Canada introduced travel restrictions and temporary changes to immigration policy to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. However, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) remains committed to serving the needs of international students and other temporary and permanent residents. Summary of important developments related to international students and immigration during the current coronavirus pandemic is as follows:
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 a 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.
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.
I have had my May intake 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What would be the impact to my PGWP eligibility if my courses moved online and will now account to 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.
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.
I am an international student and I have accessed the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Will I still be eligible to apply for PGWP or Permanent Residence (PR)?
If you have accessed CERB, this will not affect your eligibility for PGWP or PR.
My son, daughter or dependent is a minor with a valid study permit. Am I allowed to come to Canada?
Immediate family members of residents who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents are exempt from the travel restrictions and may be able to come to Canada. However, before coming to Canada, you must first obtain authorization from IRCC to be able to board a flight. To do this, submit a request by sending an email to: IRC[email protected]. In addition, if you do not already have a temporary visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), you will first need to apply for one.
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.
Need help staying in Canada!
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to challenging times in Canada and around the world. Many people are under distress and anxiety. We understand! Can-X is here to help you figure it out, so you can have peace of mind. You could be an international student, worker, or visitor looking to extend your stay in Canada. You may be seeking a pathway to permanent immigration. Or you may be looking to reunite with a loved one. Whatever the reason, contact us to discuss your immigration needs, and we’ll provide our insights and help as much as we can during these difficult times.