Ontario is and will remain open to international students
News reports late last week that the Canadian government had received a request from Ontario Premier Doug Ford to close borders and deny entry to international students caused concern for the language education sector and students enrolled at Languages Canada member programs. It is now clear that this measure will not be pursued.
Following discussions with government, Languages Canada can confirm that eligible international students are, and will continue to be, welcome in Ontario and free to pursue their education at approved Designated Learning Institutions (DLI).
As a reminder, eligible students are those who:
- have, or have been approved for, a study permit;
- are travelling to Canada for a non-discretionary or non-optional purpose; and,
- are attending a DLI whose COVID-19 readiness plan is approved by government (see IRCC’s list of approved DLIs).
There are currently over 65 Languages Canada members with approved COVID-19 readiness plans in Ontario who are ready and eager to welcome eligible students now, as well as for the fall semester, with in-person, hybrid and/or virtual offerings.
Languages Canada members have led the way in meeting federal and provincial COVID-19 health and safety requirements and operate in a way that prioritizes the health and safety of students, staff, host families, and communities.
Ontario's end-of-quarantine testing requirement removed
Languages Canada is also very pleased that following discussions with the Government of Ontario, the province has agreed to eliminate the requirement for a COVID-19 test at the end of students’ 14-day quarantine period.
While international students entering Ontario will continue to be subject to a 14-day quarantine upon arrival (three days in a government-designated hotel and 11 days in regular quarantine through an approved quarantine plan such as Languages Canada’s Study Safe Corridor – TRAVEL SAFE quarantine package), as well as federally mandated pre-departure, on-arrival and quarantine day-8 COVID-19 tests, the Ontario government has removed the requirement for testing at the completion of quarantine, thus lessening costs and inconvenience for students.
Access to COVID-19 vaccine
It is not widely known that international students have access to COVID-19 vaccines in Canada. In the fall of 2020, Languages Canada began asking the federal government for a plan to vaccinate international students, and while a formal plan was not specifically created, international students are included in the list of those eligible to receive vaccines.
International students in Ontario are encouraged to register to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as it becomes available for their age group. Currently, vaccines in Ontario are available for those 40 and over, or 18 and older in certain hot spots. It is expected that as of July 2021, all Ontarians aged 16 and older will be vaccinated (those who wish to be vaccinated).
Whether they are already in Canada or arrive in the future, students enrolled at Languages Canada member programs will have access to COVID-19 vaccines in Ontario and in all provinces across the country.