News Releases   |   July 7, 2020

Everything You Need to Know About COVID-19 as an International Student in Canada

Source: CIC News

As the COVID-19 situation continues, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and other government departments are constantly revising their policies. 

In an effort to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, Canada introduced travel restrictions and temporary changes to immigration policy. However, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) remain committed to serving the needs of international students and other temporary and permanent residents.

The following is a summary of important developments related to international students and immigration during the current coronavirus pandemic. The summary was compiled by the Canadian Bureau for International Education, Universities Canada, and Colleges and Institutes Canada.

1. I have a study permit or work permit that will expire in the coming weeks and I am unable to obtain a new passport or access required documents. Will I be given an extension?

International students in Canada should apply online to renew their permit in order to trigger implied status. This would allow them to continue studying or working in Canada while their application is being processed.

In addition, applicants who are unable to access required documents or get their biometrics must attach an explanatory letter detailing the situation.

If the application is incomplete, it will not be refused, and the applicant will be given 90 days to submit their documents.

2. Will my study permit take longer to be processed with all the service disruptions in place due to COVID-19?

IRCC will still process study permit applications, but there may be some processing delays

3. I have had my May acceptance deferred to September. Will I need a new Letter of Acceptance?

If you are in Canada at the time of deferral, you must begin your studies within 150 days from the date of deferral, or the following semester, whichever comes first.

If this is not possible, you will have to change your status (for example, to a visitor status), or leave Canada.

4. I have a study permit or have been approved for one, and will start online courses in summer or fall 2020. Will this affect my future Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) eligibility?

You may begin your classes while outside Canada and complete up to 50% of your program. In this case, you will remain eligible for the PGWP and you will not have any time deducted from the length of your future PGWP, up to December 31, 2020.

5. I do not have a study permit. Can I still start my studies online from abroad?

Yes. You may start your studies online from abroad without having a study permit. However, in relation to your studies contributing to your future PGWP eligibility, you would need a study permit or a study permit approval.

6. If I am starting my courses online, do I have to be a full-time student to maintain future PGWP eligibility?

Yes. You are expected to study full-time, unless your Designated Learning Institution (DLI) is currently unable to offer full-time study.

7. I am a new graduate with implied status awaiting a decision for my PGWP application. I also have a job offer letter. Will I be allowed to come to Canada?

If your study permit is no longer valid, you will need to have a Letter of Introduction to be exempt from the travel restrictions.

A Letter of Introduction is the letter you receive from IRCC once you have been approved for the PGWP.

8. What would be the impact on my PGWP eligibility if my courses moved online and will now account for more than 50% of my overall study?

If you were already in Canada and your course or program has moved online due to COVID-19, you may still be eligible for the PGWP, even if your online study now accounts for more than 50% of your overall study.

9. If I start my studies online from abroad without an approved study permit, will this time be included towards a future PGWP application?

No. Time spent studying online from abroad without a valid study permit or approval will not count towards your eligibility for PGWP.

10. Can I work full-time if my semester is suspended?

A suspended semester is not considered a scheduled break. Therefore, you will only be able to work the same number of authorized hours detailed on your study permit.

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