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Canada: new visa measures to support students

Canada has announced additional measures to support international students beginning a new program online this fall, including fast-tracking study permit processing and introducing a temporary two-stage process for international students who cannot submit all of the required documentation.

The changes 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. Photo: Unsplash

In 2019, Canada hosted over 650,000 international students at the post-secondary education level

The move addresses concerns noted from Canadian institutions that students might enrol, pay and begin their study program online, without knowing for sure that they would receive a study permit in due course.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada said the changes will give students more certainty about their ability to enter Canada once travel and health restrictions are eased.

The time since a student applies for a study permit – rather than when they were approved for one – will now count towards a future post-graduation work permit.

Students must eventually be approved for a study permit and complete more than 50% of their program in the country.

Approvals in the visa process will be made in two stages: eligibility and admissibility.

“[The changes] mean that students will be eligible to work in Canada after graduation”

“[The changes] 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,” IRCC explained in a statement.

The new measures include:

  • providing priority study-permit processing for students who have submitted a complete application online, to ensure that permits are processed as quickly as possible
  • allowing students to count the time spent pursuing their studies online abroad toward their eligibility for a post-graduation work permit, if they have submitted a study permit application and if at least 50% of their program is completed in Canada
  • providing reassurances to international students who cannot submit all of the documentation needed to complete processing of their applications, and who choose to pursue programs through distance learning, by implementing a temporary two-stage approval process

IRCC said the temporary process will allow applicants to count the time spent studying online abroad towards their post-graduation work permit once they receive an approval-in-principle, “as long as they are able to satisfy all requirements and receive the full approval of their study permit application at a later date”.

“As services begin to reopen, applicants will be required to submit remaining documents and receive an approved study permit before being allowed to travel to Canada,” it explained.

This process is available to students starting a program in the fall semester who submit a study permit application before September 15, 2020.

IRCC is also providing priority processing for students who have submitted a complete study permit application.

If applicants pass the eligibility stage (showing that they have been accepted at a Canadian learning institution and have the available funds, for example) they will be notified of a first stage approval, explained IRCC on social media.

IRCC said students will receive final approval once they meet all admissibility requirements, including submitting necessary documents such as biometrics, an immigration medical exam and a police certificate.

In the wake of Covid-19, Canada’s minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Marco E. L. Mendicino has made a number of temporary policy changes to support and reassure international students and learning institutions.

“The pandemic has had a significant impact on international students and the Canadian institutions and communities that host them,” he said.

“This is why we have implemented a series of measures to support them. We value the contribution of young people seeking a high-quality education in Canada, and we’re making every effort to minimize how current challenges affect their plans and dreams for the future.”

In 2019, Canada hosted over 650,000 international students at the post-secondary education level. More than 58,000 former international students have become Canadian permanent residents.

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30 Responses to Canada: new visa measures to support students

  1. I have passed MSc in Com Sci. And ielts with over all 6 band(in two module 5.5).is I am eligible for study in Canada?

  2. Those students from Africa or else where have had parents, Guardians not working.
    Why can there be deferral of fees if not refunds for year 2019 -2020.
    Is the online studies effective?
    Considering third world countries where electricity to run internet is costly too and parents don’t work and corrupt dictators have not put in place emergency funds for their populations

  3. I have always been for an opportunity to study in Canada but I couldn’t raise enough money to achieve my dream. I was taught by Canadians, Robbie Scott etc, for college diploma who inspired me. I am looking forward to getting a study place.

    • Well study in Canada is quite expensive. You can always try for a scholarship otherwise you’ll need at-least around 30,000 cad to apply there

  4. I’ve scored 59.4% is n my secondary school from Jeddah KSA ,I would like to request to proceed my higher studies in Canada if I’m given a chance due to Pandemic my parents can’t afford money in KSA for my further education.

  5. What if services are not going to reopen shortly?
    Does IRCC has anything if an international Student fails to complete 50% of his study in Canada?
    Still IRCC will be issuing a PGWP or no?

  6. I have double graduation as per WES and have got CLB 6 in IELTS. I have been applying for jobs since 2019 there is no response. So students be careful and mindful before you jump.

  7. I have graduation in Accounting from England year 2020 do I need ielts for masters in Canada … my graduation was assessed in English.. and how much it may cost for the the study permit for masters in Canada..


  8. Dear sir or madam
    I am writing to you in order to get some information regarding the MPH program.I am an internationally trained medical doctor with more than 10 years of experience as a family physician as well as working in general hospitals in Iran.Iam interested in society based health prevention and promotion measures.
    It would be favour of you if you let me know about opportunities for continuing my studies in MPH.I also wonder if any scholarships exists in this field so I can apply for.thank you in advance for your time and attention.I am looking forward to hearing from you in the earliest convenience.
    Sincerely yours
    Shadi sehat

  9. Hello. I want to go canada by in ielts I scroed overall 6 bands but in one module I scored 5 band now I can apply for study visa

  10. I have been issued canadian visa in principle though I have submitted all required documents including biometrics and medical certificate but not the police certificate. Do I need to submit police certificate for final visa. If so, from which place I have to collect police certificate i.e. place of visa issuance or place of residence.

  11. Could you please update me about high school international students. my daughter study permit accepted on 22 July 2020 and still we dont know when she can enter to Canada. Her high school will be started on 4 September and need to attend for classes. Thanks

  12. Kindly send me feeds that will keep me posted on news regarding internation students wanting to relocate to Canada for studies. Thanks.

  13. My son is intended to follow his studies at a Canadian high school by November 2020. I want to know whether the Canadian airports will be opening by that time pl?

    A Parent from Sri Lanka

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