Studying abroad is an exciting journey that opens up new horizons and opportunities. For international students in Canada, it’s essential to be aware of the guidelines and procedures when it comes to changing schools and ensuring the smooth continuation of your studies. In this article, we’ll walk you through the crucial information you need to know about changing schools while holding a study permit in Canada.

The Importance of Updating Information

If you find yourself switching schools within Canada, it’s imperative to keep your study permit information up to date. Failing to inform the authorities about the change can lead to serious consequences. When you change schools without notifying the relevant authorities, your previous educational institution may report that you are no longer registered as a student. This not only violates the conditions of your study permit but can also have far-reaching implications, including being asked to leave the country and potential hurdles in your future attempts to come to Canada.

Moreover, not adhering to the proper procedures can impact your ability to obtain future study or work permits in Canada. It’s essential to ensure that your study permit information accurately reflects your current educational status to avoid any complications.

Changing Your Designated Learning Institution (DLI) From Outside Canada

If you’re in the process of changing schools and your study permit application is still under review, you can inform the authorities by submitting a new letter of acceptance through the IRCC web form. This will help keep your application on the right track and prevent any misunderstandings.

Changing Your DLI after Study Permit Approval

If your study permit application has already been approved and you intend to change your DLI, you’ll need to take a few additional steps. First and foremost, you must submit a new study permit application, accompanied by a fresh letter of acceptance from your new educational institution. Additionally, you’ll be required to pay all the relevant fees associated with the new application.

Remember, you don’t need the assistance of a representative to change your DLI information in your online account. Even if you initially used a representative for your study permit application, you can independently manage this aspect of your permit.

Transitioning Between Educational Levels

If you’re progressing from one educational level to another within Canada and your study permit is still valid, you generally don’t need to apply for a new permit. This is applicable when you’re moving between primary and high school, high school and post-secondary education, or any other shifts between school levels. However, if your study permit is nearing expiration, it’s essential to apply for an extension to ensure your legal status remains intact.

For students whose study permits have already expired, it’s vital to restore your student status simultaneously with your study permit extension application. The restoration application must be submitted within 90 days of losing your status. Keep in mind that you can’t resume your studies until your student status is reinstated, and your study permit is extended.

Changing Post-Secondary Schools

If you’re enrolled in post-secondary studies and considering transferring to a different institution, it’s crucial to verify that the new school is a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). You can cross-check this information on the DLI list provided by the Canadian authorities. Furthermore, it’s important to notify the authorities each time you switch post-secondary schools. This service is usually free of charge and can be performed online through your account.

Importantly, when changing post-secondary institutions, you don’t need to apply for a new study permit. However, it’s essential to keep your study permit information updated to reflect your new educational path accurately.

Studying in Quebec

For students planning to transfer to an educational institution in Quebec, there’s an additional requirement. You’ll need to obtain an attestation of issuance of your Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ). If you’re already studying in Quebec and wish to make changes to your educational institution, program, or level of study, it’s advisable to get in touch with the ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration.

Changing schools as an international student in Canada comes with specific responsibilities and procedures that must be followed to maintain your study permit’s validity and your legal status in the country. Whether you’re in the process of changing schools or considering such a move, staying informed about these guidelines will ensure a smooth educational journey and a promising future in Canada.

Pax Law can help you!

Our immigration lawyers and consultants are willing, ready, and able to assist you in meeting the requirements necessary to apply for any Canadian visa. Please visit our appointment booking page to make an appointment with one of our lawyers or consultants; alternatively, you can call our offices at +1-604-767-9529.


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