Admission Requirements

The GDipICL is a competitive, high-demand program. This means that you are not guaranteed an offer of admission even if you meet the minimum requirements. Preference is given to students with the best qualifications.

To ensure your application is considered for admission, we strongly encourage you to review the following webpage for all admission requirements.

Admissions decisions are final and may not be appealed. Requests for deferred entry will only be granted in limited circumstances, and only for students admitted for the Fall term.  Deferral requests must be submitted at the earliest possible date and will not be considered after the start of the term for which admission was granted.  

For a detailed breakdown of admission requirements and academic policies, please review the Handbook of Academic Regulations, Policies, and Procedures.

Updated: August 28, 2023

Tuition Deposit

All incoming students are required to submit a $400 non-refundable tuition deposit upon accepting an offer of admission.  

The tuition deposit must be paid in full to secure your enrolment in the GDipICL program for the upcoming term.  

The tuition deposit will be applied to your student account and towards your tuition fees. Confirmation of your deposit will appear in your SOLUS account, and the amount will be applied to your first term tuition payment. Details on how to make payments can be found on the Office of the University Registrar’s website.

Details regarding fees may be found on the Office of the University Registrar's website.

Application Deadlines & Start Dates

•    September start (full-time and part-time 24- and 36-month study plan applications accepted)

  • September 2024 Application now closed. 
  • September 2025 Application opens January 15, 2025
    • Application deadline: April 1, 2025
    • Document deadline: May 1, 2025

•    January start (full time and part-time 24-month study plan applications accepted)

  • January 2025 Application opens June 1, 2024 
    • Application deadline: August 1, 2024
    • Document deadline: September 1, 2024

These deadlines are firm and include the submission of all supporting documentation (transcripts, references and language test scores if required).

Note: Admissions decisions will be communicated after the application deadline has closed, and normally no later than two months prior to program start date.

1. A Bachelor's degree from a recognized university (or equivalent institution*).

A complete application must include official, up-to-date transcripts for all current and previous study you have listed in the Academic Background section of the application. Transcripts must be scanned (black and white recommended) and saved as a PDF file, then uploaded to the online application. Please see the “Tips for Transcript Upload” document HERE. You can also consult the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs website for more information, HERE.

 *Applicants with a degree from a post-secondary institution that is not a recognized university will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

2. A minimum of a B average or equivalent in the bachelor’s degree.

Queen’s University School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs is committed to enhancing diversity in graduate education, which includes ensuring mechanisms for applications from prospective students who may not have had opportunity and advantage equal to others to be considered.

On an individual basis, consideration may be given to highly motivated individuals with some post-secondary degree studies at the university level, as well as professional experience who do not have a minimum of a B average or a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university.

Applicants wishing to apply as an “access” candidate should apply through the regular admissions portal and are requested to identify the life circumstances that may have prohibited, presented barriers, and/or discouraged access to advanced degree studies, in the "Special Circumstances" section of the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs application system. Applicants must also send a detailed resume demonstrating a minimum of five (5) years of relevant work experience to Some examples of relevant work experience include prior work as a paralegal, community legal worker, or in the immigration sector.

The Admissions Committee retains the discretion to require a personal interview.

3.  Language test scores

Applicants whose native languages do not include English will need to earn satisfactory standing in an English Language Proficiency Test as part of the application process, and before final acceptance is granted. There are only two grounds for exemption from this requirement, as elaborated below: 

i. Any applicant whose native languages do not include English, but who has completed four or more years of consecutive full-time academic study at a university where English is the official language of instruction, may submit with their application a request to be exempted from the English language proficiency test requirement. Proof will be required that English is the language of instruction there.  Acceptable proof of this is the original, official transcript, received from the issuing university or uploaded as part of the application for admission. If it is not stated on or evident from the transcript that English is the language of instruction, arrangements must be made for a separate, official letter that confirms this to be sent to the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs from the issuing post-secondary institution. 

ii. Any applicant who has successfully completed ESLA 150 (University Preparation Level) in the Queen's School of English, English for Academic Purposes program, or an equivalent program at another Canadian university, with an "A" grade within the 24-month period prior to the month of application, may also submit a request to be exempted from the English language proficiency test requirement. 

Your eligibility for an exemption will be determined after you have submitted your application and relevant supporting documents, including all transcripts, for admission consideration. 

Those applicants who do not meet one of the two requirements listed above, will be required to obtain satisfactory standing in an English Language Proficiency Test as part of the application process. 

Exemption decisions are final and may not be appealed.  No additional exemptions are offered outside of the exemptions listed above.

Minimum requirements for the four English language proficiency tests which are accepted for applications to this program are as follows:

IELTS (Academic)minimum overall score 7.0 with at least 7.0 for each component
TOEFL-PBTPaper-based test minimum overall score of 607
TOEFLiBTInternet-based test minimum overall score of 101 with a minimum score in each component test as follows: 
Writing test: 25/30 
Speaking test: 25/30 
Reading test: 25/30 
Listening test: 26/30 
CAEL CE (Canadian Academic English Language Test – Computer Edition)minimum overall score of 70, with at least 70 for each component

Please note: English language proficiency test scores must be no older than two (2) years from the month of application.  Tests older than two (2) years will not be accepted for the admission review process.  Required scores must be achieved on a single ELPT.  Combination scores/superscoring is not acceptable for the admission process.  Our program accepts both online/home-based and test centre-based versions of the four approved ELPTs.

Learn more about IELTS, TOEFL and CAEL.

The Admissions Committee retains the discretion to require a personal interview and/or submission of a language proficiency test score as part of the admissions process.

More information regarding the ESLA 150 program with the Queen’s School of English can be found here: English for Immigration and Citizenship Law Pathway | Queen's School of English ( Conditional offers of admission are required to enroll in the ESLA 150 program, and this must be identified on your GDipICL application. The Queen’s School of English does not accept direct applications for acceptance into this program.  Applicants who wish to take this program must identify their interest on the GDipICL Fall application and provide all admissions-related documents for a full application assessment.  Conditional Offers of Admission will be sent to successful candidates, who will then enter the ESLA 150 program in the Fall term.  The ESLA 150 program is not available to Winter applicants.

4. References

Applicants to the Graduate Diploma are required to identify two referees who will submit letters of reference on their behalf.

One academic reference is required for applicants who have attended post-secondary degree studies less than two years prior to the month of their application. The second reference must be a professional reference.  Academic references must be received from the applicant's most recent studies.  

Applicants who have graduated more than two years prior to application are not required to submit an academic reference and must provide two professional references. 

Please note: A professional reference should be someone from a current or former place of business, or volunteer experience, who has managed/supervised you in a professional capacity.  Both domestic and international professional references are accepted. References cannot be from a friend, colleague or relative.

Once you have submitted and paid for your application, your referees will be contacted by the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs via email, and asked to complete the online reference form. Referees can upload letters of recommendation with their online reference form.

References are an important part of your application to the Graduate Diploma. It is highly advisable to select referees who know your skills and experience, and who can communicate your ability to succeed in an academic program. We recommend that you contact your referees with a minimum of four weeks’ notice before the application deadline. Ensure that your referees are available and have ample time to complete the reference form before the application deadline.

Note that all reference forms are verified for authenticity.

5. A Personal Statement of Interest

Applicants must submit a 400-word response to our Personal Statement of Interest question explaining your motivation in applying for the GDipICL program and the training/experience that will support your application for the Graduate Diploma in Immigration and Citizenship Law. 

Your response will only be submitted through the online application system. More specific instructions are included in the online application. 
Please note the maximum characters count in the online application system does apply and you must edit your statement to be either 400 words or 2,000 characters maximum, whichever occurs first. 

The GDipICL program will not accept any element of the application prepared, in whole or in part, by means of generative artificial-intelligence (AI) tools, including and without limitation to chatbots, such as Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer (Chat GPT), or other language generating tools.  The Admission Committee reserves the right to screen applications to identify the use of such tools.  All applications prepared, in whole or in part, by means of such generative or creative AI applications may be rejected without further consideration at the Admission Committee's sole discretion.  Admission decisions are not appealable. 

6. Eligibility

The Graduate Diploma is open to applicants of all nationalities, regardless of residency or citizenship status in Canada. Upon completion of the Graduate Diploma, students planning to become a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) will need to follow the licensing process mandated by the College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC).  For more information, please see Factors Governing Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant Eligibility in the textbox below.

Single course Enrolment

Students can register for up to four courses individually as an Interest Student. Students may enroll in an individual course as either an Interest Student for Program Credit or as an Interest Student for No Program Credit. Interest Students must meet all requirements for admission. Please visit GDipICL Handbook, section 2.2.2 for further information.

Factors Governing Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant eligibility

Exam Eligibility

CCIC’s federal mandate stems from the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Citizenship Act, which require anyone providing Canadian immigration or citizenship advice or representation for a fee or other consideration to be a member in good standing of CCIC.

Exceptions are members in good standing of a law society in Canada or the Chambre des notaires du Québec. To qualify to write the CCIC’s EPE Exam, and subsequently become a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant, you must be:

     · at least 18 years of age;

     · successfully complete the Queen’s University Graduate Diploma in Immigration and Citizenship Law (GDipICL) program with no course below a B- grade.

For more information, see: How Do I Become an RCIC

Clicking the below button will redirect you to the Queen's School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs application portal.

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Self Assessment

Take our self-assessment survey and see if the program is right for you.