subject to 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.

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