international students in canada

Canada’s immigration minister Marco Mendicino provided an international student update on September 22, 2020.

Immigration minister Marco Mendicino made two notable revelations today during an international student update he provided via a webinar.

Mendicino stated that Canada has already issued 56,000 first stage approvals for study permit applications.

Secondly, as previously reported by CIC News, the minister confirmed that the federal government, led by Health Canada, continues to work with designated learning institutions to identify how they can physically welcome international students onto their campuses during the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Mendicino, Minister Patty Hajdu is working to ensure each designated learning institution (DLI) has met the public health requirements of the province and territory they are located. This approach will protect health and safety of international students and Canadian students.

DLIs are universities, colleges, and other educational institutions that have obtained federal and provincial government approval to welcome international students. Some DLIs have indicated an interest in welcoming international students during the pandemic. However, due to Canada’s travel restrictions, most international students are currently unable to travel to the country.

The discussions between Health Canada, provinces, territories, and DLIs are aimed at identifying whether DLIs can safely form quarantine and socially distancing plans that would enable them to potentially welcome international students in the coming months. Under Canadian law, most travelers must quarantine for 14 days immediately upon arriving to Canada. Moreover, provinces and territories across Canada have strict social distancing measures in place to help contain the spread of COVID-19, although Canada’s coronavirus case tally has been increasing significantly in recent weeks.

In the meantime, Canada has announced a number of major policy reforms to enable international students to pursue their Canadian studies amid the pandemic. Among the reforms, Canada announced a two-step study permit process in the summer to give students certainty so they can begin their studies while overseas.

In addition, international students can study online while overseas but still be able to work in Canada under a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) once the pandemic is over.

The minister revealed that 56,000 international students have been approved for a study permit under stage one so far. This means that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has provided students with approval after reviewing each applicant’s letter of acceptance from a DLI, proof of funds that they can support themselves and their studies financially, among other criteria.

Once the students are able to travel to Canada, they need to complete a medical exam, criminal background check, and biometrics in order to get stage two study permit approval.

Mendicino delivered the remarks during a webinar hosted by the Canadian International Council,  which is an organization that brings Canadians together to explore foreign affairs issues.

Mendicino made sure to affirm Canada’s ongoing commitment to welcoming immigrants, international students, and global talent in general.

“I steadfastly believe that immigration will play a vital role in our economy, as it has in recent years.”