If you will be enrolled 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 are in your final academic term and require fewer than 9 credits to complete program requirements, or
- You meet your approved reduced course load requirement with the Center for Accessibility, or
- 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. You could only work in the summer scheduled break if:
- You will enroll in at least 9 credits in the summer session, in which case you could work on campus and/or off-campus up to 20 hours a week
- You will be enrolled in co-op in the summer and have a valid co-op work permit
- Your eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) after graduation will be impacted since you are required to study full time continuously in each winter term to be eligible for PGWP.
If you will study part-time, save a copy of your letter of enrollment from the Student Services Centre (SSC) under “Grades and records” and get 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. If you have dependents in Canada and their documents are expiring soon, contact International Student Advising for support.
If you are studying online outside of Canada, studying part-time will impact your eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) since you are required to study full time continuously in each winter term to be eligible for the PGWP.