If you are an international student and currently in the process of applying for Permanent Residence with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and have received documents from IRCC, you may be eligible to pay domestic rather than international tuition fees starting this Fall term. For questions or information concerning your application for Permanent Residency, please visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website.


The following categories may qualify for an exemption from international tuition fees according to the Ontario Operating Funds Distribution Manual (October, 2009).

Legal Dependent* (effective September 30, 2009)

For the purposes of an application for fee exemption, throughout this site wherever legal dependent is referred to the definition is as follows:

  1. spouse, (marriage certificate)
  2. a common-law partner (must be verified by an affidavit signed by both spouses confirming that they are living together in a conjugal relationship for not less than 1 year or that they are living together in a conjugal relationship and are raising any children of whom they both are natural or adoptive parents).
  3. a dependent child or the dependent child of a spouse or common-law partner; d) a dependent child of the dependent child referred to above. A dependent child is a child who is a biological child who has not been adopted by a person other than the spouse or common-law partner, or an adopted child;

And who is in one of the following situations of dependency:

  1. Under age 22 and not a spouse or common-law partner;
  2. Enrolled continuously at a college, university or other educational institution and dependent substantially on the financial support of the parent since before age 22 or since becoming a spouse or common-law partner if that occurred before age 22; or,
  3. A person with a disability who has been financially supported substantially by his or her parents and who is unable to be self-supporting because of the disability.

Documentation provided will be reviewed to ensure that it is sufficient to prove dependent relationship. A dependent child will be required to provide documents that validate age. If the dependent child is over 22 proof of continuous enrolment at an academic institution is required.

Canadian Citizen

A person who is a citizen of Canada within the meaning of the Citizenship Act (or legal dependent* of), or a person registered as an Indian within the meaning of the Indian Act. Documentation normally provided for Canadian Citizen: legal passport or Canadian Citizenship card.

Protected Person

A person, and his/her dependents, who: has been determined to be a protected persons (or legal dependent* of), including a Convention Refugee or a person in need of protection, within the meaning of subsection 95(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and by the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) or the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Documentation normally provided: A protected person document issued under section 31(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act or a “notice of decision” issued by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada or by the IRB must be presented with this application.

Permanent Resident of Canada

This category includes:

  1. A person who has been granted “permanent resident” status and has not had that status revoked; or Documentation normally provided: Permanent resident card
  2. A person who has been approved “in principle” for permanent resident status in Canada and is providing a letter which confirms that Citizenship and Immigration Canada determined this person eligible for immigration to Canada; or
  3. A person who meets the eligibility requirements to apply for permanent resident status in Canada and can provide a letter from Citizenship and Immigration Canada supporting this claim; or
  4. A person who is the legal dependent* of a Permanent Resident of Canada.

Visitor with Work Permit

A person who is a visitor (or legal dependent* of a visitor) who is authorized to work in Canada and has been issued a work permit (exclusions noted below). Documentation normally provided: Work permit for a specified employer with employer letter.

Note: The following persons are excluded from fee exemption in the visitor with work permit category:

  1. a visitor who is a graduate teaching assistant; and
  2. an international student holding a work permit to complete his/her co-op or internship employment; and
  3. an international student holding an open work permit for post-graduation work (usually up to 3 years of work opportunities upon graduation); and
  4. an international student whose spouse and common-law partner have received a work permit as a result of the international student holding a valid Study Permit; and
  5. an international student holding an “Off-Campus Work Permit.”


A person who was admitted to and remains in Canada with official accreditation from the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, who has entered Canada or is in Canada, to carry out official duties as :

  1. a diplomatic or consular officer; or
  2. as a Canadian government-accredited representatives or
  3. official of a country other than Canada, of the United Nations or any of its agencies , or
  4. any intergovernmental organizations of which Canada is a member; or
  5. as a dependent* of a member of the staff of any such diplomat, consular officer, representative or official accredited to Canada by the Canadian government; or
  6. a member of a foreign military force or of a civilian component thereof admitted to Canada under the Visiting Forces Act or any dependents of such personnel. Documentation normally provided for Diplomatic: Diplomatic Card.

Review of Exemption Status

In cases where the immigration status of an international student, who had previously been exempt from international tuition fees, changes part way through his/her program of study due to circumstances beyond their control (e.g., the dependent of a diplomat whose parent is reassigned to another country) grandparenting provisions maybe warranted. For students who meet the criteria and can substantiate their claim their exemption from international tuition fees will continue until the completion of that program, at which time the grandparenting provision will end. Requests of this nature are reviewed on a case by case basis by Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs in consultation with the Office of Institutional Research and Planning.


In order to apply for an exemption from International Tuition Fees, please submit a completed Certificate of Exemption from International Fees. Eligible graduate students must submit this form and required original documentation to Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs (512 Tory Building). Until the request for exemption has been approved by the appropriate office, students will be assessed for international tuition fees.

Supporting Documentation

Refer to the appropriate category (see “Eligibility” above) to see what documentation is normally provided. Additional documentation beyond what is described may be required in some cases. All documentation must be signed and presented within the established deadlines as described below.

Any documents that fall outside that which is normally accepted will be reviewed on case-by-case basis.


Original documentation must be provided with an application for exemption from international tuition fees. The documentation must be dated prior to the enrolment count date as appropriate:

  • Summer term: June 30
  • Fall term: November 1
  • Winter term: February 1

This documentation must be submitted to the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs office before the enrolment reporting date to the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development as appropriate:

  • Summer Term: August 12
  • Fall Term: November 28
  • Winter Term: February 27

If successful, the exemption from international tuition fees will only take place beginning the term in which the original documentation was dated and submitted. Retroactive exemption from international tuition fees in previous terms will not be granted. You must submit applications and supporting documentation within these deadlines.

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