Exemptions at the university level through a signed agreement between the Québec Government and foreign governments
A set number of exemptions from the differential tuition fees are granted to students from a country or international organization that has signed a student mobility agreement at the university level with the Québec Government [available in French only]. Only students enrolled in a degree program (bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral) are eligible.
Moreover, nationals of France or the French Community of Belgium are covered by a signed agreement with the Québec government that grants special provisions.
Students from France
Through the student mobility agreement between the governments of Québec and France, French students in a bachelor’s program qualify for tuition rates identical to those of Canadian students who are not Québec residents. French students in master’s or doctoral programs, or undertaking technical or vocational training, qualify for tuition fees identical to those of Québec residents.
To benefit from these rates, students need a valid French passport and a study permit in accordance with Canadian immigration legislation. A Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) must also be obtained.
Students from the French community of Belgium
Through the student mobility agreement between Québec and the French community of Belgium, Belgian university students in a bachelor’s program qualify for tuition rates identical to those of Canadian students who are not Québec residents. Belgian university students in master’s or doctoral programs qualify for tuition fees identical to those of Québec residents.
To benefit from these rates, students need a valid Belgian passport and a study permit in accordance with Canadian immigration legislation. A Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) must also be obtained.
In addition, Belgian students must also meet one of the following conditions:
- be identified as French-speaking on their Belgian identity card, and provide a copy thereof
- hold a Certificat d’enseignement secondaire supérieur (CESS) or a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a compulsory educational institution or an institution of higher education overseen or subsidized by the French community of Belgium
How to receive an exemption
This section is for students who are neither from France nor from the French community of Belgium.
If your country has signed a student mobility agreement [available in French only] and you would like to be exempted from the differential tuition fees normally charged to foreign university students in Québec, you must follow these steps:
- Contact the person responsible for managing the exemption for your country or international organization, who will inform you of the selection criteria.
- Submit an application to a university in Québec.
- Once you have been admitted into a degree program (bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral), submit the letter of acceptance (conditional or final) or an up-to-date registration certificate to the person responsible for managing the exemption. Also submit the completed and signed Application form for an exemption from differential tuition fees Appendix II (a hand-written signature is mandatory).
- The person responsible for managing the exemption will let you know if your application was accepted, and if you were selected as a candidate.
- Obtain a Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) from the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI) and a study permit from the Government of Canada.
Please note that you may have to complete a compulsory internship as part of your Québec program of study. If this is the case, you will also need to apply for a co-op or intern work permit before proceeding with the full-time internship.
What you need to know about your application
Under the student mobility agreement, your country is responsible for all candidate selection. All requests for exemption must be made through the official authorities of your country, i.e. the person responsible for candidate selection. Neither you nor the Québec government can circumvent this process. Any requests made directly to the Ministère will not be considered.
Duration of the exemption
Exemption from the differential tuition fees is awarded for full-time enrolment in credit courses that are part of the program for which the exemption was requested. The duration of the exemption depends on each individual program:
- Bachelor’s programs: the maximum duration is three consecutive years for 90-credit programs, and four consecutive years for 120-credit programs.
- Master’s programs: the maximum duration is two consecutive years.
- Doctoral (PhD) programs: the maximum duration is three consecutive years.
Independent studies and short programs at all levels are excluded (certificates, microprograms, specialized graduate studies diploma, etc.)
Important to know
- An exemption is granted exclusively for the regular duration of a program, even if it is granted during the program.
- You cannot benefit from an exemption beyond the regular program length, as defined by the educational institution.
- An exemption cannot be granted for studies shorter than a year.
- You cannot obtain an exemption more than once, except when moving up to the next program level. For example, you can obtain a first exemption for a bachelor’s degree and a second one for a master’s degree, but not for a second bachelor’s degree.
- If you are taking foundation courses or pursuing preparatory studies for the program for which you are requesting an exemption, you could be eligible for an exemption limited to one additional year beyond the regular length of your program.
- You are allowed to complete a compulsory internship during the fall or winter semester. However, if the internship does not allow you to obtain the credits required to complete your program of study within the scheduled time, you cannot request an extension of your exemption.
- Exemption is granted for courses taken during the summer semester as part of your program. However, you are not required to pursue full-time studies during the summer.
Conditions of the exemption
- The exemption applies to full-time credit courses that are part of the program for which you requested the exemption.
- To maintain your exemption status, you must pursue, without interruption, full-time studies during the fall and winter semesters in the program for which you requested the exemption.
- To change your program or institution, you must receive prior authorisation from your country and from the proper authority at the Ministère. This change must not extend the program beyond your established exemption period.
- The exemption may be withdrawn if the program requirements are not met, if you interrupt your studies, if you are no longer authorized to be registered in your program on a full-time basis, or if you violate the regulations of your educational institution.
- The exemption will be withdrawn should you fail to meet the immigration requirements of the Québec or Canadian authorities.
- Persons responsible for managing the exemption
- Country with a signed agreement with the Québec government [available in French only]