International students can travel to Canada starting October 20 if their institution of study has a coronavirus preparedness plan approved by the health authority of the province or territory.
Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) are required to submit the details of their readiness plan to the provincial or territorial government, as this is the level of government that administers education in Canada. Plans should include details of how the facility will inform international students of health and travel requirements before arrival, assist with quarantine plans, and provide guidance or assistance with purchasing essential items such as food and medicine, during the quarantine. Health and safety protocols should be planned and followed in the event students get infected by the coronavirus.
Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will publish the list of approved DLIs as soon as they are available on its website.
This new measure is for all international students, regardless of when their study permit was approved or their country of origin, according to the IRCC. The immigration department has said to the travelers to not make any travel plans until all the requirements and all necessary authorizations have been met.
To travel to Canada under the new measure, eligible international students must be asymptomatic and need the appropriate documents to enter Canada. Once at the border, unless “there is evidence that they are clearly coming to Canada for discretionary or optional purposes such as tourism,” they are deemed to be traveling for a material reason.
Students’ immediate family members are also able to accompany them to Canada, as long as their explanation behind the movement is deemed essential. In this case, the immediate family includes spouses and domestic partners, dependents, or, if the student is under 18 years of age, a parent or guardian.
International students and accompanying family members have to follow all public health measures upon arrival in Canada, including the mandatory 14-day quarantine period.
Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino and Health Minister Patty Hajdu began working with provincial and territorial governments as well as DLIs earlier this year, to plan on how to securely invite more international students to Canada. The ministers announced the new measures on Friday, October 2nd.
Lately, there has been pressure on the federal government from International students who are unable to travel to Canada. Many international students live in countries with poor internet access. Moreover, it’s inconvenient for students to manage their studies due to the time difference between countries.