fast-track study permit
The fast-track study permit process for international students will help them pursue their education in Canada. Source: COLE BURSTON/GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is rolling out measures to help international students pursue their education in Canada by providing a fast-track study permit process.

The government is also introducing a temporary two-stage study permit process for those beginning a new programme online this fall, it said in a news release.

The study permit is a mandatory immigration document for all those who study at a designated learning institution in Canada for more than six months.

IRCC said the new measures include providing priority study permit processing for students who have submitted a complete application online to ensure that permits are processed as quickly as possible.

It will also allow students to count the time spent studying online while abroad towards their eligibility for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) if they have submitted a study permit application and if at least 50% of their programme is completed in Canada.

A temporary two-stage approval seeks to assure international students who cannot submit all of the documentation needed for their applications, and who choose to pursue programmes through distance learning.

The Canadian post-graduation work permit 

The two-stage approval process is aimed at international students who are unable to submit the necessary documentation needed to process their PGWP application due to COVID-19-related restrictions.

The new process allows international students to go ahead with their plans once they receive an “approval-in-principle.” 

According to CIC News, IRCC will provide an approval-in-principle for study permits if students pass the first stage, which include:

  • showing that they have been accepted at a Canadian college or university;
  • have enough funds to support their education in Canada; and
  • meet all other study permit requirements

International students would then have to submit all outstanding documents and be approved before they can enter Canada. 

fast-track study permit

Fast-tracking the Canadian study permit is just one of the many measures introduced by the government to help international students. Source: Dave Chan/AFP

The full approval requires submitting biometrics, an immigration medical exam and a police background check, said the report.

This process is available to students starting a programme in the fall semester who submit a study permit application before Sept. 15, 2020, said IRCC.

The government added an approval-in-principle is not a guarantee that they will receive full approval of their study permit application, or be authorised to pursue their studies in Canada. 

“It is still possible that an applicant could receive a negative final decision on their study permit based on factors such as inadmissibility for criminality or security reasons, and the inability to predict how the COVID-19 situation and any associated travel restrictions will evolve,” it said.

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