Canada is ready to welcome international students from October 20, 2020. However, it will be possible only if the Designated Learning Institution (DLI) is equipped with the COVID-19 readiness plan approved by the government in advance. The Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) made this announcement recently. Reports indicate that the IRCC will release the latest list of the DLIs with an approved Coronavirus readiness plan before October 20.
Before allowing the institutions to welcome international students, the territorial, as well as the provincial governments, will first evaluate their readiness plan. The DLIs must provide all the details to the territory or province on how they are planning to guide the foreign students about health and their travel before reaching Canada.
It is expected that the readiness plan prepared by the DLIs will help the students during quarantine and also take care of their medical needs in self-isolation. IRCC also expects the DLIs to come up with their respective protocols on instances when a student is showing COVID-19 symptoms but is not confirmed as a positive case. Additionally, these institutions must also have a proper protocol for handling a situation if an international student tests corona positive.
Travel Restrictions Applicable To Students From All Countries
Irrespective of the country they belong to or the time when they received study permits, all the international students will have to follow these travel restrictions made mandatory by the IRCC. So in the case, a foreign student cannot fulfill all the mentioned criteria or is yet to receive the required authorization he cannot travel to Canada. However, these restrictions are not applicable to international students who are currently staying in Canada.
In the case of foreign students who are asymptomatic but carry the right documents necessary for entering Canada and enrolled with DLI listed in the COVID-19 readiness plan- these students will be considered under the non-discretionary and non-optional category. However, for that, they will need to prove that they are traveling to Canada for discretionary purposes like tourism.
When Is Travel to Canada Non-discretionary for a Student?
It is non-discretionary for a student to travel to Canada in case the student is already living in Canada or has to travel to Canada for laboratory work, workshops, and similar programs.
Similarly, if his educations institution does not offer the provision for remote studying then traveling to Canada can be considered as non-discretionary for an international student. Other considerations included under non-discretionary travel for a student include the inability to study in the native countries due to restrictions of internet or differences in time zones disrupting participation in live classes.
If a student is traveling to Canada for non-discretionary or non-optional reasons then his close family members are allowed to accompany him. It can be anyone – common-law partners, spouses, legal guardian (in case of a minor child), dependent, or a parent. However, they must follow the public health measures that are currently being followed in Canada owing to the corona pandemic including self-quarantining for 14 days on arrival in the country.