Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced those who are planning to begin studies in Canada in May or June can begin their studies online. They can start from their home country in preparation for coming to Canada. This recent announcement is applicable, only to students who have been approved for a study permit for a programme starting in May. Since unable to travel to Canada at this time due to travel restrictions they may begin their studies online while in their home country. They may complete up to 50% of their programme while outside Canada if they cannot travel to Canada sooner.
International students whose classes have moved online due to COVID-19 will still be eligible for the Canadian Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program. The PGWP allows international students who have completed a programme of at least eight months’ duration to stay on to work in Canada for up to three years. This still helps international students who graduate from Canadian colleges to apply for the PGWP and stay back further. The bottom line is whether study online of or offline students students after completing the course will be eligible to apply for the PSWP. Local work experience gained can count towards a future application for permanent residency in the country which allows to stay indefinitely.
Majority of the Colleges and Institutes in Canada welcomed the news and said that it will continue to work with IRCC officials for the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak. New admissions are open in almost all the Canadian colleges, admission staff are working online and attending all the applications received. Students for post graduate level studies; certificate / diploma / degree are encouraged to apply, since they have all their credentials available with them.
All hope that students can transition to Canada, or begin new programmes in the fall, but will continue to ask for flexibility should the situation not improve and students remain unable to travel to Canada for reasons beyond their control.