ARCHIVED – Operational Bulletin 466 - August 29, 2012

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

This document has expired. Please refer to the appropriate Program Delivery Instructions for current information.

Validation of the Certification d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) – Revised  Guidelines

Summary

To facilitate the study permit application process, students destined to Québec will no longer be required to submit the original paper copy of the Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) as proof of acceptance to attend an educational institution in Québec. As an alternative, these students will be able to submit approval letters issued by the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI). These approval letters are issued prior to the CAQ and include all of the CAQ information. The CAQ will continue to be issued by the MIDI.

Issue

The purpose of this Operational Bulletin is to outline the changes to the validation requirements for the Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ).

Background

In order to study in Québec, students must obtain a CAQ issued by the MIDI before requesting a study permit.

On June 8, 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI) formally agreed that paper copies of the Certificat d’acceptation du Québec from applicants intending to study at an educational institution in Québec would no longer be required as part of a complete application for study permit.

Specifically, the proposed changes agreed to between CIC and MIDI are as follows:

1. That the students, having been informed by the MIDI about the approval of their CAQ application, are invited to submit their application for a study permit without waiting to obtain a paper copy of the CAQ.

2. That immigration officers consider a letter of approval from the MIDI as evidence of acceptance on the part of the MIDI because they include all the information necessary for the processing of the application. (As of July 5, 2012, MIDI is issuing a modified letter to applicants advising them that the paper copy of the CAQ is no longer required to be issued a study permit).

3. That CIC update the instructions given to students to encourage them to make their application for a study permit as soon as the MIDI communicates its approval and without waiting to have the paper copy of the CAQ on hand. Other relevant websites will also be updated.

 4. If/when there is doubt about the authenticity of a letter of approval of the MIDI, immigration officers should check the electronic lists of CAQ approvals sent regularly by MIDI.

Instructions – Changes are effective immediately

Effective immediately, MIDI approval letters #705, 733, 300 and 310 are to be treated as equivalent to the CAQ.

The two versions of the letter, though similar, are used in different review processes. MIDI issues a letter #705 (bilingual version to English speaking students only) after a financial assessment was done on the applicant. MIDI issues a letter #733 (bilingual version) to English speaking students only in cases where a financial assessment was not done on the applicant. French speaking students only are issued letter #300 after they have been the subject of a financial assessment. French speaking students only are issued a letter #310 in cases where a financial assessment was not done on the applicant. The CAQ is therefore presumed to be conditional on the financial assessment by CIC. MIDI will inform CIC of any future changes to the letters as they occur.

MIDI will continue to transmit CAQ confirmation lists to CIC headquarters for redistribution to different points of service, including the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville, and visa offices.

For ports-of-entry, the Canadian Border Services Agency will issue a separate list for those students who are approved for a CAQ and intend to submit an application for a study permit upon entry to Canada. Applicants who have applied online to MIDI for a CAQ will continue to receive a message in their secure online account where they can download and print the approval letter. The letter received online has no signature but does have the identification number of the agent/officer who issued the CAQ. The same letter will also be signed and mailed to the applicant along with the CAQ.

CIC offices are to accept the downloaded, unsigned version of the letter as proof of acceptance. The CAQ list can be used for the purposes of verification, when necessary.

CIC will update the CIC website.

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