Measures to support international students starting program online for Fall 2020 in Canada

Earlier this week, the Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, unveiled further measures to support international students starting a new program online this fall at a Canadian learning institution during the fall 2020 semester.

The new measures include:

* Providing priority study-permit processing for students who have submitted a complete application online, to ensure that permits are processed as quickly as possible.

* Allowing students to count the time spent pursuing their studies online abroad toward their eligibility for a post-graduation work permit, if they have submitted a study permit application and if at least 50% of their program is completed in Canada.

* Providing reassurance to international students who cannot submit all of the documentation required to complete processing of their applications, and who choose to pursue programs through distance learning, by implementing a temporary two-stage approval process

* 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.


For approval-in-principle (AIP) requirements, the list of documents that students must provide when they apply for the study permit so the visa officers can do the initial eligibility assessment.

SDS Applicants Must Provide: 

Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada

Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of CAN$10,000 or more

A receipt demonstrating tuition has been paid for the first year of school

IELTS test results with a minimum score of 6.0 in each band

Most recent secondary or post-secondary school transcripts

Certificat d’Acceptation du Québec (CAQ) for Quebec-bound students

Non-SDS Applicants Must Provide: 

LOA from a DLI in Canada

Documents to demonstrate they have liquid funds to pay for living expenses and tuition for at least the first year of school

Evidence of how they intend to pay for their remaining years of school

IELTS, TOEFL or PTE test results with scores equivalent to IELTS 6.0 in each band (student must give us access to their online results for this test)

Most recent secondary or post-secondary school transcripts

Certificat d’Acceptation du Québec (CAQ) for Quebec-bound students

It is also recommended that all students provide a letter of motivation explaining why they chose their specific program of study and why they chose Canada as a study destination.


For the admissibility stage, before a final decision is made, officers will review the following:

Immigration medical examination


Police certificates (to be provided only upon request by the visa officer)

This temporary two-stage approval process allows students to begin their studies this fall in light of the visa application centres closures due to COVID-19 instead of having to put their lives on hold.