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Learning institutions whose COVID-19 readiness plans have been approved by their provincial or territorial government will soon be able to welcome more international students back to their schools.

Amended travel restrictions will take effect on October 20, allowing international students to enter Canada if their designated learning institution (DLI) has an approved COVID-19 readiness plan in place. With primary responsibility for education and health care, provincial and territorial governments assess COVID-19 readiness plans that schools are putting in place. As part of their plans, DLIs are expected to provide specifics to their provincial or territorial government on how they will provide information to international students on health and travel requirements before they arrive in Canada, help students with their quarantine plans and provide guidance or assistance in acquiring the necessities of life, such as food and medication, during their quarantine. Readiness plans also need to establish protocols for the health of students in the event there are suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases at the school.

The Government of Canada works closely with provinces and territories on the attraction and hosting of international students in Canada and other issues related to international education. Provincial and territorial partners indicated they would like to see a process that allows international students to begin travelling to Canada again, as long as it is done safely and respects health requirements.

Taking a cautious approach, the federal, provincial and territorial governments have worked together in developing that process. The list of DLIs with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan in place will be posted on IRCC’s web page for international students affected by COVID-19 restrictions and updated regularly as provinces and territories identify additional schools. This change to travel restrictions affects all international students, regardless of where they are travelling from or when their study permit was approved. Travellers should not make any travel plans until they have met all requirements and received all necessary authorizations.

The travel of asymptomatic international students who have the appropriate documents to enter Canada and whose DLI is on the list of institutions with approved COVID-19 readiness plans in place will be considered to be non-discretionary and non-optional, unless there is evidence that they are clearly coming to Canada for a discretionary or optional purpose, such as tourism.

With the amended travel restrictions, immediate family members may be able to accompany an international student to Canada if their reason for travel is non-optional or non-discretionary, such as getting established in Canada in support of the principal applicant’s study program. This could include a spouse or common-law partner, a dependant, or in the case of a minor child who will be studying in Canada, a parent or legal guardian. Like all travellers to Canada, international students and accompanying family members will be subject to all public health measures, including the mandatory 14-day quarantine period upon arrival in Canada.

University of Canada West (UCW) is providing an exciting offer of free internet service to its students studying online from India.

COVID-19 has changed many aspects of our everyday life. It has even changed how education is delivered. UCW students are studying from home and not everyone has a reliable internet connection to access their classes. In order to give its students the best chance to succeed, UCW has partnered with a local Indian internet provider to supply a free internet connection for students during their first term with UCW. UCW students in India may be eligible to receive a Wi-Fi dongle that comes with free internet service so they can excel in their studies.

This offer is available to UCW students who do not have access to high speed internet and are starting their studies in the Fall (October) 2020 Term, but there may be geographical limitations. The university internet partner in India will contact the students to carry out a basic internet speed test to assess if they can use this offer. Not all areas in India will be able to access this service. For those unable to access this service, the university internet partner will help troubleshoot and give advice about their current internet set up.

The university is also offering a $650 hotel voucher to students who are required by the federal government to self-isolate for their first 14 days in Canada. The vouchers are valid for new students starting their UCW program in the Fall (October) 2020 Term, either face-to-face in Canada or online, and arriving within 3 months after the travel restrictions are lifted. Some terms and conditions may apply.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has made a number of temporary policy changes intended to support international students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

Applying for a study permit

Students who have submitted a complete application will receive priority processing and will be ready to travel to Canada soon after travel restrictions are modified.

IRCC has introduced 2-stage study permit processing for students who can’t submit a complete application. This includes a first-stage eligibility assessment and a final decision based on admissibility requirements in the second stage.

This allows applicants who have been unable to provide biometrics, police certificates or the results of an immigration medical examination to get an initial assessment. If approved they can feel reassured that they have already met most of the criteria for a study permit.

IRCC aims to process all first-stage eligibility assessments before the start of the fall semester. When a student is approved through both stages, they will be ready to travel to Canada once travel restrictions are modified.

Eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program

Students can study online from abroad until April 30, 2021, without affecting their eligibility or the length of a future post-graduation work permit, provided they are able to complete at least 50% of their program in Canada.

Students enrolled in programs between 8 and 12 months in length that started during the spring, summer or fall terms (from May to September) of 2020 will be able to apply for a post-graduation work permit if they complete their entire program outside of Canada.

Students enrolled in a program with a start date from May to September 2020 who study online up to April 30, 2021, and who graduate from more than one eligible program of study, may be able to combine the length of their programs of study when they apply for a post-graduation work permit in the future, as long as 50% of their total studies are completed in Canada.

Students already in Canada

Students in Canada in the winter, spring and summer terms who were forced to study online, reduce their studies to part-time, or take a break from their studies completely, as a result of restrictions on classroom learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, are allowed to continue working on- or off-campus if their study permit allows it.

Students already in Canada for the winter, spring and summer terms were assured that they wouldn’t lose their eligibility for a post-graduation work permit if they were forced to complete more than 50% of their program online, reduce their studies to part-time or take a break from their studies completely as a result of restrictions on classroom learning due to the pandemic.

Until August 31, 2020, international students are permitted to work more than 20 hours per week off-campus during their academic session if they are employed in an essential service or function. For more information

The most recent updates on changes affecting international students can be found here: Source of news
International students make immense cultural and social contributions to Canada, and generate more than $21 billion in economic activity. Since the onset of the pandemic, the Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, has made a number of temporary policy changes to support and reassure international students and learning institutions.

As the fall season is fast approaching, the Minister has announced additional measures to support international students beginning a new program online this fall with a Canadian learning institution, if their institution is offering the program online, so that they can pursue their education while ensuring everyone’s safety. These changes will give students more certainty about their ability to enter Canada once travel and health restrictions are eased in Canada and their own home countries. They mean that students will be eligible to work in Canada after graduation, even if they need to begin their studies online from overseas this fall..

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