The COVID-19 pandemic has affected numerous groups of people in different ways globally. However, one group that has been hit particularly hard by recent events are international students. It’s not uncommon for individuals to pursue higher education in foreign countries that possess high-ranking education institutions. However, many of these countries have halted or significantly downsized the number of international students they are willing to accept during the pandemic.
This has left many international students without access to higher education opportunities. However, Canada continues to welcome international students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
How the Pandemic Has Affected International Students in Australia
Prospective students who wished to pursue higher education in Australia in the last year were disappointed with the Australian government’s recent moves. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews recently announced that it would be challenging for international students to return to the country in 2021. This is due to the strict COVID-19 travel restrictions in Australia, which were implemented last year.
It is estimated that over 140,000 international students have been unable to enter Australia due to the restrictions. This move prompted many Australian education institutions to offer to implement their own quarantine policies. However, the government has yet to lift the travel restrictions and allow international students into the country. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the country’s situation very unpredictable, and it is unknown when their travel restrictions will be eased. For this reason, prospective international students should consider pursuing higher education in other countries.
Why Canada Is Continuing to Welcome International Students
While Australia’s response to the pandemic can seem extreme, it was put in place to eliminate community transmission of COVID-19. The country is now faring better than the United States in terms of COVID-19 infections and deaths.
Canada has also been able to slow the spread of the virus using its own lockdown measures. However, the country implemented its lockdown measures without turning away international students. This means students who were already studying in Canada can continue doing so as long as they follow appropriate COVID-19 measures introduced by the government.
New or returning international students must present a valid study permit and proof that they are attending a designated learning institution with a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by the province. They must then complete a 14-day quarantine before attending any classes.
The measures mentioned above are far less extreme than Australia’s restriction on international students. This makes Canada an excellent choice for higher education during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Canadian government understands that international students benefit the country by filling critical job vacancies, with many students becoming business founders and job creators. For this reason, they have prioritized the well-being of international students and continue to welcome them into the country.
How IRCC Is Helping International Students During the Pandemic
International students in Canada that have recently graduated from their program can also receive assistance from Immigration, Refugees, and Canada Citizenship (IRCC) during the pandemic. The IRCC typically issues post-graduate work permits for international students following their graduation. These work permits allow students to work in the country and obtain the 12-months of full-time work experience needed to qualify for permanent resident status under the Canadian Experience Class immigration program.
IRCC observed that many ex-international students struggled to find jobs or maintain their current employment during the pandemic. This led to many failing to obtain the required work experience before their work permit expired. As a pandemic measure, they have introduced a special open work permit for students with expired post-graduate work permits or work permits expiring soon.
This allows ex-international students to continue working in Canada and follow a path towards permanent residence.
How to Start Studying in Canada
Prospective international students who wish to start studying in Canada and those who want to continue working in the country after graduation should get in touch with Elaar immigration consulting. We offer special services to help students obtain their Canada student visa and guide them throughout the application process.