Frequently Asked Questions for International Students

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?

Mohawk College requires all students to have a valid study permit to begin their studies virtually. This includes students who are studying in Canada or overseas. While Mohawk understands that the IRCC allows for possible virtual study in your home country without a study permit, (see below statement) we believe this policy is in the best interest of our students to ensure your long term success.

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. If a student applies but is not approved for a study permit, begins online study and then is approved later, that time spent studying online without the study permit approval, will not count toward the PGWP."

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. 

Students in this situation may begin their classes while outside Canada and complete up to 50% of their program via distance learning if they cannot travel to Canada sooner. 

In addition, they will not have time deducted from the length of a future post-graduation work permit for studies completed outside of Canada, up to December 31, 2020.” 

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. If a student applies but is not approved for a study permit, begins online study and then is approved later, that time spent studying online without the study permit approval, will not count toward the PGWP.

Mohawk College requires all students to have a valid study permit to begin their studies virtually. This includes students who are studying in Canada or overseas. While Mohawk understands that the IRCC allows for possible virtual study in your home country without a study permit, we believe this policy is in the best interest of our students to ensure your long term success.

Please see the IRCC website for full details.

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 hour/week while waiting for their co-op application. If the co-op application is refused, they must stop working immediately.

If my May program has been suspended for the spring/summer, can I work full-time during the summer?

While 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. They are still subject to the authorized number of hours they would have been permitted to work as a full-time student. In other words, if the summer semester is a regularly scheduled break in their program, the student would be allowed to work full time and if the summer semester would not have been a break, the student would be allowed to work 20 hours/week.

If my program has been suspended for the spring/summer semester and I remain in Canada and cannot resume until fall 2020, 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 that no application will be refused if incomplete, however, required documents must be submitted within the 90 days. If you are missing documents such as biometrics, medical examinations, transcript etc. due to disruptions caused by COVID-19, your application should include an explanatory note detailing the circumstances that are beyond your control causing missing documents.

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. 

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

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?

The IELTS Canada Team has notified us that “in Ontario, British Columbia, PEI, and Alberta, following the declaration of a state of emergency and the closure of private and public schools, as well as the decision to move college and university classes online, the IELTS test has been suspended in the majority of venues in these provinces... IELTS Test Centres that must close for the time being will be contacting test takers to let them know of the cancellation and refund the fees.”

Applications

I have applied for the Fall 2020 semester. Is my application being processed? 

The College is continuing to process applications for the fall 2020 semester. Current application processing time is approximately 1-2 weeks. 

The College is continuing to monitor the situation and will notify all applicants via email should there be any changes to the delivery of the fall 2020 semester. As well, please monitor the college’s COVID-19 page where updates will continue to be posted. 

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

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 are unable access payments sent by mail at this time. Please connect with your local bank to obtain proof of purchase for the Money Order. Once the college re-opens, we will process the payment without penalty and issue the receipt.

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

At this time we are anticipating the College to be open and offering classes as normal for September 2020. At this time, we are not offering refunds but we can offer deferrals to an upcoming semester. Please 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. 

Students in this situation may begin their classes while outside Canada and complete up to 50% of their program via distance learning if they cannot travel to Canada sooner. 

In addition, they will not have time deducted from the length of a future post-graduation work permit for studies completed outside of Canada, up to December 31, 2020.” 

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. If a student applies but is not approved for a study permit, begins online study and then is approved later, that time spent studying online without the study permit approval, will not count toward the PGWP.

Mohawk College requires all students to have a valid study permit to begin their studies virtually. This includes students who are studying in Canada or overseas. While Mohawk understands that the IRCC allows for possible virtual study in your home country without a study permit (See below statement) we believe this policy is in the best interest of our students to ensure your long term success.

Please see the IRCC website for full details.

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.

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.

Can I work more than my current part-time hours (20 hours/week)?

Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada has announced that “To help battle the COVID-19 outbreak, starting immediately, the government will remove the restriction that allows international students to work a maximum of 20 hours per week while classes are in session, provided they are working in an essential service or function, such as health care, critical infrastructure, or the supply of food or other critical goods.” 

International students are temporarily allowed to work more than 20 hours if they are:

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

To see if your work is considered an essential service or function, check the Guide on Essential Services and Functions in Canada During the COVID-19 Pandemic. This temporary rule change will be in place until August 31, 2020. 

See the IRCC webpage for full details. 

Otherwise, as this is not a scheduled break and classes are still being delivered, international students are not able to work over their current allotted hours.

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 Summer 2020 semester?

The deadline for full Fee payment has been updated on the Academic Dates page to Friday June 5, 2020 (see page for details and possible exceptions). Please note that this is also the final day that registration is possible for students. Payments can be made at your local bank (allow 3-5 business days for processing) or online through your MyMohawk account. 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.

Are there any extensions to payment deadlines if I am attending in fall 2020?

Applicants for September 2020 who have received a Letter of Acceptance on or after March 1, 2020 will now have until May 15, 2020 to pay their Confirmation Fee (refer to page 2 of the Letter of Acceptance for the exact amount). Payment of this fee is part of the College Acceptance Checklist (page 3 of the Letter of Acceptance) and will confirm the student’s intention to start studies in September 2020. 

As a reminder, we recommend all students outside of Canada to use the Flywire Payment Portal. This is the fastest and most secure way to transfer funds to Mohawk College. Please see the Methods of Payment page for other options. 

This extension is provided to give you flexibility to make the best possible decisions regarding their future studies at Mohawk College. Market Specialists are available to answer any questions you have regarding the Confirmation Fee Payment extension and attendance at Mohawk College. 

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. You can also view all up-to-date Online and Community Resources here.

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?

Please see our Online and Community Resources page for up-to-date resources to access during this time. 

If you need help accessing resources, please contact us at  international.services [at] mohawkcollege.ca

CERB

International students are eligible to apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit if they meet the other eligibility requirements (e.g. have earned a minimum of $5000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of application, have a valid SIN, etc.) Check the Canada Emergency Response Benefit webpage for full eligibility criteria and if you are eligible, go to the Apply page to prepare to apply for the benefit, beginning April 6. You will need a Canada Revenue Agency account to apply. See the Apply page for full details. 

Government funding may be available if you lost your job

Please visit the Employment Insurance section of the COVID-19 – Employment and Social Development Canada webpage to determine if you are eligible and for further information. If not, you might qualify for the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) if you are currently residing in Canada (online forms open April 6). Please view the CERB Eligibility criteria and application page for more details, including how to prepare to apply.

Paying your rent

There are currently no Ontario government rent subsidies. The Ontario government has advised that “tenants who are having challenges paying rent should speak with their landlords about possibly deferring their rent or other payment arrangements.” Also note that “under the Residential Tenancies Act, landlords cannot charge fees or penalties for late rent payments.” Please see the Ontario government webpage: Renting: Changes during COVID-19. Please be sure to review your tenant rights if you feel you are being treated unfairly. If you are unsure, contactinternational.services [at] mohawkcollege.ca with your questions. The Mohawk Student’s Association can also provide free legal counselling on topics such as landlord/tenant rights, employment law, and more. Visit the MSA website for further information.   

While there isn’t any rent-specific financial support available, you may wish to apply for the government-sponsored Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or the College’s COVID-19 Emergency Bursary (CEB). 

Studies

Should I continue to work at my co-op/field placement? 

Mohawk College suspended all learner and co-op placements until further notice. This important decision has been made with concern for the health and safety of our students and our community in mind. Clinical, Field and Co-op Placement Specialists have contacted students, placement agencies and employers to ensure they are aware of our decision.

Are Continuing Education (Ontario Learn) courses continuing online?

CE classes are still running and registration is now open, online (though not in-person). However, Mohawk has delayed distribution of the new course catalogue for the May 1 semester start. Text inside the accordion

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.

How can I register for Continuing Education courses?

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

Can I enter Canada as an international student to begin studies?

The Federal Government has said that international students can enter Canada for studies. Please see this update from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Monitor this website from the Government of Canada for any news on travel restrictions.

Can I go home and complete my semester from home?

Yes, you may travel home to complete your winter 2020 semester remotely. Please monitor the Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship Canada webpage for updates. 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.

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 should I pay and enroll for the May EAP semester? 

Information regarding the May EAP semester is still being determined. Once this information is confirmed, students will be emailed payment and registration information. Students can also email eap [at] mohawkcollege.ca for any questions.

When should I pay the entire next semester of EAP? 

EAP students planning to study for the May/June should follow the “Summer Term Fee Deadline” for their program, as noted on the Mohawk Academic Dates calendar

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 CHN’s COVID-19 response plan website for updated information.

Can I travel home?

Please note that Mohawk courses are still running in an online format. Connect with your academic area for completion options. 

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 Canadian Government travel advisory 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