Certificat d’acceptation du Quebec (CAQ)

The province of Quebec is unique in the landscape of Canadian immigration. The federal government has granted Quebec significantly more autonomy in the conduct of immigration policies and procedures, which is why Quebec’s immigration programs are often treated separately from the other provinces.

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A number of Quebec’s temporary resident programs require a certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ), or Quebec Acceptance Certificate, to authorize stay in Quebec.

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A Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) authorizes temporary stay in the Province of Quebec. Not to be confused with a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ), which authorizes permanent stay in the province.

Foreign nationals interested in attending a post-secondary institution in the province of Quebec have to complete an extra step compared to all other provinces and territories in Canada. If a foreign national wishes to study in Quebec for a period longer than 6 months, they must obtain a CAQ. Foreign nationals are only eligible to submit a study permit application after they have obtained a CAQ. But there is also some cases when a CAQ is not necessary

Apply for a CAQ

Below are the step-by-step instructions a foreign national may follow to obtain a certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ):

1 – Letter of Acceptance In order to apply for a CAQ, a foreign national must first demonstrate that they have been accepted into a program of study at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) located in the province of Quebec. This is demonstrated through an acceptance letter, an official document issued by the institution attesting to the student’s acceptance into a study program.

2 – CAQ Documents In order to prepare a CAQ application, a foreign national must first determine which documents are required. Document requirements vary significantly depending on an applicant’s personal situation and country of citizenship. Country-specific requirements are listed on the Immigration Quebec website. Be very careful to ensure that your application is complete because any incorrect information or missing documents could result in the refusal of a CAQ, jeopardizing your chances of success.

3 – CAQ Application When a foreign national is ready to submit their CAQ, they can complete the application using the Immigration Quebec web portal. They must enter the required information and pay the application fees using a credit. Once the payment is submitted, the foreign national must print the application, sign it, and mail it in hard copy to the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI). Please note: Only original signatures are accepted on CAQ applications. Any application submitted without an original signature will be refused.

4 – After CAQ is Received Once an applicant successfully receives their CAQ, they must apply for a study permit from Canada’s federal government. Other than under exceptional circumstances, foreign nationals will not be authorized to participate in studies in Canada unless they have a valid study permit. Please note: Processing times for CAQs vary depending on the applicant’s country of citizenship and the volume of applications received by MIDI. Foreign nationals are advised to plan in advance to ensure they have adequate time to receive their CAQ and study permit before their intended start date.

CAQ Requirements

When applying for a CAQ, an applicant must ensure that they meet all requirements outlined by the Quebec immigration agency, le Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI). The following are general requirements for staying in Quebec as an international student, though it should be noted that the exact requirements may vary from person to person. To obtain a CAQ for an educational program in Quebec, a foreign national must:

  • Possess an acceptance letter from a DLI in Quebec
  • Pay all application fees for the processing of a CAQ
  • Commit to making studies their principal activity
  • Ensure that they have health and hospitalization insurance for the duration of their stay*
  • Demonstrate sufficient means of financial support to cover tuition costs and cost of living while residing in Quebec**

* Most educational institutions will offer health insurance packages to their students. ** Some applicants are exempt from this requirement.

How Canadim Can Help

Canadim’s International Student Program assists foreign nationals with every step of the process to become a Canadian international student. From selecting a school and program of study, to obtaining an acceptance letter, to applying for a CAQ and study permit, clients can expect one-on-one guidance. Every International Student Program client is paired with an Educational Counsellor who will help them discover their dream of living in Canada!

To discuss your eligibility for studies in Canada please complete our free student assessment and one of our Educational Counsellors will contact you to discuss your needs.

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