Permits and Visas
Permits and Visas
Last Updated: July 31, 2020
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.
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 may take our online program in your home country without a study permit. However, if you are interested in qualifying for a PGWP, you must have a valid study permit or have been approved for a study permit before starting your program.
IRCC announced that if your courses have moved to online-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 for a program starting in the spring, summer or fall, 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.
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.
The Canadian government announced that international students who held a valid study permit or had been approved for a study permit before March 18, 2020 will be exempt from the travel exemption therefore will be able to travel to Canada. Like all other travellers entering Canada, international students who are exempt from the travel exemptions will undergo the necessary health checks and have a concrete plan to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival in Canada.
Since the information is changing rapidly, please make sure to check the IRCC website regularly."
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.