COVID-19 - Frequently Asked Questions

Note: As of March 24, Western International and International & Exchange Student Centre will be operating virtually until further notice, with no staff physically in the office. However, our advisors are working remotely and ready to help you!

Please contact us at iesc@uwo.ca or 519-661-2111 ext. 89309 for assistance.

  • For up-to-date information related to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, inlcuding details on the impact of coronavirus on services and specific reference to travel restrictions and exemptions, visit the IRCC website
  • For more COVID-19 information, please visit  Western's COVID-19 website  

For information on self-isolation, please choose one of the following links:

I’m an international student who is scheduled to graduate and whose study permit expires but I am not able to return to my home country and/or my home country is impacted due to COVID-19. Are there any resources to assist me?

Please refer to the Candian Immigration website's link category “If you’re a temporary resident who is unable to leave Canada.”

I need to extend my study permit. What documents do I need from Western and how can I get them?

The type of Official Western Letter you need to request is “Visa + Intent to Register coming” which can be ordered through the Office of the Registrar. Please include your student number in your email communication. As of March 24, the Office of the Registrar has been operating virtually. You can continue to request official letters and transcripts online, however, these request(s) will not be processed until the Office of the Registrar reopens. Please check their website for details. If you need assistance with your application (e.g. study permit extension, temporary resident visa) and/or if your request is time-sensitive, please contact IESC for support.

How will this situation affect exams?

Western has confirmed students will not be required to come back to campus to write final exams. Final exams will not take place in-person. Students who want to and are able to go home should not hold off from making necessary arrangements. Please note that each program will decide on solutions that are appropriate to specific courses; solutions will vary across campus. For more information, please visit  https://registrar.uwo.ca/academics/examinations/index.html

Do I have to leave residence now?

For our students living in residence, who wish to stay, our residences and dining halls remain open and operational until Monday, April 27. We are working on a plan to offer accommodations and food into the summer, for students who are unable to return home after April 27. Visit the Residence FAQ page for more information. If you have any residence-related questions, email  housing@uwo.ca or call 519-661-3547. 

If I move out of residence, am I entitled to a refund?

Yes. Many students have already elected to move out of residence and head home. All students who choose to move out may be eligible for a refund provided they have vacated their residence room by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday March 22, 2020. Any unused meal plan credits will automatically be carried over for use as a campus meal plan next year. Our finance team is diligently working on these details, and we will provide more information on this matter to all students early next week. Visit the Residence FAQ page for more information. If you have any residence-related questions, email  housing@uwo.ca or call 519-661-3547.  For those still living in residence, or those who have moved out but did  not  notify your front desk, please fill out  this survey  as soon as possible. If your plans change after you have filled out the survey, we ask that you please complete it again so we can update our database. No action is required if you have moved out and notified your front desk of your departure, either in person or by phone.

Residence refunds will appear as a credit on your Student Center account (student.uwo.ca). Please ensure you have enrolled in direct deposit within Student Center before March 31 in order to receive your refund in a timely manner. If you do not have direct deposit information on file, your refund will be used towards next year’s fee account with Western. If you require assistance in setting up direct deposit, please contact  reg-fees@uwo.ca.

Room Rate

Housing will credit the value of approximately six weeks of your residence room. This room rate credit will range from $1,300 (Delaware Hall bunk) to $1,895 (Elgin Hall single), depending on your residence and room type (single, double, bunk). A personalized email will be sent to each student who moves out in the coming weeks, outlining your specific room rate credit amount.  

RezNet

For those students who have subscribed to RezNet, Housing will credit $75 of your RezNet subscription (approximately six weeks of the $395 eight-month subscription).

Meal Plan Overhead

For those students with a meal plan, Housing will refund $580 of your meal plan overhead (approximately six weeks of the $3,100 meal plan overhead fee).

Unused Meal Plan Credits

Any remaining balance will be automatically transferred to a Campus Meal Plan, which can be used next year. However, if you are living in residence next year, these funds will automatically be transferred to flex dollars on your 2020-21 residence meal plan.

Alternatively, you can request your unused meal plan credits to be refunded towards your Student Center account, up until March 31, 2020. If you do not submit this request, your balance will be automatically transferred to a Campus Meal Plan.

Please note that the University may deduct costs to repair damages to your room and any other amounts owed to the University from your refund. All students who permanently move out March 13 to March 22 will be assessed a credit using the same time period calculation of approximately six weeks. Students who move out on March 23 or later will not receive a refund. 

What if I have already moved out of residence?

If you did not notify the front desk of your departure, we kindly ask that you contact us. Front desk phone numbers are available hereFor those still living in residence, or those who have moved out but did  not  notify your front desk, please fill out this survey  as soon as possible. If your plans change after you have filled out the survey, we ask that you please complete it again so we can update our database. No action is required if you have moved out and notified your front desk of your departure, either in person or by phone.

What if I want to move out of residence permanently?

We expect that residence students may elect to move out and head home over the next few days. If you plan on moving out of residence, we kindly ask you to do the following:

  • Lock your room door and close your window.
  • Take your trash and recycling to the building’s garbage room.
  • Empty your fridge if you live in a suite-style residence.
  • Ensure your furniture is in its original position. Inform the front desk of your departure once you have emptied your room. Hand in your room and mailbox keys.
  • Turning in your laundry card is optional.
  • Don’t forget to say goodbye to your floormates!

Visit the Residence FAQ page for more information. If you have any residence-related questions, email  housing@uwo.ca or call 519-661-3547.  For those still living in residence, or those who have moved out but did  not  notify your front desk, please fill out  this survey  as soon as possible. If your plans change after you have filled out the survey, we ask that you please complete it again so we can update our database. No action is required if you have moved out and notified your front desk of your departure, either in person or by phone.

How can I apply for SIN and/ or extend my SIN given current situation?

For information on Social Insurance Numbers and how to apply in our current situation, please visit https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/notices/coronavirus.html#social-insurance.

How does this situation affect my work permit?

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has confirmed courses of study being delivered online on an exceptional basis due to COVID-19 will not affect Post-Graduation Work Permit Program eligibility for a post-graduation work permit. We are trying to find a definitive answer on how leaving the country and returning might affect both Work Permits and Study Permits. Please continue to monitor the IRCC website for updates.

What if I’m unable to comply with certain immigration procedures due to circumstances beyond my control?

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has put in place special immigration measures for applicants from China, Iran and South Korea. These special measures provide flexibility to clients who, due to circumstances beyond their control, are unable to comply with our requirements. For example, those who have applied for a visitor visa, a study permit, a work permit or permanent residence, but cannot complete the next steps in the process, such as giving their fingerprints and photo (biometrics), within the specified deadline, will be given more time to complete these tasks. Please continue to monitor the IRCC website for updates.

I plan to return to China. How will I access online learning?

Our understanding is that OWL, Western's online learning platform, is accessible in mainland China. We are communicating with our e-Learning team and Information Technology staff to ensure they consider the needs of international users in the other tools and options that are supplied to faculty for distance learning.

Where can I go for support?

Although staff are not physically in the office, the Western International Office is operating virtually on normal hours. Caring staff are here to talk to, or to help you navigate the complex questions you may have. Please contact our office at iesc@uwo.ca or at 519-661-2111 ext. 89309 if you need support. Our phone line and email will be monitored over the weekend. If you have health concerns, please continue to reach out to Student Health & Wellness at 519-661-3030 or health@uwo.ca.

I have questions about UHIP. Who can I contact?

If you have health-related concerns, please contact Student Health & Wellness at 519-661-3030 or health@uwo.ca, or if you need urgent assistance, contact our team at 519-661-2111 ext. 89309. We recommend you visit the UHIP website to find out more details about coverage and review the UHIP FAQ section for helpful information. 

You can also contact Western Human Resources at hrhelp@uwo.ca. UHIP coverage is unchanged by COVID-19. Testing is covered for those that may require it.

How will this impact summer courses?

Western’s Summer undergraduate courses will be delivered online in the same sessions they are currently scheduled (e.g. a 6-week Intersession course will continue to be offered online from May 11th to June 26th). In addition to all of the online courses the University normally provides in the summer, many courses slated to be offered onsite will be moved online as well. The Affiliated University Colleges – King’s, Huron, and Brescia – will also deliver their Summer courses online. While we know that you will have many questions about what courses will be delivered in the Summer and how they will be delivered, please note that we are working through the details and will provide additional information as it becomes available.

Note that alternatives are being explored for Dentistry and Nursing courses, which cannot be delivered online. Find more information on the Office of the Registrar website

Are all IESC events cancelled?

Unfortunately, IESC group events are now cancelled. We are currently working on alternative ways to deliver the information to you. Please visit IESC events calendar for updates.

Where can I find resources for graduate students?

Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars can find information and resources on their website and send any questions pertaining to research, examinations and other concerns issues to sgps_questions@uwo.ca.