Process for Tuition Refunds for New International Students in 2020-21


For new international students beginning their studies in the 2020-21 academic year, we recognize that there may be some additional challenges when getting a study permit. During the current situation with COVID-19, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has closed many of its Visa Application Centres (VACs) or some may be open and operating in a very limited capacity. This has resulted in study permit application processing delays. 

International students do not need a study permit to legally start a program from outside of Canada; however, you will need one to begin studying in Canada once you are able to travel. We strongly recommend that you begin your study permit application process as soon as you can. As of July 14, 2020, IRCC has introduced priority processing on complete study permit applications submitted online and a new two-stage approval system (effective until Sept. 15, 2020) to facilitate online learning for international students. As stated by IRCC, time spent studying online from outside Canada count towards your Post-Graduation Work Permit eligibility after you apply for your study permit. (Before, only the time spent studying online after you were approved for a study permit counted.)

For the time since Spring 2020 to count, you must

  • complete at least 50% of your program in Canada, and
  • apply for a study permit before your program starts

You won’t have time deducted from the length of your PGWP for studies you complete outside Canada until April 30, 2021.

For undergraduate starting in the Fall 2020 or Winter 2021 semesters, York has some additional support for our new international students who receive a study permit refusal. If your first study permit application is unsuccessful, book an appointment with one of our immigration specialists at York International, or, for Schulich students only, through Schulich School of Business International Relations, to help you with a second application submission. If your application is still refused after receiving our help, you may be eligible for a tuition refund if you apply by the deadline. 


New international undergraduate students beginning studies in the 2020-21 Fall or Winter semesters.


Term Last day for full refund 50% course fee withheld
Fall November 6, 2020 December 8, 2020
Full Year February 5, 2021 April 12, 2021
Winter March 12, 2021 April 12, 2021




How to Apply

Apply for your initial study permit. If you would like support or help reviewing your completed application, book an appointment with one of our International Student Advisors via the York International Website.

  1. If your application is denied, book an appointment with one of our International Student Advisors via the York International Website, or, for Schulich students only, with Schulich School of Business International Relations. They will help you review your application for resubmission. 
  2. If you receive a study permit refusal again and do not wish to submit another application, you can choose to apply for a tuition refund. 
  3. Fill out and submit the New International Student Refund Request Form, uploading copies of both of your refusal letters from IRCC. 
  4. You will receive a notification once your Request Form has been received and approved or denied.

If you have any questions about this process, please email 

When to expect your tuition refund

Student Financial Services will process refunds at two points in the Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 semesters, after each deadline listed above.  You will receive notification from the University by email once your refund has been processed.  Please allow 3 to 4 weeks from the application deadlines listed above for processing.