With talk of Canadian borders reopening, universities and colleges in Canada are looking forward to welcoming international students on their campuses once again.
“We look forward to welcoming international students back to our campuses across Canada once it is safe to do so”Mary Ng, minister for international trade, in a statement during a recent PIE webinar.
International students whose presence was required as part of their studies have been allowed to enter Canada throughout the pandemic, in contrast to those whose presence was not mandated by their school. They have been left with no option but to study remotely until Canada loosens its travel restrictions.
This has meant that the majority of international students have been studying remotely, outside of Canada since March 2020.
Processing of Study Permit Applications
Application processing times slowed down during this pandemic. With countries being in lockdown, it made it difficult for most to be able to submit simple requirements. I.E; medical and biometrics and for some even language results, which halted their school their application. While some countries still face lockdowns due to this pandemic, they are beginning to stabilize, and so many are able to gather the required documents.
For the September 2021 intake, IRCC announced that all applications that were submitted by May 15th, 2021, should receive a response by no later than August 6th, 2021.
All applications submitted after May 15th, 2021, will likely not receive a decision before their program starts in September 2021.
Individuals affected by this should consider deferring their start date.
“Our government is dedicating resources to ensuring study permit processing for as many students as possible in time for the fall semester.”Mary Ng, minister for international trade
What Does this New Sense of Hope Mean?
Schools across Canada have felt the impact of COVID-19 and the number of international students diminishing. In realizing this, a sense of urgency is coming forth. Institutions are pushing for more support from the government to better accommodate and help international students integrate into Canadian society. In addition, being able to help them find work.
Gaining Canadian work experience is one of the fundamental elements of being an international student.
“The postgraduate work and the permanent residency streams [are] absolutely critical for all the universities and colleges in parts of Canada that are outside of Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver. We really need these students”Sonja Knutson, director of the internationalisation office at Memorial University of Newfoundland.