canada september intake 2020
Are universities ready to bring back international students in September? Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP

Anxious to begin your international student journey in Canada, or head back to resume your studies for September intake 2020?

It was recently reported by The PIE News that the country may allow international students back in September this year.

According to a letter sent by the deputy minister of Ontario’s Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Laurie LeBlanc to Ontario’s designated learning institutions, the government is considering making certain amendments to travel restrictions that would allow international students to return to Canadian university campuses in September.

It will ultimately come down to whether universities and colleges are ready to accept international students and how they will support their entry in a safe manner to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The letter reads, “In order for Ontario to provide confirmation to IRCC on your post-secondary institutions’ readiness to accept international students, I ask that you review the attached draft federal guidelines and confirm your institution’s ability to meet the guidelines for September 2020 by end of day July 30, 2020.”

The six-page list of draft guidelines include:

  • helping students understand and manage current health restrictions and guidance
  • helping them develop their quarantine plans ahead of their arrival in Canada
  • assisting them with hotels, homestay, or other types of accommodation
  • provide transportation from the airport or initial point of arrival to their place of quarantine.

According to The PIE News, the institutions were only given one day to assess whether they could comply with these new guidelines, but were asked to confirm to the ministry as soon as possible if they could not meet the July 30 deadline.

Currently, foreign students must have a non-optional or non-discretionary reason to travel to Canada. Source: Cole Burston/Getty Images/AFP

Are universities in Canada ready to accept students for September intake 2020?

Universities are currently working to make necessary arrangements if international students are allowed back in September while keeping the safety and wellbeing of students and staff in mind.

The blended learning model, a combination of online and in-person classes, will likely be adopted by universities in Canada for the September intake 2020.

Christopher Conway, CEO of Career Colleges Ontario, told The PIE News, “We are advocating a blended approach to reopening Ontario’s career colleges upon the approval of government and health authorities.”

“Having this model in place earlier would have allowed the sector to respond even quicker to the pandemic.”

Canada kept its borders open to international students at the beginning of the year, and previously announced that they could enter the country if they had a valid study permit that was approved prior to March 18.

It recently updated the rules so that international students could not travel to the country unless they had a “non-discretionary or non-optional” reason to do so, which caused confusion among international students hoping to join for September intake 2020.

According to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website, “Travel will be deemed discretionary or non-discretionary depending on individual circumstances.”

It’s also advised on the website that international students who had their study permit approved after March 18, 2020 “should not make any plans to travel to Canada until the travel restrictions are lifted, as they will not be allowed to travel to or enter Canada.”

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