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Obtaining your entry and stay authorizations

There are three important documents you need for pursuing your studies in Quebec: a valid passport, a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) and a study permit.

Don't delay

Start the process as soon as you receive your admission letter. Certain countries run delays up to several months, so waiting too long can translate into months of delay.

You must do this from outside Canada. It is highly unadvisable to tell Canadian customs that you are a tourist when you are planning to study here. You could be charged with making a false declaration.

Situations where you can apply from within Canada

If you are a minor

Although the legal age in Quebec is 18, students who are 17 or turning 18, will not have to fill out documents intended for minor students. They will be considered legal only for the immigration process.

Your government may impose certain restrictions on leaving your country. Make sure you understand these restrictions.

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Are you under 17?

You will be 17 years old when you apply or will turn 17 at least one month before the start of the school year.

  • Submit the same documents as legal-age students.

You will be turning 17 during the month preceding the start of the school year and when you leave for Quebec.

  • Submit the same documents as a legal-age student. However, your application will have to include a photocopy of your airline ticket, as well as a short letter (dated and signed) explaining your situation.

You will not yet be 17 on your arrival in Quebec

There are several options available to you:

  • Arrive in Quebec with one of your parents, who will then stay in Montréal until you turn 17.
  • Find a guardian that lives in Montréal and is either a Canadian citizen or has permanent residency. Agree to be placed in their care until you reach legal age. Can’t find a guardian? Contact Student Services
  • Apply for emancipation. This would need to be undertaken by a qualified specialist. But note: this process could take months.

Collect the necessary documents

A valid passport

Your passport should remain valid beyond the length of your academic program.

  • The expiry date on your study permit depends on that of your passport. If your passport does expire during your studies, you will have to renew both documents from Canada and pay the necessary fees.
  • You do not need a passport when applying for the Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ).

Some countries can expedite the processing of your passport services. Find out if your country offers this service.

Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ)

Apply immediately

Study permit

See application process


Need help?

Email us at sae.accueil@hec.ca.

This online summary, dated February 27, 2019, holds no official standing. Changes may occur without notice. Quebec laws and regulations, as well as information emanating from the Ministère de l'Immigration, de la Francisation et de l'Intégration, and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, take precedence over this document.

Students > International students > Prior to your departure > Obtaining your entry and stay authorizations