International students studying at Canadian colleges and universities can now enter the country to continue their education.
The Government of Canada has amended some travel restrictions so that designated learning institutions (DLIs) that have an approved COVID-19 readiness plan in place can begin to accept their international scholars as of October 20.
The plans must have been approved by the provincial or territorial government where the school is located.
Readiness plans must specify how the school will communicate health and travel information to international students prior to their arrival in Canada, and how they will help students with quarantining, including guiding or assisting them in acquiring food, medication, and other necessities.
The government says plans must also establish protocols for protecting student’s health should their be a suspected or confirmed coronavirus case at the school.
“Provincial and territorial partners indicated they would like to see a process that allows international students to begin travelling to Canada again, as long as it is done safely and respects health requirements,” the Canadian government announced. “Taking a cautious approach, the federal, provincial, and territorial governments have worked together in developing that process.”
The list of schools with approved readiness plans in place, and other helpful information for international students, can be found on Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website. The list will be updated regularly as additional plans are accepted.
Currently, only post-secondary institutions are listed.
International students with, or approved for, a study permit who will be attending a designated learning institution with a #COVID19 readiness plan approved by their provincial or territorial government may be able to travel to Canada. pic.twitter.com/MzPCiyW58H
— IRCC (@CitImmCanada) October 21, 2020
The amended travel restrictions apply to all international students, regardless of their country of origin or when their Canadian study permit was approved, says the government. The amendment also deems this reason for traveling to be non-discretionary and non-optional.
The emergency orders under Canada’s Quarantine Act restrict some foreign nationals from travelling to Canada for discretionary or optional reasons, which include tourism, recreation, and entertainment.
In order to travel to Canada, international students must have all the necessary documents needed to enter the country, must not have any symptoms of coronavirus, and their school must be on the list of institutions with approved COVID-19 readiness plans.
Student’s immediate family members, including a spouse, common-law partner, or dependent, may be able to accompany them to Canada if their reason for travel is also considered non-optional or non-discretionary.
As is the case for all travellers, international students and their family members must quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival in Canada.