Canadian Borders Open to International Students

February 9, 2021


  • Robynn Farrell

After nearly six months, Canadian borders are officially reopening to all international students who are enrolled in designated learning institutions to study in Canada, who are Coronavirus ready and have been approved by their respective provincial or territorial health authority. The Immigration Refugee Council of Canada (IRCC) implemented numerous special measures during the lockdown period. One of which allowed students who continued their studies that would have otherwise been done in Canada via distance learning, to include this time in their applications for Post Graduate Work Permits (PGWP) and Provincial Nomination Programs.

Students arriving in Canada to begin or continue their studies will still be required to undergo the mandatory 14 day quarantine period. Keep this in mind for your class start dates. Make sure you have all the required documents and that you are asymptomatic when you arrive in Canada. Border control is hard at work to ensure no non-essential travellers, or tourists, enter the country. So, what does an international student arriving in Canada require to get through customs and into the classroom?

What You’ll Need to Study in Canada

Happy-young-international-students-Study-in-Canada Make sure you have the following in your possession:
  • A valid study permit and visitor visa in you passport, or
  • A port of entry letter of introduction that shows you were approved for a study permit on or before March 18, 2020, if you’re coming from any other country

Who Can Travel With You to Canada

Immediate family members of students may accompany them as long as their reason for travel is essential. For example, if they have a work permit and they will be assisting you in getting established in Canada and supporting your study program. They will also be required to undergo the 14 day quarantine period. Immediate family members include spouses, common law partners and dependents.

Would You Like to Study in Canada?

Travel-to-Canada-borders-are-now-open-to-international-students Universities and other learning institutions have already begun accepting applications for the fall 2021 academic year. Some students even travel over earlier and start some programs in January. The first step is to identify a program you are interested in at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada. A DLI is a post secondary institution in Canada that has been approved by the IRCC to accept foreign students. It is vital that you only apply to schools on the approved list of DLI’s or your Canada study permit won’t be granted. We also recommend that you consider institutions that offer PGWP eligible institutions. The PGWP is only available to foreign graduates and is a special work permit, one that’s length is directly correlated to the length of your studies. So, do a three year program, you could be eligible for a three year work permit. The list of requirements to study in Canada is not a long one. For now, applications are only being processed online. If you want to study in Canada, meet the following list of requirements and your application will be considered:
  • a letter of acceptance from DLI;
  • Proof of funds - show that you can cover:
    • Your tuition fees.
    • living costs for yourself and any dependents that will accompany you.
    • return travel for yourself and any dependents.
  • If you have any family connections in Canada; and
  • Evidence that you will leave Canada if/when you no longer have legal status
If your application is successful, you will be required to give biometrics at your closest consulate, whereupon you will also present your valid passport or travel document. You may also require a police certificate and doctors exam, but this is not typically requested.

Why Study in Canada?

The benefits to studying in Canada are endless. Once you graduate, not only will you be eligible for the PGWP, but you will also be eligible for permanent residency through one of over 100 Canadian immigration programs. One example would be the Foreign Graduate Stream, an immigration channel in nearly every Provincial Nomination Program which allows foreign students who graduate from Canadian DLI’s to apply for a provincial nomination for permanent residency from the province or territory they completed their studies in. So we encourage you to think ahead, not only where you want to study, but where you want to live and work in Canada after you complete your education. Certain skill types are also more in demand in certain areas of Canada than in others, it would help if you could graduate, find a job and earn a provincial nomination all in one from the same province or territory. There are over 1,100 DLI’s across Canada, of which nearly 500 offer programs that are eligible for the PGWP. If you want to find out more about your options, follow the link below.

How MDC Can Help You

The decision to study in Canada is ultimately a life changing decision. It is the starting point of the most exciting challenges you will ever undertake, and the beginning of a new life. We welcome international students with open arms. Once you graduate, we want you to stay in Canada and help build and grow our economy, while building the life and enjoying the lifestyle you have always dreamed of. There are a lot of moving parts to consider when applying for your Canada study permit and when it comes to the IRCC, we recommend not leaving anything up to chance. By using our accredited Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) you will not only optimize your chances of success when you apply for your Canada visa, but you will receive expert advice on which program is best for your personal needs. Our RCICs are registered with the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC) and are legally permitted to assist you by evaluating your eligibility, reviewing all documentation and submitting it to the Canadian government on your behalf. Don't risk your chances of successfully obtaining permanent residency status in Canada. Let us make sure that all forms are completed correctly and sent in on time. Simply fill out our application form to receive your assessment today and take one step closer to a liberal life in Canada.