Special measures for International Students: a priority study permit processing and a temporary 2-stage approval process

Special measures for International Students: a priority study permit processing and a temporary 2-stage approval process

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has disrupted life around the globe. It appears that the concerns for potential disruption are shared by students worldwide. To aid them through these uncertain times, the Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship has devised a range of special measures on July 14, 2020. The new measures consist of the following:



  • a priority study-permit processing for students who have submitted a complete online application;
  • International Students will be allowed to start their program of studies at a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI) online in fall 2020 and complete up to 50% of their studies while they are abroad if they cannot travel to Canada sooner. While being in their countries of origin, international students will still be able to access the same benefits had they been required to physically study in Canada.
  • International students will not have time deducted from the length of their post-graduation work permit (PGWP) for studies they completed while outside Canada between fall 2020 and December 31, 2020. However, this will apply only to those international students who have already submitted a study permit application and if they have completed up to 50% of their studies in Canada.
  • A temporary 2-stage study permit approval process to those international students who opt to pursue their study programs through distance learning and who cannot submit a completed application

The 2-stage study permit approval process.

The 2 temporary stages are:

 – Approval-in-principle and

 – Eligibility/admissibility

Note: Once the approval-in-principle is issued, students will be allowed to begin their studies online while being in their country of origin and have that time count towards their post-graduation work permit, provided they meet other criteria and that they eventually receive full approval of their study permit.

Students will be able to travel to Canada once they have received the final approval for their study permits.

Canada has been an attractive place to study for years due to the following:

  • A very high quality of education;
  • Opportunity for bilingual studies;
  • Both students and their spouses/partners can work during their studies;
  • Over 80 PR pathways for international students such as PNP, Canadian Experience Class (CEC) nominations under Express Entry Category among others.

In fact, some of Canada’s best immigrants have been international students that have studied and worked in Canada. In 2019, Canada has accommodated over 650,000 international students at the post-secondary education level. More than 58,000 former international students have become Canadian permanent residents.

International students make up a significant proportion of the Canadian university population. Every year International students contribute around $22 billion to the economy and help the labour market situation. They also increase the social and cultural diversity of the campuses, enriching the research and learning environment, and helping home students to develop internationally relevant skills.



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