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Canada comes to the aid of international students amid COVID-19

Posted on May 4, 2020
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Study in Canada

Canada has announced various special measures to come to the assistance of international students – those already in Canada as well as those planning on coming to Canada in the near future – affected by the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

International students are an integral part of the society and economy in Canada. Along with adding to the cultural diversity in Canada, international students also have a significant contribution to make to the Canadian economy each year.

International students in Canada also help support many Canadian jobs.

Keeping all this in view, the Canadian government has come up with various measures that will help in supporting international students in Canada, both present as well as prospective.

Studying online will not affect eligibility for PGWP

The Post-Graduation Work Permit [PGWP] allows international students to remain in the country after the completion of their studies while acquiring valuable work experience that makes them eligible for many Canadian PR pathways.

International students that had been approved for Canada study permit and were to begin their program in Canada in May/June can now begin their program online. This will not affect their eligibility for the PGWP.

Additionally, international students that had to transition to online instruction in the absence of regular classes due to COVID-19 special measures would also be eligible for the PGWP. Their eligibility for the PGWP will not be affected due to taking online classes.

Under normal circumstances, an international student taking online classes is considered to be ineligible for the PGWP.

Immigration applications will not be rejected for being incomplete, more time given for submission

In view of the service disruptions and limitations caused by the COVID-19 special measures worldwide, immigration applicants have been finding it difficult to submit their completed applications on time.

Taking this into consideration, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada [IRCC] have offered leniency to immigration applicants. IRCC will provide an additional 90 days’ time for those affected by COVID-19. Incomplete applications will not be refused by IRCC.

International students can claim income support

The federal government of Canada has launched the Canada Emergency Response Benefit [CERB] providing income support to those in Canada that have been impacted by COVID-19. International students that meet the eligibility criteria for CERB might claim such income support.

Extending stay in Canada through implied status

International students in Canada might be eligible for implied status if they require an extension of their stay in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. The implied status can be availed by international students that are currently studying in Canada as well as former students that might be in Canada on a PGWP.

With an implied status, such international students can continue to study and work in Canada in keeping with conditions on their original permit until a decision on their pending application is reached by IRCC.

Easier for international students to work in essential services

Usually, international students cannot work more than 20 hours a week while their classes are in session. The restriction has been lifted by IRCC in a News Release dated April 22.

International students can now work in Canada full time, provided they are working in an occupation that is considered to be an essential function or service. 10 priority sectors have been shortlisted. This is a temporary change that will be in place till August 31, 2020.

Canadian experience targeted in Express Entry draws

Since the COVID-19 special measures in place in Canada from March 18, Express Entry draws have been specifically targeting provincial nominees and those with Canadian experience making them eligible for the Canadian Experience Class [CEC].

The latest draw held on May 1 invited 3,311 under the CEC to apply for Canada permanent residence.

While the world in general develops and tweaks strategies for combating the threat posed by COVID-19, Canada has indeed stepped up to the challenge. Canada has gone out of its way to accommodate immigrants, temporary foreign workers as well as international students.

If you are looking to Work, Study, Invest, Visit, or Migrate to Canada, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No. 1 Immigration & Visa Company.

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