FAQ - For Parents of International Students

Does McGill have special services for international students?
Answer >>
International Student Services (ISS) helps students prepare for their arrival at McGill, and adjust once they begin their studies. For instance, ISS can help if your student requires assistance during the CAQ (Certificate of Acceptance to study in Quebec) and/or study permit application process or with any part of the immigration process. Your student may also be interested in the ISS Buddy Program, which provides assistance to students from outside Canada.
Learn more about the buddy program >>

International Student Services offers many other programs and services. The office, located in the Brown Student Services Building at 3600 McTavish Street, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday and can be reached by email at international [dot] students [at] mcgill [dot] ca, or by phone at 514-398-4349.>

What are the steps my international student needs to follow prior to leaving home for McGill?
Answer >>
International students have lots to think about and prepare for prior to arriving in Montreal to study at McGill: from visas to passports and permits to medical exams, there are some procedures that must be undertaken prior to your student’s departure. International Student Services has prepared a Getting Started Immigartion Guide to help you and your student in this period of transition. The guide is included in all acceptance packages sent to new international students. The First-Year Office pre-arrival checklist, which gathers the “top 15 important things to do before arriving at McGill,” is also a good complement to the Getting Started guide.

Is McGill health insurance mandatory for international students?
Answer >>
By McGill Senate regulation, ALL students who do not have Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status must participate in the Compulsory International Student Health Insurance Plan administered by the University and International Student Services. This policy also applies to students who may be exempt from international fees. Therefore, students without valid Canadian Medicare must be covered by this plan offered by Blue Cross. In general, the policy provides coverage similar to that of Quebec Medicare. To learn more about health insurance for international students, visit the ISS website or contact them by phone at 514-398-6012.

Are there any exceptions to the mandatory health insurance?
Answer >>
In rare cases, your student may be exempt from this compulsory plan. To be exempt, valid documentation proving eligibility under one of the categories listed on the ISS health insurance exemption page must be presented each year, by September 30 (for newly admitted students in the fall semester; see here for other dates that may apply). There are two steps to follow: 1) students need to submit an online exemption request on Minerva, and 2) they also need to present supporting documents in person to Enrollment Services, located at Service Point. For any question regarding eligibility, please contact International Student Services.

Are international students covered by a dental plan?
Answer >>
Yes, international students are automatically covered by the SSMU Dental Plan or, for students enrolled in a program at the Macdonald Campus, the MCSS Health and Dental Plan (both plans are offered by the Students’ Society and Sun Life Financial). Students wishing to opt out of the dental plan may do so at ihaveaplan.ca.

Can international students work while studying at McGill?
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International students can work in Canada providing they satisfy certain conditions. International students with valid study permits can be hired for on-campus jobs without having to obtain a work permit.
Learn more about obtaining off-campus employment and work permits >>

Will my student’s study permit need to be renewed?
Answer >>
Expiry dates of study permits can vary. Often permits are valid for the duration of your student’s program of study. However, it is important to verify the details specific to your student’s study permit to determine when it should be renewed.

To successfully renew a study permit, the student must have a valid passport and valid CAQ (Certificate of Acceptance to study in Quebec). Your student will be required to provide a copy of the CAQ to Immigration Canada as part of their application to renew the study permit. If your student’s CAQ and study permit will both be expiring, your student must take the necessary steps to renew them. Students should start the renewal process at least two to three months prior to the expiry date.
Learn more about study permits and renewing documents >>

How can my student meet other international students?
Answer >>
The McGill International Students Network (MISN) helps international students feel at home in Montreal and at McGill. MISN hosts events for students throughout the year. Participating in these events will help your student meet other students from their own country and around the world. Learn more about MISN at www.misn.ca or 514-398-6476.

The International Buddy Program pairs new international students with returning student volunteers, often from their own home country and/or faculty of studies. Learn more about the Buddy Program >>


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