It goes without saying that international education is a key economic driver for most developed countries. In Canada, the industry generates $22 billion dollars per year. It supports 170 thousand Canadian jobs and helps Canadian education institutions open and develop new programs, research facilities, laboratories, and even entire faculties. So, the great length the Canadian government is going to find ways for international students to continue their education in Canada amidst the Covid-19 pandemic comes as no surprise.
There’s been a number of changes over the last several months to help ease the difficult times, including:
- > Changing regulations to allow international students looking to continue their studies online from outside of Canada still be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) as long as they meet certain requirements.
- > Travel restriction exemptions were introduced to accommodate international students required to attend classes in person for laboratory work or workshops.
- > Maximum number of allowed off-campus work hours for students employed in essential services between April 22 and August 31, 2020 was extended beyond the typically permitted 20 hours per week.
In addition, as of October 20th international students are being allowed to enter Canada as long as their Designated Learning Institution (DLI) has a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by their province or territory. Plans should describe how the approved DLI will manage the mandatory quarantine period for students, including arrangements for transportation to the student’s quarantine location. Designated Learning Institutions must also provide information and support to international students during their quarantine (14-day period after your arrival in Canada), like food, medicine, and health insurance. International students are encouraged to contact their school directly with questions about their readiness plans. You can find a list of the approved DLI institution along with other helpful information on the IRCC website. The list is being updated regularly and, at the moment, incudes post-secondary institutions only.
This most recent change to travel restrictions affects all international students, regardless of where they are travelling from or when their study permit was approved. To be able to enter Canada as a student, you must meet these two requirements:
- > You must have a valid study permit or a letter of introduction that shows you were approved for a study permit.
- > You must be attending a designated learning institution (DLI) with a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by its province or territory.
Your travel to Canada will be considered essential if you have all of the required documents and your DLI is on the approved list.
As a student, your travel to Canada won’t be considered essential if:
- > your study program has been cancelled or suspended
- > you’re entering Canada for any reason other than to study