enter canada
They can enter Canada from Oct. 20 onwards if their designated learning institution (DLI) has a government-approved COVID-19 plan ready. Source: Daniel Slim/AFP

International students can enter Canada from Oct. 20 onwards if their designated learning institution (DLI) has a government-approved COVID-19 readiness plan in place. Provincial and territorial governments will assess these university plans to ensure there are suitable protocols in place to protect students in case there are COVID-19 cases on campus.

This comes after Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) approved 56,000 study permits in late September, shortly after relaxing online study rules for post-graduate work permit eligibility.

“If you’re already in Canada, you can continue studying at any DLI. If you leave Canada, you may not be able to return if your DLI doesn’t have a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by the province or territory in which you live,” according to IRCC. Here’s a quick review of what international students need to know about their return to Canada.

Montreal University in Quebec will be among the DLIs anticipating the return of international students. Source: Sebastien St-Jean/AFP

Who can enter Canada?

All international students can return to approved institutions, no matter where they are travelling from or when their study permit was approved. Nevertheless, you should ensure you meet all requirements and receive the necessary permission before you purchase that flight ticket.

The amended travel restrictions also cover spouses, common-law partners, dependents, or guardians of minor international students. All returning parties must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Is it safe to go back to campus?

Each university must have their health and safety guidelines and plans assessed and approved before opening the doors to international students. The IRCC statement reads: “As part of their plans, DLIs are expected to provide specifics to their provincial or territorial government on how they will provide information to international students on health and travel requirements before they arrive in Canada, help students with their quarantine plans and provide guidance or assistance in acquiring the necessities of life, such as food and medication, during their quarantine.”

So if your university is on the approved list, you can rest assured that it is safe to return to campus. Out of the abundance of caution — or not — it pays to take care of your own personal hygiene and adhere to social distancing rules as the pandemic is far from over. Canada reported 1,679 new cases on Oct. 4, with an 84% recovery rate and 9,481 deaths.

Can I enter Canada if my university on the approved list?

The official website states: “The list of DLIs with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan in place will be posted on IRCC’s web page for international students affected by COVID-19 restrictions and updated regularly as provinces and territories identify additional schools.”

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