The Coronavirus pandemic has altered the plans of many students who want to study abroad. The present uncertain situation has forced many students to postpone their plans to study abroad. But the good news is that the universities and governments in many countries have opted for relaxation of admission and visa requirements to lure international students.
While universities are offering fee waivers, provisional admissions and online courses, some countries are allowing students to submit visa applications and keep them on hold till they can submit all the required documents. Other countries are offering visa extensions while some are taking the period that students spend on online classes into account for post-study work permits.
Here are details of measures taken by top study abroad countries and their universities to help international students.
To help international students complete their study permit applications, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has decided to keep their applications open till the formalities are completed.
Due to the restrictions imposed due to the pandemic, international students must deal with incomplete applications in three crucial aspects-
- Submission of biometrics
- Completion of medical examinations
- Submission of original travel documents
Instead of refusing incomplete applications for study permits, the IRCC has agreed to hold the application open and request supporting documentation till it receives them or receives assurance that action has been taken to process them.
The Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is highly sought after by international students in Canada because it helps them to work in the country for up to three years after their studies have been completed.
The work experience gained through the PGWP proves to be a big advantage when submitting their application for federal or provincial immigration.
The IRCC has decided not to deduct the length of the PGWP for the time the students spend on the course online from outside the country.
Under the new rules, an international student may start his course in the fall and still be eligible for a three-year PGWP if he arrives in Canada by December 2020.
Universities in Australia are offering fee waivers and scholarships to international students. Some universities are allowing students to take up online courses and are assuring students that the online course has the same weightage as regular courses.
On confirmation of admission, students will receive a Confirmation of Enrolment (COE) for Australia student visa purposes. This will be valid for both online and on-campus enrolment.
Universities in the UK are also offering scholarships to international students. Some universities are ready to accept soft copies of documents and certificates required for admissions.
Some universities are ready to offer dual methods of instruction, both online and offline for their courses to help international students in the current situation.
For students who have got admission in a course in the UK, and their Tier 4 study visa has been approved, and if they wish to start their course but cannot fly to the UK, then the option is to undertake remote online learning.
Study abroad destinations and universities abroad are trying their best to keep the influx of international students going by offering them fee waivers, scholarships, relaxation of visa norms and opportunities to do their course online.
Foreign countries offer various options to international students
Posted on May 29, 2020