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In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, governments around the world have put in place new measures as well as eased some of them to take into account the specific legal situation of the incoming international students in their respective countries.
In Canada, international students who have a valid study permit or had a study permit approved on or before 18 March 2020 are exempt from travel restrictions. If traveling by plane however they will need to pass a health check before boarding the flight and will be turned down from air travel if they are showing symptoms of the new coronavirus. Their health and symptoms will also be checked upon arrival and, regardless of them having symptoms, international students will need to either have a plan for quarantining for 14 days or will be quarantined in a facility designated by the chief public health officer of Canada, as stated on the official website of the Government of Canada.
Canada’s governmental department Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has also eased immigration rules for international students allowing them to begin their studies online. Therefore, online courses will not affect Post-Graduation Work Permit Program eligibility. This programme allows international students having completed a their studies or at least have eight months duration to stay in Canada to gain valuable work experience that will count towards a future application for permanent residency in the country. If students have a study permit or at least have been approved for a study programme starting in May or June 2020 but cannot travel to Canada due to the current travel restrictions, they will still be able to begin their classes online, outside of Canada, and complete up to 50% of their study programme.
While Higher education institutions are currently managing to handle the diminishing number of international students with these new measures, they are still faced with many uncertainties concerning the next academic year.
More information here.