TEMPORARY POLICIES for International students in Canada for 2023!

Within the last year, there have been many temporary policy changes by IRCC, most of them resulting from the consequences of the Global Pandemic and the state of the economy afterwards. The inability to travel for many people for almost two years affected international students, as they could not come to Canada to begin or continue their studies. Also the economic state of high inflation, labour shortages, and supply chain problems, caused by worldwide Covid regulations, lockdowns, low central bank interest rates and government monetary policy required government action.  In this blog we will discuss five temporary changes that have or will affect international students in Canada as well as aspiring immigrants and temporary work permit holders. 

Please note that all these changes are temporary and can be revoked at any time. Also please check the links provided to get a detailed explanation and eligibility requirements by IRCC.

Temporary public policy to lift the limitation that eligible study permit holders can work without a work permit no more than 20 hours per week off-campus during regular academic sessions

Between November 15, 2022, and December 31, 2023, International students are allowed to work more than 20 hours per week, off-campus during regular academic sessions.

To be eligible for this public policy, the foreign national’s study permit application must have been received by IRCC on or before October 7, 2022.

This policy change can help students to:

  • Gain more work experience hours helping to get a job in the future (does not count towards skilled work experience for immigration)
  • Earn extra income to support tuition fees, living expenses, etc.  

 Though this change is probably the biggest one for international students as many rely on work during school to support their expenses, it is recommended to always put your studies first.

Temporary policy changes to the Post Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWP) Distance Learning

Because of the Covid19 travel regulations, many students were not able to come to Canada to begin or proceed with their studies. Originally in order to be eligible for a PGWP, 100 percent of studies need to be completed in class, full-time in Canada. But because of the circumstances, the following temporary changes were made:

  • If you were in a PGWP-eligible program and started between March 2020 and August 2022 you are not required to complete 50 % of your program in Canada. Up to 100% can be completed online from outside Canada. 
  • Up until August 2023, time spent studying outside of Canada can be counted towards your PGWP. 
  • If your program starts between September 2022 and August 2023, you are required to complete at least 50% of your studies in Canada in person. 
  • If students in Canada were moved online due to the pandemic, that time still counts towards PGWP until August 2023. However, students are highly encouraged to go back to studying in person as soon as possible. 

For all travelers entering Canada by air, land, or marine mode on or after October 1, 2022

As of October 1, 2022, all Covid19 travel rules and regulations are suspended. 

This means:

  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is not required
  • COVID-19 pre-entry and arrival tests are not required
  • Quarantine, after you enter Canada, is not required
  • Using ArriveCAN is not required
  • Health checks to board planes and trains are not required
  • Wearing masks on planes and trains is not required

Unless you are traveling from China, Hong Kong, or Macao. In that case, a negative covid test result is still required.  These changes make it a lot easier to travel for international students and also save time and money. 

Temporary public policy to facilitate the issuance of an open work permit to certain former or current post-graduation work permit holders

This temporary policy change allowed PGWP holders to extend their PGWP up until May 31, 2023. (however, this change expired on December 31, 2022)

If your PGWP expired between September 20, 2021, and December 31, 2022, you could have applied for an extension.

This public policy will permit eligible:

  • former PGWP holders in Canada to work without authorization in the short term.
  • PGWP holders and former PGWP holders to apply from inside Canada for a new open work permit and facilitate the restoration of their status, if applicable and
  • PGWP holders and former PGWP holders, who left Canada, to apply from outside Canada for a new open work permit.

Again this was a program to support the labour shortages in Canada which at the same time allowed PGWP holders to earn more money and gain more valuable work experience that could help later with immigration.

Temporary public policy to exempt certain foreign nationals from the immigration medical examination requirement 

This temporary public policy seeks to streamline the health screening requirement for foreign nationals who have made an application from within Canada and have previously completed an Immigration Medical Exam, that included a physical examination, and have a new or pending application under the Act

If you already took a medical exam that has expired and has made an application for immigration from within Canada then you may be eligible for this policy change.

  • MC almost had this case during her application process and almost had to take the exam again because it expired, waiting for the application to be processed.
  • It can save you a lot of money and time, as you might have to take a day off work and spend another $300 - $500 per person to take the exam again.

This change is in effect from October 5th, 2022 for 24 months unless revoked earlier. 

We hope this blog could provide you with brief explanations of the major changes, again, please visit the link for detailed information on requirements and eligibility. 

Make sure you start the process early so that you have plenty of time to gather all the required documents. And if you have any questions about program options and locations, don't hesitate to reach out to us for guidance. 

Here are some of the mentors that will help you make the perfect choice for you, click here to fill out an application and speak to a real human (ex-international student - Mc, and Dex) - and see if we're a fit to work together inside the SLE Premium Coaching Program. 

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Each student has a unique story and something valuable to share - hearing these testimonials will give you insights into studying at a university in another country, suggest potential challenges and rewards, and show you that no matter where you are from or what your background is, there are others just like you who have succeeded in doing so. Read on for some amazing stories!