What international students must pay attention to coming to Canada in 2022?
The Government of Canada regularly updates regulations and policies and introduces new instructions due to the evolving variants of COVID-19. The beginning of the year is always very important since many changes take place, and new instructions start being implemented. International students always have to check both the Federal and provincial governments’ requirements and guidelines before applying for universities or study permits.
Travel restrictions for international students
Starting from the Fall 2021 term, Canadian universities began resuming in-person classes. However, due to the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, starting the Winter 2022 term, many classes are being held online since most of the university campuses are closed. Most recently, the Government of Canada has implemented the direction that international students who are 18 years or older will only be allowed to enter Canada if they are fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the Government of Canada. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated students under the age of 18 will be able to travel to Canada. However, they still must follow the current travel and quarantine requirements.
Changes in the post-graduation work permit eligibility requirements
In late November 2021, the Government of Canada twice updated the list of post-graduation work permit-eligible (PGWP) programs and institutions. Full-time foreign students studying in a public post-secondary school, or a Canadian private school that can legally award degrees under provincial law will be eligible for PGWP. In addition, students who have chosen a private college-level school in Quebec may also be eligible for PGWP. According to new instructions announced on November 19, 2021, Quebec’s institutions that offer programs of at least 900 hours leading to a diploma of vocational studies (DVS), as well as an attestation of vocational specializations (AVS) also makes students eligible for PGWP. Moreover, since Quebec provides vocational and professional training programs both at public secondary and post-secondary institutions, both of them allow students to get PGWP after successful graduation. International students planning to apply for post-secondary education in Canada are advised to check the new lists before applying.
The Canadian Government also extended the online study eligibility period for international students, allowing them to complete 100% of their studies online from outside Canada and still be eligible for the PGWP after graduation. Students who study online between March 2020 and summer 2022 in an eligible Designated Learning Institution (DLI) and meet all other PGWP requirements will be eligible for PGWP. Under the new measures, foreign students are allowed to study online until August 31, 2022, which before was until December 31, 2021.
On January 10, 2022, the government updated the PGWP eligibility requirements for students who took or are planning to take a leave during their studies. The new instructions state that if an applicant took a period of leave that was authorized by their DLI at any time during their studies, he or she must provide the officers with documentation proving the leave was authorized by the DLIto be eligible for PGWP. Officers may also request additional documents to complete their assessment if needed.
Should you have any questions on student life in Canada, new regulations or seek guidance on how to become an international student in Canada, contact our experts for help!