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International Student Guidebook

Frequently Asked Questions


Do I need to submit biometrics?

IRCC has updated regulations about providing biometrics with new applications to come to Canada.

Depending on your nationality, you will need to provide biometrics:

  • Starting July 31, 2018 – applicants from Europe, Middle East and Africa
  • Starting December 31, 2018 – applicants from Asia, Asia Pacific and the Americas

For visitor visa, study and work permit applicants:

You only need to give your biometrics once every 10 years.

If you have a valid visitor visa, or a study or work permit, and you gave your biometrics in the past, your biometrics are valid from the date you gave your biometrics for a period of 10 years. You do not need to give your biometrics until the 10-year period expires.

There are a few exceptions.  Please read more about this through IRCC’s website:


Study Permits and Working While Studying

I have to renew my student permit. How does this impact my spouse’s open work permit?

Your spouse’s work permit is linked to your status as an international student in Canada.  You can renew your spouse’s work permit online, either at the same time you extend your study permit, or after you receive your new permit.

You must renew the work permit before the expiry date, so be sure to plan ahead.  Your spouse can only work if the work permit is valid.


I started my program as full time, but I want to switch to part-time for one semester. Can I do this?

Your study permit remains valid for your part-time studies. However, you must be a full-time student to work on and off-campus and the post-graduate work permit requires that you pursued studies as a full-time student. If you plan to stay and work in Canada after graduation, we recommend you don’t switch to part-time status.

Can I work part-time? Do I need a special work permit?

Full-time students with a valid study permit are permitted to work off-campus without a work permit up to 20 hours/week and full-time during scheduled school breaks (i.e. summer).  You must be enrolled in the term following the break to be eligible to work full-time.

You may work off-campus without a work permit if you:

  • have a valid study permit
  • are a full-time student at a designated learning institution (DLI)
  • have started studying
  • are in a program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate and is at least six months long and
  • have a Social Insurance Number (SIN)

If you are no longer a full-time student, you may still work off-campus if you:

  • have been a full-time student since you started your program in Canada and
  • are now studying part-time only because this is your last semester (and you don’t need a full course-load to complete your program)

IRCC: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/study-canada/work/work-off-campus.html 

NSCC Guide: Working On and Off Campus & Applying for a Social Insurance Number 

What is considered part-time at NSCC?

Anything under 60% of the full course load in a program is considered part-time. For program specific information you should contact the Assistant Registrar at your Campus.

If I become a part-time student, can I still work part-time?

No. You must be a full-time student in order to work on and off campus. Studying part-time will also make you inelgible to apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit.

For more information, please see: 2018 NSCC Guide – Taking Time off Studies

I have to discontinue my studies at NSCC. What do I do?

Students wishing to withdraw from the College are required to complete a Program Withdrawal form which can be obtained from the Assistant Registrar at your Campus.

I have to take a leave of absence for one semester. What do I do?

NSCC does not currently have a leave of absence policy. You will have to withdraw from your program and then either reapply if you need courses in the first semester of your program or submit a Return to Studies form to be considered for readmission to your program.

How does taking a leave of absence or discontinuing my studies affect my immigration status in Canada?

Your study permit requires you to continuously pursue your studies and as of April 2015, NSCC will be reporting students’ registration status to IRCC. You may have to change your status to visitor. If you are taking a leave of absence please contact NSCC International for assistance.

For more information, please see: 2018 NSCC Guide – Taking Time off Studies

Can I take online courses? How many can I take?

You are not permitted to have a study permit for an online or distance learning program. While you may take a class or two online within your program, you may not take an entirely online program.

I am transferring to NSCC from another Canadian university or college. Do I have to let Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) know?

Yes – you have to notify IRCC any time that you change institutions while studying in Canada.  The process is called “Changing DLI”, and you need to do it online, using IRCC’s portal.  Click here for the NSCC guide to changing your DLI.

For more information please see:



Letters of Invitation

I would like to invite my family or friends to visit me while I am studying. How do I do that?

You will write the letter of invitation yourself. We have created a guide to help.

I would like to invite my family to come to my graduation. How do I do that?

You will write the letter of invitation yourself. We have created a guide to help.