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July 19, 2016
2 mins read

What to do if your study permit doesn't arrive in time

Waiting for your study permit can be stressful, but it’s important to wait until you have all your documents ready before coming to Canada. (Only citizens and permanent residents of the United States, as well as residents of Greenland and St. Pierre and Miquelon, can apply for a study permit directly at the Canadian border.)

We suggest that you do not leave for Canada before you receive your “Letter of Approval” (also called Letter of Introduction) from IRCC. The Letter of Approval is what you present to the border officer in Canada to get your study permit. Without the Letter of Approval, you may encounter difficulties when you attempt to enter Canada.

Even if you are allowed to enter Canada as a visitor, IRCC does not allow you to study in an academic program until you obtain a post-secondary level study permit. (Only international students studying in an academic program with a total length of less than six months are exempt from the study permit requirement.)

For most students, the first day of university is September 6, 2016. You may still get your study permit in time. However, if and when you are sure you cannot get your study permit in time to begin your studies on time, please follow these steps:

Contact an Academic Advisor in your Faculty. Your academic advisor can advise you on the last day you are permitted to arrive and attend classes for term 1. If you are not able to arrive by that date, they can also speak to you about potentially deferring your admission to either January or September, depending on your program. For most students, the last day to add/drop winter session term 1 courses without a “withdrawal” standing on your transcript is September 20, but please confirm this with your academic advisor who can give you more information about making the decision to defer.  Vantage students and exchange students should contact their respective program advisors.

If your academic advisor suggests that you defer your admission to January 2017, make sure you deregister for all the courses you are enrolled in for Term 1 by logging into the Student Service Centre (SSC) no later than September 20. By deregistering, your iMED and U-Pass fees will be automatically deferred to January as well.

If your academic advisor suggests that you defer your admission to September 2017, make sure you deregister for all the courses you are enrolled in for both Term 1 and Term 2 by logging into the Student Service Centre no later than September 20. Your iMED and U-Pass fees will be removed from your account.

If you were planning to live in residence for the Winter Term, inform UBC Student Housing of your deferral plans by emailing information@housing.ubc.ca.

If you are registered for Jump Start’s two-week immersion program, please email orientations.jumpstart@ubc.ca to let the Jump Start team know your situation. If you are unable to participate in Jump Start because of delays in receiving your study permit, you may be eligible to receive a refund for the program.

Unfortunately, there is no expedited process for study permit applications. However, if you have questions or concerns about your study permit, you can contact an International Student Advisor by emailing isa@students.ubc.ca and including your student number in the email subject line.

We hope your application is processed soon and look forward to welcoming you to UBC!