Flagpoling Study Permit Canada
Mahir is a citizen of Yemen. He came to Canada as a visitor last month. Like many other visitors, Mahir fell in love with Canada. Consequently, he approached a community college and received admission to his favourite program. Mahir intends to apply for a study permit. However, he wonders if he can flagpole to obtain his study permit.
The term flagpoling means you go to a Canada-US land crossing. However, you do not travel to the US. Instead, you inform the US border officer you intend to change your status in Canada. Consequently, they usually deny your entry to the US and return you to Canada. Upon entering Canada, you apply for the new status. If you are not familiar with flagpoling at all, consider reading the following article first:
Flagpoling could occur for several reasons. For example,
- applying for a work permit,
- receiving a study permit,
- landing in Canada as a permanent resident, or
- extending the stay as a visitor.
This article focuses on collecting or receiving a study permit.
Table of contents
Collecting your study permit by flagpoling
Let’s say you are inside Canada. However, you have already submitted an outside-Canada study permit application. If IRCC approves your application, you could flagpole to collect your study permit. Nonetheless, you must it could be best if you consider all of the following:
- Flagpole only if you have received the study permit approval letter.
- You may flagpole only if your status is valid in Canada. Of course, you must take supporting documents with you (e.g., a valid visitor record).
- Take at least two valid identity documents to the port of entry. Of course, one of them has to be your valid passport.
- It would be best if you take your application package, especially the Letter of Acceptance (LOA) and proof of financial means.
- Don’t forget to take the study permit approval letter with you.
The rest of this article focuses on people who would like to apply for a study permit at a port of entry.
Who may flagpole to apply for a study permit?
- A US citizen,
- A Permanent Resident of the United States, or rather a Green Card holder,
- A person that the US has lawfully admitted for permanent residence,
- A resident of St. Pierre and Miquelon, or
- A resident of Green Land. (Source: section 214 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations)
Do not flagpole for a study permit if you do not fall under any of these groups. If unqualified, you could face one of the following problems:
- The officer allows you to enter Canada but advises you to apply online or by paper after the entry.
- The officer issues a removal order for you.
- In rare cases, you may face detention.
What kind of documents do you need?
If you are eligible for flagpoling for a study permit, you need to have all the necessary documents with you at the time of application, namely:
- Proof of Acceptance: An admission letter (LOA) from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada
- Evidence of Financial Support for at least One Year: Documents that show you can pay your tuition fee and other expenses. For example, you can show one or more of the following documents:
- your bank statements,
- scholarship or bursary documents,
- financial records of the person who supports you (such as their salary payslips or bank statements),
- the receipt of the payment of the first-semester tuition fee or the residence fee (if applicable), or
- any other documents to convince the officer you won’t face financial problems in Canada.
- Proof of Identity: You need to present a valid passport. It is also a good idea to have a secondary government-issued document such as a driver’s licence
- Letter of explanation: Explain why you intend to study in Canada and show you are aware of your responsibilities as an international student. Some of your responsibilities include
- engaging in full-time studies,
- not committing any illegal activities,
- no interruptions in your studies, and
- leaving Canada upon completion of your studies.
- Custodian declaration for minor children: Minor children who study in Canada need to have a Custodian. Click here to download the form and sign it by the parent(s) and the custodian.
- Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ): If you intend to study in the Province of Quebec, you need to obtain a CAQ from the Province.
Bring other supporting documents with you, such as:
- Two passport-size photos (as a backup)
- Use of a Representative form duly signed by you and your representative (e.g. an RCIC), if you have one. You usually do not need this document. However, the form proves you have a representative if you encounter any problems at the border.
- Marriage certificate (if you are married): If your spouse accompanies you, this document is essential because they will be able to receive a visitor record or even an open work permit while studying in Canada.
- If you are not married but in a common-law relationship and your partner is accompanying you to Canada, carry enough documents to verify your connection. For example,
- a signed Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union form,
- bills that show both names with the same address,
- government-issued cards or documents that offer similar residential addresses for both,
- joint rental or lease agreements, or
- common ownership of properties or vehicles.
- Job offers from an employer in Canada that shows you have the intention to go back to your home country upon completion of your studies (not mandatory but helpful)
- Police clearance certificates from your home country and every country you have lived in for more than six months since the age of 18 (not mandatory but helpful)
- Documents that show you can complete your studies in Canada. For example,
- English or French language test results,
- GMAT test results, or
- education credentials.
What costs are involved with the application?
When applying for a study permit, you must pay $150 (Canadian Funds). Of course, you also need to give biometrics unless you are a US citizen or older than 79 years or younger than 14 years. The biometrics fee is $85 per person.
Where do I need to go for flagpoling?
For a list of locations and potential limitations, read the following article.
You may also read the following article for more information about applying for a study permit at a port of entry.
Let us help!
If you need assistance in flagpoling, book a consultation session with me. I also offer mentorship to licensed practitioners. For immigration or visa issues, you may fill out the following form. However, for all other immigration applications, please fill out our assessment form.
Would you please fill out our free assessment form if you wish to visit or move to Canada? We will review it for free, but we will contact you only if we find an opportunity for you. Alternatively, you may book a consultation session. Consultation sessions are not free, but you will receive formal immigration advice from a licensed practitioner.
Al Parsai, LLM, MA, DTM, RCIC
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
Adjunct Professor – Queen’s University – Faculty of Law
Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada
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