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Crossing the border into Canada with a student visa-- changing universities

Crossing the border into Canada with a student visa-- changing universities

Old Jul 27th 2007, 4:20 pm
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Default Crossing the border into Canada with a student visa-- changing universities

Please give me some advice!

My situation is that I am currently living in Chile and I have already been to the Canadian Embassy here. There, I applied for and was granted a student visa in late May so that I can start a Master`s program in Canada this September. My common law partner was issued an open work permit as well.

We will be travelling to Canada on August 4th, and I understand that we have to take the letters that the Canadian embassy in Chile issued us, and at the border they will issue our visas (although I do have what looks like a visa sealed into my passport right now). We should also take with us all the supporting documents that we turned in to the embassy here.

However, after applying for and being granted the student visa using my letter from acceptance and offer of funding from one university (University of Alberta in Edmonton), I was offered a much better offer of funding from a different university (University of Calgary). I decided to accept the offer from the University of Calgary in June, after already having been issued my student visa in Chile.

I read that it`s not necessary to notify Immigration in Canada if one decides to change from one university to another once you are already in Canada. However, will the agents at the Canadian border have the specific information that I turned in to the Canadian Embassy in Chile? Will it be a problem that I have finally decided to attend a different university, and not the university whose letter I presented with my original visa application?

Or, since it says you can change universities without making any changes to your visa once you are in Canada, would it be better at the border for me to show the same letter of acceptance that I presented with my original application and just say I will be attending that school (even though I won`t)?

I hope you understand my question and that someone can give me advice! I would hate to have complications at the border for myself and my common law partner! However, I received a late offer from the University of Calgary with an excellent funding package that I decided I couldn`t turn down (even though I had already applied for and been granted a visa thinking I would go to Alberta).

Thanks for your suggestions!
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Old Jul 28th 2007, 2:50 am
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Default Re: Crossing the border into Canada with a student visa-- changing universities

lhasa, last time I looked, Calgary was in Alberta???
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Old Jul 28th 2007, 3:14 am
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Default Re: Crossing the border into Canada with a student visa-- changing universities

Originally Posted by Howard1944
lhasa, last time I looked, Calgary was in Alberta???
The OP is talking of the University of Alberta
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Old Jul 28th 2007, 5:04 am
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Default Re: Crossing the border into Canada with a student visa-- changing universities

Right, both universities are in the province of Alberta. So either way my final destination is the same province. My question is if it`s a problem that I`ve changed universities since applying for my visa at the Canadian embassy in Chile.
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Old Jul 28th 2007, 5:16 am
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Default Re: Crossing the border into Canada with a student visa-- changing universities

Originally Posted by lhasa289
Right, both universities are in the province of Alberta. So either way my final destination is the same province. My question is if it`s a problem that I`ve changed universities since applying for my visa at the Canadian embassy in Chile.
Doesn't your study permit documentation specify a university?
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Old Jul 28th 2007, 5:23 am
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Default Re: Crossing the border into Canada with a student visa-- changing universities

The permission sealed into my passport doesn`t say where I would be studying, it just gives my student number and says I have a student authorization valid for two years. The letter that the Canadian Embassy in Chile gave me doesn`t say anything about the information I turned into them, it just says that I have been issued a student authorization and should take the letter with me to the border, where my information has already been sent to immigration officials.

I found this regarding the new student visa policy in Canada, which says you can change universities without making any changes to your visa:
"On January 31, 2005, CIC introduced a new policy for international students in post-secondary studies in Canada. These students can now transfer between programs of study and institutions without applying for a change to the conditions of their study permit. They can also transfer between public and private institutions.

This policy applies to students who have a valid Study Permit for training or studying at the post-secondary level, such as:
• University
• Community College, CEGEP, Institute
• Private university, career college, academy, school or training institution
• ESL/FSL and other language training

All post-secondary students currently studying in Canada with a valid Study Permit are covered by this policy. You do not need to submit an IMM1249 (Application to Change Conditions, Extend my Stay or Remain in Canada) to transfer between institutions."

So, it seems like it shouldn`t be a problem for me to change universities once I am in Canada.

What I`m not sure is what that means in my case, since I am not yet in Canada. I applied for my student visa using the letter of acceptance I had received from the University of Alberta. However, I have since decided to attend the University of Calgary. Will that be a problem at the border?
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Old Jul 28th 2007, 11:08 am
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Default Re: Crossing the border into Canada with a student visa-- changing universities

All quotes you provided apply to students already studying in Canada. You are still abroad and didn't start studying yet. Thus yes - you may have problems at the border as what you got from visa post is not yet a study permit. Such will be issued at the port of entry upon standard examination - and since facts changed since you got approval notice you may be refused study permit.
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Old Jul 28th 2007, 12:03 pm
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Default Re: Crossing the border into Canada with a student visa-- changing universities

Originally Posted by Andrew Miller
All quotes you provided apply to students already studying in Canada. You are still abroad and didn't start studying yet. Thus yes - you may have problems at the border as what you got from visa post is not yet a study permit. Such will be issued at the port of entry upon standard examination - and since facts changed since you got approval notice you may be refused study permit.
Andrew
Is it "may be" or "probably will be"?

What should she do to reduce the risk of any issues arising?
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Old Jul 28th 2007, 1:01 pm
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Default Re: Crossing the border into Canada with a student visa-- changing universities

I know few who managed to get study permit issued and quite few more who wer refused under similar circumstances. This is why I wrote "may be". Of course I can't be sure if what any of mentioned told me is a full truth or their interpretation of what took place at the port of entry.

IMHO she should contact visa post.
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