UCalgary campus

Deferring program start date

In some cases, a deferral is an option. You must contact your program advisor for details on deferrals; ISS does not process deferral requests.

Be aware that a deferral may impact a student’s funding/scholarships. Some programs follow a cohort-based model, which may restrict your options for a deferred start date.

Current students may have the choice of taking a leave of absence or withdrawing from their program.

Immigration considerations when deferring before coming to Canada

If you are deferring your program to a later start you should be aware of the following immigration considerations:

If you will be or have been residing in a medically designated country for 6 months or more and/or will engage in a medically designated occupation when in Canada, you are required to have a valid immigration medical exam at the time of arrival in Canada.  An immigration medical is valid for a period of 12 months (1 year) from the date of the exam.

Ensure that your medical exam is valid at the time of arrival in Canada.

If you have been approved a deferral and your study permit application is pending processing, you should update your application with your deferral letter via the following link: Add a document to your application (cic.gc.ca)

If you're eligible to apply for a study permit via the student direct stream, you must demonstrate that you have paid your firstyear’s tuition amount in full, regardless of receiving scholarships/bursaries.  Should there be a change in their first year’s tuition amount as a result of their deferral, you should pay the difference in tuition amount and update the IRCC with your payment via the following link: Add a document to your application (cic.gc.ca).  Learn how to print your fee payment receipt HERE.

A letter of introduction commonly referred to as your study permit  approval letter has an expiration date.  You must enter Canada and be issued your study permit prior to its expiration date.

Ensure their letter of introduction is valid at time of arrival.

You must ensure that you have a valid Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) (whichever is applicable to your passport’s citizenship) at time of arrival in Canada. A TRV’s validity can be verified in the GCKey or IRCC Portal associated with the application. An eTA can be verified HERE.

If you have applied for a study permit and have not yet received your temporary resident visa (TRV) or electronic travel authorization (eTA) AND letter of introduction (LOI) (otherwise known as your study permit approval letter), do not travel to Canada until you have received these documents.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) encourages students to travel to Canada as early as possible after they receive their required documents to avoid the busy travel period in late August, early September, and in early January. Learn more at: https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/pub/international-students-etudiants-etrangers-eng.html.

Important: You cannot work in Canada before the start of your program.

What documents do I need to enter Canada after a deferral?

For a list of documents you will need to carry and present to an officer when entering Canada to get your study permit, please see here under “What documents do I need to travel to Canada as an international student?” section.

UCalgary campus

Immigration considerations when deferring after entering Canada

If you would like to defer after you have already entered Canada, please ensure that you start your program within 150 days of your original start date.

Note: You are unable to work until you start your program.