Permits and Visas
Permits and Visas
Note: Immigration information may change anytime without notice. Always refer to the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada website for the most up-up-date information.
New update: International students can now study online outside of Canada up until December 31, 2021, with the duration of their studies counting toward their post-graduation work permit (PGWP) IF they have a study permit or a permit is eventually approved. Please refer to “How your post-graduation work permit (PGWP) eligibility is affected” for more details.
Centennial College is a Designated Canadian Learning Institution (DLI) with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan. This means that as of October 20, Centennial students can travel to Canada with the College's support and valid immigration documents. According to the Canadian government, "DLIs with a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by their province or territory will be able to reopen to international students who are currently outside Canada".
But before buying your plane ticket, there's a lot you need to know about traveling to Canada during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Please review the information on our Travelling to Canada page to learn more about travel Eligibility, Documents Needed to Travel to Canada, Planning your Accommodation, Transportation, and Mandatory 14-day Quarantine Period.
Whether you are studying an online, hybrid, or hybrid* program, Centennial international students can travel to Canada after meeting all of the requirements (including quarantine plan).
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada offers flexibility in post-graduation work permit rules (PGWP) to help international students. Any time spent studying online from outside Canada counts toward the length of a PGWP until April 30, 2021. Please review the policy, procedures, and guidance provided by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
IRCC announced that if your courses have moved to an online format due to COVID-19, you will still be eligible for a PGWP. If you have a study permit or have been approved for a study permit but cannot travel to Canada due to travel restrictions, you will still be eligible for a PGWP. If you are in this situation, you can begin your program online and complete up to 50% of your program while outside of Canada if you cannot travel to Canada sooner.
If the first semester of your program is available online, international students do not need a study permit to complete their registration and start attending classes from outside of Canada. Check the Summer 2021 Delivery page to determine if your program is available online.
If your study permit is eventually approved, time spent studying outside of Canada in a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) eligible program will count towards the overall length of the PGWP until April 30, 2021. This temporary policy applies to applicants who submitted a study permit application to begin a program in the spring, summer, or fall 2020 or winter 2021 semesters. The student must complete at least 50% of their program of study's total courses in Canada (either online or in class). Given the impact of COVID-19 on international students, temporary policy changes have been made to post-graduation work permit eligibility requirements. For more information: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Students that choose to start studying a hybrid* program or program with only the first semester online must complete their study permit process and arrive in Canada before continuing their second semester. Suppose a Study Visa/Permit is not approved. In that case, students may consider online program transfer options or use the credits to apply for credit-transfer at another institution in Canada or abroad.
You may take our online programs in your home country without a study permit.
Students can complete their program online and earn an internationally recognized Ontario college credential if they study one of the 50 Centennial College programs offered entirely online.
However, if you are interested in qualifying for a PGWP, you must at least apply for a study permit before starting your program. If your study permit is eventually approved, time spent studying outside of Canada will count towards the overall length of the PGWP until April 30, 2021. The student must complete at least 50% of their program of study's total courses in Canada (either online or in class). Learn more: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
The new two-stage study permit approval process will apply to students whose program will begin this Fall or earlier and who submit a study permit application online on or before September 15, 2020.
The first stage is the eligibility assessment; an officer will review your application for:
- Letter of Acceptance from a designated learning institution
- Proof of funds (tuition and living expenses for at least one year without working in Canada)
- Evidence that you will leave Canada when you no longer have legal status in Canada
- Any family ties you may have to Canada
The second stage is the admissibility assessment; an officer will review your application for:
- Your biometrics
- A medical exam and police certificate if needed
- Any information that may have changed after the first stage eligibility assessment
You will receive a notification in your online account when you pass the first stage, also referred as ‘approval-in-principal (AIP)’ stage. This notification should state “You are receiving this notification as an officer has reviewed the information and documents you provided to support your study permit application. Based on this preliminary eligibility assessment, your application has advanced to the next stage of processing.”
When you pass the second stage, you will receive a full approval of your study permit application and will be ready to travel to Canada when the travel restrictions change. Please be mindful that the first stage approval does not guarantee the second stage approval.
When you receive the first stage approval notification (approval-in-principle), you can begin studying online while abroad and have that time count towards your post-graduation work permit, as long as you receive the second stage approval of your study permit application at a later date.
When the two-stage study permit approval process was announced on July 14, 2020, IRCC stated that they aim to process most applications through the first stage before the Fall semester begins. The published processing time available on IRCC website has not been accurate due to the rapidly changing situation and so please make sure to check your online account regularly for any updates.
No, your required documents will remain the same and you need to provide as many of the required documents as possible when you submit your application since IRCC will process complete applications as priority.
If you cannot provide any of the required documents, you need to upload a letter explaining the reasons why you cannot submit the documents (i.e. you cannot provide the most recent bank statement since your bank is closed due to COVID-19.)
When you receive the first stage approval notification, you can begin studying online while abroad and have that time count towards your post-graduation work permit, as long as you receive the second stage approval of your study permit application at a later date.
IRCC announced on July 15, 2020 that temporary resident applicants from within Canada will be exempt from providing their biometrics until further notice. Therefore your study permit application process should move
You may work part-time (up to 20 hours/week) if you meet all other conditions to work part-time (full-time enrolment, etc.)
On April 22, the Canadian government announced that effective immediately until August 31, 2020, international students are able to work more than 20 hours per week while classes are in session if they work in an essential service or function such as health care, supply of food, etc.
To determine if your work falls under an essential service or function, please consult Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada's Guidance on Essential Services and Functions in Canada during the COVID-19 Outbreak.
Yes, you are still required to have a valid study permit throughout your study in order to be eligible for a PGWP even if your courses are delivered online due to COVID-19. Please make sure to apply for an extension if your study permit will expire before you can complete your program.
You don't have to give your biometrics until the VAC in your area reopens. IRCC will automatically extend your deadline to give biometrics and your application will not be refused or closed if you are unable to give your biometrics due to COVID-19 closures.
While you may be able to continue your study online in your home country, there are many factors to consider before making the decision to leave Canada. Therefore we highly recommend you connect with our International Student Advisors (ISAs) if you are thinking of returning home. Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org or book a telephone appointment with an ISA.
This will be considered non-essential travel at this time and since non-essential travels between Canada and the US is currently suspended, you should not go to the US land border for this purpose.