International students must have a valid study permit to study in Canada for longer than 6 months. Therefore, international students are responsible for maintaining valid immigration status and following Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) regulations while studying in Canada.
To remain in compliance with your study permit conditions, an international student must:
At VCC, to actively pursue studies, an international student must:
To comply with IRCC's requirements, VCC must report international students' academic status.
If an international student is no longer enrolled at VCC, they have up to 150 days to do one of the following:
As an international student, if you take an unscheduled break from your program or if you enrolled as a part-time student (except for the last academic term), that may impact your eligibility to:
Please visit Assessing Study Permit Conditions on the IRCC’s website to learn more.
Cohort Model: VCC programs are designed to ensure that international students maintain full-time academic status throughout their program. Most programs at VCC are offered in a cohort model, where students are registered into courses by VCC, and will be expected to follow a progression plan according to the program curriculum (i.e.: the schedule is fixed). In other words, students are expected to start, progress and graduate with their cohort.
If for some extenuating reason you need to drop one or more courses, please consult with your program department and with the International Education Office as there may be immigration impacts. Although maintaining a minimum of 9 credits is considered full-time status at VCC, withdrawing, or failing courses can mean that there is no space for you to be re-inserted into the same course(s) in the future. This means there is a risk that you would graduate later than expected which can impact your PGWP eligibility. Please contact the IE Office or book an Advising appointment with our team if necessary.
University Transfer: International students in University Transfer programs must register for a minimum of 9 credits each term (winter, spring/summer, and fall) to maintain full-time academic status throughout their program. University Transfer students do not have a term scheduled break.
VCC programs are not designed to allow for part-time academic status for international students. However, circumstances (i.e.: failing or withdrawing from course(s)) may lead students to be enrolled with part-time academic status, which could impact their work and PGWP eligibility. Please contact the IE Office or book an Advising appointment with our team if necessary.
Regularly Scheduled Breaks: Most VCC programs have a regularly scheduled break(s) that would take place during the program of study. Note that your scheduled break(s) is determined by your program department, and it can vary based on the intake you started your program. Please consult with your program department directly to determine when your scheduled break(s) take place in your program.
In addition, there is usually a short break between two consecutive terms (ie: the day after you complete all your courses for the term, until the day before you start your next term). For example, if you finish your final exams on April 15, and start your next semester on May 2, then April 16 to May 1 is your scheduled break. Please also refer to the college closure dates.
International students can work full-time during a scheduled break, as long as they maintained full-time academic status before and after the break. If you require a letter stating that you are on a scheduled break to show your employer, please make the request directly to the program department. Please visit Regularly scheduled breaks for more information.
International students may be able to take a full-time or part-time course load during a regular schedule break if they decide to and still work full-time. This allows students to retake courses that they may have failed in the previous term(s). It is important to note, that to be considered a scheduled break, the break needs to be part of the program, and the students need to have maintained full-time academic status before and after the break.
If you require a letter stating to show your employer that you are on a break, you can make the request from your program department.
If you are a temporary resident interested in taking short-term, part-time Continuing Studies courses, please visit our Temporary Residents Registering in Continuing Studies Part-time Courses webpage.