New Hurdles for students on their way to Canada

The Government of Canada emphasized extending the travel restriction in the country till 21st July. The decision was recently announced in the wake of rising and falling numbers in the COVID cases worldwide, especially in India. While university in other countries has begun with welcoming international students on campus, Canada is still trying to curb the disease from the country and ensure the safety of the citizens and the arriving students in the country for the new fall session.

Students who had their tickets booked and decided to move to Canada to begin their degree program are now choosing to drop the idea considering many restrictions that have been put on all international travelers. These travel restrictions do not include international students, students/people with the appropriate permit, permanent residents, and Canadian citizens. However, the non-essential travelers are barred and have to face some pretty tight restrictions.

The non-essential travelers from other countries traveling to Canada are mandated to take a COVID test upon arrival. Until then, they are to stay in a hotel room for about 72 hours. These hotel room charges are extra expenses that even the students are not willing to bear, considering the already expensive education they are paying for. The official website of the Government of Canada does not specify the price tag that comes with staying in a hotel room for a 3-day quarantine period. However, it ranges somewhere near to CAN$ 2,000.

 

The Visa and Study Permit Situation

While the US Embassy has geared up its process to issue visas and study permits to the students who are to enter the country for pursuing their session in the coming Fall Semester. However, things seem a little different for the Canadian Embassy and Government, considering their step to extend the travel restriction for International Travelers. The Government may have excluded the students from the travel restriction. However, they sure did stop processing the study permit for the Fall Session.

Students who submitted their application for obtaining their study permit by 15th May 2021 are likely to receive their approval by 6th August. Nevertheless, some students have applied for their study permit post 15th May, considering the gruesome situation due to COVID, and might not receive the approval early this year. This kind of delay is something that might compromise an entire academic year of a Student willing to begin their career in a new destination.

However, UBC (University of British Columbia) has constantly been working with the Universities of Canada and the Bureau of International Education to mitigate the travel restrictions on international students. The Director of International Student Development at UBC, Michelle Suderman, said that International Students are not travelers in the country but are coming to make their careers and obtain a quality education. Hence, they are hoping to help the students travel to the country safely and efficiently.

 

The COVID Restriction and Vaccine Update

Since the travel restrictions have been imposed excluding the international students, things seem uncertain due to no new updates on students pursuing their degree programs in Canada. In a previous article, we mentioned no vaccine updates from the Canadian Government for the international students coming to Canada.

However, the universities in the country are asked to organize vaccine drives to conduct on-campus activities for the students. Universities such as Fanshawe College, Trent University, and Western University have asked their students to get the first shot from any approved vaccination by WHO. However, COVAXIN- an Indian Pharma company’s locally derived vaccine formula has not yet been approved by WHO or FDA. So students from India must only consider getting the shot of Covishield.

The country’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, said that the travelers arriving in the country would have to prove their vaccine status. There would be two phases for the same. The first phase would involve uploading the relevant vaccination documents on the ArriveCAN App. The second phase would require a national certificate shown by the traveler that could be accepted globally.

To receive a study permit, the students were required to show their admission offer letter from a university that must be registered DLI, along with the university’s COVID-19 readiness plan. Meanwhile, the students are considering canceling their booking to travel to the country, knowing that they might not receive their study permit or the restrictions imposed that could lead to the expenditure involved in the quarantining procedure.

Several Canadian universities are trying to curb the travel restriction for their students or arranging for accommodation in case of quarantining inside the campus, which would also ensure the safety of the students. There is yet no declaration of a travel restriction for international students. However, things might take a turn and increase the difficulty of all international students even more.

                                         {For more such updates on study abroad, visit our website, www.studentcover.in}

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