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Exemptions from differential tuition fees under international agreements

An exemption from differential tuition fees may be granted by the Québec government to students from countries and international organizations that have signed a student mobility agreement.

French students

Under a student mobility agreement between the Québec and French governments, French university students in Cycle One (Bachelor’s) are eligible to pay the same fees as Canadians who are non-residents of Québec. French students enrolled in a Cycle Two or Three university program (Master’s and Ph.D.) or in technical or vocational training are eligible to pay the same fees as Québec residents. 

Eligibility 

To take advantage of these rates, students must have a valid French passport as well as a study permit that meets Canadian immigration regulations. They must also obtain a Québec Acceptance Certificate. 

Students with dual Canadian/French citizenship are not eligible for this exemption. 

Francophone Belgian students

Under a student mobility agreement between the Québec government and the government of the French Community of Belgium, qualifying Belgian university students in Cycle One (Bachelor’s) are eligible to pay the same fees as Canadians who are non-residents of Québec. Belgian students enrolled in a Cycle Two or Three university program (Master’s and Doctorate) are eligible to pay the same fees as Québec residents. 

Eligibility 

To take advantage of these tuition rates, students must have a valid Belgian passport as well as a study permit that meets Canadian immigration regulations. They must also obtain a Québec Acceptance Certificate.  

In addition, they must fulfill one of the following conditions: 

  • Be identified as a francophone Belgian on their identity card and provide a copy thereof 
  • Have a Certificate of Upper Secondary Education (CESS) or a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from an institution that provides compulsory education or an institution of higher learning, organized or subsidized by the French Community of Belgium. 

Students with dual Canadian/Belgian citizenship are not eligible for this exemption. 

Students in other categories 

Under student mobility agreements signed by the Québec government and some 40 countries and international organizations (PDF 185 Kb), exemptions from differential tuition fees may be granted to a predetermined number of university students. 

Eligibility 

To be eligible, students must be enrolled consecutively full-time during the fall and winter terms in a program leading to a Cycle One, Two or Three degree at an educational institution in Québec. Independent studies and short programs at all levels are not eligible (certificates, microprograms, specialized graduate studies diploma, etc.). They must also have a study permit that meets Canadian immigration regulations. They must also obtain a Québec Acceptance Certificate. They must be recommended by the person responsible for managing exemptions in their home country. 

Process 

  1. Contact the person responsible for managing exemptions in your home country or international organization (PDF 225 Kb) to learn about the selection criteria. 
  2. Apply to a Québec university. 
  3. 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. Submit the duly signed and completed  Application form for an exemption from differential tuition fees (Appendix II) (PDF 495 Kb) (handwritten signature required). 
  4. The person responsible for managing exemptions in your home country will inform you of whether your application has been accepted or refused and, where appropriate, if it has been sent to the Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur. All requests for exemption must be sent to the Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur by the official authorities of your country, i.e. the person responsible for managing exemptions. 
  5. The Ministère will submit its final decision to the person responsible for managing exemptions and to the educational institution.
  6. The person responsible for managing exemptions in your home country will inform you as to whether you have obtained an exemption and its duration.

Any requests made directly to the Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur will not be considered.

Duration of an exemption

The duration of an exemption depends on the cycle of study.

  • Bachelor’s programs (Cycle One): the maximum duration is three consecutive years for 90-credit programs, and four consecutive years for 120-credit programs.
  • Master’s programs (Cycle Two): the maximum duration is two consecutive years.
  • Doctoral programs (Cycle Three): the maximum duration is three consecutive years.

Clarifications

The student may take summer classes in the program for which they are requesting an exemption. However, they must continue their studies full-time in the same program during the fall and winter terms, comprising a total of 30 credits.

A student cannot benefit from an exemption beyond the regular program duration, as defined by the educational institution.

An exemption cannot be granted for studies shorter than a year.

A student cannot obtain an exemption more than once, except when moving up to the next program level.

The student may be eligible for an exemption for preparatory studies (qualifying program), provided that these studies do not require adding an additional year to the scheduled duration of their program.

A student is allowed to complete a compulsory internship during the fall or winter term. However, if the internship does not allow the student to obtain the credits required to complete their program of study within the scheduled time, they cannot request an extension of the exemption. Students are encouraged to carry out their internships during the summer terms.

To change programs or institutions, the student must have the prior approval from their home country and from the proper authorities at the Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur. The initial duration of the exemption granted will not be extended.

The exemption may be withdrawn if the program requirements are not met, if the student interrupts their studies, if they are no longer authorized to be registered in their program on a full-time basis, or if they violate the regulations of their educational institution.

Last update: January 5, 2023

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