If you are in Canada:
Yes. You are required to have a valid study permit throughout the duration of your program. During academic sessions, you are still required to comply with your study permit conditions. If you are enrolled in a program that is 6 months or less in duration, you do not need a study permit.

If you are outside of Canada:
No. However, if you would like to apply for the Post-Graduation-Work Permit (PGWP) program, 50% of your program must be completed in Canada and you should have a valid study permit, a study permit approval in principal, or have submitted a study permit application* by no later than September 15, 2020. You must meet all other PGWP criteria at the time of graduation. If you are enrolled in a program that is 6 months or less in duration, you do not need a study permit, unless you plan to travel to Canada, in which case, you will need a valid study permit to enter the country.

*Please note that commencing studies online from abroad following approval-in-principle of a study permit application is not a guarantee that you will receive a full approval of your study permit application, or be authorized to pursue your studies in Canada. It is still possible that you could receive a negative final decision on your study permit based on factors such as inadmissibility for criminality or security reasons, and the inability to predict how the COVID-19 situation and any associated travel restrictions will evolve.

(updated July 15, 2020)

Time spent studying online counts towards PGWP eligibility and length of the PGWP issued, provided that you complete 50% of your program in Canada, you have a study permit or have received a study permit approval-in-principal, and you meet all other PGWP criteria.

(updated July 15, 2020)

If your study permit will expire soon and you need more time to complete your program, you should apply/renew to extend your study permit via IRCC Online Services before the expiry date of your study permit.

If your study permit expires while your extension application is being processed, you will still be able to continue studying because you will have implied status. It is recommended that you apply 3 months before your study permit expires to allow for longer processing times.

Follow the step-by-step instructions outlined in Module 13 in your International Student Welcome Guide on e-Learn.

(updated June 10, 2020)

Due to COVID-19 concerns, many biometrics collection locations, including Service Canada Offices, have suspended collection. According to a recent CBIE/IRCC update, you are exempt from giving biometrics if you're applying from within Canada

  • to extend your stay as a student, worker or visitor
  • to restore your status as a student, worker or visitor
  • for a work or study permit
  • for a visitor visa
  • for a temporary resident permit

This applies to all new applications as well as applications already in progress. It applies even if

  • your application form for a work permit, study permit or visitor visa says it's for applicants outside Canada
  • our online application system asks you to pay a biometric fee (CAN$85)

This temporary measure does not apply if you're outside Canada.

Biometrics fees:
You do not have to pay the biometric fee when you submit your application, even if the system tells you to pay it. If you paid the fee,

  • You will automatically be refund the fee once your application is finalized
  • the online application system will automatically send you a biometric instruction letter (BIL) telling you how to give your biometrics
    • You do not need to give biometrics, and you can ignore this letter.

If you are outside of Canada:
Applicants are advised to apply for their study permit extensions with a letter of explanation for documents they are unable to provide due to the current pandemic, and provide them when they are able to. While your study permit extension application is under review, you will have implied status until you can submit required documents and a decision is made. Please note, IRCC is currently offering extensions to submit biometrics until centres re-open. Learn more.

(updated July 15, 2020)

Service Canada is still accepting Social Insurance Number (SIN) applications, but will no longer be accepting them at their in-person Service Canada Centers. You have the option to apply online or by mail.

(updated June 10, 2020)

International students are eligible to apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), as long as they meet the eligibility requirements. CERB started accepting applications on April 6, 2020.

As stated on the CERB website, the benefit will be available to workers who:

  • Reside in Canada, who are at least 15 years old;
  • Have stopped working because of COVID-19 and have not voluntarily quit their job or are eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits;
  • Previously had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application; and
  • Are now, or are expect to be, without employment or self-employment income for at least 14 consecutive days in the initial four-week period, and for subsequent benefit periods, expect to have no employment or self-employment income.

Note: Accessing CERB will not act as a barrier to a student qualifying for permanent residency in the future.

For more information on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB):
Eligibility Information  
Apply Now  
Questions and Answers

Please note, the recently announced $9B Covid-19 Federal funding package for post-secondary students and the $3.5M BC Government Emergency Fund for post-secondary students are only available to Canadian students.

(updated June 10, 2020)

If you are experiencing an unexpected financial emergency or unmet financial need, you may be eligible for Covid-19 Emergency Financial Assistance from Capilano University. Please note, the amount of funding per student is limited, and there are a limited number of funds available overall. Please visit COVID-19 Emergency Financial Assistance for details on how to apply.

If you have been paying into employment insurance, and you meet the minimum eligibility requirements, then yes as an international student, you can apply to receive employment insurance benefits.

The number of hours you are entitled to work as an international student remains unchanged during the time in-person classes are cancelled. If you are enrolled as a full-time student in the Fall or Spring terms and your study permit allows you to work on- or off-campus or both, you can work up to 20 hours per week off campus. Please review Module 12 of your Welcome Guide for International Students on eLearn for more information about working while studying. Please note that employment opportunities may be limited under current conditions and the University is not facilitating student employment on campus at this time.

While travel is currently challenging due to limited flight services, if you have a valid study permit or were approved for a study permit, you may be permitted to enter Canada during the travel restriction period. Please note: if your study permit expires while you are outside of Canada, you will not be able to return until your study permit extension/renewal is approved and you receive your new valid study permit. Your entry to Canada is subject to Government of Canada travel restrictions, which includes the following requirements:

  • International travellers returning to B.C. are required by law to self-isolate for 14 days and complete a self-isolation plan.
  • Travellers must submit a self-isolation plan for approval prior to or upon their arrival in B.C.

Before planning your travel, please review our Travel and Self Isolation guide for International Students-October 22 2020 (PDF) to understand what is required of you upon return to Canada.

Please ensure you also read the most recent Government of Canada travel advisory, the travel advisory for your own country, and the countries you may be transiting through before making your travel decisions and arrangements.

(updated October 23, 2020)

As per a recent IRCC announcement, starting October 20, 2020, international students with approved study permits, attending a designated learning institution (DLI) that has been identified by their provincial or territorial government as having a COVID-19 readiness plan, will be able to enter Canada. Capilano University has been added to the approved list of DLI's with a COVID-19 readiness plan in place, which means we are ready and prepared to help our students travel to Canada to safely start their programs.

(Updated November 5, 2020)

If you have been accepted into a program at CapU and have a valid study permit or have been approved for a study permit, you are now able to travel to Canada. In order to enter Canada, you will require each of the following:

Please note, as a student, your travel to Canada will not be considered essential (non-discretionary) if:

  • Your study program has been cancelled or suspended
  • You’re entering Canada for any reason other than to study

Therefore, we strongly encourage you also bring an enrollment verification letter from CapU to demonstrate that your program is still running. If Spring 2021 will be your first term, we highly recommend that you wait until you are registered for courses before you travel so that you are able to provide an enrollment verification letter in addition to the documents outlined above.

(Updated November 5, 2020)

You are required to adhere to the Quarantine Act by fulfilling self-isolation requirements upon arrival and must have this plan in place before you travel to Canada. We have provided full details on how you can meet quarantine requirements in the CapU Travel & Self Isolation Guide for International Students.

(Updated November 5, 2020)

Part of being an approved Designated Learning Institution means that we need to ensure that you are fully prepared for your arrival and safe transition to Canada. Once you have determined you meet all travel exemption requirements, please email the Centre for International Experience at cie@capilanou.ca to notify us of your intention to travel and provide each of the following:

After we receive these items, we will provide you with a letter of support from CapU to assist your arrival to Canada.

(Updated November 5, 2020)

We recognize this is a very challenging time to be away from home and that you may be feeling isolated. Currently, public health officials are recommending we take social distancing measures and stay home when possible. At this point especially, it is extremely important to communicate often with friends and family online or over the phone.

If you would like to talk to a counsellor, Student Counselling is available by phone for students who are currently residing in British Columbia. You can email counselling@capilanou.ca or phone 604 984 1744. For immediate crisis situations or after hours support, you can reach the 24-Hour Distress Line at 604-872-3311 or 1 800 SUICIDE (1 800 784 2433). More Student Support Services are provided in our Campus Services information. The Here2Talk program is also available to all students currently registered in a BC post-secondary institution, offering access to free, confidential counselling and community referral services, conveniently available 24/7 via app, phone and web.

If you would like to connect with an international student mentor and discuss ways to get engaged while maintaining social distance, please email iengage@capilanou.ca (from your CapU email address) with 'Looking for an International Student Mentor' in the title subject line. In your email, please include your full name, student number, hobbies, program of study and your country of origin.

The CIE has two social media platforms we use to connect with our international student body. We encourage you to start following our CIE (@capilanoucie) and International Leadership and Mentorship Program (@capuilmp) on Instagram and Facebook to stay engaged.

As events begin to move online, be sure to continue to check the Co-Curricular Record and Career Hub for upcoming opportunities.

(updated October 9, 2020)

While we are aware that many students are facing uncommon challenges due to reduced ability to work and other financial pressures, at this time our fee payment deadlines have not changed.

(updated June 10, 2020)

If you have any questions or concerns about COVID-19, please refer to the BC Centre for Disease Control health information. If you are covered under the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP), you may access provincial medical services. If you are a new international student covered under guard.me insurance, please follow the advice and instructions of mobileDOCTOR by guard.me.

(updated June 10, 2020)

Your medical coverage under the BC Medical Services Plan (BC MSP) typically expires once your study permit expires (check your MSP card to view the expiration date of your coverage). For those who are in the province with an expired work or study permit, a period of temporary MSP coverage has been extended from July 31 to Oct 31, 2020. However, please note that you MUST contact BC MSP to request this temporary coverage. We highly recommend that you make arrangements to acquire alternative medical insurance if you do not have MSP coverage.

(updated July 30, 2020)

Our in-house licensed Immigration Advisors maintain their scheduled drop-in advising hours, but are conducting sessions by phone. If you would like to speak to an Immigration Advisor, please fill out the Immigration Advising Request Form and you will be contacted in the order that requests are received. Please ensure you are available during the upcoming scheduled advising hours until you have been contacted.

Please note, all CIE advising hours are conducted in Pacific Standard Time (PST). If you are requesting to be contacted outside of BC, please use a Time Zone Converter to determine the reciprocal time in your area.

(updated October 9, 2020)