Study Authorization & Breaks
Important Update: December 1, Internet Disruptions at Burnaby Campus. December 1st classes have been changed to virtual delivery.
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International students who wish to study at Alexander College must first obtain authorization to study in Canada from Refugees, Immigration, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). To learn about eligibility requirements to obtain a study permit for Canada, visit the IRCC website.

Alexander College is a Designated Learning Institution (DLI), and this authorization allows the College to accept international students. Alexander College’s DLI number is O19347185182  (note that the first character is the letter O, not zero)

Once an international student has been approved for a study permit, they must arrive in Canada to be issued to physical permit (normally to be placed into the student’s passport). On arrival in Canada, an international student is required to comply with the terms of their study permit.

  • Study Permit Compliance Requirements

    The following requirements are taken directly from the IRCC website: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/study-canada/study-permit/eligibility.html

    Study permit holders are required to comply with the terms of their permit, which may include (but not limited to):

    General Requirements:

    • Be enrolled at a designated learning institution (DLI)
    • Show you’re actively pursuing your studies by:
      • being enrolled full-time during each academic semester (excluding regularly scheduled breaks)
      • making progress towards completing your program’s courses, and
      • not taking authorized leaves longer than 150 days from your study program
    • Tell IRCC any time you change post-secondary schools
    • End your studies if you no longer meet the requirements of being a student, and
    • Leave Canada when your permit expires

     

    Specific Requirements:

    Students must also follow any other specific conditions listed on the study permit, which could include:

    • The level of studies you can attend
    • If you’re allowed to work as a student in Canada, including:
      • if you can work on or off campus, and
      • if you can complete a co-op work term or internship
    • If you need to report for medical procedures
    • If you’re allowed to travel within Canada, and
    • The date you must stop studying.
  • Full-time vs. Part-time Enrolment

    Full-time status at Alexander College requires one of the following:

    Fall, Winter, Spring Terms

    One of:

    • 3 or more university transfer level courses;
    • ENGL 098 plus one university transfer level course;
    • ENGL 099 plus one university transfer level course;
    • UPRE 099 only;
    • EASL 068/069, EASL 078/079, EASL 088/089 only

     

    Note: At both the ENGL 098 and ENGL 099 levels, students are encouraged to practically apply their language skills in an academic course. Although there is a difference in the number of course hours (ENGL 098 is 15 hours per week, while ENGL 099 is 10 hours per week), both course combinations sufficiently provide the baseline of required hours for what is considered full-time.

    Summer Intensive Term

    One of:

    • 2 or more university transfer level courses

    *UPRE and EAP are not offered during the summer term due to the shortened term length.

  • Regularly Scheduled Breaks

    At Alexander College, there are three regularly scheduled breaks during the academic year.

    Winter break

    • Approximately 2 weeks, mid-December to early January*
    • *Break begins on the day after the last day of exams for Fall term, ending on the day before the first day of classes for Winter term)

     

    Spring break

    • Approximately 2 weeks, mid-April to end of April*
    • *Break begins on the day after the last day of exams for Winter term, ending on the day before the first day of Spring term

     

    Summer break

    During the summer, students may choose to register for Summer Intensive term (which is a regularly scheduled break), or to take the corresponding dates off as an authorized study break.

    Option 1: Take a break

    • Approximately 8-9 weeks, *
    • *Break begins on the day after the last day of exams for Spring term, ending on the day before the first day of Fall term) OR;

     

    Option 2: Register for Summer Intensive term

    Students may take the Summer Intensive (July – August) term off as a study break. While there are a small number of condensed classes offered during the summer months, the Summer Intensive (July – August) is not considered a regular term for the purposes of study permit or work permit eligibility provided that the student is enrolled, full-time, in both the term prior to the break and the term following the break.

  • Compliance Reporting

    As a Designated Learning Institution (DLI), Alexander College is required to report to report on the status of international students both to IRC and to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).  The Registrar regularly responds to ad-hoc requests for authentication of official letters and credentials, and/or to confirm enrolment details, from both IRCC and CBSA. Routine compliance reporting to IRCC on the status of all international students is required, and occurs at least twice per academic year.

    Students are reported as one of the following categories:

    Full-time Studies

    Part-time Studies

    Not Started

    No Show

    Deferred Enrolment

    Program or degree completed

    No longer registered or enroled

    Academic Break (regularly scheduled break)

    Authorized Leave

    Academic Suspension

  • Authorized Leave from Studies

    Per Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) policy, international students require a study permit to study in Canada, and must comply with the terms of the permit throughout their studies. Foremost among the terms of a study permit is the requirement to be actively pursuing studies by maintaining continuous enrolment at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI), without any unauthorized breaks in study. 

    By process of appeal to the college’s Registrar, study permit holders in good academic standing may be eligible to take an authorized leave from studies under certain circumstances, and still be considered actively pursuing studies during the approved period. Authorized leave from studies may extend to a maximum of 150 days or one regular term.  

    Reasons for requesting authorized leave from studies could include (for example): 

    • Medical – Critical physical or mental condition/illness 
    • Pregnancy/Maternity – late or high-risk pregnancy, recent childbirth) 
    • Family – critical family emergency or death of an immediate family member 

     

    Students approved for a period of authorized leave by Alexander College are not required to inform IRCC, but must retain a letter of Confirmation of Authorized Leave for their own records (if proof of approval is requested by IRCC at a later date). Students approved for authorized leave must return to full-time studies in the subsequent term, and may not work during the authorized leave. 

    To request authorized leave from Alexander College for up to one regular term, students are required to: 

    • Complete the Request for Authorized Leave from Study form 
    • Attach evidence detailing the reason for the requested leave 
    • Submit by email registrar@alexandercollege.ca or in-person at the Registrar and Enrolment Services Counter.  

     

    Applicants will be contacted if more information is needed, and notified of the decision within 10 business days. If approved, students will be provided with a Confirmation of Authorized Leave letter. 

  • Working During Your Studies

    Working On-Campus:

    The following requirements are taken directly from the IRCC website: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/study-canada/work/work-on-campus.html

    Who can work on-campus

    You can only start working in Canada when you start your study program. You can’t work before your studies begin.

    You can work as an international student in Canada if your study permit lists a condition that says you’re allowed to work on- or off-campus.

    You can work on your school campus, without a work permit, if you:

    • are a full-time post-secondary student at a:
      • public post-secondary school, such as a college or university, or CEGEP in Quebec
      • private college-level school in Quebec that operates under the same rules as public schools, and is at least 50% funded by government grants, or
      • Canadian private school that can legally award degrees under provincial law
    • have a valid study permit, and
    • have a Social Insurance Number (SIN)

     

    Who can’t work on campus

    You must stop working on-campus:

    • on the day you stop studying full-time
    • when your study permit expires
    • if you’re on an authorized leave from your studies
    • if you’re switching schools and aren’t currently studying

    You can return to work only once you’re back to studying and you meet all the requirements to work on-campus.

    Working Off-Campus

    The following requirements are taken directly from the IRCC website: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/study-canada/work/work-off-campus.html

    Who Can Work Off-Campus

    You can work off campus without a work permit if you meet all of these requirements:

     

    If you’re a part-time student

    You can work off campus only if:

    • you meet all of the requirements above and
    • you’re only studying part-time, instead of full-time, because:
      • you’re in the last semester of your study program and you don’t need a full course load to complete your program and
      • you were a full-time student in your program in Canada, up until your last semester

     

    If you’re on an authorized leave

    If you’re on an authorized leave from your studies, or you’re switching schools and you’re not studying, you can’t work off campus. You can only return to work once you’re back to studying.

  • Working after Graduation (Post-Graduation Work Permit)

    Graduates of an Associate of Arts degree (any concentration) or Associate of Science degree (any concentration) program from Alexander College are eligible to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). The PGWP program provides an opportunity for graduates to obtain a work permit and to remain in Canada and enter the workforce for a period of up to three years.

    The following requirements are taken directly from the IRCC website: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/study-canada/work/after-graduation.html

     

    The following are general eligibility requirements for the PGWP:

    You have up to 180 days to apply for a PGWP after you get your

    • degree or diploma
    • transcript or
    • official letter from your school

    To be eligible, your study permit must have been valid at some point during these 180 days.

     

    Don’t let your status expire while you wait for your [credential]. [Processing time for an Application for Graduation from Alexander College is approximately 6 weeks]

    If your study permit will expire before you [are awarded your credential], you have 2 options. You can

    If you stay in Canada and let your permit expire, you must apply to restore your status as a student to apply for your PGWP. To restore your status, you must pay additional fees.

     

    You can apply for a PGWP if

    • your study permit has been valid within the last 180 days
    • you have a valid visitor record
    • you submitted an application to extend your study permit before it expired and no decision has been made on your application
    • you submitted an application to change your status to visitor before your study permit expired and no decision has been made on your application

     

    You must also have

    • completed a study program
    • maintained full-time status as a student in Canada during each semester of your study program
      • This doesn’t include your final semester, which can be part-time, or if you took an approved leave from your studies.
      • If you had to stop studying or change to part-time studies between March 2020 and the fall semester in 2020 because of reasons related to COVID-19, you may still be eligible for a PGWP.
    • graduated from one of the following:
      • a public post-secondary school, such as a college, trade/technical school, university or CEGEP (in Quebec)
      • a private post-secondary school in Quebec that operates under the same rules as public schools in Quebec
      • a private secondary or post-secondary school in Quebec that offers qualifying programs of 900 hours or longer that lead to a Diplôme d’études professionnelles (DEP—vocational studies diploma), or an Attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP—vocational studies accreditation)
        • An ASP can be less than 900 hours if combined with a DEP.
      • a Canadian private school that can award degrees under provincial law (for example, Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s or PhD degree), but only if you’re enrolled in a study program that leads to a degree as authorized by the province.

     

    Exceptions to the eligibility requirements

    You aren’t eligible for a PGWP if you

    • have a study permit that expired more than 180 days before you applied
    • already received a PGWP
    • studied English or French as a second language
    • took general interest or self-improvement courses
    • participated in the Government of Canada Awards Program funded by Global Affairs Canada
    • had received funding from Global Affairs Canada
      • Note: If you got a Study in Canada scholarship, you’re still eligible for a PGWP.
    • got the Equal Opportunity Scholarship, Canada-Chile
    • participated in the Canada-China Scholars’ Exchanges Program
    • participated in the Organization of American States Fellowships Program
    • completed the major part of a study program through distance learning (online courses, e-learning or correspondence)
    • completed a study program at a non-Canadian institution located in Canada
Students Throwing Leaves Into the Air
Man Holding Canadian Flag

 

Information on this page was compiled November 2021

 

Questions? Contact Student Records unit: studentrecords@alexandercollege.ca

 

How to Contact the Office of the Registrar

Drop in During Office Hours

Registrar and Enrolment Services counter is now open at the new Burnaby campus, 4805 Kingsway, Burnaby!

Location Address Hours
Burnaby Campus Room number(s) 202-208 Monday to Friday 9:00am-4:30am

By Mail & Phone

Location Address Phone
Burnaby Campus 4805 Kingsway, Burnaby, BC, V5H 4T6 (604)435-5815

By Email

Admissions Unit Registration Unit Student Records Unit
General mailbox:
admissions@alexandercollege.caPlacement testing services:
placementtesting@alexandercollege.ca
General mailbox:
registration@alexandercollege.ca
General mailbox:
studentrecords@alexandercollege.caGraduation:
graduation@alexandercollege.ca
Transfer Credit Unit Registrar
General mailbox:
transfercredit@alexandercollege.ca
General mailbox:
registrar@alexandercollege.ca