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Update on immigration

Monday, July 20, 2020

This message was originally sent to new graduate students by Jeffrey Casello, associate vice-president, Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs (GSPA).

Last week, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) made an announcement to support you, as international students beginning your studies in fall 2020.  Below you will find an update from our University of Waterloo immigration consultants regarding the IRCC announcement. I encourage you to take some time to review the information and also consider attending the International Grad Student Live chat session tomorrow.

Immigration update

IRCC has confirmed additional measures to support international students beginning a new program online this fall. Read the full details on the IRCC website.  Here is a summary of the announcement:

  • The measures include introducing a temporary 2-stage study permit approval process that will assist IRCC in processing study permit applications more efficiently. 
  • After receiving the 1st stage approval (approval-in-principle), students can begin their studies online and outside of Canada while accruing this time towards their Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) eligibility. For the time to be considered after completion of the program, one must satisfy all requirements and receive the full approval of their study permit application at a later date. 
  • Once an applicant is able to submit their remaining documents (e.g. biometrics, medical examinations, etc.), IRCC will finalize the application and issue a final approval, allowing students to come to Canada for their studies (pending travel restrictions). 
  • As the current policies stand, a student must complete at least 50% of their program while physically in Canada in order to be eligible for the PGWP. 

To learn more, check out the new international students: immigration information frequently asked question page.

Please note that advice from IRCC continues to change; it’s recommended that you always contact the University of Waterloo’s Immigration Consulting team with specific questions about your particular situation.

As part of Waterloo Grad Ready programming, there is an International Grad Live Chattaking place tomorrow: Tuesday July 21, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. (EDT).  To register for the session, visit the event webpage. Don’t worry if you are not able to attend in person; the session will be recorded and available for viewing.