Calgary, Alberta

July 14, 2020

Fall 2020 Intake in Canada Processing Update

The COVID pandemic has adversely impacted all Canada immigration applications. Canada had to close several processing offices and had to significantly reduce the working staff in others. Unfortunately, the processing time skyrocketed. Several complete study permit applications submitted in February and March of this year are yet to receive a final decision.

Canada is one of the top destinations for international students seeking quality education. International students make a huge contribution to Canadian culture, society and generate over $21 billion dollars in economic activity per year. A vast majority of Canadian educational institutions highly rely on tuition fees from international students. The new announcement from IRCC proves Canada’s support and commitment in continuing to be one of the top choices for international students.

Initially Canada had been very cautious in making any major decisions due to uncertainties around COVID. The new changes will offer students more assurance in their ability to enter Canada when travel restrictions are eased.

Effective Immediately

  1. Canada will prioritize application processing for the students who have submitted a complete application online. This is to ensure that IRCC processes the study permits as soon as they can.
  2. International students will be allowed to count their time spent on studying online while being not in Canada towards their Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) eligibility. They still need to satisfy the below conditions:
    1. Must submit an application for a study permit; and
    2. At least 50% of their program must be completed in Canada.
  3. Canada introduces a 2-stage approval process on a temporary basis. This new process will allow students to be more confident in pursuing their programs through distance learning while they work on gathering additional documents required for their applications.

How the Two Stage Process Works

“The temporary process will allow applicants to count the time spent studying online abroad towards their post-graduation work permit once they receive an approval-in-principle, as long as they are able to satisfy all requirements and receive the full approval of their study permit application at a later date.”  – IRCC

The applicants will be required to submit remaining documents when the services resume and will be required to have an approved study permit before they are allowed to travel to Canada.

What are the Two Stages of this New Process

1. Eligibility Stage

This stage will determine if you are eligible for a study permit application and satisfy the eligibility requirements outlined in Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. Main factor that will be assessed in this stage are acceptance in a Canadian DLI, applicant’s financial conditions, and temporary intentions.

2. Admissibility Stage

This stage will determine the eligibility based on applicant’s past immigration history and criminality factors. Biometrics play a crucial role in admissibility assessment and therefore IRCC will wait until the applicants are able to submit all the required documents including biometrics.

“The pandemic has had a significant impact on international students and the Canadian institutions and communities that host them. This is why we have implemented a series of measures to support them. We value the contribution of young people seeking a high-quality education in Canada, and we’re making every effort to minimize how current challenges affect their plans and dreams for the future.”

– The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Who will Benefit from this New Process?

The new process will benefit the international students that are starting their programs in fall semester and who submit a study permit application before September 15, 2020. This is to reassure the students that they can enrol and start their study online for the Fall 2020 Intake in Canada without submitting all the required documents.

If I am approved at stage 1 (Eligibility Stage), does that mean I will get the study permit?

Short answer is no. Although for majority of applications would likely be approved at the second stage as well. There are applications where Canada finds criminality and admissibility risks including misrepresentation, these applications will likely be refused. It is important to note that many colleges and universities do not offer full refund if an application is refused on the ground of misrepresentation.

How can I increase my success chances for both stages?

Genuine and complete information is always a key. You need to be truthful in the application. We always recommend using authorized representatives while applying for any Canadian immigration applications including study permits. Our team will be happy to help if you need, we have two authorized representatives (RCIC) on our panel. You can find if your current agent is a member of the College (CICC), formerly ICCRC here.

Is it too late for apply for the fall intake?

As of today, you still have time. You can contact us and submit your documents as soon as possible and we will provide rush service on our end. Majority of colleges and universities are already transitioning to Winter intake (Jan 2021) and Fall 2020 Intake in Canada won’t be available for long.