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canada study permits

Canada already approved 56,000 study permits in pandemic two-stage process

Canada’s immigration minister Marco Mendicino announced in a September 22 webinar that Canada has already issued 56,000 “first stage” approvals for Canada study permits applications. The two-stage process was temporarily implemented in the summer of 2020 to facilitate study permit applications submitted outside Canada during the pandemic, and applies to applications:

  • submitted by September 15, 2020, and
  • for programs that start, or started, in spring, summer or fall 2020

Minister Marco Mendicino said the federal government is also working with designated learning institutions (DLI) to discern the best way to welcome international students back to campuses during the pandemic. DLIs are universities, colleges, and other educational institutions that are approved by federal and provincial government to admit international students.

Many DLIs desire to onboard international students during the pandemic but most international students are currently unable to travel to Canada because of government travel restrictions. In their discussion Health Canada, provinces and territories representatives agreed that the DLIs must focus on identifying whether the educational institutions are able to manage quarantine or social distancing restrictions in order to welcome the international students in the upcoming months.

Canada study permits two-stage process

Stage 1: Eligibility check

In this stage, an officer reviews your application for

  • a letter of acceptance from a DLI
  • a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (if you’ll be studying in Quebec)
  • proof that you have enough money for
    • tuition fees
    • living expenses for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada, and
    • return transportation for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada
  • any family ties you may have to Canada
  • evidence that you’ll leave Canada when you no longer have legal status

If your application passes this first stage, IRCC will let you know in your online account. This doesn’t guarantee that IRCC will approve your application and issue you a study permit.

Stage 2: Admissibility assessment and any changes to your eligibility

In this stage, an officer reviews your application for

  • a medical exam, if needed
  • police certificates, if needed
  • your biometrics
  • any information that changed after we reviewed your application for eligibility

If your application passes this second stage, IRCC will approve it. At this point, if you meet the requirements to travel to Canada, you’ll be

  • ready to travel to Canada and begin your studies, or
  • able to continue your studies in Canada, if you’ve already started studying online

You will still need to isolate yourself for 14 days upon arrival in Canada.

Related: Canada relaxes travel restrictions for extended family and international students