IRCC Updates: International Students

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IRCC Updates for International Students

IRCC Updates concern international students: one of the groups most affected during the coronavirus pandemic. Canada introduced travel restrictions and changes to immigration policies to combat the pandemic. However, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) remains committed to support international students and other temporary residents.

We follow here with a summary on essential developments for international students and temporary residents following the pandemic. The summary, compiled by Universities Canada, Canada Bureau for International Education and Colleges and Institutes Canada, is available online here.

Summary of Updates

  1. My study permit or work permit will expire in the coming weeks. I am unable to obtain a new passport or required documents. Will I be given an extension?

Renew your permit to trigger implied status. If you cannot access required documents or get biometrics, explain the situation through a letter. Also, if the application is incomplete, remember you will not be refused, but you will be granted 90 days to submit required documents.

2. How long will processing my study permit take?

IRCC expects some processing delays, but it will still process study permit applications. Therefore, you are encouraged to apply.

3. They deferred my May acceptance to September. Do I need a new Letter of Acceptance?

No. If you are in Canada at the time of deferral, begin your studies within 150 days from the date of referral or the following semester. However if this is not possible you will need to change your status (for example to visitor) or leave Canada.

4. I have a study permit and will start online courses soon. How will this affect my Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) eligibility?

You can start your program complete up to 50% of it online. You will remain eligible for the next PGWP on December 31, 2020.

5. I do not have a study permit. Can I still start my studies from abroad?

Yes, you can. For example, it is possible to start your studies from abroad without a valid study permit. Still, if you wish to apply for PGWP in the future, you will need to apply for a study permit or a study permit approval.

6. If I start my studies online from abroad without an approved study permit, will this counted for a future PGWP application?

No, it will not. Therefore, in order to be eligible for PGWP, only time spent studying online from abroad WITH a valid study permit or study permit approval will be counted.

7. Do I need to be a full-time student to maintain future PGWP eligibility?

Yes, you do. Everyone that applies for PGWP should be a full-time student. However, you can still be eligible for PGWP if your Designated Lerning Institution (DLI) cannot offer you full-time study programs.

8. I am an international student, and I have accessed Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Am I still eligible to apply for PGWP or Permanent Residence?

Yes! You are still eligible to apply for PGWP or PR. Also, having access to CERB does not affect your eligibility to these programs at any time.