Immigration FAQ

Frequently asked questions related to visa, permits and immigration. Choose your category below:


2. Immigration (IRCC) Website

2.1. How do I create an account on the immigration website?

Follow these steps to ensure you’re creating a MyCIC account successfully.

2.2. How do I add a new application to MyCIC Account?

This page has all the information you need to know to add a new application to MyCIC account.

2.3. How to check the processing time for my application?

Check out the IRCC website for application processing times (updated weekly) and select the following required fields:

For PGWP or Co-op Work Permits:

  • What are you applying for? Visiting, studying, working temporarily
  • Which temporary residence application? Work permit extension (new employer)

For Study Permit Extension:

  • What are you applying for? Visiting, studying, working temporarily
  • Which temporary residence application? Study permit extension

For Study Permit:

  • What are you applying for? Visiting, studying, working temporarily
  • Which temporary residence application? Study permit

For Temporary Residence Visa:

  • What are you applying for? Visiting, studying, working temporarily
  • Which temporary residence application? Visitor visa (from inside Canada)

For Replacement of Immigration Documents:

  • What are you applying for? Replacing or amending documents, verifying status
  • Which type of document? Replacement of valid temporary resident document

2.4. How do I download and open a PDF form from IRCC’s website?

To download and open a PDF form, you need to have Adobe Reader 10 or higher installed. Mobile devices such as iPads, tablets and mobile phones can’t be used for IRCC forms.

PC Users

  • Find the link of the file you want to save (you may need to go back to the previous page to find it)
  • Right-click the link
  • Select “Save target as” or “Save link as”
  • Choose the location on your computer where you would like to save the file
  • Select “Save”
  • Use Windows Explorer to get to the location where you saved the file
  • Right-click on the PDF file
  • Select “Open with”
  • Select “Choose program”
  • Select “Adobe Acrobat Reader”
  • Make sure to check the box that says “Always use this program to open these files”
  • Select “OK”

Mac Users

  • Find the link of the file you want to save (you may need to go back to the previous page to find it)
  • Press the Control (ctrl) key and click on the link
  • When the option menu appears, choose “Download link to disk” or “Download linked file”.
  • Choose the location on your computer where you would like to store the file. Your computer will start the download once you have selected a location.
  • Use Spotlight or Finder to look for the downloaded file.

2.5. What do I do if I lost my GCKey username or password?

If you lost your GCKey password, you can create a new password. Go to this page and you’ll be able to create a new password after you answer the password recovery questions you previously set up while registering for a GCKey.

If you lost your GCKey username, you will have to create a new GCKey. If you create a new GCKey you can access an application by linking the application to your new account.

2.6. When trying to link the application to the online account, it says there are no matches. What can I do?

The method shown above is the only way to transfer your DLI number. If you are unable to locate your application, you may try the steps below.

  1. You must answer the questions exactly as you did on the application form. IRCC can only link the application to your account if the information you provided matches your application.

If you:

  • left a field blank on your application form, leave it blank in the fields below.
  • have updated any information about your application after you first submitted it, enter the most recent information.

2. If you are still experiencing difficulties, please write to IRCC using the IRCC web form and choose Technical difficulties located in the drop-down menu under the heading “Enquiry.” Also, add the following information:

  • All the answers provided while trying to link your application. Once on that page and after entering all your answers, provide us with screenshots.
  • Any error messages. To do this, provide us with screenshots showing the full browser window, including the website address field of the:

3. Studying in Canada

3.1. What is changing Designated Learning Institute (DLI)?

If you are a transfer student from a different institute or have a different institutional name/province listed on your current study permit, you will need to change DLI/transfer DLI in MyCIC account. Please refer to Change DLI : International Education at RRC Polytech

3.2. When should I apply for a study permit extension?

It is imperative to initiate an extension application prior to the expiration of your current study permit. Otherwise, you will lose your student status and are not allowed to continue studying unless a restoration application is approved. It is important to know that a valid passport is required for the issuance of a new permit. For optimal results, we strongly advise international students to submit their extension applications a minimum of 3 to 4 months before the permit’s expiration date.

3.3. If I have applied to extend my study permit. Can I travel outside Canada and be able to return?

The choice to travel outside Canada ultimately rests with you. It’s important to communicate your travel plans to your program and instructors, ensuring that you can continue making reasonable progress in your studies. As a responsible student, consistent attendance in your courses is crucial.

Additionally, please be mindful that leaving Canada and encountering re-entry problems could potentially affect the validity of your study permit and your original study plan. Such circumstances might result in gaps that could impact your eligibility for a Post-Graduation Work Permit as well.

3.4. Can I extend my study permit while I am outside of Canada?

No, you can only extend your study permit when you are in Canada.

3.5. Can I stay in Canada after my study permit expires, if I have applied for a new permit?

Yes. You may remain in Canada as a temporary resident until a decision is made on your new permit application, as long as your application to extend was submitted prior to the expiry of your authorized stay.

If the new application was submitted to renew your study permit:

  • You may stay in Canada and continue studying as per the conditions of your original study permit until IRCC decides on your application.

If the new application was submitted for a different type of temporary resident status (e.g., work permit):

  • On the expiry of your study permit, you must stop any of the activities stated in the original study permit once the permit expires. For example, you may have come to Canada as a student and then applied for a work permit. If so, you must stop studying once your study permit expires. Until you get a new permit, you cannot work or study.

(back to top ↑)

3.6. What do I do if there is a mistake on my study permit?

You have the option to amend your study permit if there is a mistake on your current one. For instance, if you are entitled to work in Canada but your study permit does not include the authorization to “may work” or “may accept employment,” you can initiate an amendment to your study permit. This should be done prior to engaging in employment activities or obtaining your Social Insurance Number.
The process involves submitting a paper application for the amendment of your study permit. If you are currently in Canada and wish to proceed with this amendment, please refer to the following steps: Request to Amend Valid Temporary Resident Documents or Information Contained in the Confirmation of Permanent Residence –

3.7. Can I take a term off from my studies and resume at a later date?

Yes, you may make that decision. However, your study plan, study permit, and post-graduation work permit (PGWP) may be affected, and you may not be able to enter/continue your academic program as planned. We suggest that you stay in your current study plan. The College is working to provide a safe and healthy study environment for all students. Several common scenarios have been listed below for your reference:

Scenario #1:

I am currently attending the Intensive English Program at Language Training Centre, can I take a leave from my studies?

Your leave from English classes at LTC may affect your academic program start date. A forfeiture of a $3000 deposit will also be charged to your account every time you make a change on your study plan. Please contact if you would like to inquire more details.

It is also important to know, any leave taken from a program of studies in Canada should not exceed 150 days from the date the leave started. If you do not resume your studies within 150 days, you should do either of the following:

If you do not change your status or leave Canada, you are considered non-compliant with your study permit conditions.

Scenario #2:

I am currently attending an academic program at Red River College Polytechnic, can I take a leave from my studies?

The decision to take a leave from your studies is ultimately at your discretion, and the college respects your choice without interference.. However, please note having an unauthorized leave may potentially affect your Post-graduation Work Permit eligibilities if you intend to apply for one in the future. For more information, please refer to the Government of Canada website.

Scenario #3:

I am currently looking for co-op opportunities, if I couldn’t find one, can I delay my co-op term?

You can delay your co-op term. However, this is going to affect your full-time status, which may have a potential impact on your Post-graduation Work Permit eligibilities. For more information, please refer to our Post-Graduate Work Permit page.

The College’s Refund Policy will apply to deferral and cancellation.

(back to top ↑)

3.8. What are the conditions of my study permit?

As a study permit holder, you need to meet a number of conditions. If you don’t meet these conditions, you may lose your student status and study permit. You may also have to leave Canada.
As a study permit holder, you must:

  • be enrolled at a designated learning institution (DLI), unless you’re exempt
  • show you’re actively pursuing your studies, unless you’re exempt, by
    • being enrolled full-time or part-time during each academic semester (excluding regularly scheduled breaks)
    • making progress towards completing your program’s courses, and
    • not taking authorized leaves longer than 150 days from your study program
  • tell IRCC any time you change post-secondary schools
  • end your studies if you no longer meet the requirements of being a student, and
  • leave Canada when your permit expires
  • Other study permit conditions you may need to follow

You may have other conditions listed on your study permit. You must follow these conditions, which could include:

  • the level of studies
  • if you’re allowed to work on or off campus as a student in Canada
  • if you need to report for medical procedures
  • if you’re allowed to travel within Canada, and
  • the date you must stop studying.

3.9. Am I allowed to enroll in online courses while holding a study permit?

Under normal circumstances, all distance learning courses that a student completes outside Canada are excluded from the time that counts toward the length of the PGWP, and 50% of a student’s courses must be completed in Canada and in person. However, IRCC has made some temporary policy chnages to accommodate eligible international students during the pandemic from March 2020 to August 31st, 2022. If you were a student in this situation, please see this information.

For students unaffected by pandemic-related alterations but considering enrolling in online courses, it is advised to prioritize in-person options as they contribute to a more comprehensive Canadian experience. If you complete the majority of the credits/courses by distance learning, you may not be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit.

4. Working in Canada

4.1. What is the difference between work on-campus, off-campus, co-op, and after graduating?

You may be eligible to work in Canada while you’re studying and after you graduate.

As a study permit holder, you may qualify to work on-campus or off-campus without an additional work permit if you meet specific criteria.

If your academic, professional, or vocational training program includes an essential co-op or internship component, you will need to apply for a work permit.

You may also apply for a post-graduation work permit to continue working in Canada after you graduate from an eligible institution.

To check conditions working on campus, visit Work on campus –

To check conditions working off campus, visit Work off campus as an international student –

4.2. Do I need a Co-Op Work Permit and when should I apply for one?

Whether or not you need to apply for a co-op work permit depends on the requirements of your program. If your Letter of Acceptance (LOA) shows “YES” in Section 22, it indicates that your academic program includes a co-op component. In this case, you will need a valid co-op work permit before you can start that component.

If your LOA shows “NO,” it means that a co-op component is not required for your program. Therefore, even if you wish to participate in a co-op, you are not eligible to apply for a co-op work permit.

You can visit your academic program overview page to determine the scheduled start term of the co-op. If the co-op is scheduled to begin in Term 1, it is essential to have a valid co-op work permit. If you were a transfer student, and hold a previously-issued co-op work permit from a different institute, you cannot use that and you will need to apply for a new one.

4.3. What is the maximum number of hours allowed for co-op work during my studies?

It is up to the academic programs setting up the required hours on co-op component. If you have a valid co-op work permit, you can work as many co-op hours as required by your program. Once you fulfilled the co-op hours, you must stop and cannot use the Co-Op Work Permit continuing working for the co-op employer. To continue working, you may utilize your off-campus work authorization while adhering to the associated conditions.

4.4. Can international students work on/off campus?

International students can work on/off campus without a work permit by meeting all of the following requirements:

  • have a valid study permit with a written condition allowing to work on/off campus
  • no other restrictions listed on the study permit
  • full-time student enrolled in an academic program with Red River College Polytechnic
  • study program is at least 6 months long and leads to a degree, diploma or certificate
  • have a valid Social Insurance Number

From November 15th, 2022, to December 31st, 2023, international students who meet the conditions above can work more than 20 hours per week while classes are in session. After December 31st, 2023, by meeting the conditions above, international students may only work no more than 20 hours per week off campus.

4.5. Can I pursue additional paid employment while participating in a co-op term?

Yes, as long as you are eligible to work on/off campus.

4.6. Can I work during my final semester if I am enrolled part-time?

If you’re a part-time student at a DLI, you can work off campus only if:

  • you meet all of the requirements above, except the requirement to be a full-time student, and
  • you’re only studying part-time, instead of full-time, because:
    • you’re in the last semester of your study program and you don’t need a full course load to complete your program and
    • you were a full-time student in your program in Canada, up until your last semester

4.7. Can I work while I am waiting to receive my post-graduation work permit?

You can work full-time while waiting for a decision on your post-graduation work permit application if, at the time you submitted your application, you:

  • Had a valid study permit.
  • Had completed your program of study.
  • Were eligible to work off-campus without a permit.
  • Did not work off-campus more than 20 hours a week during academic sessions.

4.8. Can I work after completing my program but before I receive the Confirmation of Completion from Red River College Polytechnic?

Yes. You are eligible to work part-time (no more than 20 hours per week) during that period if you:

  • Had a valid study permit.
  • Were eligible to work off-campus without a permit.
  • A written condition listed on the study permit allowing you to work off campus
    No other restrictions listed
  • Did not work off-campus more than 20 hours a week during academic sessions.
  • (back to top ↑)

4.9. What is the recommended timeline for applying for the Post-Graduation Work Permit?

You can only submit your appliacation after successfully gathering all the required documents. You must apply within 180 days from the date your Confirmation of Completion is issued by the College. If you have a study permit expiring after the program ends, you have 90 days after the expiration date to apply for PGWP and restore your status.

5. Temporary Residency

5.1. How can I extend my stay as a visitor?

Temporary residents currently in Canada with a valid study or work permit must submit their application for a new temporary resident visa to the Case Processing Centre in Ottawa (CPC-O) or visa office that serves their country of nationality.

  • If your temporary resident status expires after you have submitted your application for an extension but before you receive a decision on your application, you can stay in Canada under what’s called implied status. That means the law implies you are a temporary resident. That status lasts until Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) decides on your new permit application.
  • If you have a single-entry visa this allows you to enter Canada once. If you leave Canada during your authorized stay, you must get a new visitor visa to re-enter Canada, unless you visit the United States or St. Pierre and Miquelon. If you visit those places, you can return to Canada without a new visa, as long as you:
    • return within the period that the Canadian immigration officer initially authorized when you first entered Canada (on your visa, it is either a handwritten date or 6 months from the date of the entry stamp); or
    • have a valid visitor record, work permit, study permit or temporary resident permit (authorizing re-entry) and return within the period that the officer initially authorized.

5.2. Must I leave Canada by the valid date on my temporary resident visa?

No. The date on the temporary resident visa is the date by which you must arrive in Canada. The border services officer at the port of entry will decide how long you can stay in Canada. The officer will use one of three ways to note how long you can stay:

  • The officer may stamp your passport and write a date under that stamp. If so, you must leave Canada by that date.
  • The officer may stamp your passport and give you a visitor record. If so, you must leave Canada by the date shown under “Valid until” on that visitor record.
  • The officer may simply stamp your passport without writing a date under that stamp or give you a visitor record. If so, you can stay in Canada for six months.
  • (back to top ↑)

6. Other Immigration-related Information

6.1. How does Red River College Polytechnic define an academic term?

At RRC Polytech, we have three academic terms within a calendar year:

  • Winter Term: January to April
  • Spring/Summer Term: May to August
  • Fall Term: September to December

6.2. What is considered full-time status at RRC Polytech?

It is imperative for students to register for a minimum of 60% of the total course load per term to be eligible for full-time student status. It should be noted that the exact credit requirements may vary depending on the program of study. In order to guarantee full-time status, it is highly recommended that students enroll in all mandatory courses and successfully complete them. Failure to do so may result in the loss of full-time status, potential gaps and implications on immigration statuses, such as denials on study permit extensions, spousal open work permit and PGWP eligibility.

6.3. Is it possible to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)?

Yes, you may. However, you still need to maintain a full-time course load per term (defined above) after RPL if you intend to work while study or stay eligible for PGWP in the future. Learn more about the RPL process.

6.4. Where can I apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN)?

Please follow these steps.

6.5. I have completed my final class. Can I travel while my study permit is still valid?

According to IRCC, You can leave Canada and return, as long as your visa or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is still valid. Your permit (study or work) is not a visa and doesn’t allow you to travel back to Canada.
If your visa or eTA is expired, you have to get a new one before you return to Canada.

  • When you return to Canada:
  • You may enter as a student if your study permit is still valid.
  • If IRCC approve your post-graduation work permit while you’re away, you may enter as a worker.
  • If IRCC is still processing your post-graduation work permit, you may enter as a visitor, and you can work without a work permit until IRCC makes a decision on your application.

A border officer will have some questions for you when you arrive back in Canada. The officer may ask you for proof that you applied for a post-graduation work permit, such as a copy of your application or the fee payment receipt. If the officer believes there is reason to refuse your re-entry, you won’t be able to enter Canada.

6.6. Whom should I talk to if I have concerns related to immigration matters?

For reliable immigration advice, it’s crucial to consult licensed professionals such as Canadian immigration lawyers or Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants. If you require assistance from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, you can access this link. Additionally, you’re welcome to connect with Della Chen, the International Student and Immigration Advisor at the college.

DISCLAIMER: This document was prepared by a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) in compliance with the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. This is not a legal document. Immigration laws and procedures change frequently, and so the procedure may have changed since this document was prepared. Please always refer to for the most up-to-date information, or contact the Red River College Polytechnic International Student and Immigration Advisor. This document was prepared on August 8, 2023.

Contact Us

Don’t see your question up there?


Work and Immigration

Find more information and supports for working in and immigrating to Canada.