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Canada Introduces New Two-step Approval Process To Study In Fall 2020

Ottawa introduces a new two-step approval process that will allow students to start the semester online without a finalized study permit.

COVID-19 has made it really difficult for students of foreign countries to get the documents they need for Canadian study permits. The Canadian border is also shut to many international students. Students are only exempted from travel restrictions if their study permits were issued prior to March 18.

Even then, immigration officers may deny entry to exempt foreign students if their program can be done online.

Some international students are still required to be in Canada for an essential reason. If their courses are offered online and they can study from home, that could make their reason for travelling to Canada “discretionary” or “optional”.

However, Canada immigration department (IRCC) is introducing a new two-step approval process that could enable international students to begin the semester online without a finalized study permit. Recently, the immigration department launched new instructions for its officers on how to proceed with the temporary changes.

The immigration, refugee and citizenship Canada (IRCC) stated last week it is aiming to process complete study permit applications that have already been submitted as fast as possible.

International students who want to take advantage of the temporary two-step process have until September 15 of this year to apply for their study permit.

How To Obtain A Study Permit For Fall 2020

The first stage is much like the regular study-permit process. foreign students have to submit:

  • letter of acceptance;
  • Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (for students applying for Quebec only);
  • proof of sufficient funds;
  • proof that they will leave Canada when they no longer have legal temporary or permanent status; and
  • any family connections to Canada.

Border officers will assess these applications and give pre-approval at their discretion. International students may start studying at this stage.

To get the full study permit, and eventually be allowed to travel to Canada, international students will need to submit the following documents:

  • Immigration medical examination
  • Security-Police certificates
  • Biometrics

Regular Criteria For Student Direct Stream

Those students who are applying under the Student Direct Stream (SDS) are only qualified for the expedited study-permit program if they can lodge or submit a full application.

Otherwise, they need to apply under the regular process or wait until they are able to present all the necessary documents to qualify for the SDS. IRCC also says that there may be delays.

The SDS aims to process study permits in twenty (20) days. Currently, international students are qualified if they are from the following seven countries: China, India, the Philippines, Morocco, Pakistan, Senegal and Vietnam.

Online Study Is Now Eligible For Post-Graduate Work Permit

The full study permit is needed if international students want to complete their program in Canada and later apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) to work and live in the country after they graduate.

Previously, IRCC changed the eligibility criteria for the PGWP as designated learning institutions changed their in-class programs online.

International students will now be able to do to some part of their program online and still qualify for a work permit that could allow them to stay in Canada for at least three years.

The PGWP is very important because it enables foreign students to get the Canadian work experience they often need to become eligible for permanent residence of Canada.

Federal Express Entry and the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) are among the many immigration pathways available to international students who wish to complete their studies in Canada and get qualifying work experience.