In recent meetings with senior directors from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), and Transport Canada (TC), Languages Canada learned that the Government of Canada has processed 128,000 study permit applications since the start of this year.
Another 140,000 study permit applications are being processed at the moment. The federal government is committed to processing all complete applications by August 6, 2021, provided they were submitted before May 15.
Don't delay your study program in Canada
The federal government’s message is clear: Canada wants international students to come here. A task force has been established to handle the hundreds of thousands of students bound to arrive in Canada between July and September. CBSA, PHAC, and TC are working together to prepare airport staff who will handle the huge volume of study permit-holders landing at the four main ports of entry (Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, and Vancouver).
Visa Application Centres
Students who have submitted study permit applications should know that Visa Application Centres (VAC) are open. At the time of writing, only 11 VACs are closed out of a total of 162. In some cities, there may be challenges with booking appointments to provide biometrics, but the government is planning to expand capacity at VACs around the world so that more students can complete their applications.
Study Permit Processing Times
IRCC said that their current average time for processing a complete study permit application is 55 days, which is faster than in pre-pandemic times.
Study permit-holders were exempted from Canada's travel restrictions in October 2020. However, only students pursuing programs lasting six months or more typically apply for study permits.
Students pursuing language programs of less than six months' duration, who would normally come to Canada on a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA), should know that they can also come to Canada by following the study permit application route.
Study permit-holders who have not been vaccinated in their home countries are allowed to travel to Canada, but they must comply with existing quarantine requirements.
After their isolation period, students can receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Canada, at no cost.
Canada is Open
All ten Canadian provinces have published their reopening plans, and several LC member schools are already open. Many more will be reopening shortly.
Come learn English or French, in person, in Canada: we are open and you are welcome!