1. Study Permit Expiry
  2. Active Study 
  3. Authorized Work
  4. Changing Schools
  5. Other Conditions
  6. Carleton University Compliance Reports to IRCC

International students are temporary residents of Canada and must comply with Canada’s immigration laws to maintain this status. If you are a study permit holder who doesn’t meet the conditions of your status:

  • Your next immigration application may be refused
  • You may be ordered to leave Canada
  • You may be banned from returning to Canada for a period of time

It’s most important to:

  • Stay enrolled in school while you are in Canada, unless you are exempt or taking an authorized leave from studies, as explained below
  • Work only as authorized

All international students at Carleton are encouraged to complete the ISSO’s Study Permit Secrets Brightspace course and to become familiar with IRCC’s official information about Your Conditions as a Study Permit Holder in Canada.

Study Permit Expiry

Your study permit has an expiry date, and it also says that you must leave Canada by that date.

If your study permit is about to expire, but you are not done your program, you can apply for an extension that allows you to stay in Canada and continue to study.

A study permit can become invalid before the date printed on it. A study permit becomes invalid on whichever date comes first:

    • The expiration date printed on the permit
    • 90 days after studies are completed
    • The day that a removal order becomes enforceable (applicable to refugee claimants)

“Completing” studies can mean graduating or it can mean withdrawing. If you plan to take a break from studies, you should visit the ISSO to discuss your immigration options.

Active Study 

If you have a study permit, you must do both of these things to keep it valid:

  1. Remain enrolled at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI), such as Carleton University.
  2. Actively pursue your studies

These conditions apply to most Carleton students, although students in some situations are exempt.

Immigration officers may look at whether you satisfy these two conditions:

  • When you apply for a study permit extension
  • Any time you re-enter Canada
  • As part of a random check
  • When you apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit
  • If there is any reason to believe you are not meeting the conditions

Breaks from study (periods when you are not registered in classes) may be unauthorized unless:

  • It is a scheduled break for your program.
  • You leave Canada during your break.
  • You take a break of no more than 150 days AND
    • You are changing schools; OR
    • You have a deferred enrolment; OR
    • You have a Leave of Absence. Undergraduates who want to ask for a Leave of Absence should visit the ISSO; graduate students should apply to the Faculty of Graduate and Post-Graduate Affairs.  Please see this page for more details on Leaves of Absence.

“Actively pursuing studies” means that you are making progress in your program. You can make progress with part-time study, and you can make progress if you drop or fail a few courses, or if you change programs. In these cases, you may need to provide additional documents to explain your progress and when you will complete your program. The ISSO can assist you with this.

Learn more about how immigration officers assess whether you meet the conditions of study permit holder status.

Authorized Work

Most Carleton students may work in Canada without a work permit. There must be a remark on your study permit that starts with “May work… ” or “May accept employment…”

If you wish to work in Canada you must maintain full-time student status. There is an exception for part-time study in one (only) final term of a program.

These are only two of the rules about working. There are additional rules about where, when and how much you can work as a study permit holder.  Learn more about working as a student.

Changing Schools

Students in Canada must notify IRCC when they transfer to another school in Canada, which must be a Designated Learning Institution.

Other Conditions

You should pay attention to any other “Conditions” or “Remarks” on your study permit. If you don’t understand, or have any questions, visit the ISSO.

Carleton University Compliance Reports to IRCC

As a Designated Learning Institution (DLI), Carleton University must report to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on the enrolment status of its international students.

Carleton’s Office of Institutional Research and Planning reports to IRCC twice a year on a regular basis; and may report at other times if IRCC asks for information.

When you apply for a study permit or for an extension, you agree that this information about you can be shared with IRCC.

These reports are one way that IRCC can assess whether study permit holders are meeting the terms and conditions of their status in Canada.