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Study and Work Permits

International and American students who wish to study at Regent will need to apply for a study permit from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. This process can take months for international students, so we recommend that you start early.


Study Permits for American Students

If you are a citizen or permanent resident of the United States planning to study in Canada for six months or longer, you must apply to Citizenship and Immigration Canada for a study permit.

Process

You can apply for your study permit at the port of entry (e.g., airport or border crossing) when you are moving to Canada. Please ensure that you have the required documents with you. The cost of a study permit is CAD 125.

Required documents

Official Letter of Acceptance: the “To Whom It May Concern” letter included in your acceptance package, signed by the Senior Admissions Officer.

Proof of Funds: you must demonstrate—with a bank statement, savings account passbook, bank draft, letters of support (with attached bank statements from the letter writers), loan documents, or other proof—that you have sufficient funds to cover the cost of one entire academic year in Canada (tuition and living expenses). The most recently published minimum amounts are: $18,000 for a single person or $22,000 for a couple (plus an additional $3,000 per child).

Valid Passport: If your passport will expire during the first year of your studies, renew your passport before beginning the application process for your study permit (birth certificates are no longer sufficient documentation when you cross the border).

Payment: $125 for a study permit.



Study Permits for International Students

The term “international” refers to students who come to study at Regent from outside of Canada and the United States. For more information about coming to Regent as an international student, see our International Students section.

If you are planning to study in Canada for six months or longer, you must apply to Citizenship and Immigration Canada for a study permit from your home country. Citizens of certain countries will also require a Temporary Resident Visa (entry visa). Who needs to apply?

Process

You must apply for your study permit outside of Canada. You can apply online or at your local Canadian embassy or consulate. Check here for a complete list of Canadian visa offices abroad Canadian visa offices abroad.

Check if you also need to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa (entry visa). See the list of countries that require an entry visa into Canada. You can apply for this visa through your local Canadian embassy or consulate. We recommend that you apply for a multiple entry TRV.

The application process will vary depending on your country of citizenship and where you are currently living. Apply early, as this process can take several months!

Once your application is accepted, the Canadian Embassy, Consulate, or Immigration Office will provide you with a letter of introduction regarding their decision. You must present this letter to the Immigration Officer at the Canadian port of entry. If you also applied for a Temporary Resident Visa, this visa will be attached directly to your passport.

You must not leave for Canada until you have obtained your letter of introduction and your Temporary Resident Visa (if required) from a Canadian Embassy, Consulate, or Immigration Office.

Required documents

Official Letter of Acceptance: the “To Whom It May Concern” letter included in your acceptance package, signed by the Senior Admissions Officer.

Proof of Funds: you must demonstrate—with a bank statement, savings account passbook, bank draft, letters of support (with attached bank statements from the letter writers), loan documents, or other proof—that you have sufficient funds to cover the cost of one entire academic year in Canada (tuition and living expenses). The most recent published minimum amounts are: $18,000 for an individual or $22,000 for a couple (plus an additional $3,000 per child). Individual Immigration Officers reviewing permit applications have the discretion to require evidence of whatever amount they believe is reasonable; in some countries, visa offices tend to have higher requirements.

Valid Passport: If your passport will expire during the first year of your studies, renew your passport before beginning the application process for your study permit.

Medical Examination: Depending on your country of citizenship and where you are currently living, you may be required to undergo a medical exam. Check the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website. It can take as long as three months for medical exam results to be processed.

Temporary Resident Visa: When a study permit or work permit is issued, the additional fee for the TRV is exempt. (Family members of the student are not fee-exempt.) Be sure to apply for a multiple-entry TRV rather than single-entry. If you are visiting or transiting through another country en route to Canada, check with a consular office of that country before you leave home to see what documents, visas, or immunizations you may require.

Payment: $125 for a study permit. The Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) is $75 for single entry and $150 for multiple entry.

Other documents may be required.


Other considerations


Already in Canada on a study permit

If you are already in Canada on a study permit and studying at a school other than Regent, double check in the conditions section of your study permit, if it lists a specific school. If it does not, then your study permit will be sufficient at Regent as well. If there is a school listed, then you will need to apply for a new study permit.

Already in Canada with no study permit

If you have been visiting Canada or studying English in Canada without a study permit, you must apply for a study permit in order to attend Regent. You must apply for this at a Canadian Consulate, Embassy or Immigration Office outside of Canada. The closest consulate to Vancouver is located in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Coming to study for less than six months

If you study for less than six months and are not enrolled in a program, you do not need a study permit, but you may want to consider applying for one anyway. Then, if you decide to study longer than six months, you can simply extend your study permit and avoid a complicated application process.

Extending your study permit

Your study permit can be extended. You need to start the process 2 to 3 months before your study permit expires. Detailed information is available in the Student Services Office and from the Assistant Dean of Students. You can also download and fill out the  Study Permit Renewal


Entering the US as an international student

International students intending to visit the United States or take part in Regent’s Annual Fall Retreat in Washington State will require a US visitor’s visa. This requirement varies depending on your home country. Check with your nearest US consulate. Since many international students have had difficulty obtaining a visitor’s visa once they arrive in Canada, we recommend that you apply for one while in your home country. In your admission package, you will receive a letter that confirms your admission and can be used to apply for the US visitor's visa.

If you are from one of the visa waiver countries, you will need to apply for a Travel Authorization before you travel.


Working as a foreign student 

Whether you are an international or American student, as a full-time Regent student (taking a minimum of 18 credit hours per academic or calendar year) with a valid study permit, you are permitted to work within these guidelines:

  • on campus at Regent College.
  • in a church or religious organization, provided you are ministering to the spiritual needs of a congregation (defined as preaching doctrine, presiding at liturgical functions, or providing spiritual counselling). This allowance covers MDiv students during their supervised ministry component.
  • long distance either by phone or internet. Your employer must be located outside of Canada and you must be remunerated from outside Canada as well. An example would be editing or translating text.

You can work under your study permit within these guidelines—a work permit is not needed. 

For more information on working in Canada, visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.

For work opportunities at Regent College, check our Student Employment page.

Working off-campus

Your study permit does not allow you to work off-campus outside of the above guidelines. Regent College does not currently qualify for Citizenship and Immigration’s Off-campus Work Program for International Students.

If you wish to work outside of these parameters, you will need to undergo validation from Human Resources Canada (known as a Labour Market Opinion) and obtain a work permit. Validation is a process completed by a prospective employer showing that hiring you will have no negative effects on the job market in Canada. You apply for the work permit independently and pay the associated fees. The work permit is restricted to that particular job. Opportunities listed above are exempt from validation due to your student status, evidenced by your study permit which is required to study at Regent if your program is longer than 6 months.

Working as clergy


If you're thinking about working in a church as clergy, or in a religious organization, during your time of study at Regent, your duties must be restricted to teaching, leading liturgy, or giving spiritual counsel, i.e. ministering to the spiritual needs of a congregation. These requirements are laid down by Canadian Immigration and MUST be complied with.

Please ask your immigration officer (before your study permit is printed) for the following law to be printed directly on your study permit. In the remarks section, have them say:

“Work without a work permit R186(l) – Clergy R186(l) applies to persons whose employment will consist mainly of preaching of doctrine, presiding at liturgical functions or providing spiritual counseling, either as an ordained minister, a lay person, or a member of a religious order.”

Some students have had difficulty getting a Social Insurance Number under this regulation. It helps to also secure a Visitor’s Record (an additional $75.00) through CIC. Contact the Assistant Dean of Students if you are having problems securing a Social Insurance Number.


Post-Graduate Employment

Graduating students may apply for a post-graduate work permit for a maximum of 36 months, or the length of time equivalent to their full-time studies. The student does not need to have a job offer before she or he applies, nor—if there is a job offer—does it need to be related to the student’s field of study. Fees apply, but the permit is exempt from validation from Human Resources Canada.

The student must hold a valid study permit, have evidence of successful completion of a degree or diploma program and submit the application for the work permit within 90 days of receipt of notification of completion of degree or diploma.

For more information on a spouse's eligibility to work in Canada, please talk to a CIC agent or visit the CIC website.


Spouses and dependents

If you are married and/or have children, travel to Canada together as a couple or family if possible. Family members arriving in Canada at different times may encounter complications in getting the appropriate documents, which in turn can complicate medical insurance, public school enrollment, etc.

General considerations

Be sure your spouse and each child is listed as an accompanying dependent on your study permit. Minor children do not require their own study permits, but must be listed as dependents on your document in order to register for school. Your spouse and children must be listed on your study permit in order to qualify for medical insurance.

If your spouse is not going to be a student and plans to seek employment, he/she can apply for a work permit at the port of entry at the same time as you apply for your study permit. This work permit only applies to spouses of full-time students.

If your spouse also wants to take occasional courses for credit over a period of six months or longer, he/she must also apply for a study permit (in this situation, both a work permit and a study permit can be held simultaneously).

Applying for a work permit as a spouse

If you are a full-time student, your spouse is allowed to get a work permit (without validation) provided that you have a valid study permit. Remember that your spouse’s work permit is tied to your study permit. Once you have completed full-time studies, your spouse is no longer eligible to work. There are three types of work permits for spouses:

  1. Open/Restricted Authorization: may be obtained prior to having a job offer and is usually valid for the same length of time as your study permit. It allows your spouse to work anywhere except in health services, childcare, primary or secondary education. This is the most common type among Regent spouses.
  2. Unrestricted Authorization: may be obtained prior to having a job offer and is usually valid for the same length of time as your study permit. It allows employment in health services, childcare, primary and secondary education. It requires an Immigration Medical Examination by an approved physician. To locate an appropriate doctor near you, visit the Citizenship & Immigration Canada website. This process can take up to six weeks, and is best done before you come to Canada.
  3. Restricted Authorization: allows your spouse to work for a specified employer only, and requires a “job offer” from that employer. The length of authorization may be dependent on the job offer, rather than on your study permit.

As the spouse of an international student, you must apply for your work permit through Immigration Canada:

  • US citizens and green card holders: you may apply for your first permit at the border. You will need to present you spouse’s student acceptance letter, proof of adequate funds, and payment of the immigration fees. Permit renewals are obtained by mail.
  • Other international spouses: you should request and apply for your first work permit at the airport at the first time of arrival in Canada. If the permit is not issued at the airport, then it must be obtained by mail from Citizenship and Immigration in Vegreville, Alberta.  Application kits may be downloaded from the Citizenship and Immigration website. Permit renewals are also obtained by mail from Vegreville.

It saves time to include a letter from Regent College verifying your spouse’s status at Regent, as well as a copy of your marriage certificate if your family name differs from your spouse’s.

For more information, please visit the CIC website.

A work permit costs $150.


Document checklist

Before you leave home, make sure all your documents are in order. Make photocopies of important original documents and keep the photocopies in a safe place at home, or with a friend for safekeeping.

  • Valid passport and/or official government-issued identification
  • Letter of Introduction from Canadian Embassy, Consulate or Immigration Office (except US citizens)
  • Temporary Resident Visa (if required for your country)
  • Proof of funds available
  • Identification document with photo
  • Driver’s License or International Driver’s License, driving insurance records (plus vehicle registration and insurance papers if you are bringing your car)
  • Medical records, immunization records
  • Medical insurance documents (if you are going to rely on medical insurance from your home country)
  • Credit card(s)
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Two years of official school records for school-age children

How do I renew my study permit?

Complete the  Study Permit Renewal form and submit it to the main Reception desk. For further instructions see page one of the form.