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

With the start of the Fall 2022 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.

We have also added 3 more dates for our Immigration Q&A for New International Students:

Reminder that the deadline to apply for a deferral of undergraduate admission has been extended to Saturday, Sept. 10. Classes for the fall term will begin on Wednesday. Sept. 7.

Study permit processing times right now

For a number of reasons (post-COVID challenges, recent world events), the Canadian government is taking longer than usual to process study permits.

We are aware of the situation and have reached out to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to encourage faster study-permit processing times.

Unfortunately, there is no way to get your study permit process rushed. And York is not able to influence processing times or contact IRCC on your behalf. We know how frustrating this must be for you.

 

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 “Letter of Introduction” (study permit approval letter) from IRCC. The “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 Fall classes

York recognizes that some of you may not be joining us this September 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. While the deferral deadline has passed, late requests will continue to be accepted for a limited time due to these unique circumstances. Please email Marsha Newhook mnewhook@yorku.ca with your full name, student number and desired start date**. The subject line should be "late deferral request [Student number]." Once you have submitted your request, please allow up to 5 business days for a reply. Please do not drop your courses if you have requested a deferral.
  • 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 (September 7) you should discuss with your GPD the possibility of deferring the start of your studies until Fall 2023. In some cases, it may be possible to defer to Winter term (January 1, 2023) or Summer term (May 1, 2023) but it will depend on your area of study and the sequencing of your program requirements.
  • School of Continuing Studies: See the SCS FAQ page with information on deferring.

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

**Please email Marsha Newhook for deferral requests only. Other questions can be directed to our International Student Advisors at iadvisor@yorku.ca or the International Student and Scholar Services team at intlstudentquestions@yorku.ca.

 

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 in the semester you will arrive. 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 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 undergradres@yorku.ca, 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 by found here under Important Dates.

 

Study permit is refused after enrolment of online 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 FW22 semester, students are required to drop their courses by September 13 to be eligible for a 100% tuition refund.

If your study permit is refused, our International Student Advisors are available to help you submit another application. New international students who receive two refusals and have seen one of our ISAs for support submitting their second application, may be eligible for extended refund deadlines. Please see our New International Student Tuition Refund Process for more details.

 

Distance Learning

As of August 25, 2022, IRCC has announced new distance learning measures, allowing international students to count the time spent studying online from outside Canada towards their post-graduation work permit (PGWP) eligibility, until August 31, 2023. See IRCC's announcement about online courses and PGWP eligibility for details.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

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 12 weeks. Please 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 there will be a delayed response.

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 the few weeks 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).

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 cpehelp@yorku.ca.

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

If your study permit has ALREADY BEEN APPROVED

  • If you are from a visa-exempt country, there is no action required.
  • If you are from a visa requiring country AND you have already received your visa sticker in your passport, there is no action required.
  • 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-September or October?

If you have deferred, you will not be able to enrol in Fall 2022 classes. You will have to wait until your new start date to begin classes. 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 this September. 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 does not count toward your future Post-Graduate Open work permit after August 31, 2022.

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

In addition to having your study permit, you must be eligible to enter Canada. Please check your eligibility to travel to Canada before making any travel arrangements.

Will the University arrange quarantine for me?

Currently, foreign nationals 18 years of age or older must be fully vaccinated to enter Canada. Those 17 years of age or under may travel to Canada for the purpose of studying at a Designated Learning Institution. Please check your eligibility to travel to Canada before making any travel arrangements. If you are eligible to enter Canada, check out our Quarantine Info Page.