Tia's Advice: Academic Status

UVic Global Community Newsletter: October 16, 2017

Tia's Advice 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.

Why is academic status so important?

According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), if you are inside Canada with a valid study permit that was issued on or after June 1, 2014 you must actively pursue, and make timely progress towards completing, a program of study at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI).

To monitor compliance, IRCC requires DLIs to submit regular reports on the academic status of international students.

The University of Victoria (UVic) is a DLI, so our Office of the Registrar submits regular compliance reports.

It is important to know your academic status at UVic so you know what is being reported to IRCC and what the impact will be to the validity of your study permit and your eligibility to work in Canada.

How do I confirm my academic status?

Make sure UVic is responsible for reporting on your academic status.

If you came to UVic from a high school in Canada, you should have applied to extend or change the conditions of your study permit before starting classes. Please visit or contact the International Student Centre (ISC) 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 using the same study permit, you must notify IRCC that you changed institutions. Similarly, if you applied for your current study permit with a letter of acceptance from a different DLI, but then changed your mind and decided to attend UVic, you must notify IRCC that you changed institutions even if you never attended the other institution. Follow the instructions on the IRCC website to submit a notification.

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 responsible for reporting on your academic status.

Consider the academic status options.

IRCC provides 11 academic status options, and each DLI has it's own definitions that correspond to these options.

The definitions of full-time studies and part-time studies for undergraduate students and for graduate students are available in the UVic Calendar.**

** Please note that JD students in the Faculty of Law:

  • must be registered in 7 or more units per winter session term or summer session to qualify for full-time studies
  • must be registered in fewer than 7 and more than 0 units per winter session term or summer session to qualify for part-time studies

An easy way to confirm whether or not you have full-time or part-time academic status at UVic is to check your Verification of Enrolment in UVic My Page. You will find it in the Student Services section under the Online Request Forms tab.

If you are not engaged in full-time studies or part-time studies according to these definitions, please visit or contact the ISC to confirm your academic status.

What are the implications of my academic status?

Your academic status at UVic has a direct impact on the validity of your study permit and on your eligibility to work in Canada, both during your program of study and after, if plan to apply for a post-graduation work permit.

As a result, careful program planning is very important for international students.

Seek academic advice early and often:

If you have questions about the implications of your academic status at UVic, please visit or contact the ISC.

Who can help me?

If you are struggling academically or personally, it is best to ask for help right away. Do not wait. The earlier you adress any issues, the more options will be available to you.

The International Academic Success Program (IASP) offers strategies and techniques to improve your academic performance.

University Health Services provides comprehensive medical care for UVic students.

Counselling Services offers individual and group counselling for personal issues and career exploration.

It is important to know that staff who provide these and other support services must respect your confidentiality. They will not discuss your situation with government officials, including IRCC. Regular reports on the academic status of international students at UVic are submitted by the Office of the Registrar through a formalized process and will never include information you share with other support services.

Important Dates

October 16: The preliminary exam timetable for winter session first term exams is available. Travel plans should be made AFTER the final exam timetable has been posted, because the preliminary exam schedule may change.

October 30: The final exam timetable for winter session first term exams will be available.

October 31: Last day for withdrawing from winter session first term courses without penalty of failure.

October 31: Halloween.

November 5: Daylight Saving Time (DST) ends, so set your clocks back one hour.

November 11: Remembrance Day. This is a statutory holiday. Since it falls on a weekend, classes will cancelled and UVic services will be closed on November 13.

November 13 - 17: International Education Week at UVic.

November 14 - 15: Reading Break. Classes will be cancelled for all students except those in the Faculty of Law. UVic services will be open.

November 14 - 15: Fall Convocation. Congratulations to all new graduates! Ceremonies will be webcast live.

November 15: Deadline for graduate students who complete a degree program during winter session first term to apply to graduate for spring convocation.

November 30: Last day of winter session first term classes for students in the Faculty of Law.

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