Student information

Whether you are a Graduate Student or an Undergraduate Student, we want to make sure you have the most recent information to continue or begin your studies at uOttawa, given the current pandemic. Make sure to visit this page regularly as useful updates can help you navigate all of the opportunities to participate in learning, receive support and connect with our University community at this challenging time.


Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 course enrolment is now open.

Whether you’re a newly-admitted or returning student, you’ve worked hard to get where you are. Now comes the fun part. It’s time to choose your courses from our exciting and extensive array of possibilities.

The course enrolment schedule for the fall and winter terms is now live on our website. We encourage you to set your schedule and get ready to enrol.

We have a plan, we are ready.

The University remains committed to continuing to offer you a world-class education. Like you, we believe it is best to keep a positive outlook and to keep moving forward.

Your health and safety are our highest priority. As a result, we have adapted quickly with a flexible approach towards learning and student life to ensure that you can start or resume your studies no matter what situation we face regarding the pandemic. Therefore, all our undergraduate and graduate courses, with some exceptions,* will include a distance-learning option in the fall. Whether you are an international student or a Canadian who cannot come to Ottawa, you will be able to learn from home without having to be physically present on campus.

Believe us – we still hope to welcome students on campus this fall, but this continues to depend on the public health guidelines in place at that time. We are working on innovative approaches to offer students an in-person learning experience should public health guidelines change. Each Faculty will determine whether specific in-person courses can go ahead.

We realize that the situation is fluid and rapidly evolving. As such, we would like to share some key principles:

  • The courses you need for your program will be offered via distance learning with the same high academic standards so that you can achieve your learning goals.
  • Many of your courses could be offered in person if public health directives allow us to do so. In this situation, students who prefer to learn in person will be able to do so, provided that the Faculty considers this a possibility.
  • If you sign up for an online course and this course ends up being offered in person, you will not be required to show up in person if physical distancing guidelines are lifted. Once you enrol in an online course, you have the option to complete it via distance learning, if that is your preference.
  • Professors are being strongly encouraged to make as much of their course material and assignments available online so you can catch up if you can’t attend the class in real time. If you’re not in the same time zone as uOttawa or you run into connection problems, you will be able to work on your courses at a time that suits you. We’re doing our very best to make your online experience as pleasant as possible.
  • Whether you’re studying on campus or online, locally or from any distance, there will also be academic support available to accompany you in this new and exciting university experience
  • *The schedule includes some courses that do require your physical presence even though it remains uncertain whether this will be possible this fall. Please be reassured that we are working on innovative solutions to accommodate you and will provide an update in the weeks to come. We encourage you to enrol for these courses if they match your ambitions.
  • Our course schedule is accurate at the time of publication but is likely to experience more changes than usual. Please check it often to follow any changes.

We are doing everything we can to offer you the best student experience possible, while respecting public health guidelines. Although we are living through an unprecedented situation, we are certain that you will be able to study in your chosen field, to learn from passionate educators and to gain the courses and qualifications you need to pursue your dreams.

The Office of the Registrar

International Mobility suspension

The University has made the difficult decision to cancel in-person international mobility for the fall term, and this for outgoing and incoming students and for research internships, coop terms, field research courses, etc. We felt it was important to advise our students of a final decision before they started making concrete plans for their departure. Because the pandemic is escalating at different rates and times around the world, we have assessed that the risks remain too high to allow our students to travel this fall.

The various units responsible for coordinating these mobility opportunities are working closely with their students to find alternatives and/or postpone their international experience.

We encourage students who are affected by this decision to contact their academic or administrative units to coordinate the next steps. For all other questions, please contact the International Office at uointl@uOttawa.ca.

Financial Aid

Please see this helpful list of links to important information that can help you apply for funds:


COVID-19 self-declaration form

The University has produced a self-declaration form for students to request academic accommodations. If you cannot participate in course learning activities, write an exam or hand in an assignment for medical or other reasons due to changes in learning conditions caused by COVID-19, complete and submit the form found on the COVID-19 website within 10 business days of your absence or your assignment deadline. Please complete one form for each day you are requesting academic accommodations. You must also inform your professor as soon as possible if special arrangements must be made.

For more information on preventative measures or important updates, visit this website regularly.

Please note that the self-declaration form will be available until August 31, 2020 after which time, you will need to follow the regular procedure (see 9.5).


FAQ

Undergraduate Admissions

Is it still possible to apply for admission?

All our undergraduate programs are now closed.

Will the current situation have an impact on deadlines for sending my documents?

For undergraduate Canadian students, nothing has changed, the deadline to submit their documents for evaluation purposes is still July 1st.

For international undergraduate students, the deadline to submit documents for evaluation purposes has been pushed to June 1, 2020.

Once you are admitted, we have pushed the deadline to submit all final documents to confirm your admissions conditions to July 30, 2020, for Canadian and international students.

Consult the website for undergraduate program deadlines and the specific requirements for graduate and postdoctoral programs.

The Admissions Office is monitoring the situation with COVID-19 and is aware that some schools have cancelled final examinations. Please communicate with us after in July if your school has cancelled all examinations. We encourage you to submit all final documents as soon as they become available in order for your conditions to be verified.

My school sent my documents by mail, will you receive them?

Our offices are closed and everyone is working remotely since April 1st. This means, if you have submitted documents by mail since, we will not process them until we return to the office. Please submit them through uoDoc yourself and if this is not possible, have your institution email them to admissions@uottawa.ca.

What is the impact if my school is closed?

In response to the many questions being asked about the impact of school closures due to the COVID-19 crisis, the University of Ottawa wants to reassure you that we are focused on ensuring that the application process continues as smoothly as possible for students. Until we receive direction from the Educational jurisdictions or Ministry of Education from each province, we hope to adhere, as best we can, to try to maintain some semblance of normalcy for students and parents. We will continue to evaluate completed files so send us the most up-to-date documents you have until the ministries of each province announce its plans for the remainder of the school year.

Will there be an impact on my offer of admission and prerequisite requirements if I receive Pass/Fail grades from a university or college for the current semester?

The University of Ottawa will not penalize university or college candidates for receiving Pass/Fail grades when it comes to completing the current semester. Candidates who receive a 'Pass' grade for a prerequisite will be considered as having completed the prerequisite requirements.

The University of Ottawa will grant advance standing for courses that receive a 'Pass' grade.

Can I get an extension to accept my admissions offer?

If the deadline to accept your offer is approaching, please note that you can always accept your offer now, register for your courses and decline later if you change your mind. If you have difficulty accepting your offer please let us know.

What are the repercussions and steps taken by the Admissions Office for students coming from a French Lycée (France or recognized by the AEFE) or completing a BTS?

The Admissions Office is aware of the decision made by the Minister of Education. Since all « épreuves du baccalauréat » (general, technological and vocational) and BTS will be validated by continuous assessment, your admission requirements will be based on the results of your continuous assessment. You must maintain the conditions mentioned on your offer.

We will determine the possibility of offering you equivalencies on the strength of your marks on the continuous assessment. A minimum grade between 12 and 14/20 in a subject will be required to obtain equivalences. This will depend on the program to which you have been admitted, the institution from which you came, and the subjects you have passed by continuous assessment.

Will admission events take place? Are they postponed or canceled?

Events on and off campus (including international events) are canceled until further notice.

However, we invite you to join our Virtual Summer Orientation and start your journey with the Gee-Gees family! You can register for our webinars and gain access to useful resources, connect with your peers and your regional mentor, and get the most of your first uOttawa experience.

Are you gearing up to apply for Fall 2021? We recommend that you visit Admission Events page for the latest updates and sign up to receive information, updates and alerts about admission deadlines and invitations to special events.

What kind of orientation activities can I expect?

Between July 9 to August 21, attend uOttawa summer orientation and participate in our webinars, available in both French and English. Participate in webinars specific to your faculty as well as others covering all aspects of your new life at uOttawa. Experience fun interactive activities with integrated Q&A sessions in which we will answer all your questions and provide you with the resources to help you thrive and find your path to personal and academic success at uOttawa.

Some webinars will be recorded and made available afterwards, though we strongly encourage you to participate in the live webinars for a more interactive, rewarding experience.

What type of social activities can I expect to see during the year if social distancing measures are still in place?

All our programming and events will be planned to comply with physical distancing requirements. Virtual and online activities are being planned; these include concerts, virtual pet therapy, game nights, virtual escape rooms, fitness classes, and wellness webinars, to name a few.

My test center has cancelled all the English tests until further notice, what can I do?

The Admissions Office is aware that many test centers remain closed. If an English language test is required to evaluate your application, you can complete the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test. Learn more about the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition

Can I defer my admission from Fall 2020 to a later term?

Deferral requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and can be submitted to the Admissions Office, after June 15th and no later than September 1st.

Before requesting a deferral, you must first accept your offer and have satisfied all of the admissions conditions specified in it. This means that, if you are a high school applicant, we will proceed with your request once we receive your final grades and proof that you obtained your high school diploma.

If you are granted the deferral, you may not attend any educational institution during the period of your deferral (i.e. secondary school, post-secondary institution). Please note that offers to our English Intensive program (EIP) are not eligible for deferral.

Please review the procedure for requesting a deferral of Admission for Undergraduate Studies.

Academic information

How will courses be delivered in September?

We have adopted a flexible approach towards learning and student life to ensure that you can start or resume your studies no matter what situation we face regarding the pandemic.

Therefore, all our courses, with some exceptions,* will include an online or distance-learning option in the fall. Whether you are an international student or a Canadian who cannot come to Ottawa, you will be able to learn from home without having to be physically present on campus.

We still hope to welcome students on campus this fall, but this continues to depend on the public health guidelines in place at that time. We are working on innovative approaches to offer students an in-person learning experience, if guidelines on physical distancing change. Each Faculty will determine whether specific in-person courses can go ahead.

Some key points:

  • Many of your courses could be offered in person if public health directives on physical distancing allow us to do so. In this situation, students who prefer to learn in person will be able to, provided that the Faculty considers this a possibility;
  • If you sign up for an online course and this course ends up being offered in person, you will not be required to show up in person if physical distancing guidelines are lifted. Once you enrol in an online course, you have the option to complete it via distance learning, if that is your preference;
  • Professors are being strongly encouraged to make as much of their course material and assignments available online so you can catch up if you can’t attend the class in real time. If you’re not in the same time zone as uOttawa or you run into connection problems, you will be able to work on your courses at a time that suits you. We’re doing our very best to make your online experience as pleasant as possible. Whether you’re studying on campus or online, locally or from any distance, there will also be academic support available to accompany you in this new and exciting university experience
  • Some courses do require your physical presence even though it remains uncertain whether this will be possible this fall. Please be reassured that we are working on innovative solutions to accommodate you and will provide an update in the weeks to come.

One thing is certain: You will be able to study in your chosen field, learn from passionate educators, and earn the units and qualifications you need.

During the Spring/Summer term, we delivered most courses through distance learning and we will continue to innovate.

Do I get a discount because Spring-Summer 2020 programs are online only?

No. Spring-Summer term will be offered via distance learning. Tuition fees remain the same.

As you know, we quickly adapted to online courses for the Spring-Summer term as a way to keep moving forward during this unprecedented situation. We also fully appreciate that the current context could have financial implications for you and your family.

In consultation with uOttawa student associations (UOSU and GSAÉD), we have made some changes to ancillary fees and payment deadlines:

Deadline changes:

  • Tuition payment deadlines have been pushed back. See new dates for Spring-Summer 2020 tuition fees, under Tuition Fee Payment for more information.
  • Thesis evaluations for graduate students have also been pushed back. See new dates, under Reports, Major Research Papers and Theses (Graduate Students).

Fee Changes:

  • The fees for Sports Services and the University Centre (UCU) are waived as these facilities are closed and cannot be used.
  • The uPass program has been suspended for the Spring-Summer term. Please keep your uPass for top up when the program resumes. Please note: DO NOT throw out the uPass that you have. It will be easier to top it up once things return to normal.
  • Many services provided by UOSU or GSAÉD are being maintained and as such we will continue to collect appropriate fees.
  • Health Services related fees will continue to apply as these services remain active.
  • Some faculty specific fees, including the Telfer Career Service and for Faculty associations, will continue to be collected.
Can I get a bit of leeway on when I pay tuition fees for Spring-Summer?

We have pushed the deadlines back by a couple of weeks to give you some breathing space. Please check the Important Academic Dates and Deadlines page to see adjusted deadlines for Spring-Summer 2020 tuition fees, under Tuition Fee Payment.

What is Brightspace and how does it work? I’ve never used it.

Brightspace is uOttawa’s virtual campus. It is a web platform that provides access to course websites and online learning resources through a single portal.

Information on how to access and use it can be found on the Teaching and Learning Support Service website.

What should I do if I have a technical problem, if I cannot connect to Brightspace?

You can get help if you have a technical problem by calling 1-866-811-3201 or by using the online form.

Evaluation Winter 2020 Term

Will it be a Satisfactory/Non Satisfactory (S/NS) semester or will students receive grades as usual?

Because each faculty is unique and offers a diversity of programs, the Senate decided to give individual professors and faculties the latitude to implement the most relevant measures for their programs, while maintaining academic standards and integrity, respect for learning objectives and ensuring an approach that is flexible and fair to students. As such, students should receive information specific to each course from their professor.

Students who wish to receive an alpha numeric or "Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory" score in eligible courses will be able to complete an application form that will be online from May 12-14, 2020. If you do not complete the online form by May 14, you will receive an alpha numeric grade.

Does choosing the S/NS option have an impact on my Academic Standing Status?

Academic performance is based only on your cumulative grade point average (CGPA) and according to the CGPA required for your program, unless exception approved by the Senate (see academic regulations I - 11.3). The GPA is calculated only with alphanumeric scores. Grades with no numeric value, such as S / NS, are not part of your MPC or MPT calculation.

If you are on probation and your CGPA is above 3.0, courses with S / NS scores will not count towards the 24 credits of your probation period.

If you do not reach the 24 credits with alphanumeric marks during the winter term for the probationary period you will still be on probation during the next term.

Will opting for S/NS have an impact on my scholarships?

Merit Scholarship: For the winter term of 2020, if you do not have a minimum of 9 credits with alphanumeric marks, the grade point average (GPA) will be taken instead of the term weighted average (TWA) / see Dean's Honour List rule.

Revolving scholarships will not include S/NS in the calculation of GPA.

Awards and Medals :

  • If the student has an S/NS grade(s), these will not be calculated in the GPA for an award or medal.
  • If a prize is for the best grade in the course, the student with an S/NS will not be eligible to win that prize.
If I’m repeating a course for the second time and opt for the S/NS option, what will happen to my cumulative grade point average (CGPA)? Will the previous mark still be erased?

Neither grade will count in the calculation of your GPA, since the S / NS option has no numerical value.

This will have a positive impact on your GPA before the winter 2020 semester. As for your GPA after the Winter 2020 term, this will depend on whether you have alphanumeric marks for your other courses.

What’s the maximum number of classes I can choose to identify as S/NS?

This may vary depending on the policy applied in each faculty.

If I change my mind, is it possible to reconvert my note to an alphanumeric note later?

No, once you have chosen the S/NS option, it is not possible to reconvert the note to an alphanumeric note.

How will alphanumeric grades impact the Dean’s list?

If you are registered full time and have less than 9 credits with alphanumeric scores (even due to the situation of COVID-19), you must have maintained a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of at least 8.5 (except in law where the average is 7.5).

If you are registered full time and have at least 9 credits with alphanumeric scores (even due to the situation of COVID-19), you must have maintained a term grade point average (TGPA) of at least 8.5 (except in law where the average is 7.5).

You can consult the academic regulations 13.4.

Will opting for S/NS have an impact on citations Cum laude, Magna cum laude and Summa cum laude?
  • S/NS grades are not calculated in the cumulative grade point averages (CGPA).
  • Citations are awarded to students who complete the requirements of an undergraduate degree, according to the cumulative grade point averages.

Please consult academic regulation-13.5 - Citations.

Will overall group averages be calculated using all alphanumeric grades of students who write the exam, or only using the grades of students who have opted out of the S/NS option?

S/NS scores will not be considered in the calculation of the group average. The average will therefore represent only the calculation of alphanumeric scores.

Will opting for S/NS grades affect my chances of being admitted to Graduate School, Medical School and Law School?

Since all Faculties, as well as all Universities and Colleges, have their own sets of rules and regulations, it’s important that you contact the appropriate Faculties and ask them specifically how choosing S/NS grades may affect your admission to professional and graduate programs.

Have there been any changes to thesis deadlines for graduate students?

We have extended deadlines for when graduate students should submit their thesis for evaluation. See details under Reports, Major Research Papers and Theses (Graduate Students).

Will Convocation be canceled?

For the first time ever, uOttawa’s Convocation ceremonies will be entirely virtual.

Simply postponing or cancelling convocation was not an option for uOttawa. COVID-19 cannot stop us from celebrating and honoring our hardworking, ambitious and talented graduates from our proud institution.

The University of Ottawa's virtual convocation ceremonies for its 10 faculties will begin on Monday, June 15 and will roll out over the course of the week. Students will receive an invitation specific to their faculty.

Spring 2020 Convocation: Schedule of Virtual Ceremonies

If public health guidelines permit, 2020 cohort students will be invited to attend a special in-person ceremony next spring. At that time, all of this year's graduates will be invited to walk across the stage in cap and gown, and in the presence of friends and family, to be congratulated and celebrated by their Dean, the President and the Chancellor.

International Students

University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP)

Do students living in the Outaouais region have UHIP coverage?

The University of Ottawa’s physical proximity with the province of Quebec (Outaouais region) coupled with the significant number of international students electing to reside there highlights the importance of this question. Sun Life has agreed to extend the Ontario provisions of the contract to the Outaouais region as per the request of the University of Ottawa. It is preferable to be treated on the Ontario side; however, the Quebec RAMQ listing will be respected in the Outaouais region.

Will International students who are still in Canada due to travel restrictions/closures still have UHIP coverage?
  • Exchange students who finished their term on April 30th, 2020 and requested an extension* of UHIP have full UHIP coverage until April 30th, and extension* coverage until June 30th, 2020.
  • Regular students enrolled in a program who finished their term on April 30th and
    • are on a scheduled break, or
    • are enrolled in courses, or
    • are on an approved leave of absence**,
    this spring/summer term 2020; they have full UHIP coverage until August 31st, 2020.
  • Regular students who have finished all the requirements of their program on April 30th, and have requested an extension of UHIP coverage, have full UHIP coverage until April 30th, 2020 and extension* coverage until August 31st, 2020.

UHIP coverage for the 2020-2021 academic calendar

  • Full UHIP coverage for students who enroll full time in the fall 2020 term will be renewed automatically, for the three terms (fall 2020, winter 2021, and spring/summer 2021) after they register for fall courses.
  • UHIP coverage for regular students who have finished all the requirements of their program on August 31st, 2020; have full UHIP coverage until August 31st, 2020, and they can request to have extension* coverage until December 31st, 2020.
  • Regular students who register in the fall 2020 term and will finish all the requirements of their program on December 31st, 2020, have full UHIP coverage until December 31st, 2020, and they can request extension* coverage until June 30th, 2021.

*Please note that UHIP coverage during an extension is limited to emergencies only.

**Please consult the International Office (uointl@uottawa.ca) for details on the requirements to maintain UHIP coverage during an approved leave of absence.

Leaving Canada

Can we leave Canada and return to our home country?

When deciding whether you should stay in Canada or leave, there are multiple factors that may influence your decision.

For instance, the most important factor is your health and safety. We strongly recommend verifying your destination’s safety situation as well as the countries in which you are transiting if it is not a direct flight. Additionally, students need to ensure they are well enough to travel so as not to present a risk to themselves or others. Check the Frequently Asked Questions section on the how to protect yourself section on university’s Coronavirus website to learn more about what to do to protect yourself and others around you should you decide to travel.

Furthermore, make sure to check the entry/exit requirements put in place by your home country or countries where you plan to transit to see if you are legally able to enter those countries with the current situation. Canada also announced that it has closed its borders to non-citizens or non-permanent residents of Canada arriving by air with some exemptions. This order is currently in effect until July 31, 2020. The exemptions to this travel restriction include international students whose study permits were approved or issued prior to March 18, 2020. In addition, the Canada-US borders are also restricted to non-essential (discretionary) travel until July 21, 2020. We encourage you to consult the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) webpage for the most updated information and further details.

Academic integrity and continuity remain a priority. Our goal is to ensure that students can complete all courses in which they are currently registered and receive their evaluations and credits without any interruption. All in-person classes and labs in the Winter and Spring/Summer 2020 terms have been moved to distance and online learning formats for the rest of the semester and exams will not be taken in-person.

For the fall term, all our courses, with some exceptions, will include a distance-learning option. Whether you are an international student or a Canadian who cannot come to Ottawa, you will be able to learn from home without having to be physically present on campus.

Another factor to consider, secondary to your health and safety, is if you can continue to study outside of Canada. As an example, you need to make sure that you can access your courses and exams from the country you are traveling to.

If there are any other questions related to this or factors that you would like to discuss with us, feel free to do so. That being said, ultimately, the decision is yours.

I believe I fall under the travel exemptions. Can I travel to Canada now?

If you fall under these exemptions, you may travel to Canada now. However, even if you do fall under these exemptions, you will still need to demonstrate that traveling to Canada is non-optional and non-discretionary. When you travel, you need to self-identify to the airline and demonstrate that you have in your possession either a valid study permit or letter of introduction that was issued prior to March 18, 2020. Please note that if you’re travelling by air, you need to pass a health check before you’re allowed to board your flight. Anyone who shows symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to enter Canada by air, regardless of their nationality.

As a foreign national, you are still required to comply with the other entry requirements imposed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC):

  • If you are from a VISA required country, you must hold a valid Temporary Resident VISA (TRV) to enter Canada. If you hold an expired TRV, you will be required to apply for a new one from your country of nationality or a country where you were legally admitted.
  • If you are from a VISA-exempt country, you must hold a valid electronic travel authorization (eTA) if you plan to enter Canada by air.

Please note that the use of a non-medical mask or face covering to cover your mouth and nose is mandatory during travel on all flights arriving and departing from a Canadian airport. When you arrive in Canada, officers will assess your health before you leave the airport. They will also question you on your plans to self-isolate. It is mandatory that you isolate for 14 days even if you have no symptoms. You must declare to the border officer: “I/we acknowledge that I/we must self-isolate for 14 days to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19.” For more information on how to isolate effectively, please visit the Public Health Agency of Canada’s online resource. You may also download the ArriveCAN mobile app to reduce waiting times at Canadian ports of entry and to limit points of contact.

We encourage you to consult the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) webpage for the most updated information as the situation continues to evolve.

If we leave Canada, how can the University assist us to return in September if the COVID-19 situation persists?

The situation continues to change, and we cannot guarantee you will be allowed to enter Canada in the near future. The institution is not able to act and override any measures or restrictions imposed by the Government of Canada as the situation evolves. We encourage you to consult the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) webpage for the most updated information.

If you are a temporary resident of Canada, your study permit, work permit, or visitor record is valid until the expiry date indicated on your immigration document.

As a foreign national, you are still required to comply with the entry requirements imposed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), despite the current situation.

  • If you are from a VISA required country, you must hold a valid Temporary Resident VISA (TRV) to enter Canada. If you hold an expired TRV, you will be required to apply for a new one from your country of nationality or a country where you were legally admitted.
  • If you are from a VISA-exempt country, you must hold a valid electronic travel authorization (eTA) if you plan to enter Canada by air.

If you are unable to return to the University as a result of the travel restrictions, please contact the registrar to arrange for accommodations.

Land borders

Please note that the Prime Minister has announced that the partial closing of the border with the United States is extended until July 21 for non-essential and discretionary travel between the two countries.

The Canada Border Services Agency has also confirmed that traveling to the border for the sole purpose of processing immigration documents is not considered essential travel. If you are currently in Canada, do not visit a land border (flagpole) to apply for a work permit, a study permit or permanent residence until further notice.

Study permits

If we are stuck in Canada due to travel restrictions/border closures, what will happen if our study permit expires?

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) asks all temporary residents to maintain their legal status in Canada. International students who are not able to return home may extend their stay in Canada by extending their study permit (where possible), or by changing their status to visitor or worker.

According to the special measures imposed by IRCC, international students who were not able to extend their stay before the expiry date of their last permit, may restore their status within 90 days from the expiry date of their legal status. International students who were not able to apply for a restoration of their status before the 90-day timeline, may be able to apply for a temporary resident permit.

If you have questions regarding your immigration status and the impacts, we encourage you to contact an immigration advisor at the International Office by e-mail: uointl@uOttawa.ca. You may also contact IRCC directly using the Web form.

What can international students who require a study permit expect from IRCC?

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has implemented special immigration measures due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Therefore, we encourage international students to monitor their website for the most up to date information.

You may experience delays in the processing of your application as a reflection of disruptions caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Whenever possible, international students who are not be able to return home may extend their stay in Canada by extending their study permit, changing their status to visitor or applying for a work permit, if eligible.

International students who are not eligible to apply for a study permit within Canada may submit their application online to the office located in their country of nationality or country where they are legally admitted.

According to the special measures imposed by IRCC, international students who were not able to extend their stay before the expiry date of their last permit, may restore their status within 90 days from the expiry date of their legal status. International students who were not able to apply for a restoration of their status before the 90-day timeline, may be able to apply for a temporary resident permit.

Both my study permit and study visa will expire soon. What should I do to extend them?

Study Permit Extension: Information on the study permit extension process is available on Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) website. You must submit your application online. You can check the current processing times on the IRCC website. Please note that your passport must be valid for at least 6 months when you apply. Therefore, it is always recommended that you renew your immigration documents in the following order: 1- passport, 2- study permit 3- visa. Due to the high processing times and the disruptions we are currently experiencing, we recommend you apply for an extension up to 6 months before the expiry date of your current permit. If your permit expires in less than 6 months, please apply as soon as possible.

Documents to apply: We recommend international students to include two academic documents in their application: an official enrollment verification letter and an unofficial transcript. You can request official academic documents from InfoService. The document you should request is called Official Enrollment Verification. You must ask them to add a remark that indicates where you are in your program of study (for example, that you are in your second year of a four-year program). You can also request a remark that confirms the date enrolment opens for the upcoming term.

Please note that in person services are currently closed. InfoService accepts document orders online through your uoZone account, as usual. For students who are not able to order their documents online, InfoService is accepting document requests by email at document@uottawa.ca. If you decide to send your request by email, you will be asked to fill out the Request for Documents form and send in a scanned copy.

Missing documents: If there are any documents that you are unable to include in your application (for example, a passport), you will need to instead upload a letter of explanation detailing why you are not able to obtain the document at this time (and attach proof of your inability to obtain the document if available) and informing them that you will provide the missing document using the IRCC Web form as soon as it is available. Your application will remain pending until you are able to provide the missing documents and you will benefit from implied status until a decision is made on your application. Implied status will allow you to continue working and/or studying while you wait for your study permit.

Proof of financial support: There are several options you can use as proof of financial support. As a reminder, you must demonstrate that you have the minimum funds necessary to support yourself as a student.

TRV Application: Information on applying for a new temporary resident visa (TRV) is available on Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s (IRCC) website. You may submit an application online, as soon as you receive your study permit. Please note that a TRV is solely a travel document. You are not required to have a valid TRV unless you have plans to travel outside of Canada.

Processing of the application: Please note that IRCC has confirmed that applications will not be refused for non-compliance, and all applications currently in progress at IRCC offices abroad, at case processing centres and within the Domestic Network will continue to be processed but may experience delays. The current processing times may not reflect the disruptions caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

How will this situation impact my post-graduation work permit (PGWP)?

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has released instructions regarding the impacts on your immigration status due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

IRCC has confirmed that the effects of COVID-19 will be taken under consideration when assessing Post-Graduation Work Permit program eligibility. Although under normal circumstances, in order to be eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program, international students must maintain their full-time student status during each academic session of the program or programs of study they complete and submit as part of their Post-Graduation Work Permit application, if an international student is unable to meet this criteria due to reasons related to COVID-19, they will still be considered eligible for the PGWP, provided they meet all the other program criteria.

Therefore, your post-graduation work permit will not be negatively impacted at this time if:

  • Your in-class courses are being moved to an online-only format because of COVID-19;
  • You have a study permit, or been approved for a study permit for a program starting in the spring, summer or fall, but you can’t travel to Canada at this time due to travel restrictions.

In order to apply for your PGWP you will need:

  • an official letter from your Faculty that confirms you’ve completed your study program
  • an official transcript, or a copy of your transcript accessible through your uoZone account

Please note that IRCC has confirmed that if you are unable to obtain a letter of completion or final transcript from uOttawa, as a temporary facilitation measure, you may apply for a post-graduation work permit without your letter of completion or final transcript. You should submit a letter of explanation indicating that you are unable to submit the requested documents due to school closure. Once these documents become available, you should submit the documents using the IRCC Web form. If no documents are submitted by the time the Case Processing Centre in Edmonton is ready to process the application, the documents will be requested by the processing officer.

Leave from studies

What is the impact of a leave from studies for an international student?

Please consult your faculty or academic unit about their leave of absence and leave from studies policies. Here are the immigration impacts of a leave from studies:

Leave from studies and study permit: According to the guidelines from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on study permits, you have no action to take regarding your immigration status if your leave from studies is less than 150 days or if you leave Canada. Your study permit remains valid until the expiry date indicated on the permit. If you decide to leave Canada, we encourage you to contact Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Government of Canada for the most up to date information, as the situation is constantly changing due to the evolving situation with COVID-19. If your leave from studies will be more than 150 days and you wish to remain in Canada, you must apply to change your status to visitor or worker.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has released instructions regarding the impacts on your immigration status due to the COVID-19 outbreak. IRCC has confirmed the following:

  • A leave from studies because of COVID-19 will not negatively impact your eligibility for the post-graduation work permit at this time. IRCC has also confirmed that students who are forced to take a leave from studies due to COVID-19 will maintain their eligibility to work on or off campus, provided they meet all the other requirements. Note that this exception only applies to students who must take a leave from studies because of COVID-19. If you were/are on a leave from studies for reasons not related to the pandemic, this exception does not apply, and you do not have work authorization. You should be prepared to explain why you were not able to maintain full-time status in future immigration applications.

IRCC Compliance Reporting: If you take a leave from studies, the University will report your academic status as “no longer enrolled” or “authorized leave” in the next compliance reporting period with IRCC. You may receive an email from IRCC at a future date asking for clarification on your leave from the University. We encourage you to keep copies of all supporting documents to this end.

For the impact on your University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP), please contact the International Office: uointl@uOttawa.ca.

Immigration: Newly admitted international students

Can I still apply for my study permit? Is IRCC continuing to process applications in spite of the situation?

IRCC has confirmed that they are continuing to receive and process study permit applications. They have indicated on their website that due to the closures of several Visa Application Centres (VACs), it is recommended to only apply for a study permit online at this time. If you have all the documents required to submit your application, we encourage you to submit your application now. If you are not able to include a specific document because of measures in place due to the COVID-19 (e.g. digital photo, IELTS results, etc.), we still encourage you to submit your application. However, for every document you are not able to provide you should instead provide a letter of explanation detailing the reasons you are unable to provide it and mentioning that you will provide the missing documents as soon as you are able to using the IRCC web form.

I’ve received a Biometrics Instruction Letter that says I have 30 or 90 days to provide my biometrics. However, all offices that collect biometrics are temporarily closed, and I am unable to provide them. What should I do?

The deadline to provide biometrics was extended to 90 days until further notice. IRCC has indicated on their website that you don’t have to give your biometrics until the sites reopen. This applies to you, even if your biometrics instruction letter (BIL) says you have 30 or 90 days.” You will be able to make an appointment when sites reopen, and you are not required to inform IRCC you cannot meet the deadline. Please note that IRCC has also confirmed that applications won’t be refused or closed if an applicant can’t give your biometrics due to COVID-19 closures.

What will be the status of my application if I am not able to submit biometrics, additional documents or send my passport?

You are required to complete all steps of your application in spite of the current situation. IRCC has extended deadlines to submit additional documents and biometrics. Please note that IRCC has confirmed that: “applications will not be refused for non-compliance, and all applications currently in progress at IRCC offices abroad, at case processing centres and within the Domestic Network will continue to be processed but may experience delays.” If you are not able to complete all the steps, your application will remain pending until you are able to complete it. Please note that the current processing times may not reflect the disruptions caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Can I begin my studies outside Canada?

IRCC has confirmed that if you have a valid study permit, or been approved for a study permit for a program starting in the spring, summer or fall, but you can’t travel to Canada at this time due to travel restrictions, your eligibility for the PGWP will not be affected.

If you’re in this situation, you may

  • begin your classes while outside Canada, and
  • complete up to 50% of your program while outside Canada, if you can’t travel to Canada sooner.

If you start your studies in fall 2020, you won’t have time deducted from the length of your future post-graduation work permit for studies you complete while outside Canada up to December 31, 2020, as long as you have a study permit approved.

Can I study without a study permit?

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has confirmed that international students can begin their programs online without an approved study permit. However, the time spent studying online outside of Canada will not count towards your eligibility or length for the PGWP. Please know that IRCC is working tirelessly on processing study permit applications and understands how important it is for students to be able to begin their studies on time. We therefore encourage you to submit your study permit application online as soon as possible if you have not already done so. As a reminder, a study permit is required for studies taken in person in Canada.

I am eligible to apply for the Student Direct Stream (SDS), but I cannot submit all required documents, such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) results and proof of a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC). How can I apply for SDS?

The Student Direct Stream (SDS) is available for residents of China, India, Vietnam, the Philippines, Pakistan, Senegal and Morocco.

IRCC has confirmed that international students who do not have the required documents for the SDS upon submitting their application should be directed to apply through regular study permit channels or apply through the SDS once services resume and they are able to submit the required documents.

Immigration: For current international students

What is the impact of studying part-time for an international student?

Here are the immigration impacts of studying part-time:

Actively Pursuing Studies: From an immigration standpoint, you may study part-time and still be considered to be actively pursuing your studies and therefore, meeting the conditions of your study permit. In normal circumstances, in order to be eligible to work on campus or off campus on a part-time basis during an academic term, you must be a full-time student.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has released instructions regarding the impacts on your immigration status due to the COVID-19 outbreak. IRCC has confirmed the following:

  • Students who are forced to drop to part-time due to COVID-19 will maintain their eligibility to work on or off campus, provided they meet all the other requirements. Note that this exception only applies to students who must become part-time because of COVID-19. If you were part-time for reasons not related to the pandemic, this exception does not apply, and you do not have work authorization. You should be prepared to explain why you were not able to maintain full-time in future immigration applications.
  • Becoming part-time because of the COVID-19 will not negatively impact your eligibility for the post-graduation work permit at this time.

For the impact on your University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP), please contact the International Office: uointl@uOttawa.ca

Can I work full-time during the spring-summer 2020 term?

This depends whether or not the spring-summer term is considered to be a regularly scheduled break based on your program of study. Please see the two options below.

Undergraduate students: Your study permit authorizes you to work full-time during regularly scheduled breaks (i.e. reading week, etc.) if you are registered as a full-time student in the period preceding and following the break. In order to determine if the spring-summer term is a regularly scheduled break, you must consult the suggested course sequence for your program of study. If the sequence indicates that you are expected to take courses during the fall and winter terms only, the spring-summer term (from May 1 to August 31) is considered a regularly scheduled break. For more information on work authorizations and taking courses during a scheduled break, please visit IRCC’s website. Note that should you decide to take courses during a regularly scheduled break, it is still considered a break and the requirement to study full-time therefore does not apply.

Graduate students: Your study permit authorizes you to work full-time during regularly scheduled breaks (i.e. reading week, etc.) if you are registered as a full-time student in the period preceding and following the break. If your academic program does not have any scheduled breaks and requires continuous enrolment, you will only be eligible to work up to a maximum of 20 hours per week off campus. We encourage you to check directly with your Academic Unit to see if you are expected to enroll during the spring-summer term.

Essential Services Exemption:

International students, who are providing essential services, are temporarily allowed to work more than 20 hours until August 31, 2020 if they are

  • a study permit holder in an academic session
  • eligible to work off cdampus, and
  • providing an essential service

To see if your work is considered an essential service or function, consult the Guide on Essential Services and Functions in Canada During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Please note that the University has a policy where graduate students can only work up to 10 hours a week. If you wish to work more than this, you must request for an exception to this rule in your uoZone account. You can find more information on how to request the exemption on the University website.

Campus

Is the campus closed and if not, is it safe for employees to come on campus?

Based on the most recent changes to COVID-19 related restrictions, only authorized people are permitted on the campus.

Is my U-Pass card still valid?

The U-Pass program has been suspended for the spring-summer term because we cannot safely provide transit passes under current COVID-19 pandemic conditions.

DO NOT throw away your U-Pass: although it is not valid for the spring-summer term, you will need it for the fall term.

Will I be able to use or recharge my U-Pass for the spring-summer term?

No, the U-Pass program is currently suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, you will not be charged any U-Pass fees in the spring-summer term.

I still need to use the transit system, what are my options?

Check the OC Transpo website for information on transportation in Ottawa. Check the STO website for information on transportation in the Outaouais region.

Residence

Will residences remain open?

Spring-Summer term: Some residences are currently open for those who could not return home due to exceptional circumstances. However, we are not currently accepting new applications or residents for the Spring-Summer term.

2020-2021 Academic Year: Even though nearly all courses will be delivered with distance-learning options for the fall term, students can still choose to live in residences. Public health authorities have recently approved a plan to reopen residences for the academic 2020-2021 year.

Visit the COVID-19 Frequently Asked Housing Questions for more information.

I live in residence and think I may have flu-like symptoms. What should I do?

Everyone is asked to self-monitor their health. If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms, please contact a public health official.

Ontario residents may contact Telehealth Ontario toll free: 1-866-797-7000 or TTY: 1-866-797-0007.

You have an obligation to contact Housing Services at (613) 462-7221 if you are self-isolating.

How will I be supported if I am self-isolating?

Someone from Housing Service will be in contact with you at regular intervals during your self-isolation. Please do not leave your room; meals will be provided to you. A detailed information sheet will be provided to all students who are self-isolating. You must follow Ottawa Public Health guidelines on self-isolation.

Is the Dining Hall open this summer?

Only students living in 90U with a meal plan will have access to the Dining Hall this summer. If you are one of these students, read the FAQ for meal plan holders on the COVID-19 FAQ for residents.

I don’t have a meal plan and I want to know more about getting one. Where can I find out more?

If you would like to purchase a meal plan for the remainder of the term, email the uOttawa Card Office at uOttawaCard@uOttawa.ca.

What number do I have to call if I need help?

Students living in residence can call 613-562-5885 for general questions.

For emergencies, please contact Protection Services at 613-562-5411.

Can I still live in residence if I take all my courses online?

Yes, you can still live in residence and take all your courses online if you wish.

However, given the COVID-19 pandemic, there may be new criteria for staying in residence. These criteria have not yet been finalized and approved.

If you have more questions regarding staying in residence in the fall, take a look at the COVID-19 FAQ for future residents.

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