ITC News

Government Is Easing Travel Restrictions: International Students

The government is announcing plans to relax Canadian travel restrictions for international students starting on October 20, 2020. 

In recent months, international students faced a great deal of uncertainty when trying to cross the border into Canada. These new rules appear to simplify which international students can and cannot come to Canda during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

While some students may receive an exemption from Canadian travel restrictions, there are no plans to exempt international students from the 14-day quarantine period. All visitors to Canada must strictly adhere to the 14-day isolation period upon entering the country unless they have a special exemption.

Exemptions from travel restrictions for international students 

Under the amended rules taking effect on Oct. 20, 2020, some international students will be exempt from Canadian travel restrictions. In order to receive an exemption, the student’s designated learning institution (DLI) must submit and receive an approval for their COVID-19 readiness plan. 

The amended rules affect all international students travelling to Canada, regardless of the date of approval of their student permit or their country of origin. 

If you are already in Canada on a student permit, you can remain the country on your current status even if your DLI does not have a COVID-19 readiness plan. However, should you leave Canada, you might not be allowed to return on your student visa if your DLI does not have an approved readiness plan. 

Immediate family members can accompany international students

The immediate family members of international students may also receive an exemption from Canadian travel restrictions if the purpose of their visit is for non-optional reasons. 

This can include the spouse or common-law partner of the student, a dependent child or in the case that the student is a minor, a parent or legal guardian 

DLI COVID-19 readiness plans

COVID-19 readiness plans must receive approval by the provincial or territorial government where the school is located. A list of approved DLIs will be posted and updated on IRCC’s webpage for international students affected by COVID-19. As part of the readiness plan, DLIs will need to satisfy the provincial or territorial government that they are able to provide international students with:

  • Information on health and travel requirements before students arrive in Canada
  • Support students through their quarantine plan
  • Assistance or resources for acquiring the necessities of life like food or medication
Adam Pinsky

Adam Pinsky has a keen interest in all things immigration and has been working in the industry for 11 years.

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