McMaster University

McMaster University


The only document that proves your identity outside your home country is the passport. You must plan to renew your passport at least 6 months before it expires.  Be aware that many countries in the world require passports valid for at least 6 months even if the foreign national only needs it for a brief layover.

Needless to say it is also an unpleasant experience to find out on the last minute that you cannot renew your study permit or apply for any program delivered by Citizenship and Immigration Canada if your passport has expired or that its expiry date is too close.

Canada cannot issue foreign passports.  Passports can only be issued by the Consulate, Embassy or whichever authority represents your country in Canada.  A simple search on the web can provide you the contact information of the nearest Consulate of your country.

Keep in mind that you will be using your country's consular services.  Obtaining a passport can be a lengthy process due to different modes of scrutiny, staff members and time of the year.  Plan yourself accordingly.  Having an expired passport does not guarantee that you can stay in Canada without a proper immigration document.


  • If your study permit will expire at the same time as your passport, one of the main documents that you will need is an updated passport.  Renew your passport first, but give it enough time for you to receive it and renew your study permit.  

    DO NOT LOSE YOUR IMMIGRATION STATUS as an international student because you do not have an updated passport.  This is not lawfully justifiable.
  • If your study permit will expire before your passport expires, RENEW your passport allowing enough time to receive it and renew your study permit.  If you renew your study permit with your old passport, you will only get a study permit renewed up to the validity  date detailed on your old passport.  This would mean that when you renew your passport, you will need to renew your study permit again (and re-pay all the mandatory fees!).

Back to Immigration Matters


Laws in Canada, including immigration regulations, as in most countries of the world, are enforced, regardless of whether the individual knows about them or not. It is your responsibility, not that of McMaster University, to maintain your immigration status and to obey immigration regulations while studying in Canada. Check your immigration documents (Study Permit, Work Permit and/or Temporary Resident Visa) to ensure that they are accurate and that they have not expired. It is your responsibility to take action to renew your documents before they expire. If you have questions about any of your immigration documents, if you need help understanding them or if you have questions about any other immigration issues, please visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).