Study permit letter


New Member
I'm starting a PhD program at UBC this autumn. I have a US passport, but am currently residing and studying in the UK. I filled out the application online at the website and submitted it on 2 June. Then on 7 June, I got a update on my account, which was a letter stating that my application was approved, and a permit would be issued on my arrival after an interview, and that I should bring a copy of the letter, and other documents.

However, the letter, which is dated 06 June, states quite clearly, "Must Enter Canada By 2016-06-06". What?! Travel back in time and enter yesterday?! I've looked online, and it seems that if it says this, and you don't enter Canada by that date, you have to make another application. And presumably pay another $150!

Is this a mistake? The university website suggested applying for a study permit ASAP, since it could take weeks or months, so that's what I did. My documents clearly stated the program started on 6 September, and I was not planning to arrive until the end of August or so. Is the online application only for people physically waiting to cross at the border? Otherwise, how do you know exactly what date your application will be approved on, so you can immediately cross that day, before the letter expires? If this is the case, should I fly out to the US first, then submit an online study permit application, hang out at a hotel just across the border, then immediately cross the day the letter comes, hopefully before midnight?

I'm very very confused. What is the point of issuing an approval letter for people coming from abroad if it expires the same day it's issued? I can't see how most people could comply with the terms of the letter - fortunately I hold a US passport, so I might be able to hang out just across the border until approved, but that's kind of crazy. (We'll let you in if you can get here in the next 10 minutes, thanks for the application fee).

I'd appreciate any input on whether this is the normal procedure. I tried calling the cic number, but of course, they don't answer questions from abroad.


Riley Haas

Staff member
Hi Nina,
You should submit a "Case Specific Enquiry" using this form Your application number should be on the letter and start with an "S." The alternative is to call IRCC at 1-888-242-2100 but the Call Centre may or may not be able to help you (and, since you're in the UK, you can't call them directly...though you could try using VOIP, and see if that works).
I would assume it's a typo, personally. But you don't want to go to the port of entry with a typo on your letter, in case you get someone who is not willing to believe that typos happen.

Hope this helps.


New Member
Thanks a bunch for your speedy reply! I've been fretting about it all day. Yes, a typo would make sense. I've filled in a case enquiry as you suggested. Fingers crossed it's some mundane error and I won't have to re-apply. I'll update the forum with the resolution. Thanks again.


New Member
Hi all,
I thought I would update the thread. I finally heard back from cic today, a couple of weeks after my initial inquiry. There was just a new letter of introduction to download in my account, no explanation for the previous one - and this time they've allowed me up to four and a half years to enter (anytime before Decemeber 2020)! I'd only asked for two months' extension. It's been a bit of a surreal experience dealing with them. Oh well, at least that's sorted now. Thanks again, Riley, for your friendly help.