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International Tuition Fee Exemptions

International students belonging to one of the below student groups may be eligible to pay domestic tuition fees under certain conditions, as determined at the time of the students’ enrolment. 

Students are responsible for notifying the International Admissions Office of their status upon application, and must submit all relevant documents to international.documents@senecacollege.ca before the start of classes in order to be considered for the reduction in tuition fees for that term.  Seneca will not grant tuition fee adjustments retroactively for previous terms completed.

While international students are considered by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to be a foreign national, they are still required to have a valid study permit. There is an exception for students with diplomatic status with official accreditation from the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs.

Eligible Student Groups

Canadian citizen

A citizen of Canada as defined in the Citizenship Act or a person registered as an Indigenous Person as defined by the Indian Act.

Documents required:

  1. Canadian birth certificate
  2. Canadian passport  

 

Permanent resident 

A permanent resident as defined in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. This includes:

  • A person who has been granted “permanent resident” status and has not had that status revoked.
  • A person who has met all the preliminary requirements for permanent resident status and presents a copy of the letter which confirms that Citizenship and Immigration Canada has accepted their application for permanent resident status.

Documents required:

  1. Permanent residency card
  2. Passport

 

Protected person

  • An applicant who has been determined to be a convention refugee or a person in need of protection by the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) or by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada. A student eligible for international fee exemption as a protected person is to present a protected person status 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 Immigration and Refugee Board.
  • Applicant for convention refugee status prior to 1989: a person admitted to and remaining in Canada, who applied for convention refugee status prior to Jan. 1, 1989, and his or her spouse and dependents. The applicant must provide documentation from Citizenship and Immigration Canada indicating that his or her application for convention refugee status was made prior to Jan. 1, 1989, or a letter indicating his or her exemption from the requirement for employment authorization. All refugee claimants who applied for convention refugee status prior to 1989 should have been issued this letter.

Documents required:

  1. Passport
  2. Notice of decision issued by the Immigration and Refugee Board

 

A person who is a spouse or dependent family member of a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident

Documents required:

  1. Original passport of Canadian citizen or permanent residency card of resident
If spouse:
If dependent:

Official visitor and spouse or dependent family members and staff 

An official visitor is a foreign representative who, with official accreditation from the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, has entered Canada or is in Canada to carry out official duties:

  • as a diplomatic agent or consular officer
  • as a government-accredited representative or official of a country other than Canada, of the United Nations or any of its agencies, or of any intergovernmental organizations of which Canada is a member. A spouse or dependent family member or a member of the staff of any such official visitor is also exempt from international student tuition fees.

Documents required:

  1. Passport of the visitor with diplomatic status
  2. Proof of diplomatic status  
If spouse:
If dependent:

Foreign worker and spouse or dependent family members 

A foreign worker is a foreign national who is authorized to work in Canada having been issued a work permit. For purposes of this category, a foreign worker is to present a valid work permit, which names a Canadian employer situated in Ontario and the prospective occupation, and is valid for at least six months. The family member must present the foreign worker’s work permit. If a student has a work permit without naming a specific Canadian employer situated in Ontario, the student and his/her family members are not exempted from international student fees.

Documents required:

  1. Passport of the visitor with the work permit
  2. Valid work permit
  3. Letter from employer named on work permit  
If spouse:
If dependent:

Foreign clergy member and spouse or dependent family members 

A person who will be providing services to a religious congregation in Ontario for at least six months and the family members of such personnel.

Documents required:

  1. Passport of the visitor with status as foreign clergy
  2. Valid work permit
  3. Letter from employer 
If spouse:
If dependent:

Foreign military and spouse or dependent family members 

A member of a foreign military force or of a civilian component thereof, admitted to Canada under the Visiting Forces Act, and the family members of such personnel.

Documents required:

  1. Passport of the visitor with status as foreign military
  2. Valid work permit
  3. Letter from employer  
If spouse:
If dependent:

Institutional exchange student

A person admitted to and remaining in Canada under provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, who is studying in Canada under a formal agreement between a provincially assisted institution in Ontario and a postsecondary institution in another country, provided that, under such agreement, the number of places made available in postsecondary educational institutions in Ontario normally equals the number of places made available to Ontario residents in the other country or institution as the case may be.

 

Additional Details and Definitions

Family members are defined consistent with the regulations under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act for purposes of exemption as:

  • a spouse or common-law partner
  • a dependent child, or the dependent child of a spouse or common-law partner
  • 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:

  • under age 22 and not a spouse or common-law partner
  • 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
  • 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

Change in Status

Where changes to federal legislation regarding immigration and refugee status are in conflict with the fee exemption eligibility requirements described in this document, federal legislation is to take precedence.

For all categories of individuals who are exempt from paying international student tuition fees, the status they hold (e.g., permanent resident, protected person, Convention refugee, worker) that enables them to be eligible for exemption is to be valid and their permits/documents current during the academic period for which they have sought exemption. Otherwise, they will be subject to the international student tuition fees.

In cases where a permit will expire partway through the first semester, the student should be advised to obtain an extension before the semester starts in order to be exempt from the international fee for the first semester. Where a requirement for fee exemption eligibility is met partway through a semester, the exemption is to apply to the next semester of the student's enrolment. For example, if a student's permit is current for the first semester, but will expire some time during the second semester the student is to be exempt from the international fee for the first semester, but should obtain an extension on the permit before the second semester starts in order to be exempt from the international student tuition fees for the second semester.

Where the status of a student who was eligible for exemption from international student tuition fees changes partway through his or her program of instruction due to circumstances beyond the student’s control (e.g., as in the case of the dependent of a diplomat whose parent is reassigned to another country), the exemption is to continue while the student completes the original course or program of instruction for which he or she was granted exemption from international student fees. The continuation of the fee exemption does not apply to any other course or program of instruction that the student may undertake following completion of the original course or program.

 

Submitting an Application to Seneca

Those applicants that will be exempt from paying international tuition fees due to their status within Canada should apply through our International Student Web Application. All required documentation should be uploaded into the application, including copies of the applicant’s passport, required documents to assess international tuition fee exemption, credentials, transcripts and English proficiency scores. 

Any documentation needing to be submitted after the application has been sent, or if the application was submitted through OCAS, should be emailed to international.documents@senecacollege.ca with your application number and/or Seneca student number.

In order to be eligible for the tuition fee reduction, all documents must be submitted by the first day of classes as published in the Important Academic Dates web page.

 

Confirming a Seat in the Program

Once an application has been reviewed by International Admissions, and you are determined eligible for an offer of admission, you will receive an email asking you to confirm a program choice you have qualified for on Student Home

After confirming the program, an official Offer of Admissions (Letter of Acceptance) will be sent by email. Applicants should use this offer letter to apply for a study permit. If you have questions about applying for a study permit, please contact seneca.international@senecacollege.ca

The Offer of Admissions package will include a Fees Statement outlining the tuition fees for the first semester and its due date. As per the statement, applicants will need to pay the full first semester tuition by the due date in order to hold a seat in the program. A $500 non-refundable deposit towards tuition may be paid for those that qualify to apply for OSAP. More information about paying tuition fees can be found on the fee payments web page.

 

Additional Opportunities to Study at Seneca

General Arts – English for Academic Purposes (GEA)

If English isn’t your first language or if you have completed less than four years of school in an English-speaking secondary school, you can improve your English skills in Seneca’s GEA Program. The program is eight months long and includes courses in writing, reading, speaking and listening. After completing the program, you may enter into a diploma program at Seneca or enter the workforce. 

World Education Services (WES) Gateway Program

The WES Gateway Program seeks to further the academic and career goals of qualified individuals who, because of adverse circumstances in their country of education, lack standard proof of academic achievement.

WES works with community and institutional partners to serve eligible clients. Seneca is a referral partner of this program and is able to support you in your application for credential evaluation.

Through the Gateway Program, WES can reliably validate and assess the education of individuals displaced by political unrest, conflict and natural disasters even when verifiable documents are not available  The WES Gateway Program provides eligible participants with a high-quality credential evaluation report that can be accepted and recognized by employers, higher education institutions and regulatory bodies in Canada.

A credential evaluation report describes each credential you have earned using standard Canadian education terminology. The report will provide an equivalency statement comparing the credential you earned to a similar credential in Canada.

How to apply:

The program is currently available to individuals who:

  • have an active application with Seneca and hold an application number
  • possess at least one piece of credible evidence issued by their academic institution
  • were educated in Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Ukraine or Venezuela

To apply for the WES Gateway Program, you must meet and be referred to the program by an institution-appointed International Admissions or Recruitment Adviser. To schedule an appointment contact internationaladmissions@senecacollege.ca with your full name and application number.