Looking to Study in Canada? Here’s What You Need to Know During COVID-19

Study Desk | Pixabay
Study Desk | Pixabay

If you’re interested in coming to Canada to pursue your post-secondary education, there are a couple of steps you need to take before you can travel – especially if you’re planning on studying abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To help outline the important things international students need to know, we interviewed Sandeep Singh. He is the Marketing Director at Brampton Immigration Consultancy and is also a Licensed Immigration Consultant.

Ensure you choose and enroll in a school that is known as a Designated Learning Institution (DLI).

A DLI is a school that has been approved by a provincial or territorial government to host international students. In order to apply for a study permit, you have to have an acceptance letter from a school that is designated. You can learn more about which post-secondary schools are approved on the list here.

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, Singh says international students also need to ensure that the DLI they have chosen is “also on the list of approved schools that have a COVID-19 readiness plan.”

He also says international students themselves have to have a quarantine plan in place in case they start to exhibit COVID-19 symptoms during their studies. As of right now, Singh says “vaccinated travellers are exempted from [stopovers] in hotels” upon their arrival to Canada.

With the government of Canada suspending flights from India until September 21st, Singh also notes that “travellers who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 must provide proof of positive COVID-19 [molecular test] conducted between [14 and 180 days prior to departure] instead of negative COVID-19 test [and] the proof must be obtained in a third country [before coming into Canada].”

To learn more about border changes for international students you can click here.

For more information on suspended flights from India click here.

You are required to meet certain eligibility requirements when you apply for a study permit.

In addition to getting approval from a DLI, Singh says international students will also need to show proof of good financial standing to be able to pay for their tuition, living expenses, and transportation. They must have a valid proficiency certificate, be in good health and have a medical examination done, and also have the intention to return to your home country after you finish your studies.

Singh notes some documents international students need to have ready to submit with their study permit application:

  • passport
  • English eligibility test
  • transcripts to prove that you have graduated high school
  • work experience references
  • proof of acceptance from a DLI

You can learn more about some of the documents you will need here.

You may be able to apply for a study permit through Student Direct Stream (SDS).

Depending on where you are coming from you may be able to apply through SDS. If you are able to apply for through SDS, Singh says “the processing time is much faster.”

You can learn more about the process here.

Singh notes that as a result of COVID-19, there was a huge backlog in processing study permits. “Visa offices, biomedical, and medical centres were closed in India and many other countries which indirectly impacted all the visa applications and processes.” And with Canada suspending flights from India until September 21st, he says international students are “coming via indirect routes, which is costing them twice or [three times more] than usual.”

How should international students settle in?

Singh says international students should ensure that their bank accounts are set up in their home country before they arrive to Canada. “Usually a bank account is open from abroad to deposit a GIC, which is a type of cost of living expense, so the student will only need to complete a verification to start receiving the funds on a monthly basis.”

He says international students also need to obtain a Canadian phone number, get their SIN registered, apply for their part-time job, and find a place to live.

For assistance and more information about applying for a study permit and border/study restrictions surrounding COVID-19, you can visit Brampton Immigration Consultancy here.

If you would like to connect with Sandeep Singh, you can find him on LinkedIn here.