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International Students Affected by COVID-19

By Ella Bergquist September 16, 2020 (Updated September 16, 2020) 2 min. read
canada student covid

It is no secret that the Coronavirus pandemic has affected everyone in the world. International students is a more silent group that has been affected tremendously. Although there are several options for international students to obtain permanent residency they aren’t realistic in today’s economy. The pandemic has made it nearly impossible for foreign students to meet the requirements to become a Canada Permanent Resident after studying in Canada. Recently, International Students in Canada have called for changes to the Canadian immigration laws as a result of the aftermath of COVID-19.

Students on Study Permit During Coronavirus

There are several options for international students to obtain Permanent Residency after graduation but you’ll see why they can be difficult in today’s pandemic world:

  1. Express Entry
  2. Candian Experience Class
  3. Federal Skilled Workers Class
  4. Provincial Nominee Programs
  5. Family Class Sponsorship

Express Entry favors young students who have had work experience in Canada.

Canadian Experience Class requires first a work permit then a year of work experience in Canada.

Federal Skilled Workers Class requires work experience in or outside of Canada.

Provincial Nominee Programs are different in every province but most of them require a job offer or work experience.

Family Class Sponsorship is a way for graduates to obtain permanent residencey through if they have decided to marry a Canadian or have family in Canada who can sponsor them.

As you can see, although there are several options for Canadian graduates to obtain PR after graduating, gaining work experience or getting a job offer can be extremely hard during a pandemic. Canadian students are saying that the requirements to gain permanent residency as a recent graduate are too strict for today’s economy in Canada due to the COVID-19 crisis. Many businesses have laid people off and are concerned about hiring during a pandemic which means it can be hard for students to get a job offer.

Those who have already obtained Post-graduate work permits can not currently renew those permits. If they have lost their job or aren’t able to find work, they are at risk of deportation.

The Migrant Workers Alliance for Change has called on provincial and federal governments to make the Post-Graduate work permits renewable. “We call on the federal government to make immediate changes that support students during the new global reality we are in,” the petition reads. The petition also states that families of international students should be allowed to obtain work permits, tuition fees should be lowered, and all migrants should be granted PR status.

Want to Stay in Canada After Graduating?

We understand how the current COVID-19 crisis is affecting everyone but especially immigrants and international students. If you are graduating soon or recently graduated and need help navigating the immigration process, we can help. Contact us today to book a consultation with an immigration professional. We will review your case and determine the best route for you to gain permanent residency in Canada.

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Peter Gianakas

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