Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): International students

Upcoming border changes

Fully vaccinated foreign nationals may be allowed to enter Canada for discretionary travel on the following dates if they meet specific criteria:

  • Effective August 9: American citizens and permanent residents of the United States, who currently reside in the United States, who meet specific criteria to qualify as fully vaccinated
  • September 7 (intended start date): All other foreign nationals who qualify as fully vaccinated   

The 3-night hotel stopover requirement will be eliminated for all travellers arriving by air after 12:01 A.M. EDT on August 9.

Flights from India suspended

Read the news release.

We recognize that the travel restrictions have an impact on many people who can’t travel to Canada right now. These restrictions stop most discretionary travel to Canada.

Apply for a study permit

Processing study permit applications for the fall 2021 semester

If you submitted your complete study permit application (including your biometrics and immigration medical examination results) by May 15, 2021, you should get a decision by August 6, 2021, in time to attend the fall semester.

We’ll process complete applications submitted after May 15, 2021, as quickly as possible—but we can’t guarantee that you’ll get a final decision before the fall semester begins.

Some applications take longer to process and may not be finalized by August 6, 2021, such as those that

  • are incomplete
  • require the officer to request more information from you

Quebec students

If you submitted your study permit application by May 15, 2021, without the official copy of your Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ), then you must submit the official copy using your online account or our web form by June 30, 2021, to have your application processed in time for the fall semester.

Apply online

If you’re applying for a study permit, you should apply online, whether you’re outside of Canada or already in Canada.

When you apply, you should submit

If you can’t apply online because of a disability or because there’s a problem with the online application, you can apply on paper.

If you plan to study in Quebec, you must provide a valid Quebec Acceptance Certificate or proof that you applied for one.

Applying at the port of entry

In general, you should not apply for a study permit at a Canadian port of entry. You should apply online for a study permit before you travel to Canada.

Only certain people can apply at the port of entry at this time. You may be able to apply at the port of entry if you’re a

If you meet one of these requirements, you must have all the documents required to apply for a study permit with you when you arrive at the border. The border services officer who greets you will determine if you’re eligible to enter Canada as a student.

Complying with your study permit conditions

If your in-class courses are temporarily moved to an online-only format or suspended completely because of COVID-19, you’re still complying with your study permit conditions if you

Letter of support for future applications

If, on a future application, an officer asks you for more information about your time studying in Canada, your DLI should provide you with a letter of support to explain how your studies were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you want to stay in Canada longer

You must apply online to extend your stay in Canada.

If your study permit is going to expire soon

If you’re a student, you have 3 options:

  1. You may be able to extend your study permit, if you want to continue studying.
  2. You may be eligible to apply for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) or a work permit, if you completed your study program.
  3. You can apply to change your status to visitor.

You must submit an application for 1 of these options before your study permit expires, or you may need to leave Canada.

If your study permit has expired

If your study permit expires before you apply to extend it, you’ve lost your status as a student in Canada. You may be able to restore your status.

If you’re a visitor who needs a study permit

You can apply online for a study permit if you’re already in Canada as a visitor.

When you apply, you must follow the instructions for applying from outside of Canada. We’ll process your application in the same amount of time as though you’d applied from your home country, outside of Canada.

You can’t start studying until you receive your study permit.

Studying in Quebec

If you want to study in Quebec for longer than 6 months, you must apply for a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ).

When you apply for a study permit to study in Quebec, you’ll need to show us that you’ve applied for a CAQ. To do this, you can submit either

If you plan to study in Quebec for less than 6 months, you can apply for a study permit without a CAQ.

Working as a student

As of September 1, 2020, to work in Canada as a student, you must

Co-op work permits

During the COVID-19 outbreak, many international students are studying online from abroad. If your school and employer agree, you can either

If you’re working outside Canada, you can work while we process your study permit and co-op work permit applications.

How to apply for a co-op work permit

How your post-graduation work permit (PGWP) eligibility is affected

If you’re inside Canada

You’re still eligible for the PGWP if

As of the fall 2020 semester, you must be studying full-time to be eligible.

If you’re outside of Canada

If you can’t travel to Canada at this time and you’re taking your classes online, you’re still eligible for a PGWP.

To be eligible, you must

and

If you started your online studies outside Canada before you applied for a study permit, you may still be eligible for a PGWP. Only the time you spent studying online after your application was received will count toward the length of your PGWP.

How much of your studies count toward a PGWP

You can complete 100% of your studies online from outside Canada.

All your time studying online outside Canada between spring 2020 and December 31, 2021, counts toward the length of a PGWP. This applies even if you’re completing 2 study programs.

If you’re completing 2 study programs, you can finish 100% of your studies online if the programs were ongoing or started between March 2020 and fall 2021, and

The following time won’t count toward the length of a PGWP:

Apply for a PGWP

To apply for a PGWP, you need to submit

You can start working right away, until we make a decision on your application, if

If your PGWP has expired or will expire soon

Starting January 27, 2021, you may be eligible for an open work permit of up to 18 months under a new public policy. Find out if you meet the requirements for this open work permit.

You can submit applications for this open work permit until July 27, 2021.

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