Frequently Asked Questions for International Students

All international students travelling to Mohawk College from outside of Canada are required to self-isolate for a period of 14-days. Also, any other students returning to Canada within 14-days of the start date of their program must also complete a 14-day self-isolation period. These rules apply after any subsequent international travel for as long as the self-isolation requirement remains a directive of the Government of Canada. 

 

January 2021 – Program Delivery Update 

After carefully considering a number of options, Mohawk College has made the decision to deliver the Winter 2021 semester through a combination of remote/virtual learning and in-person delivery. 

The health and well-being of our students and employees remains our highest priority and is the key guiding factor in our decision-making process. Our plan includes the delivery of lecture-based program components in a remote/virtual environment while all required face-to-face deliveries (e.g. labs, simulations, assessments, etc.) will be delivered on campus. Regardless of how your courses are delivered you can be confident that it will meet the learning outcomes for your programs, while ensuring the quality educational experience you expect from Mohawk. 

It is important to emphasize that our plan for the January semester is based on current information. As we have learned with the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation can change very quickly, and we may be forced to alter or change our plans unexpectedly in the weeks and months ahead.  For more information please watch the COVID-19 Website

 

Future Students / Pre-Arrival

Current Students

 

Future Students / Pre-Arrival
 

Permits & Visas

Am I able to start my studies overseas, online, without a study permit and without having entered Canada?

August 2020 – In response to the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) decision to allow students to study prior to formal visa approval, Mohawk College will allow students to register from their home country and begin virtual classes this fall with a Stage 1 Approval in Principle (AIP) from IRCC. AIP students will need to submit proof of their AIP, through the online request form sent to all students, acknowledging their understanding of the terms and conditions associated with their registration.  Following the submission students will receive details on how to register and select their timetable.

As there is no guarantee that a student will receive his or her full study permit approval both students, partners and institutions take on considerable risk.  In order to support all parties we have implemented a new set of processes and policies to ensure everyone is supported and aware of the advantages and risks associated with this opportunity. Please review the Students Applying for a Study Permit webpage on the Mohawk College website for further important details.

Please check the Fall 2020 Program Delivery webpage to find out how your program will be delivered this fall.

The IRCC has provided the following update: "Students who are overseas are not prohibited from starting their studies and studying online (from abroad) without being in possession of a valid study permit approval (and without having entered Canada). A study permit, or a study permit approval, is required, however in relation to their studies contributing to PGWP programme eligibility. A study permit is also required if a student wants/needs to enter Canada to complete program requirements."

The Government of Canada recently implemented a new, temporary 2-stage approval process for study permit applications:

"The temporary process will allow applicants to count the time spent studying online abroad towards their post-graduation work permit once they receive an approval-in-principle, as long as they are able to satisfy all requirements and receive the full approval of their study permit application at a later date. As services begin to reopen, applicants will be required to submit remaining documents and receive an approved study permit before being allowed to travel to Canada."  Please see the IRCC announcement website for full details.

What is the impact of the new move to online learning on my post-graduate work permit and study permit?

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced the following: “PGWPP eligibility will not be affected for international students whose fall 2020 courses will be online due to COVID-19. This is in line with guidance provided to students already studying in Canada or whose program had a spring or summer start date."

In addition, they will not have time deducted from the length of a post-graduation work permit for studies completed outside of Canada, up to April 30, 2021.

Students can begin classes while outside of Canada and either complete 100% or 50% of their program online (until April 30, 2021), depending on the length of the program and when the student started the program. See the IRCC website for full details.

Note students who are overseas are not prohibited from starting their studies and studying online (from abroad) without being in possession of a valid study permit approval. A study permit, or a study permit approval, is required, however in relation to their studies contributing to PGWP programme eligibility. A study permit is also required if a student wants/needs to enter Canada to complete program requirements.

The Government of Canada recently implemented a new, temporary 2-stage approval process for study permit applications:

"The temporary process will allow applicants to count the time spent studying online abroad towards their post-graduation work permit once they receive an approval-in-principle, as long as they are able to satisfy all requirements and receive the full approval of their study permit application at a later date. As services begin to reopen, applicants will be required to submit remaining documents and receive an approved study permit before being allowed to travel to Canada."  Please see the IRCC announcement website for full details.

Also see the IRCC International Students page which states that "You’re still eligible for a PGWP if you have a study permit or have applied or been approved for one" and that "After you apply for your study permit, any time spent studying online from outside Canada now counts toward the length of a PGWP. (Before, only the time spent studying online after you were approved for a study permit counted.)"

August 2020 – In response to the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) decision to allow students to study prior to formal visa approval, Mohawk College will allow students to register from their home country and begin virtual classes this fall with a Stage 1 Approval in Principle (AIP) from IRCC. AIP students will need to submit proof of their AIP, through the online request form sent to all students, acknowledging their understanding of the terms and conditions associated with their registration.  Following the submission students will receive details on how to register and select their timetable.

As there is no guarantee that a student will receive his or her full study permit approval both students, partners and institutions take on considerable risk.  In order to support all parties we have implemented a new set of processes and policies to ensure everyone is supported and aware of the advantages and risks associated with this opportunity. Please review the Students Applying for a Study Permit webpage on the Mohawk College website for further important details.

Please see the IRCC website for full details.

What is the "Approval-in-Principle"?

For information about the "Approval-in-Principle" and how this affects your application to study at Mohawk College, see our Study Permit webpage.

Can I enter Canada to study?

All international and Canadian students (and any co-arriving family members) are reminded that when arriving in Canada you are required to self-isolate for a period of 14 days. The 14-day quarantine applies not only at the beginning of the semester, but after any subsequent international travel for as long as the quarantine requirement remains a directive of the Government of Canada.

The IRCC has advised that to be able to enter Canada, you must meet 2 requirements: "1. You must be travelling for an essential (non-discretionary) purpose and you must be 1 of the following: a) an international student with a valid study permit or who was approved for a study permit on or before March 18, 2020, b) travelling directly from the US."  Please see the IRCC website for full details.

Find out how your fall 2020 program will be delivered to determine if there are any required in-person components or if you can complete your studies in a fully remote and virtual environment.

Can I complete my co-op if I have not received an approved work authorization permit (due to longer processing wait lines)? How many hours can I work?

Study permit holders may use the off-campus work authorization for co-op if the work is less than 20 hours/week while waiting for their co-op application. If the co-op application is refused, they must stop working immediately.

If my program has been suspended, can I work full-time?

IRCC does not consider a suspended semester as a regularly scheduled break. International students who have been forced to take a break in their studies due to COVID-19 can continue to work on or off-campus up to 20 hours per week. Students are allowed to work full-time during regularly-scheduled breaks only, otherwise the student would be allowed to work 20 hours/week. See the IRCC website for full details.

If my program has been suspended and I remain in Canada and cannot resume until the following semester, will the 150 day maximum gap in studies still apply?

IRCC has advised that if a student in Canada has to withdraw from coursework completely due to COVID-19, they should either enroll in a new program of study, change their status or leave Canada in order to not have a greater than 150 day gap in studies. If the student does not intend to enroll in a new program of study and is unable to leave the country, they must apply for a visitor record or a work permit, if they are eligible to apply from within Canada.

My Permit Application is missing documents such as biometrics - can I still apply for a study permit?

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has stated on the IRCC website that no application will be refused if incomplete: "Until further notice, IRCC offices will not refuse an application for non-compliance. IRCC officers will continue to request additional supporting documents or necessary actions (such as biometrics and medical examinations) as part of the application process and will keep applications open until documents are received or evidence is provided that action has been taken." See also this exemption for biometrics for temporary residence applicants within Canada.

Note that for Student Direct Stream (SDS) students, IRCC advised students "submit a study permit application under the SDS only if they can satisfy all eligibility requirements upon submission of their application. Those who are unable to provide the required documents for the SDS upon submitting their application may be advised to submit a study permit application under the regular process or to apply under the SDS once services resume and they are able to submit the required documents." (Source: IRCC website)

Are study and work permits still being processed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)?

Information we have received indicates that IRCC continues to process permits and has extended deadlines for applicants to provide required documentation. However, service delivery has been and will continue to be severely impacted. Please monitor the IRCC COVID-19 Special Measures page and the IRCC COVID-19 Temporary Residence page for updates.

 

Language Testing

Language testing centres in my country have closed. How do I provide proof for this academic requirement? What alternative language tests will you accept?

The following assessments will be accepted: PTE, CAEL, TOEFL iBT Home Edition, IELTS and Cambridge Assessment for English. Effective April 20, 2020, for a limited time, we will also accept International Test of English Proficiency (iTEP) and/or DUOLINGO. Please find more information on our Understanding Admissions Requirements website. 

I have an IELTS test booked. Are IELTS Testing Centres open?

According to the IELTS website,"in locations where it is permitted and safe to do so, IELTS testing is going ahead, with additional precautions in place to help protect the health of test takers and staff." Please visit the IELTS website for details about which testing centres are open.

 

Applications

I have applied. Is my application being processed? 

The College is continuing to process applications. Current application processing time is approximately 1-2 weeks. 

Please visit the Fall 2020 Program Delivery webpage for information about Fall delivery.

If you have questions about your application, the Market Specialist for your region would be happy to assist. Please see the list of Market Specialists on our website to find the Specialist for your region. Alternatively, you may email: intered [at] mohawkcollege.ca. Please be advised that due to inquiry volume, our response may be delayed.

 

Fees & Refunds

Where can I find information about refunds and withdrawals?

See our Refunds & Withdrawals webpage for full details.

Where can I find out about deferrals or how to defer to another semester?

See our Deferrals webpage for information about deferrals.

If I have paid my fee by mail (money order/bank draft) how do I get confirmation and a fee receipt as soon as possible to apply for a study permit application? 

Due to the College closure we have limited access to the College campus and are unable to guarantee processing in a timely manner. Please connect with your local bank to obtain proof of purchase for the Money Order and/or cancel your Money Order. We suggest using an alternate method of payment at this time. For a list of payment methods, please visit our payments page. Once the college re-opens, we will process the payment without penalty and issue the receipt where possible.

I am worried about arriving for September 2020 intake, am I eligible for a deferral or refund? 

This fall, all-lecture based program components will be delivered in a remote/virtual environment while required labs, simulations and assessments will be delivered on-campus. Please see the Fall 2020 Program Delivery webpage to find out how your program will be delivered and the Virtual and Remote Learning page for an overview of virtual and remote learning. (Also, please reference questions above regarding online study and impacts on the Post-Graduate Work Permit.) Please review the Refunds page for information about refund eligibility or connect with your Market Specialist for further details.

 

Current Students
 

Permits & Visas

What is the impact of the new move to online learning on my post-graduate work permit and study permit?

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced the following: “PGWPP eligibility will not be affected for international students whose fall 2020 courses will be online due to COVID-19. This is in line with guidance provided to students already studying in Canada or whose program had a spring or summer start date."

In addition, they will not have time deducted from the length of a post-graduation work permit for studies completed outside of Canada, up to April 30, 2021.

Students can begin classes while outside of Canada and either complete 100% or 50% of their program online (until April 30, 2021), depending on the length of the program and when the student started the program. See the IRCC website for full details.

Note students who are overseas are not prohibited from starting their studies and studying online (from abroad) without being in possession of a valid study permit approval. A study permit, or a study permit approval, is required, however in relation to their studies contributing to PGWP programme eligibility. A study permit is also required if a student wants/needs to enter Canada to complete program requirements.

The Government of Canada recently implemented a new, temporary 2-stage approval process for study permit applications:

"The temporary process will allow applicants to count the time spent studying online abroad towards their post-graduation work permit once they receive an approval-in-principle, as long as they are able to satisfy all requirements and receive the full approval of their study permit application at a later date. As services begin to reopen, applicants will be required to submit remaining documents and receive an approved study permit before being allowed to travel to Canada."  Please see the IRCC announcement website for full details.

Also see the IRCC International Students page which states that "You’re still eligible for a PGWP if you have a study permit or have applied or been approved for one" and that "After you apply for your study permit, any time spent studying online from outside Canada now counts toward the length of a PGWP. (Before, only the time spent studying online after you were approved for a study permit counted.)"

August 2020 – In response to the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) decision to allow students to study prior to formal visa approval, Mohawk College will allow students to register from their home country and begin virtual classes this fall with a Stage 1 Approval in Principle (AIP) from IRCC. AIP students will need to submit proof of their AIP, through the online request form sent to all students, acknowledging their understanding of the terms and conditions associated with their registration.  Following the submission students will receive details on how to register and select their timetable.

As there is no guarantee that a student will receive his or her full study permit approval both students, partners and institutions take on considerable risk.  In order to support all parties we have implemented a new set of processes and policies to ensure everyone is supported and aware of the advantages and risks associated with this opportunity. Please review the Students Applying for a Study Permit webpage on the Mohawk College website for further important details.

Please see the IRCC website for full details.

Can I enter Canada to study?

All international and Canadian students (and any co-arriving family members) are reminded that when arriving in Canada you are required to self-isolate for a period of 14 days. The 14-day quarantine applies not only at the beginning of the semester, but after any subsequent international travel for as long as the quarantine requirement remains a directive of the Government of Canada.

The IRCC has advised that to be able to enter Canada, you must meet 2 requirements: "1. You must be travelling for an essential (non-discretionary) purpose and you must be 1 of the following: a) an international student with a valid study permit or who was approved for a study permit on or before March 18, 2020, b) travelling directly from the US." 

Find out how your fall 2020 program will be delivered to determine if there are any required in-person components or if you can complete your studies in a fully remote and virtual environment.

I am scheduled to graduate at end of this term and my permit will expire at that time. However, I am unable to go home due to travel restrictions. What can I do? 

Please visit the IRCC webpage for regular updates regarding what to do if your permit is expiring.

Monitor this website from the Government of Canada: www.canada.ca/ircc-covid19 for any news on travel restrictions. 

Also, see the International Air Transport Association list of travel restrictions worldwide.

My permit expires soon. Are there special extensions or do I need to reapply to extend my permit to stay in Canada?

There are no special extensions at this time. If your permit is expiring soon, you may apply for an extension. Once the application is submitted, the applicant may remain in Canada until a decision is rendered on their application. See the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Guide webpage for further details. See also the IRCC Temporary Residents webpage.

Where can I find the latest news about travel restrictions for International Students?

Monitor the Government of Canada website for any news on travel restrictions. 

Also, you may wish to monitor the list of travel restrictions worldwide from the International Air Transport Association.

How do I obtain a Co-op Work Permit now that I cannot visit service centres and/or provide fingerprints at this time? 

You can apply online for the co-op work permit. See the IRCC webpage about applying for a co-op work permit. See the Biometrics page for updates on collecting biometrics during closures.

 

Important Dates

Have the fee/deposit deadlines changed for the Fall 2020 semester?

The deadline for full fee payment has been updated on the Academic Dates page to Sept. 3, 2020 (see page for details and possible exceptions). See the Payments page for information on how to make a payment. We encourage you to monitor Mohawkcollege.ca and your Mohawk email account (through MyMohawk) for further updates. 

What is the withdrawal deadline?

Please see our academic dates website for more information by semester, and see the exceptions term program which applies to some programs.

 

Supports for Students

Where can I find a listing of all supports for students (on-campus and in the community) while the college is closed?

All information relating to the College closure and supports available for students can be found on the Mohawk COVID-19 website. Information is updated daily, so check back often. There, you can view all up-to-date online student services and a list of online and community resources.

What health supports are available to me?

Anxiety/mental health concerns 

Counselling Services will continue to be available by phone until further notice. Emails are being monitored and will be responded to Monday- Friday, between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. During this time, you may email counselling [at] mohawkcollege.ca to set up a phone appointment. (Please provide your phone number and student number.) 

For additional resources, please visit Counselling Services for a list of over-the-phone and app resource. 

Also, the KeepMeSafe app from guard.me is available to assist international students with live 24/7 support from mental health professionals in a variety of languages. To access: 

  • Download the My SSP App (available from the App store/ Google Play) and follow the prompts to access support; or
  • Call 1.844.451.9700 to be connected with live support

 

The Mohawk College Health Centre

The Health Centre is available for virtual appointments by phone or computer. Most appointments can be covered by Guard.Me insurance with no cost to you. 

To book an appointment, please call: 289-237-6538 or 289-682-7282 appointments. For more information on the Centre visit the Health Centre webpage

Free medical advice 

Guard me Mobile Doctor allows you to access a doctor over the phone. You can find instructions on how to do this with your Guard.Me account at Guard.me Mobile Doctor

Telehealth Ontario allows free medical advice of the phone, learn more here at the Telehealth Ontario website

What financial support and resources are available to me?

The following are financial support resources available to students:

 

Studies

I don’t have a computer, how can I access online learning?

The College has a limited number of laptops and Chromebooks for loan to students who do not have access to online learning from home. If you need to borrow a laptop or Chromebook you can email IT at helpdesk [at] mohawkcollege.ca, phone us 905-575-2199 or go online through the Information Technology Portal.  

For information on Chromebook versus laptop refer to this link: https://library.mohawkcollege.ca/tech-guides/chromebooks  

For students registered with Accessible Learning Services who require a laptop for accommodation needs, email: als [at] mohawkcollege.ca.  

Directions regarding the collection and return of the laptop will be provided when your loan has been confirmed with IT.

I am in a different time zone/studying remotely from my home country. What time are classes delivered/how will my program be delivered?

All information about your courses (assignment due dates and times, live, synchronous class meeting times) are in Eastern Standard Time (EST) - ensure that you note any assignment due dates, meeting times, etc. in EST.

  • Check the Fall 2020 Program Delivery webpage to find out how your fall 2020 program will be delivered
  • Attend your Program and Career Launch on September 8th to hear further details about how your program will be delivered - you will need to register in order to receive further details about your Program Launch event
  • Some courses will have pre-recorded (asynchronous) content that you can review at any time and some will have live class meetings (synchronous) and some will offer a blend of both. Note that any live class meetings will be scheduled in EST. See the Virtual and Remote Learning page for information about fall 2020 delivery
  • If you are unsure, reach out to your Program Coordinator, noted on your Program's webpage for further details

How can I register for Continuing Education courses?

International students who wish to register for CE courses need to email international.services [at] mohawkcollege.ca for direction.

How do I change my program after it's already started?

Contact the Services team: international.services [at] mohawkcollege.ca for questions about program changes after you have enrolled.

Can I go home and complete my semester from home?

Review the Fall 2020 Program Delivery webpage to determine how your fall program will be delivered; some programs will be delivered in a fully remote and virtual environment while others may have in-person requirements. (See the Virtual and Remote Learning webpage for information about this type of delivery.) Please monitor the Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship Canada webpage for updates. If your program will be delivered in a fully remote and virtual environment, keep in mind that you will need to be able to access your course materials online and there may be course activities that occur in the EST time zone. As well, please note that The Government of Canada is currently advising against any non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice. Please note that some countries have mandated a 14-day quarantine upon arrival. Monitor the Canadian Government travel advisory information for updates.

For information regarding impact of studying overseas on the study permit/PGWP, please see the first questions in this section.

What happens if I stop studying a semester of EAP? 

Students who decide to not study a semester of EAP should speak to an International Student Advisor to determine any potential issues with their study permits, future applications for post-grad work permits, or eligibility to begin their program on time. They can access an advisor by emailing: International.services [at] mohawkcollege.ca.

How do I withdraw from studies?

You may contact International.services [at] mohawkcollege.ca to request a withdrawal from studies.

 

Health Insurance

Will guard.me insurance cover medical treatment for COVID-19 related illness?

If a student is diagnosed with an illness when they are in Canada, including COVID-19, they are eligible for medically necessary treatment, as per the normal terms and conditions of their policy. For further information, please see: https://www.guard.me/mohawk 

Please see additional Guard.Me FAQs. 

 

Living Arrangements

I am currently living in Homestay, what supports are there for me?

Students wishing to extend their time in homestay over the summer can submit a request to our partners at Canada Homestay Network (CHN), via hamiltoninfo [at] canadahomestaynetwork.ca. CHN will do their best accommodate students either in their current homestay or in another one if their current hosts are not available for the extension. 

Please visit our housing page for more information.

I have questions about landlord-tenant rights/laws in Ontario. Who can I contact?

The Mohawk student’s association can provide you with free Legal Counselling on this topic and more. Please visit the MSA Legal Counselling webpage for more information. 

 

Multi-Language Resources

Where can I find information on COVID-19 offered in multiple languages? 

  • City of Hamilton Resources (for official updates from the city and multiple languages fact sheet) 

  • Government of Canada COVID-19 Information Line  

    • 1-833-784-4397

    • Interpretation services are available in multiple languages