This means, among other things, remaining enrolled at a designated learning institution, making timely and reasonable progress towards completing your study program, and maintaining your immigration status.
Study permit holders are required to actively pursue their studies. You should be enrolled in a full-time or occasionally part-time credit-load to be considered actively pursuing your studies. However, in order to work in Canada on a study permit, you will need to maintain full-time status.
Each institution determines its own definition of full-time studies. However, full-time studies usually mean a minimum of 9 credits (3 courses) per semester.
As required by law, Canadian Designated Learning Institutions periodically report on each international student’s enrollment status to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Canadian immigration officers impose conditions on your study permit. These may include one or more of the following:
Failure to comply with these conditions can have serious consequences.
You must apply before the expiration of your study permit if you would like to continue studying in Canada. Schools recommend you apply at least three months before the expiry of your status, to allow for processing time. If you apply for extension, you must stay in Canada and meet the conditions of your original study permit (i.e.: you cannot quit school and begin working).
If you study permit expires and you have not applied for an extension, you must stop studying and/or working immediately, as you will be considered out-of-status.
If you fall out-of-status, you must apply for a restoration of status. You will have 90 days from the day your study permit expires to apply for this restoration. This application can only be done inside Canada and you will need to remain in the country until a decision is made on your application for restoration of status. The restoration process can take several months and there are no guarantees that your application for a new study permit will be successful.
You will need to ask for a replacement by launching an application called a “verification of status or replacement of an immigration document.” In these cases you may continue studying in Canada but you should not leave until you obtain a copy of your study permit.
If you would like to take a semester off, it could affect your study permit and ability to work. Check with your international student advisor if you would like to take time away from your studies.
A regular or scheduled break is defined as a summer holiday, reading week, winter holiday, or transition period between graduation and receiving a post-graduation work permit. According to IRCC, a consecutive four-month break can only be taken: