international students entering ontario

Canada may ban international students from entering Ontario

The Canadian Press is reporting that Canada has announced that the country will consider temporarily banning international students from travelling to Ontario province. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement following a meeting with the provinces on April 29.

According to the Canadian Press, Trudeau announced that the federal government will work with Ontario “to formalize” Premier Doug Ford’s request to suspend the arrival of international students. Ontario is the only province seeking this restriction, the PM says.

Trudeau says he’s not considering barring international students from entering Canada at this point, but he’s willing to work “more narrowly” with Ontario.


The PM also acknowledged that while people are still entering Canada, they are mostly permanent residents or citizens.

“The only people travelling across our border in any way right now are either permanent citizens or Canadians returning home, essential workers and a limited number of exception cases that have squashed the number down to 5 per cent of what it used to be in previous years,” he said.

You may pre-qualify for a Canada immigration program.

No effective date for a possible ban has been released yet.


In October 2020 Canada lifted travel restrictions on international students going to designated learning institutions (DLIs) whose COVID-19 readiness plans have been approved by their provincial or territorial government. DLIs are universities, colleges, and other educational institutions that are approved by federal and provincial government to admit international students.

The federal government has jurisdiction over international travel to Canada. Any request from a province that affects international travel has to be approved and enforced by the federal government.

The announcement on April 29 was in response to Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s specific request to Prime Minister Trudeau to put a stop to the arrival of international students to help stymie the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic which has hit Ontario really hard.


“We’re engaging with other provinces that are hit hard by this third wave to see how we can help. We are ready to send any resources needed to protect you and your family,” the PM said.

There were 4,715 new cases reported in Ontario on April 29, more than any other province in Canada. Ontario’s hospitals admitted an all-time high number of patients in mid-April. Almost 2,400 people were hospitalized at the peak.

Ontario Premier Ford has repeatedly blamed the COVID-19 pandemic’s third wave on “porous borders.”

The premier has also called on the federal government to institute hotel quarantines at land borders.

PM Trudeau says there are already tight controls at land borders, including tests before and after crossing and mandatory two-week quarantines.

“We are looking at a range of potential measures either targeting certain areas of types of travellers. We are going to be working with experts and authorities across the country to ensure what we are doing is grounded in science and will keep people safe,” Trudeau had said in an interview with Global News on April 21.

See also Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): International students and Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Designated learning institutions reopening to international students.

You may pre-qualify for a Canada immigration program.