Study Permit Delay FAQ - Winter 2024



What to do if your study permit hasn't arrived yet

With the start of the Winter 2024 term fast approaching, you may have questions about your options if you are still waiting for a study permit approval. Here are some tips to help you as you wait.

Study permit processing times right now

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada continues to face some delays in application processing times. Unfortunately, there is no way to get your study permit process rushed. York is not able to influence processing times or contact IRCC on your behalf. However, we are aware of the situation and have reached out to IRCC to encourage faster study-permit processing times.

For the latest application processing time estimates, please visit IRCC's website.

You may also use the IRCC Application Tracker to check the status of your application.

Wait for your “Letter of Introduction”

It’s important to wait until you have all your documents before coming to York. Do not travel to Canada before you receive your "Port of Entry (POE) Letter of Introduction". This is the letter issued when your study permit has been approved. The POE Letter of Introduction is what you’ll present to the officer at the airport or border in Canada to get your study permit.

If your study permit isn’t processed in time for Winter term classes

York recognizes that some of you may not be joining us this Winter for a variety of reasons, including a delayed study permit. These students may request to defer their admission status to a future semester. 

  • Undergraduate programs: If you have not yet received your study permit, you are encouraged to delay the start of your studies. Please review instructions on this page to defer your admission. The deadline to submit a deferral application is January 10, 2024.
    • If you have already submitted a deferral request, please allow up to 10 business days for a reply.
    • If you have further follow-up questions, please consider attending virtual or as it is the fastest way to reach us and easier to manage additional questions that we may have for each other. Connect virtually with an International Student Advisor.
  • Graduate programs: If you have not yet received your study permit, please be in touch with your Graduate Program Director (GPD) to alert them that there is a delay in receiving your documents. (You can find their contact information on your program website). If you cannot arrive before the first day of classes (January 8, 2024) you should discuss with your GPD the possibility of deferring the start of your studies until a later term.
  • School of Continuing Studies: See the SCS FAQ page with information on deferring.

Please note: A deferral may not be possible for all programs.

Deferring your start date

If you defer your admission to a future semester, all courses in your account will be dropped. Please book a new academic advising appointment to re-enroll in courses for the semester in which you will arrive. 

Undergraduate programs: Please contact your faculty’s Academic Advising office if you need any assistance with your new course enrolment. Tuition payments already made to York will stay in your Student Account and will be used towards your future tuition payments at York. If you are interested in receiving refunds instead, you must follow the instructions listed on the Student Financial Services website.

Arriving late for undergraduate student housing

Please see the move-in information for students. Any incoming resident who does not check into their room by the first day of classes and has not notified Housing & Conference Services by email of their late arrival will lose their room reservation and will incur a no-show fee of $500 to their student account. Therefore, if you will not be arriving on time for the start of your class please email, so that they can assist you in holding your space.

Students moving into the Quad should contact the Leasing Office with any questions about their stay. They are available by phone at (416) 736-7823.

Adding and dropping courses deadline

The deadline to add and drop class for Fall and Winter Terms can be found on the Registrar's website under Important Dates.

Study permit is refused after enrolment of courses

Students must adhere to York’s refund policy and deadlines even if their study permits are refused. Please note that to stop attending or to not show up to your classes does not mean you are automatically withdrawn from your courses. For the Winter 2024 term, students are required to drop their courses by January 14 to be eligible for a 100% tuition refund. You can find all course fee refund deadlines on the Student Financial Services website.

Distance / Online Learning

All online studies completed outside Canada are excluded from the time that counts toward the length of the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).

Full and reduced facilitation measures that permitted online learning to count toward the PGWP ended on August 31, 2022 and December 31, 2023, respectively. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Beginning January 22, 2024, most international students will require an attestation letter from the province or territory in which they plan to study with every new study permit application. York University will provide important information and updates as they become available. Students can also visit the FAQs for more information and ongoing updates. Current international students in Canada will not need an attestation letter for study permit renewals.

I’m still waiting for an approval on my study permit/visa. Can York University help expedite the process?

Unfortunately, universities cannot intervene to expedite the process of study permit/visa applications for individual students. The current processing time for a study permit from outside Canada is approximately 10 weeks. Please use the IRCC application tracker to monitor the status of your application closely.

If your application has not been processed beyond the normal processing time, and you have not received any communications from IRCC, you can submit an IRCC webform to request a status update. Please note response time varies based on topic and volume of inquiries received.

What if I want to remain enrolled in my courses and I arrive after the term has started? Does the University allow that?

If you will be arriving within a week or so of the start of the term, you may contact each of your professors explaining your situation and ask for possible accommodations (i.e. make-ups after arrival, virtual participation). We recommend that you consider deferring if you think you will arrive after the first week of classes.

Note: The School of Continuing Studies requires you to be in Canada to start your program. While arriving a couple weeks late may not impact your PGWP eligibility, SCS reserves the right to determine its own policy regarding late arrivals. If you have further questions, please contact

Do I have to inform IRCC if I defer my admission?

If your study permit has ALREADY BEEN APPROVED

  • Once you receive your new admission letter, you are advised to write a short letter to IRCC to let them know you have deferred your admission due to the delay in obtaining your study permit. You can submit your letter and updated admission letter via IRCC webform.
  • If you are from a visa requiring country AND you have not yet received your visa sticker in your passport, you can submit your new admission letter along with your passport when you are asked by IRCC to submit your passport.

If your study permit is STILL IN PROCESS

  • You will receive a new Decision Letter and Acceptance/Visa Letter in your MyFile account after your deferral request is approved by the Admissions Office.
  • Once you receive your new admission letter, you are advised to write a short letter to IRCC to let them know you have deferred your admission due to the delay in obtaining your study permit. You can submit your letter and updated admission letter via IRCC webform.

I applied for a study permit using the acceptance letter of another school, but now I want to come to York. What should I do?

If your application is still in process, you can submit your new letter of acceptance using the IRCC webform. If your application has been approved, you must submit a new study permit application with the new letter of acceptance. You must also pay all the fees for the new application.

What if I defer and then my study permit is approved shortly after, like mid-January or February?

If you have deferred, you will not be able to enrol in Winter 2024 classes. You will have to wait until your new start date to begin classes. Generally, we recommend that you defer the start of your studies if you believe you will arrive in Canada after the first week of classes. Missing more class time may make it difficult to keep up with your studies.

You may come to Canada so long as you have a valid study permit and visa or eTA and meet the Canadian government’s entry requirements, but we recommend timing your entry to allow only the time you need to settle in before classes start. Note that if you are planning to work part-time, you are not allowed to work until you start your studies.

Can I start studying online from my home country?

At York, most first year courses are planned to be in-person. If your program offers suitable courses for your first semester online, you may start your studies virtually from outside of Canada. However, please keep in mind the following risks:

  • Your study permit may not be approved and if that happens, you may not be able to reverse 100% of the tuition fees depending on when you receive your refusal. See the tuition refund table for details.
  • The time spent outside of Canada studying online will not count toward your future Post-Graduate Open work permit

If I have my study permit approval, can I travel to Canada?

There is no set time frame for you to arrive in Canada before you begin your studies. You should just arrive to give yourself a reasonable amount of time to prepare for the start of school.