If you are an international student preparing to start a course in Canada, these are the updates you should know about.
The service disruptions caused by COVID-19 might lead to some delay in processing applications. However, the IRCC is continuing to process study permit applications, so you should not worry.
If you have deferred your Letter of Acceptance while living in the country, you will have to initiate your studies either the next semester or within 150 days from the deferral, depending on which comes first. In case this is not possible, you might have to change your status or leave the country.
For students who have managed to secure a study permit and are prepared to begin their online classes in summer or fall 2020, there is no reason to worry about their future Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) eligibility. You will be considered eligible for the PGWP even if you begin your classes outside Canada and finish up to 50% of your program. Time will not be deducted from the length of your PGWP. When you start your online courses, remember that you are expected to be a full-time student if you want to maintain your PGWP eligibility. If your Designated Learning Institution (DLI) is not able to offer full-time study, the case will be treated as an exception. In case you have not been able to get a study permit, you will still be able to start your studies online, but it will not contribute to your future PGWP eligibility.
As international students in Canada, if you have a study permit or a work permit that is set to expire in the next few weeks, you should submit an application for permit renewal immediately so that you can get implied status. You will be able to continue studying or working as long as the application is being processed. Applicants who are unable to procure required documents or submit their biometrics will be allowed to provide an explanatory letter justifying the delay. Incomplete applications will not be refused; instead, the applicant will have 90 days to submit all the necessary documents.