Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • International FAQ
  • Please see below for a collection of answers to questions frequently asked by international students.
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    Study and Work Permits

    I graduate in April and my study permit also expires in April, do I have to extend my study permit?

    Yes, if you plan to apply for your post-graduate work permit. Students must always have a valid study permit at all times while studying. In addition, students applying for their post-graduate work permit, must have a valid study permit when applying for their work permit. There is a waiting period for student’s graduation status to be updated due to marking of final exams and projects, and having them entered into the system. It can take two to three weeks for the Registrar’s Office to update your status to graduate. You must apply for your PGWP with a proof of graduation letter and/or a final transcript that says “awarded”.

    I want to work off campus but I don’t have an off campus work permit but I have a co-op work permit.

    Your co-op work permit can only be used for work integral to your program that is required in order for you to graduate.

    As of June 1, 2014, you may qualify to work off campus without a work permit. If you qualify, your study permit will allow you to:

    • work up to 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions and
    • work full-time during scheduled breaks, such as the winter and summer holidays or spring break.
    To qualify you must:
    • have a valid study permit,
    • be a full-time student,
    • be enrolled at a designated learning institution at the post-secondary level
    • be studying in an academic, vocational or professional training program that leads to a degree, diploma or certificate that is at least six months in duration.
    You must stop working on the day you no longer meet the above eligibility requirements (e.g., if you are no longer a full-time student during an academic session.)

    Please visit for more information.

    Do I need a Social Insurance Number (SIN)?

    You need a Social Insurance Number (SIN) from Service Canada to work in Canada or to receive benefits and services from government programs.

    You must have one of the following conditions or remarks printed on your study permit in order to apply for a SIN for off-campus work:

    • May work 20 hrs per week off-campus or full-time during regular breaks if meeting criteria outlined in section 186(v) of IRPR
    • May accept employment on or off campus if meeting eligibility criteria as per R186(f), (v) or (w). Must cease working if no longer meeting these criteria
    If your study permit does not have one of the above conditions or remarks, you must submit a request for an amendment to your study permit before you can apply for a SIN. There is no fee for this request.

    If your study permit has: This permit does not permit the holder to engage in off campus employment in Canada, printed on it and you have changed your program of study, you must apply to change the conditions of your study permit and pay the applicable fee.

    How do I apply for a SIN (Social Insurance Number)

    You can visit the closest Service Canada, in person, with your study permit, work permit (if applicable) and passport to apply for your SIN.

    I will be completing my program this semester, however, I want to continue working while I await my post-graduation work permit. Is this possible?

    Yes. As long as you have applied for your post-graduate work permit while your study permit was still valid and within 90 days of completing your program, you are eligible to work under “implied status.” You must have applied to be considered under implied status.

    What does implied status mean?

    A temporary resident must apply to extend their period of authorized stay before it ends. If they have done so, their period of authorized stay as a temporary resident is extended by law until a decision is made [R183(5)]. Such a person is considered to have implied status as a temporary resident during that period.

    If a temporary resident applies for renewal of their work or study permit and their permit expires before a decision is made, R186(u) and R189 (the right to continue working or studying under the same conditions pending a determination of their application for renewal) apply only as long as the person remains in Canada.


    I started my program in January or May, do I need to study for the 2nd semester? Can I take a break?

    From an academic standpoint, you may be able to take a break, but you would have to confirm with your academic department to enquire when the second semester is offered again.

    However, this may not be considered a scheduled break and, therefore, as per Canadian immigration regulations, you would not be eligible to work off campus during the break. It may also cause issues from a study permit perspective; under the “must actively pursue” clause all study permit holders in Canada must actively pursue studies. This means that:

    • if you hold a study permit, you must remain enrolled and make reasonable and timely progress towards completing your program; and
    • failing to do so could lead to your removal from Canada
    George Brown College is required to report on a biannual basis to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on your continued enrolment status. You may also be asked by an immigration officer to provide evidence of your continued enrolment status. Please check with the International Centre to confirm your individual status. Visit for more information

    Scheduled breaks are points in the year when you are not required to be in class, such as May- August for most September start programs (exception three semester post-graduate certificates and some co-op programs). If your program requires you to be registered and in-class for that semester, taking it off would not be considered a scheduled break.

    I would like to drop one course because of an exemption or because I want to take it in another semester, will I get a refund for that one course?

    If a student drops one course but maintains full-time status, they do not receive a refund for the course that they dropped or are exempted from. Full-time status is defined as students who are enrolled full-time taking 66 and 2/3% of the required courses for their program/block, or 70% of the program contact hours (defined as instructional or classroom time) in any given semester. It is always a good idea to meet with your academic department before you drop a course, to make sure that there won’t be any impacts on future semesters or if you get an exemption to see if you may be able to pick up another course to take in its place. You can confirm with the Registration Office regarding your full-time status.

    I would like to drop my courses but I already passed the deadline for dropping the courses without academic penalty.

    Unfortunately, since you have passed the deadline to withdraw from courses without academic penalty, if you were to withdraw now, your course grade(s) would convert to an F.

    I don’t like the program that I am currently in and I want to change to another program. What should I do?

    Make an appointment with our International Student Advisor about your options. You want to make sure that the program you wish to switch to is the right fit for you.

    Changing Fee Status From International To Domestic

    In certain very specific circumstances (e.g., student on parental work permit or submission of specific Permanent Residency documents), students can request a change from international student fee status to domestic. For fee changes to be approved and take affect all required documentation must be submitted prior to the start of term/program. If documents are received partway through a semester, changes can only be made to future terms and not retroactively. Depending on the circumstances for change in student fee status, student might have to pay for and receive international student health insurance plan rather than domestic.

    Please click here to download complete details regarding tuition fees for international students and information regarding exempt student.

    R115 EAP students who are eligible to pay domestic tuition rather than international will be registered in R105 EAP. Students in R105 are required to register for a minimum of one semester (16 weeks) rather than one session (8 weeks).  These students will pay for and receive international student health insurance rather than the domestic plan.


    How do I get my admissions test result?

    Results for admissions tests take approximately 5 business days to be issued. Please email your Admissions Officer 5 business days after you have written the test. Your Admissions Officer’s contact information is on your Letter of Acceptance and Test Letter.

    How long do I have to wait for my admissions test result?

    Results for admissions test take approximately 5 business days to be issued.

    What is the difference between the admissions test and the placement test?

    Admissions tests are used to determine if you meet the requirements for admission to the College.

    Placement Assessments in English and/or Math are taken after you have accepted an offer of admission. Placement assessments determine whether you are ready to take the college-level credit courses in English and/or math in the first semester, or if you need to take a foundation- level course first to further develop your skills. For programs that require English and/or Math placement testing visit

    Note: If you have already taken an Admissions Assessment (as part of your college application process), your Admissions Assessment results will be used as placement results too.

    How long is the processing time once I submit an application through the Online Application System (OAS)?

    Due to the high volume of applications, we are not able to provide exact processing times. However, we do process in priority order as received.

    The program I am interested in is closed, is there anything I can do?

    Unfortunately, programs can close early if international enrollment for that program is already achieved and there are no more places. You can ask the International Centre or your admissions officer about other available programs or you may have to wait to apply for a future intake.

    Enrolment and Graduation Letters

    Can you provide an invitation letter for my parents who will come to Canada?

    We can provide you with a proof of enrolment letter for purposes of inviting your parents. However, the actual invitation letter for your parents must be written by you. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship and Canada (IRCC) provides a guide on what should be included in this letter on their website. Please visit for detailed information on how to write the letter of invitation.


    How soon can I receive my refund?

    During peak periods, we receive a high volume of refund requests, and, therefore, unfortunately, the processing time is about 6 weeks. Refunds are issued by the GBC Finance Department and not the International Centre. We try our best to get refunds out as quickly as possible. It is important for students to provide us with complete information, so that we can ensure that there are no delays in processing refunds.

    Can I pick up the refund cheque in person?

    Due to the high volume of refund requests, all cheques are mailed out to students directly. Please make sure that your address is updated in Stu-View to ensure that it is mailed to the correct address. You must notify the International Centre immediately of any changes to your mailing address.

    Health Insurance

    Where can I find doctor?

    Visit to find a doctor that has set up direct billing with our health insurance plan.

    How do I find out what is covered through my health insurance?

    For details of your coverage, visit for information on what is and isn’t covered. You can also visit the Student Association office at your home campus.

    Other Questions

    How can I reset my STU-VIEW password?

    You can visit any Library Learning Commons (LLC) at any campus for help to reset your password. You can also visit and reset it online.

    I cannot attend an International Centre workshop. What can I do?

    We try to schedule our workshops during times when most students are available, but it hard to find a time that works for everyone.

    Some workshops contain Government information that we are not allowed to share publicly. Some presentations we can share with students, but others we are not allowed to distribute. Ask a friend who is going to workshop to take notes for you and/or visit us in the International Centre to see if we can share the presentation with you.

    Is there another, similar workshop coming soon?

    We try to offer our workshops at multiple times and different campuses. Check our Eventbrite page for all event information.

    Where can I request course exemptions?

    Visit for a detailed video on how to apply for transfer credits.

    For schools outside of Canada an ICAS or WES evaluation is required, along with official transcripts.

    If you studied at another college or university within in Canada, you must still provide the official transcript to the Transfer Credit office.

    Can I come back to school two weeks after classes start?

    No. Students should make every effort to be in class by the first day of classes. However, if a delay is unavoidable, students must be in class by the 5th day of school at the latest.

  • Disclaimer: These FAQs are meant as general information only and College policies can change without notice. Please check with the International Centre for most up to date information and specific advice pertaining to your individual situation.

    All immigration information has been reviewed by a Regulated International Student Immigration Advisor (RISIA). However, students are solely responsible for ensuring that they are in compliance with all Citizenship & Immigration Canada (CIC) regulations at all times during their studies and while in Canada, including any medical or study and work permit-related requirements. Applicants and students of George Brown College are recommended to consult the IRCC website at or consult the IRCC Call Centre at 1-888-242-2100 to confirm or clarify immigration-related information and requirements.