As we must all be aware, a number of temporary policies have been in place after the pandemic in support of international students and foreign workers. International students alone, make contributions of more than $21 billion in economic activity.
Since the fall season is approaching, the Minister has announced further support for international students as many students are set to begin their program online this fall, if the institutions are offering online classes.
This temporary policy will provide more clarity to the students about traveling to Canada once the situation eases further and in their home countries, allowing them to work in Canada after graduation, even when they had been continuing their studies from their home countries. These changes will still put Canada as a destination hub for international students for further education.
Temporary Measures in place:
Following are the measures that have been taken into consideration for further support to international students:
• Study permit applications are prioritized for students who have already submitted a complete application, to be processed as quickly as possible
• The time spent studying online outside Canada will be counted towards their eligibility for the post-graduation work permit, even if 50% of the program is completed abroad.
• Reassurances provided to international students, who were not able to submit all the documents for completing their application process, and those who chose to pursue programs through distance learning, implementing a temporary 2-stage approval process.
It allows students to count the time they have to spend studying outside Canada towards their post-graduation work permit, and if they are able to satisfy all the requirements, they'll receive full approval of the study permit application later. Once all the services resume, the applicants are required to submit all the documents to receive a study permit before being allowed to travel to Canada.
The current process is available to students starting their program in the fall semester, submitting the study permit applications before September 15, 2020. So, the students can enroll and begin their studies online, even though they are not able to submit all the required documents due to the service closures impacted by the pandemic.
Other Measures for Temporary Residence Applicants:
• Visitors and study or work permit holders in Canada usually have 90 days to apply after their immigration status expires. The new policy now allows temporary residents to apply for restoration beyond the 90-days time frame, for those whose status expired after January 30, 2020, and remained in Canada, now have until December 31, 2020, to restore the status, if the requirements are met for the type of status you're applying for.
• As of July 15, 2020, Temporary Residence Applicants are no longer required to provide biometrics until further notice if you are applying from within Canada for the following:
o an extension of a work permit
o a new work permit
o an extension of a study permit
o a new study permit
o a visitor visa
o a visitor record to allow you to stay in Canada as a temporary resident
o restoration (extension) of temporary resident status
o a temporary resident permit
• You do not have to pay the biometrics fee even if the system asks you to pay, you are exempted from paying the biometrics application fee.
While there are various challenges caused as a result of the pandemic in the world, Canada has been approaching with a number of temporary measures to protect the social and economic impact of the restrictions. International students make a significant contribution to Canada's health and economic sector and with these measures, it is expected that international students will be contributing to Canada’s health and vitality.
Students must note that even though they might be commencing their studies from abroad, and have received approval-in-principle of a study permit application, may not guarantee that they will be receiving full approval, based on their admissibility criteria or security reasons.
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