Canada Announced Major Changes to Help International Students

In a dynamic response to the evolving global landscape, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has recently announced transformative changes to facilitate international students in pursuing their academic journey in Canada. With a commitment to providing a seamless process, IRCC aims to address the challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic while reinforcing Canada’s reputation as a welcoming destination for global talent.

Key Changes Unveiled by IRCC:

  1. Digital Priority Processing:
    • IRCC is set to expedite the processing of study permits for those who submit their applications online. This initiative reflects a dedication to swift and efficient service, ensuring that students can commence their studies without unnecessary delays.
  2. Two-Stage Approval Process:
    • Recognizing the uncertainties caused by the global crisis, IRCC introduces a temporary two-stage approval process for study visa applications. This facilitates international students who are unable to submit a completed application but wish to begin their Canadian educational program online.
  3. Online Studies Count Towards PGWP:
    • To adapt to the new normal, IRCC allows students to initiate their Canadian studies online from their home countries. Notably, this period will be considered in the calculation of eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), provided a study permit application has been submitted, and at least 50% of the program has been completed in Canada.

Motivation Behind IRCC’s Support:

  1. Adapting to the Current Climate:
    • IRCC acknowledges the uncertainty faced by students worldwide due to the pandemic. These changes are a strategic response to the challenges posed by the crisis and demonstrate Canada’s commitment to supporting international students.
  2. Ensuring Timely Program Commencement:
    • The measures taken by IRCC aim to facilitate the timely initiation of academic programs for the fall 2020 academic year, mitigating the impact of the global health crisis on students’ aspirations.

Benefits for International Students:

  1. Flexible Program Commencement:
    • International students gain the flexibility to start their Canadian program online, ensuring both health and academic goals are met.
  2. Expedited Study Permit Processing:
    • IRCC pledges to expedite study permit processing for those commencing their studies in the coming fall, even if the application process is not fully completed.
  3. Gateway to High-Quality Education:
    • Students attracted to Canada’s esteemed education system can now experience it firsthand, with opportunities to work during and after their studies, ultimately paving the way for permanent residence.

Study Permit Application Process:

  1. Pre-Approval Stage:
    • Applicants must demonstrate acceptance at a designated learning institution, sufficient financial support, and compliance with other study permit requirements.
  2. Online Study Initiation:
    • After the pre-approval stage, students can commence their studies online from their home countries, with this period counting towards PGWP eligibility.
  3. Final Approval:
    • Completion of the application process, including biometrics, medical exams, and police certificates, leads to the final approval of the study permit.
  4. Arrival in Canada:
    • Upon receiving final approval, students can enter Canada to pursue their studies.

Online Visa Application Services Update:

  1. Resumed Processing:
    • IRCC has resumed processing online applications for visitor visas, eTAs, work permits, and study permits from July 1, 2023.
  2. Cautionary Note:
    • Travel restrictions may impact the ability to physically travel to Canada, and applicants must be prepared for a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival.

Why Study in Canada?

  1. World-Class Education:
    • Canada offers an exceptional standard of education in a globally renowned academic environment.
  2. Cost-Effective Education:
    • Studying in Canada is comparatively more affordable than in countries like the USA.
  3. Work Opportunities:
    • International students can work up to 20 hours per week, supporting their living expenses and gaining valuable Canadian work experience.
  4. Pathways to Permanent Residence:

    • Post-graduation work permits open avenues for professional work experience, paving the way for permanent residence and Canadian citizenship through Express Entry, the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), and various immigration routes.


As Canada adapts to the challenges of the times, these IRCC initiatives reflect a commitment to fostering a supportive environment for international students. The changes not only facilitate seamless academic pursuits but also underscore Canada’s dedication to attracting and nurturing global talent. For aspiring students, this is an opportune moment to embark on a transformative educational journey in one of the world’s most welcoming countries.

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