International students in class

COVID-19: International students

If you’re an international student who has a valid study permit or were approved for a study permit on or before March 18, 2020, you are exempt from the travel restrictions.

Find out what you need before you travel to Canada.

If you’re travelling by air, you need to pass a health check conducted by airlines before you’re allowed to board your flight. Anyone who shows symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to enter Canada by air.

When you arrive in Canada we’ll assess your health before you leave the port of entry. You must isolate for 14 days even if you have no symptoms. This is mandatory.

You must have a plan to isolate when you arrive in Canada. If you do not have a plan, you will need to delay travel until you have one.

If your in-class courses are being moved to an online-only format because of COVID-19, your eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program won’t be affected. This includes students who have a study permit or who have been approved for a study permit for a program starting in May or June but who are unable to travel to Canada at this time due to travel restrictions. International students in this situation may begin their classes while outside Canada and may complete up to 50% of their program while outside Canada if they cannot travel to Canada sooner.


International students may continue to work according to the conditions listed on their study permit, although it may prove difficult to find jobs at this time. Half of Canadian households are currently reporting job loss, and provinces are shutting down all non-essential businesses.

In general, full-time students may work 20 hours a week off campus during the academic term and full-time off campus during holidays and regularly scheduled breaks. If classes have moved online, a student may continue to work 20 hours a week.

Post-Graduate Work Permits

Students may continue to apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) after completing their studies at a Canadian school.

In normal circumstances, taking too many classes online, missing a term of school or studying part time can disqualify an international student from obtaining a Post-Graduation Work Permit after graduation. The IRCC has stated that students who are now forced to take all of their classes online will remain eligible to apply for a PGWP.

Extending Your Stay

Due to extenuating circumstances, you may not be able to return to your home country at this time. If your status as a student has expired or is about to expire, you must apply to extend it.