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Canada Continues Processing Of Study Permit Applications Despite COVID-19

Canada says the processing of study permit applications is continuing ahead of the start of the fall term despite the COVID-19.

A Canada immigration department  (IRCC) statement dated April 10 claim applications are being processed ‘to the extent possible’.

The statement claims study permit applications were being given Ninety (90) days instead of thirty (30) to present their biometrics, because of the closure of many the visa offices.

Currently, only those foreign students with a study permit issued before March 18, 2020, can come to Canada.

Canadian universities are facing an uncertain period as they seek to recruit and retain students despite travel restrictions.

Prospective international students planning for study abroad in Canada are also uncertain about their futures.

Currently, many international students studying in Canada faces tough decisions about whether to return for the fall, with no clear picture on whether regular classes will return for the new academic session.

Some international students are being forced to weigh up whether it is worth paying tuition fee for what may turn out to be online classes.

It means universities in Canada may end up with fewer students than projected, having a big financial impact.

While the majority of universities made a fast move to e-learning or online learning when Canada’s lockdown was imposed mid-March, it is not clear whether students will be willing to pay the same tuition fees for a continuation of online learning come September.

This is especially true given the financial impact of the coronavirus crisis, with many students finding themselves out of work and even more reluctant to part away with thousands of dollars in exchange for e-learning.

Universities, who are well into the offer and acceptance phase of their planning for fall semester, are yet to see any impact on their numbers. But they must be understand that students in Canada and around the world are reconsidering their options in the midst of this pandemic.

Many universities would have been happy to see the federal government include in foreign students in their exemption list for the travel bans put in place on March 18 to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

International students who possess a valid study permit, or had been approved for a study permit, when the coronavirus restrictions took effect are now allowed to come to Canada.

They must pass a medical or health test before boarding their flight, and self-isolate for fourteen (14) days upon arrival in Canada.