Students with soon-to-expire Quebec Acceptance Certificates granted extension

Quebec’s Immigration Ministry announced that foreign students whose Quebec Acceptance Certificates are set to expire have been granted an automatic extension until December 31, 2020.

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The Government of Quebec will automatically extend Quebec Acceptance Certificates (CAQ) issued to foreign students if they were set to expire between April 30, 2020, and December 31, 2020.

The Ministry of Immigration, Francization and Integration (MIFI) made the announcement on Thursday, April 30, and said the decision was a response to the concerns of its many partners in the education sector during the current pandemic.

“This decision is intended to facilitate the steps that must be taken by foreign students who were in the process of completing their study program but who must extend their stay in Quebec due to the current health state of emergency and the temporary interruption of their courses,” states the Quebec Immigration Ministry website.

Most individuals who intend to study in Quebec must obtain a CAQ before they can apply to the Canadian federal immigration authorities for a Study Permit.

Quebec’s Immigration Ministry wants to avoid unfairly penalizing foreign students who may not have been able to complete their program of study as planned in the winter or summer of 2020 because of the coronavirus crisis. The automatic extension of CAQs will make it easier for these students to renew their study permit with the federal government because they will temporarily not be required to have to go through a CAQ renewal process.

“These students can therefore submit an application to the federal government as soon as possible to have their study permit extended without having to include a new CAQ, which will allow them to maintain valid temporary residence status and to complete their study program when their courses resume,” says the government.

Foreign students will not be required to pay any fees for extending their CAQ.

The measure announced today does not apply to students who wish to obtain a CAQ for the fall semester or those who have a CAQ that expires after December 31, 2020, the ministry said.

Quebec has nearly 90,000 foreign students. Its international student population has doubled since 2013.

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