Quick Links

Immigration documents

Mandatory for ALL international students 

All non-Canadians coming to McGill must obtain all 3 of the documents below to study legally in Quebec (and Canada) if enrolled in a program lasting 6 months or longer. 

Programs shorter than six months (e.g. 1-term exchanges) do not need a CAQ and Study Permit, but may need a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV).  See below for details.


All travellers entering Canada require a passport from their home country. If you are already in Canada and need to renew your passport, consult Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada's list of foreign diplomatic representatives in the country here.

Make sure you have a passport that is valid for at least 1 year.

Certificate of Acceptance of Quebec (CAQ)

The CAQ is official permission for you to study in the province of Quebec. You can apply for this document online via Immigration Quebec

You must begin the application process for a provincial CAQ before applying for a federal Study Permit. Please be sure to apply for both documents as soon as possible after receiving your letter of admission from McGill, to allow for the possibility of delay.

For step by step instructions, please see our CAQ Application Guide.

Study Permit

The Study Permit is official permission for you to study in Canada. You can find out more via Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

How do I Apply for a Study Permit?

Once you receive your CAQ, you can apply online (unless you are a US citizen or green-card holder**) for the Study Permit.  You will be required to register for a MyCIC account, along with a GCKey (GCKey = Government of Canada Key = log in).  A processing fee of $150 applies.

NOTE:  McGill's CIC Designated Learning Institution number (DLI#) is O19359011033

can apply at the Port of Entry upon arrival in Canada - details HERE.



  • Students from certain countries may also require a Temporary Resident Visa (also known as an "Entry Visa") to enter Canada. Click here for details.
  • You may need to undergo a medical exam. Please consult the Immigration Medical Exam section of Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s website for details.
  • Citizens of certain countries will be required to submit biometric data - see the list of countries and instructions here.

Important!  Obtaining your CAQ and Study Permit can take 1-6 months, so start the application process as soon as possible.

    Mandatory for SOME International Students:

    Temporary Resident Visa

    International students from certain countries require a Temporary Resident Visa (also known as a "TRV" or "Entry Visa") to study in Canada. To learn more, visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.

    Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

    Starting in Fall 2016, International Students who are TRV-Exempt and who fly to or transit through Canada (except those traveling by land/sea) will require an eTA.  This does not apply to citizens of the United States.

    Medical Exam & Biometric Data

    Students from certain countries must undergo a medical examination if they intend to remain in Canada for six months or more. Check Citizenship and Immigration Canada's website to see if this applies to you.

    Biometric Data

    Citizens of certain countries will be required to submit biometric data - see the list of countries and instructions here.

    Work Permit for Mandatory Internship/Co-op Terms

    Students in programs of study with mandatory co-op or internship terms, such as the Bachelor of Education programs, must obtain a Co-op/Internship Work Permit (along with their CAQ & Study Permit). The application for the Co-op/Internship Work Permit must be made at the same time as the Study Permit if the co-op/internship starts in the first term of classes.

    Custodianship Transfer Letter

    If you are an international student under the age of 18 and plan to live in a McGill residence, your parents or custodians must send an original letter requesting that your custodianship be transferred to McGill's Associate Dean of Students until your 18th birthday. This is required by Quebec law. Please refer to the following Minors information.


    For specific Study Permit Processing Times, visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website. For directions to the Immigration Quebec office, view our map or our Immigration offices pamphlet

    Please note:

    When you apply for certain documents, such as your Study Permit, there is no guarantee of acceptance. You should not purchase plane tickets or make other final travel arrangements until your documents are in order.

    Also, be sure to place your travel documents, prescription medication, eyeglasses, contact lenses, Buddy's telephone number and other vital information in your carry-on bag. Don't risk losing these important items due to lost checked luggage!