Updates for international students regarding enrolment and study permits

This page was created following an announcement by the Canadian government on Jan. 22, 2024 regarding a cap on international student study permits. This is where Georgian will continue to update our current and future international students.

A message from Kevin Weaver, Georgian College President and CEO

I want to provide you with an update following the federal government’s announcement on Jan. 22 regarding a temporary national cap on study permits for two years. You likely have many questions, and I want to assure you that Georgian understands your concerns and is committed to advocating on behalf of our valued international student community, as well as providing you with updates as we learn more.

You may wish to read the government’s announcement in full, but to summarize, here are the main points impacting the Georgian College student population:

  1. An intake cap on international study permit applications to stabilize new growth for a period of two years. For 2024, the cap is expected to result in approximately 360,000 approved study permits, a decrease of 35% from 2023 which will be distributed proportionally across the country based on population.
  2. Starting Sept. 1, 2024, international students who begin a study program part of a curriculum licensing arrangement will no longer be eligible for a post-­graduation work permit upon graduation.

There is much we still need to learn about how this affects our college and your education. Here is what we do know so far:

  • The permit application will be based on each province’s population. The Ontario government will be responsible for the distribution of the study permits in the postsecondary sector.
  • Current students who are currently in Canada are not affected by the announcement. This cap only applies to new applications.
  • The announcement does not affect current holders of study permits. It also does not affect study permit extensions.

We’ve started a list of frequently asked questions based on whether you are a current student, applicant or prospective student (see below). Please continue to visit this webpage as we will add more information as it becomes available.

At Georgian, we care deeply about providing all students with an unrivaled, positive experience during their studies. International students are valued contributors to our classrooms, communities and economy and we recognize our institutional responsibility in welcoming and supporting you. We’re doing everything we can to address this situation and to assist you in any way we can.

Sincerely,

Kevin

President and CEO Kevin Weaver, looking outside window, contemplative, wearing a blue suit

FAQs: current Georgian international students

Does the international student cap affect my enrolment?Georgian College Chevron

Students who hold a valid study permit are not impacted and these measures do not affect your ability to progress and complete your program.

Do the restrictions on post­graduation work permit affect me?Georgian College Chevron

Current students at Georgian College campuses (Barrie, Midland, Muskoka, Orangeville, Orillia, Owen Sound and South Georgian Bay) remain eligible to apply for the Post Graduation Work Permit as per standard eligibility requirements.

I’m a current Georgian student who is graduating in April 2024 and I have successfully applied for a second Georgian program in a subsequent term (fall 2024). How does this impact me?Georgian College Chevron

Students who hold a valid study permit and have applied for a second program and plan to register in a future term, summer or fall 2024, are not impacted as you are expected to apply for a study permit extension before your current permit expires.

Resources on study permit extension can be found here: Segal International Centre

Do I need a provincial attestation letter (PAL) for my study permit extension?Georgian College Chevron

No, international students already in Canada and those applying for a study permit extension are exempt from the PAL requirement.

FAQs: international prospective students

I want to apply to Georgian College for fall 2024 semester or later. Are you still accepting applications?Georgian College Chevron

Applications are still being considered for summer and fall 2024 intakes. Please contact our International Recruitment team to inquire about open programs, via our international contact form.

Is Georgian College a public or private institution?Georgian College Chevron

Georgian College is a public Ontario college. Our designated learning institution number is O19395677361

Are any of Georgian’s programs considered master’s or doctoral level programs?Georgian College Chevron

No.

FAQs: international applicants to Georgian

I’ve already been accepted to Georgian for the summer or fall 2024 semesters and received my study permit prior to Jan. 22, 2024. What happens next?Georgian College Chevron

If you have received your study permit and have been accepted to a future intake at Georgian, you will continue to register and transition to Canada as planned. If you have received your study permit and have not submitted a copy to Georgian, please log into your IAS application and upload a copy as soon as possible.

What is a provincial attestation letter (PAL) and how do I receive it?Georgian College Chevron

A provincial attestation letter (PAL) is a document issued by the province of Ontario that must be included with your study permit application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

The PAL is a new requirement by IRCC and any study permit application received on or after Jan. 22, 2024, that does not include a PAL, will be returned and refunded.

At this time, the Ontario government has not released information on how the PAL will be provided. These processes are expected to be in place by March 31, 2024. As soon as more information about the PAL is available, it will be provided here. We encourage you to check this page frequently for updates.

I have been accepted to Georgian for the summer 2024 intake but have not yet applied for my study permit. What should I do?Georgian College Chevron

At this time, all applications for study permits, inclusive of summer 2024 semester, will not be processed until the provincial attestation letter has been issued. Please continue to check both this site and IRCC website as this evolves.

I’ve already been accepted to Georgian for fall 2024 semester. I have applied for my study permit but have not received it. What happens next?Georgian College Chevron

If you already applied for your study permit prior to 8:30 a.m. EST on Jan. 22, 2024, your study permit application will be reviewed. You do not require a provincial attestation letter if your study permit application was submitted to IRCC before Jan. 22, 2024.

If you submitted your application after this date and time, your application will be returned and refunded by IRCC. You will need to reapply with a provincial attestation letter. The Ontario government has not yet released information on how the attestation letter will be provided. Please continue to check both this site and IRCC website for updates.

Are new students still eligible for a Post-Graduate Work Permit?Georgian College Chevron

Graduates of Georgian College will continue to maintain eligibility for a PGWP. If you are a Georgian@ILAC student, please refer to the Georgian@ILAC website for further information.

Will I get my $2,500 CAD deposit if I withdraw now without a study permit refusal?Georgian College Chevron

At this time, we’re waiting for additional information on how to provide you with your Letter of Attestation, so that you can apply for your study permit with this new required document. We’ll update this response once we learn more from the IRCC.

If my study permit/visa is denied, am I eligible for a refund?Georgian College Chevron

 International applicants who receive a visa refusal are eligible for refund per normal policy. The regular process and deadlines apply for requests to withdraw with refund based on study permit refusal.

I have an offer but haven’t yet applied for my study permit. Can I defer my offer?Georgian College Chevron

If you have not received a decision about your study permit application by the start of your classes, and have paid your full tuition deposit, you may request a deferral to the next available intake using the Deferral Request option in the International Application System (IAS). The last day to submit a deferral request is day five of the term. All fees paid, including the tuition deposit, will transfer with your status if the deferral request is approved. 

What’s the refund policy for those who’ve already applied for fall 2024?Georgian College Chevron

While awaiting updates from the IRCC, standard refund policies are in effect.

I applied for a Georgian@ILAC program. Can I switch my application to a Georgian College program at one of Georgian’s seven campuses (Barrie, Midland, Muskoka, Orangeville, Orillia, Owen Sound or South Georgian Bay)? Georgian College Chevron

Georgian is unable to assess the capacity of a program or campus change until the letter of attestation process is complete.  

Can my spouse accompany me to Canada while I am studying, and will they be able to work?Georgian College Chevron

IRCC has announced that in the weeks ahead, open work permits will only be available to spouses of international students in master’s and doctoral programs. The spouses of international students in other levels of study, including undergraduate and college programs, will no longer be eligible. Your spouse may still apply for their own, separate temporary residence visa. Learn more on the IRCC website

Does Georgian guarantee that housing options are available for new international students?Georgian College Chevron

Georgian College continues to work with the province to understand the implications of the government’s announcement on Jan. 26, 2024 requiring all colleges and universities to have a guarantee that housing options are available for incoming international students. We will share more information as soon as we can. Until then, we encourage all students to review the many housing supports we already offer for on and off-campus housing. Please visit our housing webpages and connect with one of our housing services outreach co-ordinators, supporting all campus locations, if you have any questions. 

FAQs: current Georgian@ILAC students (Hidden)

How do I get my textbooks?Georgian College Chevron

First, do a search for which textbooks you’ll need on the Georgian Stores website. Book lists are usually available around the same time that registration opens. You’ll need the course reference number (CRN) and your student number.

Then, we recommend these options to purchase your books:

  1. Georgian Stores is open for online orders.
  2. Search Amazon’s used book market.
  3. Search Facebook groups for used books: Orillia Georgian College Book Exchange, Georgian College Barrie Book Swap, Georgian College Used Textbooks. Students post their used texts or post as wanted.
  4. Contact the publisher. Some publishers are making textbooks open access. Use your Georgian student email.
  5. The Georgian library has an open educational resource (OER) guide that offers a search engine and suggestions for some subjects. These might not be your textbook but an OER could have the same or similar content.

FAQs: applicants to Georgian@ILAC (Hidden)

Can I defer my May 2022 acceptance offer to a future semester?Georgian College Chevron

Domestic students: If you’d like to defer your May acceptance offer to September 2022, January 2023 or May 2023, you’ll be expected to re-apply through OCAS as September is the start of a new admissions cycle. Unfortunately, we’re not able to guarantee your seat for a future intake. 

International students: Eligible international applicants starting their first semester at the college may request a deferral to the same program to the next available intake. However, approval of the request is based on deferral eligibility and program availability. Please complete the international request for deferral form and email it to intlrecruit@georgiancollege.ca. If this is your first deferral request and the request is approved, your paid deposits will be transferred to your new starting term. Please check academic regulations for eligibility requirements.  

Exceptions to the non-refundable tuition deposit policy will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. For further information, email admssions@georgiancollege.ca.  For more questions and answers about deferrals, please visit the Office of the Registrar’s FAQs on MyGCLife.  

More information *HIDDEN SECTION*

This page will be continually updated to reflect the most current information regarding coronavirus (COVID-19).

You can also visit the Government of Canada website, or refer to the following resources:

Information for students

Georgian students are advised to visit the MyGCLife for updates and more information about COVID-19.

Information for international students

If you are an international student, please visit our COVID-19 FAQs for International students for updates and information about COVID-19.

Information for employees

Georgian employees are advised to visit the employee portal for updates and more information about COVID-19.