Study permits: Students destined to Quebec

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (Quebec Acceptance Certificate) [R216(3)]

With few exemptions, all Quebec-bound study permit applicants must submit a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) or a confirmation letter from the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) when applying for a study permit.

The CAQ is issued for a maximum of 49 months.

Confirmation letter from the MIFI

To facilitate the study permit application process, IRCC accepts confirmation letters issued by the MIFI in lieu of a CAQ (including a downloaded, unsigned version of the confirmation letter). These approval letters are issued prior to the issuance of the CAQ and include all of the CAQ information. As such, MIFI 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. The MIFI issues a letter 705 (bilingual version) to English speaking students only after a financial assessment was done on the applicant. French speaking students only are issued letter 300 after they have been the subject of a financial assessment.

The MIFI issues a letter 733 (bilingual version) to English speaking students only and a letter 300 to French speaking students 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 IRCC.

The MIFI transmits CAQ confirmation lists to the IRCC headquarters for redistribution to different points of service, including the Case Processing Centre in Edmonton (CPC-E), and visa offices. The CAQ list can be used for the purposes of verification, when necessary. Quebec authorities will forward copies of relevant CAQs or MIFI approval letters to posts abroad or otherwise confirm issuance of these documents by fax or other means.

Visa officers or inland officers must enter the number and expiry date of the CAQ in the appropriate field in the Global Case Management System (GCMS).

For Border Services officers, the Canada Border Services Agency will have 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.

Who does not require a CAQ?

When a foreign national is authorized to study without a study permit, there is no need to apply for a CAQ.

Additionally, a foreign national destined to Quebec is exempt from the CAQ requirement in the following situations:

  • students who wish to enrol in a program or course lasting six months or less;
  • recipients of Commonwealth scholarship or a full bursary (covering all expenses) from the Canadian International Development Agency, including Francophonie scholarships;
  • participants in a Canadian aid program for developing countries;
  • the spouse and dependent children of diplomats, consular officers or international representatives or officials staying in Quebec;
  • minor children (under 18 years of age):
    • of preschool age (age 4 to 5)
    • at the primary or secondary level, already in Quebec in the company of either parent who holds a work or study permit
  • a minor child seeking asylum or recognized as a refugee or a person in need of protection in Canada, or the child of an asylum seeker or recognized refugee or person needing protection in Canada;
  • holders of a valid Certificat de sélection du Québec (Quebec Selection Certificate) and whose permanent residence application is processed in Canada, in particular persons who are recognized refugees, persons who belong to the class of spouse in Canada and persons authorized by IRCC to have their application processed in Canada for humanitarian considerations.

Minors destined to the province of Quebec

Minor applicants destined to Quebec must fulfil custodianship requirements of both IRCC and the Government of Quebec. These students must apply and be approved for a CAQ before entering Canada.

The family members of a foreign national whose application for a work permit or a study permit is approved in writing are exempt from the letter of acceptance requirement. For these cases, and if the minor child is destined to Quebec, a CAQ will be issued by the MIFI to the child when issuing a CAQ to the parent(s).

When a minor child attending elementary or secondary school applies not to renew the study permit but only to extend their temporary resident status within the visitor class, and when this child is unaccompanied, the child is required by the school to provide a CAQ. This does not preclude IRCC from issuing a visitor record to the non-accompanying child even though a CAQ is required by the MIFI.

Assessing available resources

Students destined to Quebec are required to submit supporting documents showing that they have sufficient funds to cover all costs related to their studies while in Canada. Examples include:

  • tuition fees and other education-related expenses;
  • living expenses;
  • travel costs (e.g., round-trip ticket);
  • medical and hospitalization insurance;
  • settlement expenses for the first year ($500).

If a third party is paying the student’s expenses, they (e.g., parents) must submit a sworn statement respecting the assumption of the student’s expenses.

The recommended length for a study permit

The duration of a study permit for students destined to Quebec should coincide with the duration of the CAQ which has a maximum duration of 49 months. If the study permit’s duration is shorter than the CAQs, officers should provide reasons for this in the “Remarks” section of the permit.

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