Information for Incoming International Students

Last updated: November 22, 2023 at 3:13pm

If you have been offered admission to a uLethbridge program, we understand that you may have questions. Please review these FAQs for answers to the most common questions. If you have a question that isn't answered here, please let us know.

This FAQ for Students page is also helpful for more information for incoming students.


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FAQ for Incoming International Students

Applying for a Study Permit

Yes, we recommend that you apply online for your study permit as soon as possible. The global processing time is currently listed as 11 weeks, but our experience is that it is taking much longer in certain countries.

The posted processing time is for complete applications and does not include biometrics, medical exams, or courier times to and from the Visa Application Centres.

If you have any questions regarding the study permit application process, please contact us.

If you have a valid Letter of Acceptance from uLethbridge, you should apply for your study permit immediately.  Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is recommending that you apply as soon as possible for your study permit, even if you are not able to provide all required and/or recommended documents.

If your offer of admission was for Spring 2024 but you were unable to arrive for January, you may be able to defer your admission to the Fall 2024 semester (if possible). If you have questions or concerns regarding your admission, please contact us.

All students (except U.S. citizens) who apply for a study permit are required to provide biometrics (i.e. fingerprints and photo). Usually, this is done at a Visa Application Centre abroad and the cost of biometrics will be $85 CAD and will be paid at the time of your study permit application submission. This does not included travel to and from the Visa Application Centre. 




IRCC has announced that online studies from outside Canada is permitted and without negative impact to Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) eligibility until December 2023. Any studies taken online after December 31, 2023 will not be eligible for PGWP eligibility requirements. If your study permit is not approved in time for the start of classes on January 3, you will need to defer/re-apply (if you have already deferred once) to ensure that your studies are PGWP eligible.

You may still complete up to 50% of your overall program online, but you must be present in Canada with a valid study permit to do so.

Please contact us for more information.

If you have recently completed another post-secondary program in Canada, please make sure to apply to extend your stay in Canada as a student within 90 days of completing your previous program or prior to expiry of your current permit (if it is sooner).  This applies to students completing high school as well.  Please reach out to us for advice on the application to extend your stay in Canada as a student.

If you are transferring to uLethbridge, but haven’t completed a program at another institution, you must notify Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) of the change in your institution.  You can find instructions here

If you haven’t already done so, please send a copy of your current study permit (and if applicable, proof of your application to extend) to us for our records at is important that you register for your first term classes when registration opens. For the Spring 2024 semester, registration is now open. Please check the Bridge for your registration window.

Travelling to Canada

We would advise that you do not travel more than 4-6 weeks prior to the start of your classes for the Spring 2024 term as there is a possibility that a Border Services officer may not allow you entry into Canada if you are travelling months prior to the start of your classes.

We also recommend not booking flights until your passport complete with Temporary Resident Visa (sticker in your passport) is in your hands. The passport request letter is not sufficient enough approval to proceed with a flight purchase. It may take several weeks to receive your passport back from the Visa Application Centre. As difficult as it may be to postpone studies, it is in your best interest to delay studies than to arrive late.

The latest a student can arrive and be successful for the Spring 2024 semester is January 9, 2024, which is the end of the add/drop period.



  • Your valid study permit or letter of introduction from IRCC indicating approval your study permit application
  • Your valid passport that you used to apply for your study permit (and temporary resident visa, if applicable)
  • Your Letter of Acceptance to uLethbridge 
  • A Verification of Enrolment from the Bridge showing your registration at uLethbridge, for the current or upcoming term, as applicable
  • valid medical exam (Please note: medical exams are valid for twelve months from the date of the medical assessment). If your medical exam has expired, please undergo a new medical exam prior to your travel. If you have any questions regarding medical exam validity, you may contact our office for assistance. When emailing our office, please include your student ID#, copy of your medical exam assessment receipt and your question.)
  • Proof of finances, demonstrating that you have sufficient resources to support yourself and any family members accompanying you to Canada

Please note the Canada Border Services Agency officer makes the final decision on who is permitted to enter Canada.

  • They may be able to travel as long as they have the necessary travel requirements: either a TRV or eTA
  • They may be able to travel to Canada to join you if you are already here, but may need to have authorization from IRCC.
  • They should not travel to Canada before you do.

In all cases, your accompanying family members will need to have their applications to come to Canada (either as a worker, student or visitor) approved by IRCC before they travel.

See here for additional details. Contact your International Student Advisors if you have any questions.

Once you have determined that you are eligible to travel to Canada, you should consider your arrival date.

You should plan to arrive anytime between two to four weeks prior to the start of your classes as this will allow for sufficient time to take care of essential settlement tasks such as finding a place to live, opening a bank account, registering for Alberta Health Care, etc. 


A travel support letter is not required for your entry to Canada.

Campus Questions

Yes!  You’ll find lots of valuable information and the online application at the Housing Services website.  On-campus housing is in-demand and we recommend applying as soon as possible. 

If you would like to live off-campus, please review the information on International Student Guide here. 

The University’s vaccine mandate for students and employees accessing campus is no longer in effect.  Both the Lethbridge (main) and Calgary campuses are mask-friendly but masking is also no longer required.


What to Expect

uLethbridge is offering mainly in-person classes. However, some online courses are available across the Faculties. Registration for Spring 2024 is now open. Registration is done via the Bridge. We encourage you to begin familiarizing yourself with the registration process. View the recording of our Registration Support Webinar for support with the registration process!  

According to IRCC, studying outside Canada online is permitted until December 31, 2023. After this date, studying online from outside Canada may not be included in the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) eligibility. 

For incoming students for Spring 2024, you will need to plan to be in-person for your classes. You may still choose to take some classes online from inside Canada. Please keep in mind that you must still complete 50% of your program in-person from inside Canada.

For detailed information, please visit this page.

New Student Orientation (NSO) for Spring 2024 will be on January 2, 2024. Classes will begin on January 3. More details about NSO will be sent to your @uleth email accounts soon. Watch your email for more information.

You may choose to register as a part-time student. However, we recommend always registering as a full-time student (at least 9.0 credit hours, usually 3 classes for undergraduate students) in every Fall and Spring term, beginning with your first term.  In order to be eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit, you must be a full-time student for the duration of your program (with the exception of scheduled breaks such as Summer or final term of study). This is true even for online classes or classes taken outside of Canada.

Most graduate students are considered full-time students in every Fall, Spring and Summer terms as long as they are registered.

If you are considering taking a part-time course load, please consult with an International Student Advisor to understand the implications of taking part-time studies on your work eligibility and Post-Graduation Work Permit eligibility. 

Once you enter Canada and your study permit is issued, you will be eligible for a Social Insurance Number, provided your study permit indicates you are able to work in Canada.  SIN applications can be made online or in person at a Service Canada Centre

For Lethbridge Campus Students: An employee from Service Canada will be present to process SINs on campus on December 18, 2023 and January 4, 2024. Come to the International Centre SU060 to apply for your SIN!

For detailed information on how to apply for a SIN, please review the information here


If you have questions regarding Admissions, contact:

The content of this FAQ has been prepared by a Regulated International Student Immigration Advisor (RISIA).

Important Links

Quarantine Requirements

All travellers to Canada are required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival

Pre-Departure Information

Review general pre-departure information for when you are able to travel to Canada

International Student Guide

Learn about what to expect as a student at the University of Lethbridge

Want to speak with an International Student Advisor?

Book an appointment via Microsoft Teams to speak to an International Student Advisor for support with a variety of matters. We can help you with your study permit application, as well as provide assistance with non-immigration topics. 

If you have not yet applied for admission to the University of Lethbridge and have questions about admission requirements or the application process, book a virtual appointment with an International Recruitment Officer. International Student Advisors cannot provide support with admission related questions. 

Study Permit Application Support

Ask any questions about applying for your initial study permit.

Study Permit Refusal Consultation

Discuss your recent study permit refusal and get advice on how to improve you next application. 

New Student Check-in with an International Student Advisor

Meet with an International Student Advisor to introduce yourself, ask questions and receive great information and advice.