Supporting International Students during the Pandemic

Supporting International Students during the Pandemic

Published on September 28, 2020


The coronavirus pandemic has put international students in a tough position. Not only is the future very uncertain as the world is still struggling, but the current travel restrictions pose a real, ongoing difficulty.

Limitations posed by the pandemic

While the travel restrictions are meant to limit the outbreak of the coronavirus, it has affected the Canadian immigration programs significantly. Among other things, travel restrictions are barring the entry of international students into the country.

The federal government’s Order-in-Council states that international students belonging to only three categories can come to Canada currently:

  • Ones with a valid study permit
  • Ones who were approved for a study permit on or prior to March 18, 2020
  • Ones coming from the United States

Measures to help international students

A significant number of measures have been implemented to help students in Canada. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently released a run-down of the temporary measures that are in place at the moment for study permits, international students, and post-graduation work permits.

Canada understands that international students are crucial for maintaining the social and economic life of Canada. In order to ensure that international students can still choose to study in Canada, the government has given DLIs the ability to start courses virtually. The time that students spend on the online courses will count for their Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). Canada has also introduced a two-stage study permit process.

The two-stage approval process introduced by IRCC has given students the opportunity to begin their fall semester online even if they do not have a final study permit. Even the students who were not able to give biometric data, immigration medical examination results, or other required documents will be assessed for a study permit.

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