In the Know: Academic Enrolment Status

UVic Global Community Newsletter: January 10, 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 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 compliance 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:

As a result, it is important that you know and understand your academic enrolment status at UVic because it will be reported to IRCC and will 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 may 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 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 have to change conditions of your study permit before starting classes. Please contact the 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 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.

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 studentsupport@uvic.ca 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 the validity of your study permit and your authorization to work in Canada, now and in the future.

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 a maximum of 150 days from your program of studies 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. In the case that your leave of absence is longer than 150 days, you may need to apply for a visitor status to keep your study permit valid unless you are exempted from meeting study permit conditions.

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. It is your responsibility to make sure you are eligible and have proper work authorization before starting a job.

In response to COVID-19, special measures have been put in place. For the most up to date COVID-19 special measures, please refer to the IRCC website.

Whenever you have questions about the immigration implications of your academic enrolment status at UVic, please contact us.

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 is the best resource to help you navigate the impact 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 question? ISAs are available for virtual 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 (10 minutes), phone International Student Services at +1 250 721 6361 starting at 1:30pm (PT) for a same day drop-in appointment. Students meet with an ISA on a first-come, first-served 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.