Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has released details on how the new two-step Canadian study permit approval process for international students will be working.
COVID-19 has made it truly difficult for international students to obtain the documents they need for Canadian study permits. Many international students are also shut off from the Canadian border. Students are exempted from travel restrictions only if their study permits have been issued before March 18.
Even then, immigration officers may deny entry to exempt international students if they can do their program online. For an essential reason, individual international students are still required to be in Canada. If their courses are offered online, and they can study at home, they may be “discretionary” or “optional” to travel to Canada.
However, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) are introducing a new two-stage approval process which will allow international students to start the semester online without a finalized study permit. The Department of Immigration today unveiled further instructions to its officers on how to proceed with the temporary changes.
Last week IRCC stated that it aims to process complete applications for study permits that have already been submitted as quickly as possible. Students wishing to benefit from the temporary two-step process have to apply for their study permit until September 15.
How to Obtain a Study Permit for fall 2020?
The first stage is much like the normal process of study-permitting. Students International must submit:
- Letter of acceptance;
- Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (for Quebec students only);
- proof of funds;
- Evidence that they can leave Canada when they no longer have legal temporary or permanent status; and
- Any family ties to Canada.
Immigration officers will evaluate these applications at their discretion, and issue pre-approval. At this stage, international students can start studying.
To obtain the full study permit and eventually travel to Canada, international students will have to submit:
- Immigration medical examination
- Security-Police certificates
Regular Requirements for Student Direct Stream
International students applying for an accelerated study-permit program under the Student Direct Stream (SDS) are only eligible if they can submit a full application. Otherwise, they must apply under the regular process or wait until they can supply all the documents necessary to qualify for the SDS. IRCC also states that delays may arise.
The SDS aims to process permits for the study in 20 days. International students are currently eligible if they come from the seven following countries: China, India, Morocco, Pakistan, the Philippines, Senegal and Vietnam.
Online study is now eligible for Post-Graduation Work Permit
If students want to complete their program in Canada, a full study permit is required, and eventually, applies for a post-graduate work permit (PGWP) to work in the country after graduation.
Previously, IRCC changed the PGWP eligibility requirements as designated learning institutions changed their online in-class programs. International students will now be able to do half of their online program and still be eligible for the work permit which could allow them to stay in Canada for at least three more years.
The PGWP is essential as it allows international students to gain the Canadian work experience they often need to become eligible for permanent residency in Canada. Express Entry and the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) are among many immigration pathways available to international students who complete their Canadian studies and gain qualifying work experience.
“The pandemic has had a major impact on international students and the host Canadian institutions and communities,” immigration minister Marco Mendicino said in a news release.
“That is why we’ve put in place several measures to support them. We value the contribution of young people seeking high-quality education in Canada and make every effort to minimize how well they are doing.