ENROLLMENT REQUIREMENTS: STUDYING AND WORKING IN CANADA

On January 22, 2024, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) announced a number of updates and measures to the International Student Program. A cap will be placed on the intake of outside Canada study permit applications, resulting in approximately 360,000 approved permits. The number allocated to British Columbia or SFU is not known at this time.

The following updates are highlighted into two parts for undergraduates and graduate students. Note that the information on this page is current as of February 2, 2024.

Undergraduate Students:

1.     Beginning January 22, 2024, unless exempted, most international students must include an attestation letter with their outside Canada study permit applications.

2.     Current students applying to extend or change the conditions of their study permits within Canada are exempt from having an attestation letter.

3.     In the weeks ahead, spouses/common-law partners of undergraduate students will no longer qualify for open work permits. IRCC has yet to announce the implementation date.

Graduate Students:

1.     Master’s and PhD students are exempt from the study permit intake cap and requirement of attestation letter for their study permit applications.

2.     Post-Graduation Work Permit of three years will soon be available to some graduates with master's degrees whose program duration was less than two years.  More details on the eligibility criteria have not been announced yet by IRCC.

For more information about how the above updates may impact you, review our News and Updates section.  We will update the page with new details as they become available.

Although your study permit allows you to study part time (i.e. you are still considered to be "actively pursuing studies" if enrolled part time), part-time enrollment will impact your ability to work on or off campus. It may also affect your eligibility for a Post-Graduation Work Permit.

Contact an International Student Advisor, Immigration Specialist well in advance if you plan to enroll part time during your program.

Undergraduate Students

SFU does not require undergraduate students to enroll full time, and you do not need to request the University’s permission to study part time. However, part-time enrollment can impact your legal ability to work in Canada.

We also recommend that you consult with the relevant department/s at SFU to discuss any potential implications of part-time enrollment when it comes to your financial aid eligibility, ability to live in Residence, academic planning, and/or any other considerations unrelated to immigration.

From an immigration perspective, as an undergraduate student you may study part time in the Summer term without any impact on your study permit or post-graduation work permit eligibility. Similarly, studying part time in Summer will not impact your on- or off-campus work eligibility, as long as you enroll full time for both the Spring and Fall terms in the same calendar year (see Regularly Scheduled Break for more information). 

If you choose to study part time in the Fall or Spring term:

  • You will not be eligible to work on or off campus until you resume full-time enrollment.
    • Summer can not be considered a scheduled break if you study part time in the term immediately before or after the Summer term. For more information, see Regularly Scheduled Break.
  • Studying part time in the Fall and/or Spring term may impact your ability to obtain a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). IRCC policy requires you to have studied full time in all academic terms (Fall and Spring for undergraduate students) throughout your program in order to qualify for a PGWP.
  • Part-time enrollment in Fall and/or Spring will not impact your study permit as long as you are continuing to actively pursue studies.

Note: You may be a part-time student in your final term of studies without any negative impact on your ability to work or your Post-Graduation Work Permit eligibility, provided you were continuously enrolled full time in all other required terms (i.e. Fall and Spring terms, for undergraduate students at SFU). See Working On Campus and Working Off Campus for details.

Graduate Students

If you are a graduate student and wish to study part time, please note:

  • You will not be eligible to work on or off campus until you resume full-time enrollment. 
  • Studying part time may impact your ability to obtain a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). IRCC policy requires you to have studied full time in all academic terms (Fall and Spring for undergraduate students) throughout your program in order to qualify for a PGWP.
Note: You may be a part-time student in your final term of studies without any negative impact on your ability to work or your Post-Graduation Work Permit eligibility, provided you were continuously enrolled full time in all other required terms. See Working On Campus and Working Off Campus for details.