Some U.S. residents will now be able to study in Canada for the Fall 2020 semester even if their student permit was obtained after March 18, 2020.
ITC News has previously covered the accommodations the Canadian government has made so far for international students wishing to study in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. This new change will allow some U.S. residents to cross the border and attend their Fall semester if they meet certain requirements.
It is still unclear if the Canadian government will make further concessions for international students coming from other countries. For now, with few exceptions, residents of all other countries apart from the U.S. are limited to studying online unless they have a student permit approved prior to March 18, 2020.
Who can enter the country to study in Canada?
You’re exempt from the travel restrictions and are able to enter Canada if you’re travelling for a non-discretionary or non-optional purpose AND
- you’re an international student who has a valid study permit or
- you were approved for a study permit on or before March 18, 2020, or
- you’re coming from the United States
When you travel to Canada
Make sure you have proof that you’re exempt from the travel restrictions and that you’re travelling for a non-optional or non-discretionary purpose.
When the border services officer greets you, they will look at several factors, including whether:
- you’re already living in Canada
- you’re able to complete a 14-day quarantine period as soon as you arrive at your final destination
- you begin studying after you complete your quarantine
- you need to be in Canada for your program (for laboratories, workshops)
- pursuing your studies online is not an option at your school or not possible from your home country (due to internet restrictions or bandwidth limitation)
You must also bring:
- a valid study permit, or
- a port of entry letter of introduction that shows you were approved for a study permit, if you’re coming from the United States, or
- a port of entry letter of introduction that shows you were approved for a study permit on or before March 18, 2020, if you’re coming from any other country
Before you travel, you can contact the Border Information Service for more information.
A border services officer will make a final decision on your eligibility to enter Canada when you arrive. So make sure you have a compelling case to put forth to avoid refusal or unnecessary delay in commencing your studies in Canada.