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Canada: int’l students await exemption news

International students studying in Canada but currently outside the country are awaiting an announcement from the government on whether they will be exempt from border closures following contradictory information about their status circling online.

International students on study abroad trips outside of Canada may be unable to return. Photo: Nel Botha/Pixabay

"Hundreds" of students may be affected

Prime minister Justin Trudeau announced on March 16 that entry into Canada would be suspended for anyone who wasn’t a Canadian or US permanent resident or citizen, meaning international students abroad on exchanges or research trips faced being left in the lurch.

“Details around…those with student or worker visas are currently being developed”

Further plans to shut the US-Canada border for all but essential travel are also in the works.

However, on March 18 Public Safety minister Bill Blair said that there would be exemptions for international students and temporary workers, although they would have to observe a 14-day quarantine. However, this is yet to be confirmed.

“Details around temporary foreign workers and those with student or worker visas are currently being developed and will be announced shortly,” the office of the Minister of Public Safety told The PIE News.

It is not known how many students are currently affected by Canada’s border closures, although Paul Davidson, president and CEO of Universities Canada, told The Star he estimates the number to be in the “hundreds”.

Universities are continuing to support their students abroad until a clear statement on the status of international students is made.

“Canada’s universities respect the importance of the Government of Canada’s measures in protecting the health and safety of Canadians, and are working closely with our member universities to understand the impacts of these measures,” Cindy McIntyre, assistant director of international relations at Universities Canada, explained.

“We are in constant communication with federal departments to share and resolve the issues raised by universities.”

As of March 19, Canada had 846 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The majority of these cases have been in British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta and Quebec.

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8 Responses to Canada: int’l students await exemption news

  1. I’m suffering with same situation. I came here in India during my break and now because of this entry bar I can’t go back to Canada as I am student at Humber college.

  2. Because i ( Anoop joshi) and my son (Aarav Joshi) was traveling to canada on work permit and Study permit.
    And Canada Government will open its border only for PR or Citizenship of Canada due to COVID19 risk.( Coronavirus).
    Due to this i have reschedule my flight but i don’t know how much time it will take. My wife is in Canada on study visa in Montreal and want to see her child and husband.
    So please provide us any information when they will open their border for work or study visas .

    My child is also miss his MOM.

  3. Sir please take necessary steps to stay there and work accordingly.Because with high expectations they came to your country. Here parents are also waiting for your decision. No where to go for our children.please do favour

  4. Great article, however what about international students who want to leave and return to their home country. They should be given an opportunity to do so, has most if not all of the classes and exams are going to be online. International student are unable to work and will not be able to provide for themselves.

  5. I have been applied for work visa in canada, is possibilities to start after april 2020 to process work visa from canada government.

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