study permit

Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has released new guidelines for International Students who are applying for a Study Permit in Canada.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has made it challenging for international students to complete requirements necessary to apply for Study Permits.

The situation has been made even more difficult, with travel restrictions still in place preventing most travellers from entering Canada.

Only Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents are exempt from this travel ban, as well as certain other individuals.

Certain International Students with valid Study Permits issued before 12:00NN on March 18, 2020 are still allowed to enter Canada at this time.

The decision to allow foreign nationals entry into Canada is still under the jurisdiction of Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers, who can refuse entry to International Students whose programs can be taken online.

IRCC has started a new two-step process that will allow International Students to begin the semester online without having a Study Permit.

The aim of the two-step process will help IRCC work through the existing backlog of applications faster.

International Students can submit their applications for a Study Permit using the two-step process until September 15, 2020.


The first step requires International Students to submit the following:

  • Letter of Acceptance
  • Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (for Quebec students only)
  • Proof of Funds
  • proof that they will leave Canada when the validity of their visas or permits expire
  • family ties to Canada

IRCC will assess applications give pre-approval on a case-by-case basis. After receiving pre-approval, International Students can start their studies.

The second step involves International Students travelling to Canada to get their Study Permit upon arrival. Applicants will need to submit the following:

  • Results of medical examinations
  • Police clearances
  • Biometrics


Applications submitted under the Student Direct Stream (SDS) are only eligible for the new two-step process if they are complete applications.

Incomplete applications will be processed in the regular manner. Applicants who submit incomplete applications can expect delays.

SDS applications are processed within 20 days. Applicants from China, India, Morocco, Pakistan, Senegal, Vietnam and the Philippines can apply as International Students under the SDS.


To complete a program in Canada, International Students must have a full Study Permit. A full study permit is required to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).

International Students need a PGWP to be able to legally work in Canada after graduation.

IRCC modified application requirements for a PGWP after Designated Learning Institutions) DLIs took classes online.

After the changes, International Students can take half of their program online and still be able to apply for a PGWP, which allows them to stay legally in Canada for at least three years after graduation.

Applying for a PGWP is important for International Students who want to apply to become Permanent Residents.

Immigration programs under the Express Entry System and the different Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) allow International Students who complete their studies in Canada and work in qualified positions to apply to become Permanent Residents.

IRCC minister Marco Mendicino said that they are working to support the International Student community, saying that “the pandemic has had a significant impact on international students and the Canadian institutions and communities that host them.”

Mendicino goes on to say that: “this is why we have implemented a series of measures to support them. We value the contribution of young people seeking a high-quality education in Canada, and we’re making every effort to minimize how current challenges affect their plans and dreams for the future.” is NOT affiliated with the Government of Canada, the Philippine Government, or any Philippine recruitment agencies or Canadian immigration consultants or lawyers.

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