Several temporary measures are being taken by IRCC in place currently. These new measures are in effect for international students, post-graduation work permit, and study permit.
The impact of Coronavirus on Canada’s immigration is clearly visible with the new strict travel restrictions introduced by the Government of Canada. The entry of international students is prohibited for the time being. International students who are allowed to enter the country must fall under a certain criterion. This criteria, decided by the Federal Government’s Order-in-Council, states that only international students with a valid study permit or the students who have been approved for a study permit before March 18, 2020, will be eligible to enter the country.
Canada has also introduced various new measures to support international students who want to study in the country.
Canada has introduced a two-step study permit process and will be considering students who have studied online, eligible to apply for Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) with this time counted.
IRCC has introduced the two-step study process, which will allow international students to begin their studies online without the actual study permit and has said that even those candidates who are not able to provide the necessary documents such as biometrics or medical certificates due to the Covid-19 restrictions are still eligible for the study permit. Students who have been approved for the first stage study permit have already met most of the criteria required.
Students who have completed both stages of study permit will be able to travel to Canada once the travel restrictions are lifted.
The Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) is required by international students who wish to work for any Canadian employer. PGWP can only be obtained after completing an eligible study program at a Designated Learning Institute (DLI).
The duration of PGWP depends on the time student has studied at a Government recognized DLI. The maximum duration of a PGWP is three years.
Canadian Government has announced that distance learning will count towards candidates PGWP if they have obtained a study permit in Winter/Summer/Fall semester 2020 and continue to study online up until April 2021. Students are still required to complete 50% of their studies in Canada if they have applied for a program of two or more years.
IRCC has said that students who are already in Canada but are unable to attend Designated Learning Institutes and have to complete more than 50% of studies online due to the restrictions caused by the Coronavirus will also be deemed eligible to apply for PGWP.