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When Can International Students Return To Canada?

Will international students be able to return to Canada for the September 2020 intake? Well, at the time of writing, that is unlikely, as the country has recently extended international travel restrictions on incoming foreign travellers until September. 30, 2020.

This is the third time Canada will be extending travel restrictions that were originally put in place from March 18 until June 30. The Canadian government has been assessing and adjusting their travel policies frequently in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Previously, the federal government announced that international students will be able to return to Canada this month. In a letter addressed to Colleges and Universities Laurie LeBlanc to Ontario’s designated learning institutions (DLI), by the deputy minister of Ontario’s Ministry of Training, the government was considering making amendments to travel restrictions that will allow international students to return to university campuses in September.

Travellers will be subjected to a mandatory quarantine order, which has been extended as well. Exempt travellers must carry out a compulsory self-isolation period of fourteen (14) days if they are allowed into Canada.

When can international students return to Canada?

According to Canada’s immigration department also known as IRCC, some international students are exempt from travel restrictions. To be able to enter Canada, international students must meet two important requirements:

  • Travelling for an essential (non-discretionary) reason
  • Must be one of the following: 1) an international student holding a valid study permit or who was approved for a study permit on or prior to March 18, 2020; 2) travelling directly from the United States.

However, not all international students may meet these requirements, but Canada has been strengthening its efforts to support international students through the introduction of new rules.

This includes allowing foreign students applying for a Canadian work permit not to have the length of their post-graduation work permit (PGWP) removed or deducted even if they are studying online outside of Canada. This relaxation will be in force until April 30, 2021, extended from its previous December. 31, 2020 deadline.

The federal government had also launched a two-step Canadian study permit approval process which will allow foreign students to begin the semester online without a finalized study permit, and providing priority study permit processing for international students who have lodged a complete application online to expedite the process.