IRCC has announced two stage processing, as explained below, for applications that fit the following criteria:
- You applied before December 15, 2020
- Your application was incomplete (for example, you had not yet provided biometrics)
- Your program of study begins in January 2021 (called Spring 2021 at uLethbridge)
In July 2020, IRCC announced a temporary measure of a two-stage approval process for study permit applications made outside of Canada. This new two-stage approval only applies to applications submitted:
- before September 15, 2020,
- for programs beginning Spring, Summer or Fall 2020.
The two-stage application process is not available for Study Direct Stream applications.
Here is a brief description of the two stages:
Stage 1: IRCC will review your application for eligibility for a study permit. They will require the following documents to determine eligibility:
- a letter of acceptance from a designated learning institution
- proof that you have enough money for tuition fees for one year, living expenses for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada and return transportation for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada
- any family ties you may have to Canada, as well at ties to your home country
- evidence that you will leave Canada when your authorized stay comes to an end
If you are deemed eligible after stage one, you will receive “approval in principle”. This will come in the form of a notification letter from IRCC in your online account, indicating that your application has moved to the next stage. If you are not eligible, you will receive a refusal. Most refusals of study permit applications occur at the first stage.
Stage 2: IRCC will review your application for admissibility to Canada, including:
- a medical exam, if required
- police certificates, if needed
- your biometrics
- any information that changed after you received first stage approval
Even if you received “approval in principle” after Stage 1, there is no guarantee your application will be approved at Stage 2. There are risks to beginning your program without approval of your study permit. The risks are greater if you have not received first stage approval of your permit.
- If you receive a refusal, there may be impacts to the length of post-graduation work permit you may be eligible for upon completion.
- If you receive a refusal, you may be unable to complete your program, as we do not expect to offer programs online indefinitely.
- No refunds will be issued for term tuition and fees for any student registered past the extended drop deadline for the term in question.