FAQs

Where can I get information and support to file my taxes in Canada?

As an international student, it is important to have a good understanding of what is expected of you regarding Canadian taxes, as well as how to correctly file Canadian tax returns. There are several options for getting help with your taxes. Below we have included video tutorials, online resources, workshops to further your understanding, and community tax resources. Please see the video tutorials created by the Canada Revenue Agency, which can help provide a better understanding of the Canadian tax system.   It's important to know how and why to file, and how this relates to residency, scholarships/bursaries, deductions, and much more!

Canada’s Income Tax System
https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/international-non-residents/individuals-leaving-entering-canada-non-residents/you-international-student-studying-canada.html 

2020 Income Tax Package
https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/forms-publications/tax-packages-years/general-income-tax-benefit-package/ontario.html 

Workshops and Information Sessions

February 11, 10am-11am EST - International Student Connect Session on Personal Finance
Join Yana, YMCA Settlement Counsellor in learning about banking in Canada and building credit history. Click here to register: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/2598107905255448845

February 25, 6-7pm EST - Understanding Ontario’s Personal Income Tax, Credits and Benefits
Join Jeremy, a representative from the Ministry of Finance, to learn more about all things taxes and how you can get the most out of your tax return. Click here to join: https://lakeheadu.zoom.us/j/96816571225?pwd=b0xKK1NXYkhNdUFqN1hCMWt4c2dNUT09

March 3, 11:30am-12:30pm EST - Understanding Ontario’s Personal Income Tax, Credits and Benefits. 
Join Jeremy, a representative from the Ministry of Finance, to learn more about all things taxes and how you can get the most out of your tax return.  Click here to join: https://lakeheadu.zoom.us/j/97762620268?pwd=NXhBNm56ajU4Qzg2ZlY3K0NNLzJzUT09

March 9, 1-2pm - Personal Finance with Author Rob Brown
Presentation and Q&A with Rob Brown: Author of Wealthing Like Rabbits.  Click here to join: https://lakeheadu.zoom.us/j/97770532670?pwd=U3VuYzJpMlhxTlQ4c3JjUGszZzJKQT09

Getting Assistance with Your Taxes

What to bring with you:

  • government issued ID (example: Passport, Ontario photo ID card, driver's license)

  • T2202A (found in your Lakehead MyInfo account under "My Financial Profile". Just print it out and bring it with you.)

  • T4 slip (you will ONLY have this if you are currently working and your employer will provide it to you)

  • other documents you may have are rent receipts, donation receipts, medical expense receipts, any other income slips you may have.

Information Orillia Income Tax Clinic (OR)

(705) 326-7743
info@informationorillia.org
By appointment only. A small fee between $10-25 will apply.

Lakehead Social Planning Council (TB)

(807) 624-1720
lspc@tbaytel.net
By appointment only.

Salvation Army Tax Clinic (OR)

(705) 326-3472
Visit https://www.nsmhealthline.ca/displayservice.aspx?id=169507 for more information.
By appointment only.

Government of Canada Certified Tax Software

The NETFILE and ReFILE services will be open until Friday, January 22, 2021. Visit https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/e-services/e-services-individuals/netfile-overview/certified-software-netfile-program.html for more information.

UFile (TB & OR)

As a member of LUSU and the Canadian Federation for Students (CFS), you have access to a FREE online tax filing for free from UFile!  To file for free, members must:

  • Sign in to a new or existing UFile account (visit www.ufilefree.ca) for the current tax year

  • Enter tuition fees and months at school (must file T2202a)

  • Locate the “Special Offer” form in UFile’s left-hand navigation

  • Enter the special offer code: CFS1981

    • (note: entering the code CFS1981 at check-out will not discount the tax file, the student must enter the code in the Special Offer section.)

Visit https://cfs-fcee.ca/services/ for more information, or contact LUSU at general@lusu.ca.

Am I required to have a negative COVID-19 test in order to board my flight travelling into or outside of Canada?

As of January 7th 2021, all travellers seeking entry to Canada are required to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 molecular polymerase chain reaction (or PCR) test completed 72 hours prior to their flight departure (96 hours for select destinations: https://tc.canada.ca/en/initiatives/covid-19-measures-updates-guidance-issued-transport-canada/covid-19-pre-departure-testing-transport-canada-interim-order).

Please visit this link for more information. 

For students travelling internationally, you must familiarize yourself with COVID-19 testing requirements prior to booking your flight. Some countries also require proof of a negative COVID-19 test to travel along with other requirements.  

For students needing a negative COVID-19 test to travel outside of Canada, testing for international travel is currently only being done by a private lab company Northstream Labs in Thunder Bay.  (Message from NorthStream Labs: Please be advised that our 888 number is not working at present, however it should be restored within the week. To reach us please call 807-630-4446 or 807-631-3020.)  Please visit their webpage for information on how to access their testing services. Do not contact Thunder Bay Public Health Unit, as they will not perform COVID-19 tests for international travel at this time.

If my visa is rejected can I still study my online classes?

Yes, you can still continue your winter semester online, however these courses will not be counted towards your post-graduate work permit duration upon graduation. They will however be counted towards your course requirements for degree completion. We would recommend you make an appointment with Lakehead University’s Immigration Advisor at 

https://www.lakeheadu.ca/international/online-community/appointments?service=Immigration+Advising

To resubmit your study permit application right away if you decide to continue your studies. 

I am planning to travel to Lakehead from outside of Canada? Are students arriving from outside of Canada eligible for entry?

Traveling from outside of Canada during COVID-19 is a fluid process- changing daily. As such every student traveling from outside of Canada should be checking IRCC’s website for accurate up to date information at this link prior to travel. https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-covid19/students.html

All students traveling from outside of Canada now require Lakehead University’s quarantine approval letter and must submit a request 96 hours prior to travel.Lakehead University is now approved for it's COVID-19 Readiness plan.  Lakehead University has been updated on the designated learning institution list (DLI) and you can view this at the following webpage:
https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-covid19/students.html

In addition to Lakehead University being added onto the approved Covid-19 Readiness Plan DLI list, you must also review the following information and submit your LU Quarantine Commitment Plan.  You are required to have an Approved Quarantine Commitment Plan letter prior to travelling. Students are required to submit their quarantine plan online to Lakehead at:

https://www.lakeheadu.ca/international/current/before/international-student-quarantine-plan

Please refer to our Quarantine page for more information before making a travel plan.

Prior to travelling from outside of Canada, it is a student’s responsibility to check IRCC’s link to ensure that Lakehead University has been added to the IRCC’s designated institution list.

Are there any events or workshops I can attend this term?

Yes! Lakehead International has weekly events, sessions, and workshops to keep you engaged and informed. Please visit our LUI Online Community of Care webpage to review the upcoming online programming! https://www.lakeheadu.ca/international/online-community/upcoming-events

I am an LU student and I think I may have the symptoms for COVID? What should I do?
Please visit this website for the procedures and phone numbers to follow.
How can I apply for a SIN number?

Service Canada continues to provide critical services online during these extraordinary times,including the newly launched e-Social Insurance Number (eSIN). Through eSIN, individuals can quickly  and easily apply online for their SIN. Please visit https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/sin/apply.html#online



Does my program have a spring intake?

Most intakes are for Fall and Winter but you can find intakes for programs at  https://www.lakeheadu.ca/programs/graduate/academic-information/options/start-terms  

Can the refund date be extended?

The refund for Undergraduate students is January 18th.

The refund for Graduate students is January 22nd.

Please visit 

https://www.lakeheadu.ca/students/finances/tuition-fees/refunds/refund-schedule-

The refund dates are inline and in some cases very generous in comparison to other Canadian higher educational institutions.

Can I travel to Canada mid-semester?

After receiving Study Permit and visa approval your next step is to get your quarantine approval letter. You must plan for mandatory 14 days of quarantine upon arrival into Canada.  To get a quarantine approval travel letter visit 

https://www.lakeheadu.ca/international/current/before/international-student-quarantine-plan

You must have your quarantine plan pre-approved prior to travel to Canada anytime during the winter or upcoming semesters during this pandemic. If you have deferred your admission, you are only able to arrive in Canada up to 60 days prior to classes starting.

Do I need my AIP (first stage visa approval) to start my courses online?

As long as you have submitted your study permit application prior to December 15th, IRCC indicates you can start your online classes while your visa is processing. Having AIP (approved in principle) indicates your application has gone through the initial approval process. For full details, please visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-covid19/students.html#apply-study-permit 



When is the deadline to defer my admission?

Graduate studies has extended deferral deadlines for Winter 2021 and students are now able to defer their Winter 2021 studies to Fall 2021 with no academic penalty. Please reach out to graduate studies immediately if you are a graduate student in need of a deferral extension at gstudent@lakeheadu.ca

For undergraduate students please visit to fill out a form https://www.lakeheadu.ca/studentcentral/applying/deferral-of-admission

 

All of my courses are full for the winter term, how can I be a full time student?

This is very important as you must be registered full time to be eligible to be issued an approved Quarantine Approval Travel Letter. Please contact your Graduate Coordinator about course registration and they will assist you. Graduate and Undergraduate students can also reach out to Student Central at studentcentral@lakeheadu.ca for help with course registration. For the regulations about being a full time student, please visit our website here

What happens if my visa is refused after the refund deadline?

Lakehead University recognizes the decision to study without an approved study permit or visa is a difficult decision.  This is an unprecedented time with lots of uncertainty so deciding to study without an approved study permit or visa is individually based on your personal ability to manage risk. If your visa is refused after the deadline for refund, you may wish to continue your studies (these courses will still count towards your degree completion) and reapply for your study permit. You will also have valuable recognized and transferable academic credit which will assist you in your academic goals.

Does Lakehead Residence offer quarantine facilities?

Yes both the Thunder Bay and Orillia (Simcoe County) offer quarantine packages for students. On campus quarantine is highly recommended and you will find it the fastest method for getting your quarantine approved as quickly as possible for travel. Students are responsible for their quarantine fees and ensuring they have access to food and necessities of life during their mandatory 14 day quarantine (longer if you test positive for COVID-19). Please visit the LU Quarantine Commitment Plan website for more information https://www.lakeheadu.ca/international/current/before/international-student-quarantine-plan

I am a graduate student with a Graduate Assistant position for Winter 2021. What is the latest I can arrive in Canada to still be able to be employed as a Graduate Assistant?

The winter term appointment will commence no later than Monday, March 1, 2021 and conclude on April 30, 2021.  International students must have all required employment documentation including but not limited to a valid study permit, valid social insurance number, valid Canadian bank account by March 1, 2021 before duties commence.  Students must complete the required 135 hours associated with a half-time appointment within the condensed employment appointment.  Students will not work more than the maximum of twenty (20) hours per week in any given week.

Can I quarantine anywhere in Canada?

As a student at Lakehead University you are required to quarantine in two locations only:  Thunder Bay or Orillia (Simcoe Country). No exceptions as our campuses are guided by local public health authority requirements for these regions. Prior to travel 

You must visit the Lakehead University Quarantine Approval website to have your quarantine approved and receive a Quarantine Approval Letter for travel. Visit: https://www.lakeheadu.ca/international/current/before/international-student-quarantine-plan Please read all of the information carefully. 

If my Visa gets rejected after January 15th, can I defer my admission to Spring intake?

Graduate students are able to defer past this deadline.  Please be aware of the refund schedule and email gstudent@lakeheadu.ca to inquire about a late deferrals.

How can I protect myself from being a victim of a scam?
As many of you are aware, fraud and scams are prevalent within our society.  You can be targeted by email, phone call, text message or even paper mail.  Scammers will pretend to be immigration authorities, various banks or government agencies. You should never provide any personal details to anyone over the phone or online.
 
Most recently, international students in Canada have been targeted through phone, text message and email schemes. Some things to be aware of are,
 
1. Fake calls from immigration: For eg. Asking you to pay to avoid deportation.
2. Rental Scams: For eg. Fake housing ads on kijiji asking you to pay advance. Please verify that the property actually exists before proceeding and is as per the description in the advertisement.
3. Fraudulent Messages from Banks: For eg. Emails saying that a certain amount has been credited to your account and you need to click on a link and enter your bank information.
4. Employment Scams: For eg. Asking you to cash cheques and buying gift cards in return for employment opportunities.
5. Fake Calls about Family: For eg. Fake calls claiming that a family member has been admitted to hospital or kidnapped. Students are also reminded to keep in regular contact with their families back home.
6. Fake Phone number: Another recent type of scam doing the rounds is that individuals posing as Government officials like Border Services Personnel or Justice Department Officials call unsuspecting students and ask them to pay for legal counselors through Google Gift cards, Walmart cards, Itunes cards etc. An important thing to note about this scam is that the phone numbers appear to be from the actual agency.
 
Please note that NO GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL ANYWHERE WILL EVER ASK YOU TO PAY A FINE OR FEES THROUGH ANY TYPE OF GIFT CARDS NOR WILL THEY CONTACT YOU THROUGH PHONE OR EMAIL. A common tactic used by these scammers is to scare or threaten you, saying that you will be deported or arrested. If you ever get such a call or email and you are not sure, please contact the International office immediately.

Tips to protect yourself from fraud

  • Don’t be fooled by the promise of a valuable prize in return for a low-cost purchase.
  • Don't be scared or fooled into providing passport details to those portraying as immigration officials
  • Be extra cautious about calls, emails or mail offering international bonds or lottery tickets, a portion of a foreign dignitary’s bank account, free vacations, credit repair or schemes with unlimited income potential.
  • Don’t be afraid to hang up the phone, delete the email or close your Internet connection.
  • Don’t purchase a product or service without carefully checking out the product, service and company.
  • Don’t be afraid to request further documentation from the caller so you can verify the validity of the company.
  • Don’t disclose personal information about your finances, bank accounts, credit cards, social insurance and driver’s license numbers to any business
  • Shred unwanted personal information such as bank statements, credit card bills, unwanted receipts, cheques, pre-approved credit applications and old tax returns.
  • Check your credit report every year and report problems immediately.
  • If a scam artist contacts you, or if you’ve been defrauded: Report it! Your reports are vital to the anti-fraud efforts of law enforcement agencies.
  • Please do not click on pop-up notification windows showing that your PC or IMac is infected with malware.
  • Beware of unsolicited text messages offering employment. If a job sounds too good to be true, it is.
  • A legitimate employer will never ask you to accept money into your personal bank account. They will also not send you money and request a part of it back.

Please also visit the following links for more information on protecting yourself and your identity.

https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/protect-fraud.html
http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/03809.html#tab2

https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/protect-fraud/internet-email-telephone.html

If I travel outside of Thunderbay or Simcoe County within Ontario or within Canada do I need to quarantine when I return?

Should members of our University community need to travel outside of Northwestern Ontario or Simcoe County, they are to avoid Lakehead University properties for 14 days upon their return.

Students living in our Residences who need to travel must contact Residence Services about any specific travel precautions and the necessary steps to be taken upon their return to ensure the health of other residents and staff.

Please adhere to your regional Health Unit's guidelines regarding travel and quarantine rules upon your return (Thunder Bay District Health Unit's travel guidance; Simcoe-Muskoka District Health Unit's guidelines).

Now that the study break has been extended, can I continue to work full time?

Yes, this extension is considered a scheduled break, and eligible international students may work full time for an additional week.