Immigration Information & Requirements
As an international student, it is very important that you know about the necessary visas and permits to study and live in Canada. It is your responsibility to ensure that you apply for, obtain and maintain all documentation required as an international student in Canada.
IMPORTANT: The content included on this webpage is information only, it is not immigration advice. Students need to review Canadian Immigration requirements regularly as Immigration rules change frequently.
Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
- If your country of origin is included on this list, you will require a TRV to travel to Canada. A TRV is an official document issued by a visa office outside Canada to show that you have met the requirements for admission to Canada as a temporary resident. You must obtain a TRV before your departure. You cannot obtain one upon arrival in Canada. If the visa office approves your study permit, they will issue you a TRV along with your study permit. Visit the Government of Canada’s webpage for more information on applying for a TRV.
- If you are a visa-exempt national, except for US citizens, you will require an electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) instead of a TRV when you enter Canada by air. This is also typically issued along with the study permit. An eTA is electronically linked to a passport and not affixed inside. Visit the Government of Canada’s webpage for more information on applying for an eTA.
- The study permit is a document issued by the Government of Canada that allows foreign nationals to study at designated learning institutions (DLI) in Canada. Red Deer Polytechnic is a DLI (DLI #O19391056880) that offers Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)-eligible programs. Study permit processing times vary, so you should apply as soon as you receive your Letter of Acceptance from Red Deer Polytechnic.
- Visit the Government of Canada’s webpage for more information about applying for a study permit.
Study Permit Rules
As a study permit holder, there are rules that you need to follow. If you don’t, you may lose your student status and study permit, and you may be required to leave Canada.
As a Study Permit holder, you must:
Be enrolled at a designated learning institution (DLI)
- Show you are actively pursuing your studies by:
Being enrolled full-time during each academic semester (excluding regularly scheduled breaks)
- To be considered a full-time student at RDP;
- you must be enrolled in a minimum of nine post-secondary credits (typically, three post-secondary courses) during the Fall and Winter Terms
- 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
- You must also follow the other specific conditions listed on your study permit
Visit the Government of Canada’s webpage for more information on study permit conditions
Co-op Work Permit
- Refer to your RDP Letter of Acceptance to learn if you need a co-op work permit for a practicum, placement, field experience or preceptorship component of your program. If required, you should request a co-op work permit at the same time you apply for your study permit. You cannot begin your practicum without a co-op work permit.
- If you did not receive your co-op work permit when you were issued your study permit, you can apply online through the Government of Canada’s website at no cost.
Your Spouse Working in Canada While You Study
- The spouse or common-law partner of an international student may be eligible for an open work permit.
- Visit the Government of Canada’s webpage for more information on eligibility and applying for an open work permit.
Working in Canada While You Study
It is important to remember that when you come to Canada as an international student, your first priority is your studies. If you are interested in working part-time in Canada while studying, you should be prepared to financially support yourself even if you are not able to find a job.
Not everyone will be eligible to work while studying in Canada, but if you are able to work during your studies, it will say so in the conditions on your study permit. To work off-campus without a work permit, you must meet all of these requirements:
- You are a full-time student at a designated learning institution (DLI), such as Red Deer Polytechnic (DLI #O19391056880)
- You are enrolled in a post-secondary academic, vocational or professional training program or your study program is at least 6 months long and leads to a degree, diploma or certificate
- Your study permit says you can work off-campus
- You have started studying
- You have a Social Insurance Number (SIN)
Visit the Government of Canada’s webpage for more information on working off-campus as an international student.
Work Authorization - Resources
If you decide to change your program of studies without completing your original program, you will not be eligible to begin working until you have started your new study program and meet the eligibility requirements (i.e. you cannot work during the gap between your programs).
Check out the resources below to learn more about the work authorizations international students may be eligible for.
Working During Scheduled Breaks at RDP
If you are planning to work full-time during a regularly scheduled break (Reading Break, December Break) you must ensure to continue meeting the eligibility criteria. Spring and Summer Terms may be considered a scheduled break depending on the program or intake.
- Students can refer to Red Deer Polytechnic’s Academic Schedule for specific start and end dates.
- Eligible international students with back-to-back scheduled breaks (e.g. Spring and Summer for certain programs), are only eligible to work off campus during the first 150 consecutive days. Taking into account all regularly scheduled breaks for your program, eligible international students may only work off campus on a full-time basis for a total of 180 days during each calendar year.
- Contact the Student Connect Centre to determine if Spring and/or Summer are mandatory terms for their program.
- If applicable, the start date for this break will be the day after students write their final deferred exams.
Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Eligibility
We understand that PGWP eligibility is very important to many of our international students. As a public post-secondary institution, many of Red Deer Polytechnic's programs are PGWP eligible. Visit the Government of Canada’s webpage for more information on PGWP eligibility requirements.