If you remain enrolled but in fewer than 9 credits in a winter term, you will be considered part-time for immigration purposes.
If you are enrolled part-time, you are considered to be maintaining your student status. Therefore you can remain in Canada, so long as your study permit is valid.
There are a few exceptions. You can be enrolled in fewer than 9 credits but still be considered full-time for immigration purposes if you meet one of the following:
- You are in your final academic term and require fewer than 9 credits to complete program requirements.
- You meet your approved reduced course load requirement with the Center for Accessibility.
- You are enrolled in co-op or in an outbound exchange.
However, there are other impacts of part-time studies:
- You are not eligible to work on or off campus for the remainder of the term and must stop working immediately. You will not be able to resume working until you are enrolled full time.
- You are not eligible to work during scheduled breaks immediately before and after your part-time term. You can only work in the summer scheduled break if:
- You enroll in at least 9 credits in the summer session, in which case you could work on campus for unlimited hours and/or off-campus up to 20 hours a week, if eligible (or more if you are eligible during the temporary policy).
- You will be enrolled in co-op in the summer and already have a valid co-op work permit (or you are eligible to be exempt from the co-op work permit during the temporary policy). Contact International Student Advising if you don't have a co-op work permit and are not eligible for the temporary policy.
- Your eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) after graduation will be impacted since you are required to study full time continuously without unauthorized breaks in each Winter Term to be eligible for PGWP.
If you will study part-time, take action before withdrawing: save a copy of your letter of enrollment from the Student Services Centre (SSC) under “Grades and records” and request a copy of your transcript as proof you were enrolled full-time before withdrawing and when you withdrew.
Gather additional documents supporting your circumstances, and keep a timeline of important dates so that you could provide this in your PGWP application in the future.
There may be other impacts of studying part-time, such as eligibility to stay in residence or eligibility for loans or awards. Visit taking time away from studies for more information on other impacts to consider if you are not enrolled full-time.
If you have dependents in Canada and their documents are expiring soon, contact International Student Advising for support.