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Canada's newest guidelines restrict international students from entering its borders

Amidst the slew of positive policies that Canada announced, this move has come as a surprise.
BY Skendha Singh |   29-07-2020

BrainGain Magazine
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Canada had announced that international students with a valid study permit or a permit issued before 18 March 2020 would be allowed to enter the country.

The government has now changed that decision. “All foreign nationals seeking to enter Canada must be coming to Canada for a purpose of travel that is non-optional or non-discretionary,” Rebecca Purdy, senior spokesperson for the Canada Border Services Agency, told the press.

This does not include an entry for the purpose of studying which the government sees as discretionary or optional. Unless a student is required to be present for coursework, he or she is unlikely to be allowed to enter Canada.

International students have expressed concerns about this decision for two main reasons: 1) online classes are not value for money, and 2) the time difference between Canada and the home country makes study routines difficult.

The Pie News reported one student, Mohammad Danish, as saying, “There is a vast difference between Canada and India. You have to wake up late at night to attend these classes… Many students are facing problems. Health-wise it is not feasible to stay up all night and study and then sleep all day.” Mohammad was planning to study at the Centennial College in Toronto.
Many international students also choose to study abroad because of problems of infrastructure and access in their home countries. With an untrustworthy internet connection, and power outages, the problem remains unsolved. Added to this is the huge cost of an international degree.

The final decision on which student can enter Canada does not rest with the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada but the border officers. However, guidelines on non-discretionary and non-optional travel have been published on the official website.

A Universities Canada spokesperson told the press that international students are very welcome. She said, “We appreciate this is an incredibly disruptive and uncertain time for all students; however, universities are prioritising the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and their larger communities at this time, and they are working to determine the best and safest path forward.”



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