Commentary | Clarification on full-time status for international students


Regarding the article “International students can run for SSMU executive positions” (January 18, News, page 5), I would like to emphasize the following:

All international students studying in Quebec and who hold a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) are required to maintain a full-time status. This is pursuant to Immigration Quebec’s Règlement sur la sélection des ressortissants étrangers, subsection 47(b)(ii), which requires international students to make study their principal activity.

Although the requirement to maintain a full-time status stands, Immigration Quebec has loosened their assessment of it in the sense that they are now allowing students to renew their CAQ despite not maintaining full-time status – if and only if they prove a reasonable justification for their part-time status and support this with solid documentation.

Although Immigration Canada does not require study permit holders to pursue their studies full-time, students are required to remain enrolled until completion of their studies and actively pursue their studies.

All international students must be enrolled in full-time studies in order to work on or off campus. This is pursuant to subsections of 186(f) and 186(v) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

Immigration Quebec’s willingness to consider a student’s reasonable justification as to why they did not respect their obligation to maintain full-time status does not imply that they have relaxed their requirements for CAQ holders, nor does it imply a change in the federal regulations’ requirement that international students must maintain full-time status in order to work on and off campus during academic sessions.

The federal and provincial immigration requirements apply equally to all international students regardless of nationality.
I recommend that all international students who are planning to pursue their studies on a part-time basis come to the International Student Services office to speak to an advisor about their situation.

—Pauline L’Ecuyer, Director, International Student Services