We're Here for You!

As a Lakehead student, you have access to the services of Lakehead University's regulated International Student Immigration Advisor, who is designated through ICCRC (Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council). The advisor is here to help you with all immigration matters during your studies at Lakehead through one-on-one appointments and workshops.

On this page

Due to the current situation, IRCC has issued travel restrictions, exemptions, and office closures. At this time, all biometric offices in Canada and the USA are currently closed. Online processing may be delayed. Additionally, some VACs around the globe have been temporarily closed. Please review how these changes will affect your application by clicking here and plan accordingly.

Hot Immigration Questions of the Day

I have heard there will be changes to the ONIP program for masters and PhD graduates, is this true?

Yes, the ONIP will introduce a new expression of interest point systems for these PNP streams. Please visit:

If I renew my study permit, how can I renew my SIN?

You can renew your social insurance number online with the Service Canada website.

Will my online studies count towards my post-graduate work permit duration?

Yes, IRCC has exceptions in place for international students outside of Canada. Please ensure you have applied for your study visa. For more details visit the IRCC website.

 Do I need to give biometrics?

There continues to be delays with biometric collection across the globe due to COVID-19. Some centres have now reopened. For up to date information please visit:

When do I apply for my post-graduate work permit?

Once your classes have ended and your grades have been uploaded, you can request your degree met letter and official transcript for the PGWP. You cannot start working full-time until you have submitted this application online.

Newly Accepted Students

If you recently accepted your Offer of Admission to Lakehead, please visit this website for more details about securing your Study Permit & Visa.

Current Students

Immigration Support

Please click here to know how coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is affecting immigration, refugees, citizenship and passport services according to IRCC.

Immigration Resources Online

Please CLICK HERE to access video tutorials and PDF handouts for help with immigration applications.

Immigration Advising

Lakehead University International is pleased to have a Regulated International Student Immigration Advisor (RISIA) certified by ICCRC on staff to assist with your questions and applications pertaining to studying in Canada.

Jennifer Hay, RISIA

International Immigration Advisor

In addition to the online resources, You are able to attend online immigration workshops, book one-on-one appointments (online), and email requests for information.

Student Regulations

As per Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), study permit holders in Canada are subject to both of the following conditions:

  • They shall enroll at a designated learning institution (DLI) and remain enrolled at a DLI until they complete their studies.

  • They shall actively pursue their course or program of study.

Please visit this link for details, up to date information regarding rules and regulations for international students from IRCC.

Workshops and Updates

Join us every Tuesday and Thursday at the live zoom drop in immigration sessions by clicking here.

The International Immigration Advisor will send monthly updates and workshop schedules to your Lakehead email account. Please ensure you check your email frequently.

Working in Canada

Off-Campus Work

Students who are legally allowed to work part-time can continue working off-campus keeping in mind the safety precautions to protect themselves against COVID-19. Though most businesses have temporarily closed down there are still some companies that are hiring. Please take necessary precautions and stay safe while working.

You can only start working in Canada when your study program has started. You can’t work before you start your studies. If you’re able to work during your studies, it’ll say so in the conditions on your study permit.

Eligibility requirements

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

  1. you’re a full-time student at a designated learning institution (DLI) 

  2. you’re enrolled in:

    1. a post-secondary academic, vocational or professional training program or

    2. a secondary-level vocational training program (Quebec only) 

  3. your study program your study permit says you can work off-campus

    1. is at least 6 months long and

    2. leads to a degree, diploma or certificate

  4. you’ve started studying 

  5. you have a Social Insurance Number (SIN)

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 from your studies, or you’re switching schools and you’re not studying, you CANNOT work off-campus. You can only return to work once you’re back to studying.

For more details, please visit the official website of the Government of Canada.

Get a Social Insurance Number (SIN) to work in Canada

International students with a valid study permit can now obtain and renew their social insurance number online with the Service Canada website.

A SIN is a 9 digit number that the Government of Canada gives you. You need one to work in Canada.

You may receive your SIN number upon entry at the airport. If not, you can visit the local centre with your study permit and passport.

Thunder Bay Campus: Service Canada, 975 Alloy Drive, Thunder Bay

Orillia Campus: Service Canada, 50 Andrew Street South, Suite 101, Orillia.

To apply for a SIN to work off-campus, you must have 01 of these conditions printed on your study permit:

  • May work 20 hours per week off-campus or full-time during regular breaks if meeting criteria outlined in paragraph 186(v) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

  • May accept employment on or off-campus if meeting eligibility criteria, per paragraph R186(f), (v) or (w) and must cease working if no longer meeting these criteria.

If your study permit doesn’t have work conditions on it:
You can ask to have these conditions added if you’re eligible to work off-campus. There’s no fee to add these conditions to your permit.

You’ll need to request an amendment to your study permit before you can apply for a SIN from Service Canada.

In-Canada Applications

Please click here to know how coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is affecting immigration services.

Please refer to the Question on Biometrics if you are required to give biometrics as part of your application by clicking here

Study Permit Extensions

All study permit extensions should be done at least two months before the expiry date. Please note the permit must be extended before any travel visas, so please allow enough time for processing before any travels abroad. Please visit the Online Resource Centre for tutorials. You can contact the immigration advisor on-campus if you require any additional assistance.

Co-op Work Permits

Once you have received confirmation you have been approved for co-op through the Student Success Department, you will be issued a letter. This letter is required to apply for your co-op work permit. There is no fee for this permit. Please click here for information on how to apply.

Passport Renewals

Canadian immigration permits cannot be issued past the validity of your passport. If your passport is expiring, we encourage you to start the renewal process early. You can contact your embassy in Canada to find out how to renew your passport in Canada.

Temporary Residency Visa (TRV)/eTA renewals

In order to enter Canada, you must have a valid temporary residency visa (TRV) stamp in your passport or eTA for applicable countries. Visit the official website of the Government of Canada to see what is required. Your permit does not allow entry to Canada. If you renew your study permit or change your status to a worker while in Canada, you can renew the TRV for travel after the new permit has been approved. Please click here for help on renewing your visa.

Graduating Students

Please click here to know how coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is affecting immigration applications.

Post-graduate Work Permit (PGWP)

Be Prepared

Leading into your final semester, there are a few things you can do to prepare for the post-graduate work permit (PGWP) application and the next steps.

  • Check your student account balance. You must pay off all outstanding tuition fees to obtain graduation documents.
  • Check your passport expiry. You cannot obtain a PGWP beyond the duration of your passport. If you expect a three-year PGWP, your passport should be valid for 3+ years. Contact your embassy to find out about passport renewal in Canada.
  • Complete your intent to graduate. Emails will be sent from Student Central on graduation formalities and requests will be submitted through myInfo.
  • Complete your courses. Once your final grades have been uploaded, you can request degree requirements met letter and final transcript for your PGWP. As soon as these documents are issued you should apply for the PGWP.

Prepare to apply online. Please click here for information and resources on how to apply for the work permit.

Applying for the PGWP

Click here to access resources related to PGWP.

Please review the IRCC website for detailed information on how to apply, required documents and important details. 

Please see the attached FAQ here for more information around post-graduation.

Inviting Family to Convocation

Please click here to know about Restrictions and exemptions for travellers to Canada due to COVID-19

You are welcome to invite your family to visit for Convocation. Lakehead University does not provide an invitation letter for your family to visit you for convocation. We encourage you to prepare the invitation letter. Please visit the website of Government of Canada to see what details should be included.

Along with this invitation letter, we recommend including a copy of your study permit, passport front page. You can also include your intent to graduate or RSVP email as well.

Travelling After Graduation

Please check the travel restrictions of the country you are planning to visit after graduation before proceeding with travel. Please refer to Questions 1 and 2

Students can travel before or after applying for their PGWP. As soon as you apply for the PGWP in Canada, you have implied status. You must ensure your Canadian TRV or eTA is valid for re-entry into Canada.

Working After Graduation

As soon as you submit your PGWP application online in Canada, you can start working full-time anywhere in the country. Please click here to learn more about implied status.

Questions? Send an email to:

Staying in Canada After Graduation

Permanent Residency

Canada has many pathways to permanent residency (PR) for international student graduates.

Click here to access resources related to Permanent Residency.

Lakehead University does not provide any advice or assistance with PR matters, however, we are happy to share some information and resources to assist you.


There are many pathways to Permanent residency for our graduates from Lakehead. The Thunder Bay Multicultural Association graciously provides free monthly PR information sessions on-campus (refer to your monthly email from the immigration advisor). We encourage you to attend a session for more information.

Additionally, you can find information on program requirements, costs, selection criteria on each of the websites below:

EXPRESS ENTRY (Federal Program)

ONIP (Ontario Provincial Nominee Program)

RNIP (Thunder Bay program)

PNP programs in other provinces

Other resources in the community include: 

**Only designated RCIC Immigration Consultants can provide advice and assistance with PR matters (for a fee). If you decide to use a representative, please ensure they are certified with ICCRC:


Employment and Job Searching

National Occupation Classification (NOC) Listing

Most programs for permanent residency require work in the NOC 0, A or B category. Please review the NOC listing and ensure your searching for the right jobs by clicking at this link.

Job Search Assistance

Please connect with Lakehead University’s Career Zone for employment assistance in job searching, interview practice, resume writing and more: Career Zone

Job bank: