In the Know: Academic Enrolment Status

UVic Global Community Newsletter: October 7, 2019

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.

Why is academic enrolment status so important?

According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), if you are in 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 enrolment status of international students.

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

It is important that you know and understand your academic enrolment status at UVic. It will be reported to IRCC and will therefore have a direct impact on your temporary resident status in Canada.

How do I confirm my academic enrolment status?

Step 1

Make sure UVic is the DLI responsible for reporting on your academic enrolment status to IRCC.

If you came to UVic from a high school in Canada, you may have to change conditions of your study permit before starting classes. Please visit or contact International Student Services (ISS) 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 the DLI responsible for reporting on your academic enrolment status.

Step 2

Make sure you understand the structure of an academic year at UVic and that you are familiar with the definitions of full-time studies and part-time studies 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 whether or not you are engaged in full-time or part-time studies is to check your Verification of Enrolment on 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, then your academic enrolment status is one of 9 other options. Please visit or contact ISS to confirm.

What are the implications of my academic enrolment status?

Your academic enrolment status at UVic impacts the validity of your study permit and your authorization to work in Canada, now and in the future.

For example, you do not necessarily need to maintain registration in full-time studies to remain in compliance with the conditions of your study permit. Part-time registration is sometimes considered acceptable.

However, you must be registered in full-time studies or on a scheduled break to be able to work on or off campus without a work permit. And you must maintain continuous registration in full-time studies to qualify for a post-graduation work permit after completing your program of study.

If you want to take a leave of absence from your studies at UVic and stay in Canada, you should contact ISS to learn about potential implications on your student status and how it may affect your work authorization and future IRCC applications. 

Whenever you have questions about the implications of your academic enrolment status at UVic, please visit or contact ISS.

Who can help me?

Careful program planning is very important for international students. Seek academic advice early and often to make sure you are on the right track:

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

  • Your professors are one of the best resources to reach out to. Make sure to use their office hours and emails to express your concerns and get feedback.
  • At the Learning Commons you can access multiple resources, services and expertise to help you succeed in your studies at UVic.
  • University Health Services provides comprehensive medical care for UVic students.
  • Counselling Services offers individual and group counselling for personal issues and career exploration.

The ISS International Student Advising (ISA) team is the best resource to help you navigate your academic enrolment status at UVic and the impact of your program planning choices on your temporary resident status in Canada. Any time you have questions for the ISA team, please do not hesitate to visit or contact the International Student Centre (ISC).

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.

ISS upcoming events:

October 17: Saanich Police Safety Information Session for International Students