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Immigration Information and Requirements

Immigration Information and Requirements Quick Links:  


As an international student, it is extremely important that you are aware of the visas and permits required for you to study and live in Canada. It is your responsibility to ensure that you apply for, obtain, and maintain all documentation required as an international student in Canada.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The content included on this webpage is information only, it is not immigration advice. Students need to review Canadian Immigration requirements regularly as Immigration rules change frequently.


Required Visas/Permits

Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

  • If your country of origin is included on this list, you will require a TRV to travel to Canada. A TRV is an official document issued by a visa office outside Canada, to show that you have met the requirements for admission to Canada as a temporary resident. You must obtain a TRV before your departure. You cannot obtain one upon arrival in Canada. If the visa office approves your study permit, they will issue you a TRV along with your study permit. Visit the Government of Canada’s webpage for more information on applying for a TRV.
  • If you are a visa exempt national, except US citizens, you will require an electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) instead of a TRV, when you enter Canada by air. This is also typically issued along with the study permit. An eTA is electronically linked to a passport and not affixed inside. Visit the Government of Canada’s webpage for more information on applying for an eTA.

Study Permit

  • The study permit is a document issued by the Government of Canada that allows foreign nationals to study at designated learning institutions (DLI) in Canada. Red Deer Polytechnic is a DLI (DLI #O19391056880) that offers Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) eligible programs. Processing times for study permits vary, so you should apply as soon as you receive your Letter of Acceptance from Red Deer Polytechnic.
  • Visit the Government of Canada’s webpage for more information on applying for a study permit.

Co-op Work Permit

  • Refer to your Red Deer Polytechnic Letter of Acceptance to learn if you need a co-op work permit for a practicum, placement, field experience or preceptorship component of your program. If required, you should request a co-op work permit at the same time you apply for your study permit. You CANNOT begin your practicum without a co-op work permit. If you did not receive your co-op work permit when you were issued your study permit, you can apply online (no charge) through the Government of Canada’s website.

Your Spouse Working in Canada While you Study

  • The spouse or common-law partner of an international student may be eligible for an open work permit. Visit the Government of Canada’s webpage for more information on eligibility and applying for an open work permit.

Study Permit Rules

As a study permit holder, there are a number of conditions or rules you need to follow. It is extremely important to be aware of and follow all study permit conditions. If you don’t, you may lose your student status and study permit and you may be required to leave Canada.

  • As a Study Permit holder, you must:
    • Be enrolled at a designated learning institution (DLI)
    • Show you are actively pursuing your studies by:
      • Being enrolled full-time during each academic semester (excluding regularly scheduled breaks)
        • In order to be considered a full-time student at RDC you must be enrolled in a minimum of 9 credits (typically, 3 courses) during the Fall and Winter Terms
      • Making progress towards completing your program’s courses and not taking authorized leaves longer than 150 days from your study program
      • Tell IRCC any time you change post-secondary schools
      • End your studies if you no longer meet the requirements of being a student and leave Canada when your permit expires
      • You must also follow the other specific conditions listed on your study permit
    • Visit the Government of Canada’s webpage for more information on study permit conditions

Working in Canada While You Study

It is important to remember that when you come to Canada as an international student, your first priority is your studies. This means that if you decide to seek part-time employment while you study, you need to ensure that your academic success comes first! Additionally, you should be prepared to financially support yourself even if you are not able to secure part-time employment.

  • Not everyone will be eligible to work while studying in Canada, but if you are able to work during your studies, it will say so in the conditions on your study permit. To work off-campus without a work permit, you must meet all of these requirements:
    • You are a full-time student at a designated learning institution (DLI)
      • Red Deer Polytechnic is a designated learning institution (DLI #O19391056880)
    • You are enrolled in a post-secondary academic, vocational or professional training program or your study program is at least 6 months long and leads to a degree, diploma or certificate
    • Your study permit says you can work off-campus
    • You have started studying
    • You have a Social Insurance Number (SIN)
    • Visit the Government of Canada’s webpage for more information on working off-campus as an international student.

Work Authorization - Resources

  • For additional information about the work authorization eligible international students may have, please refer to the following Government of Canada webpages.
    • Studying and working in Canada as an international student: Visit this webpage to learn more about the work authorization international students may have while they study in Canada.

    • Work on campus: Visit this webpage to learn about the eligibility criteria and conditions for working on-campus. International students planning to work on-campus must meet all of the eligibility criteria listed on the webpage and must cease working if they no longer meet these criteria.

    • Work off campus: Visit this webpage to learn about the eligibility criteria and conditions for working off-campus. International students planning to work off-campus must meet all of the eligibility criteria listed on the webpage and must cease working if they no longer meet these criteria.

      • How many hours you can work off campus: Visit this webpage section to learn about the amount of hours eligible international students can work during regular school terms/semester and during scheduled breaks. 

      • Working after you complete your study program: Visit this webpage section to learn about the work authorization eligible international students may have after they complete their program.

        • If you decide to change your program of studies without completing your original program, you will not be eligible to begin working until you have started your new study program and meet the eligibility requirements (i.e. you cannot work during the gap between your programs).

Scheduled Breaks

If you are planning to work full-time during a regularly scheduled break, you must ensure to continue meeting the eligibility criteria (please see links above). Below is a list of scheduled breaks at Red Deer Polytechnic.

Period Scheduled Break (Y/N) Start Date End Date

Fall Term  (September – December) Reading Break

Yes - Scheduled break

First day of Fall Term Reading Break

Last day of Fall Term Reading Break

December Break

Yes - Scheduled break

**Day after the final exam period for Fall Term.

Day before the

first day of classes for Winter Term.

Winter Term  (January – April) Reading Break

Yes - Scheduled break

First day of Winter Term Reading Break

Last day of Winter Term Reading Break

Spring Term (May – June)

*May be considered scheduled break depending on program or intake

**Day after the final exam period for Winter Term.

Day before the first day of classes for Summer Term.

Summer Term (July to August)

*May be considered scheduled break depending on program or intake

Day after the last day of final exams for Spring Term

Day before the first day of classes for Fall Term.

 

Disclaimer:

  • Students can refer to Red Deer Polytechnic’s Academic Schedule for specific start and end dates.
  • Eligible international students with back-to-back scheduled breaks (e.g., Spring and Summer for certain programs), are only eligible to work off campus during the first 150 consecutive days.​ Taking into account all regularly scheduled break for your program, eligible international students may only work off campus on a full-time basis for a total of 180 days during each calendar year. ​
  • *Students should contact the studentconnect [at] rdpolytech [dot] ca (Student Connect Centre) to determine if Spring and/or Summer are mandatory terms for their program.
  • **The start date for this break for students writing deferred examinations will be the day after they write their final deferred exams.

Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Eligibility

We understand the PGWP eligibility is very important to many of our international students. As a public post-secondary institution, many of Red Deer Polytechnic's programs are PGWP eligible. Visit the Government of Canada’s webpage for more information on PGWP eligibility requirements.