Generating economic activities worth over CAD21 billion, international students in Canada make tremendous social, cultural and economic contributions to Canada. The ongoing pandemic has affected the activities deeply. To cope with these challenges, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino has already been at hard work making variety of temporary policy changes that look to reassure and help international student community and learning institutes of the country.
With fall season on the anvil, the Minister has declared various supplementary means to help international students starting a new online program with any Canadian academic institution this fall if the chosen institute offers the program online. This will aid them pursue their program ensuring the safety of everyone involved.
All of these changes are intended to give perplexed students more assurance about the possibility of entering Canada when the many health and travel restrictions are relaxed both in Canada and in their own countries. Further, the changes also mean that the students will be able to, after graduation, work in Canada, even though they need to start their programs online from their homes this fall.
The measures taken by the Minister is to keep Canada’s reputation of being the preferred study abroad destination for students from around the world for higher education. This move nonetheless underline how Canada looks at the contributions of international students to the country and the imperativeness of the country’s international student program.
The measures include;
- Offering the students, who have successfully finished the submission of a complete application online, with priority student-permit processing. This will assure that the permits are processed as quickly as possible.
- Permitting the students to have the time spent abroad studying their program online count towards their eligibility for any postgraduate work permit if at least 50% of the program has been undertaken in Canada and they have applied for a student permit.
- Implementing a 2-stage, temporary application approval process to offer reassurances to the international students who were unable to present all the required documents to finish the application and those who elect distance learning modes to pursue these programs.
As long as the students are able to meet the application requirements, the temporary process will give the students chance to submit their documents via any Canada immigration consultants as services will resume back to normal.
All of these provisions are available for all students who are starting an academic program in the fall and submit the application before September 15, 2020.The pandemic has created unprecedented situations for students across the world and challenges are everywhere for students, institutes and overseas education consultants, and even countries at large. These changes are aimed to protect the country and its people all the while minimizing the country’s social and economic impacts. It is intended that these changes will encourage international students to continue being an integral part of the country’s social and economics spheres.