Measures in place to support international students in Canada

By | October 21, 2020

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has released a summary of temporary measures currently in effect for international students, study permits and post-graduation work permits. 

The introduction of strict travel restrictions introduced to manage the outbreak of the coronavirus has had a profound impact on Canada’s immigration programs in recent months. Travel restrictions limit, among other things, the entry of international students into Canada. Under the federal government’s Order-in-Council, only international students who fall under these three categories can enter Canada at the moment: 

  • International students with a valid study permit; or 
  • International students approved for a study permit on or before March 18, 2020; or 
  • International students coming from the United States.

Canada recognizes the important contribution that international students make to the social and economic life of the country. That is why it has put in place a number of measures to ensure that international students who choose to study in Canada can do so. The changes include a two-stage study permit process and the ability to begin studies online, with this time counted towards the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). 

For those who are following these changes, or whose applications may be affected by them, here is a consolidated overview of current temporary policies regarding studies in Canada.

The information is based on the latest backgrounder listing facilitative measures to support international students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic published on the Government of Canada website. 

Study permits 

The coronavirus outbreak has made it difficult for international students to get the documents they usually need for Canadian study permits. 

To remedy the situation, IRCC has implemented a two-stage approval process that made it possible for international students to begin their fall semester online without a final study permit. Those who have been unable to provide biometric data, the results of an immigration medical examination, or other required documents, may still be considered for a study permit. Those approved in the first stage will have already met most of the criteria for a study permit.     

IRCC has stated that complete study permit applications that have already been submitted will be processed as quickly as possible.   

Students who successfully complete both stages will be able to travel to Canada once travel restrictions are eased.     

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