Yes, we understand - the situation is fluid and it is one of the hardest-hit times for international students with class interruption, mandatory self-isolation in place, and changed social lifestyle. And if you are new to the country, you must be having difficulties in coping with this overwhelming situation, it's not the same, bringing many challenges to many international students.
So, here we have created a guide to help the international students with important updates and information, to keep you posted with the support available for you, in these unprecedented times.
If you are an International Student New to Canada
As the COVID-19 threat increased, Canada decided to shut down the borders for non-essential travels, however, it also announced that the international students with a valid study permit and those who have been approved for one are exempted from the travel ban, and the restrictions took effect on March 18, 2020. Students should note that along with the study permit, they must also have a valid travel document - Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA).
If you have the required documents, you can enter Canada, and if you arrive by air, you will have to go through health checkup to make sure you do not have COVID-19 symptoms. Once you enter, you'll also have to self-isolate for 14 days, which is mandatory.
If you want to travel Outside of Canada
Canada’s Travel Advisory mentions that you should avoid all non-essential travel outside the country at this moment. However, if you must travel back to your home, you should consider if you are allowed to enter in your home country or if you can re-enter Canada once you set off, taking care of the aspects that it does not affect your Post Graduate Work Permit eligibility.
To safeguard the students during this COVID-19 outbreak, student housing has been closed, but, there might be some exceptions for international students to find the accommodations. Some of the hotels have been offering rooms for self-isolation, and the guest should stay inside the room for 14 days, without strolling around, and usually, the foods and linens are left outside the doors. The provinces have also protected tenant’s eviction by suggesting regulations in favor of the tenants.
For safety purposes, the schools in the country are closed until further notice, and most colleges and universities are completing their academic responsibilities through online courses. You must, therefore, plan to get ready for a technologically sound environment with a good internet connection and laptop. You'll have to be prepared with the required devices for attending classes as updated by your respective colleges and universities. Most educational institutions have also canceled the exams, and you are expected to keep in touch with specific colleges and universities about how they have planned further for your academic year during the crisis.
Since most of the international centers in colleges and universities are closed, they have been moved to online support format, answering International students' queries through emails, calls, and video conferences.
International students in Canada can continue to work as per the conditions on their study permit. In general, full-time students are allowed to work 20 hours a week during the academic term and can work full-time during their academic breaks. However, as a temporary measure, international students in the essential service category only can work more than 20 hours a week for a temporary period, until August 31, 2020.
If you are new to Canada, currently, the country has shut down the non-essential business and is taking step by step approach for reopening the country, starting May 04, 2020. Almost half of the Canadians have reported job loss, which means it is difficult to find jobs at this time, thus, you must come prepared for the challenges this time.
Post-Graduate Work Permit
Students can apply for their Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) once the studies are complete. Even if the classes are moved to online classes, you are still able to apply for your work permit. Your eligibility for PGWP may be affected if you miss a term in your school, or study part-time instead of full-time, so just make sure you follow the rules as required to not miss your PGWP.
Extending Your Stay
You may not have been able to return to your home due to many travel restrictions in place at many countries, and if that’s the case, you can apply to extend your study permit, you are required to restore your status as a student if your study permit is about to expire.
Are you having trouble figuring out the right immigration pathway as an international student? We are here to help and guide you through the process. Simply start by clicking the link below.
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