International students receiving help during Covid-19

International students are extremely important to Canada’s society and economy. All International students in Canada help to create a vibrant learning environment on campuses across the country. They also contribute some $22 billion to the economy each year which supports around 200,000 Canadian jobs.A Recognizing that international students have also been impacted by COVID-19 disruptions, Canada has announced a variety of special measures to help the international students already in the country, plus international students who would like to come to Canada in the near future.

Implied status

Current and former international students  who need to extend their stay in Canada during the coronavirus pandemic may be eligible for an implied status.
Such individuals may benefit from implied status while Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reviews their work/study permit extension application, and hence, they may continue studying or working in Canada as per the conditions of their original permit while IRCC makes a decision on their pending application.

Working Hours

International students are usually restricted to working no more than 20 hours per week while class is in session. However, IRCC recently lifted this restriction. As a result, international students working in 10 priority sectors that are helping to fight COVID-19 are able to work more than 20 hours per week until August 31. These 10 sectors are:

  1. Energy and utilities
  2. Information and Communication Technologies
  3. Finance
  4. Health
  5. Food
  6. Water
  7. Transportation
  8. Safety
  9. Government
  10. Manufacturing


The federal government has launched the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) to provide income support to those in Canada who have been negatively affected by COVID-19. The CERB offers $500 per week for up to 16 weeks to eligible workers. International students who meet the CERB’s eligibility criteria may receive such income support.

PR Pathways

In recent years, more international students have transitioned to permanent residence. International students possess the key human capital characteristics that federal and provincial governments look for when selecting immigrants. They are young, have high levels of education and English/French proficiency, and possess Canadian experience. Since the start of the coronavirus crisis, both levels of government have issued more invitations to apply for permanent residence to those with Canadian experience.

More times to submit immigration applications

IIRCC has also become more lenient towards immigration applicants, given that the coronavirus may impact their ability to submit a completed application. IRCC has stated it will not refuse incomplete applications and will provide applicants affected by COVID-19 with an additional 90 days to complete the missing steps.

More support for international students on the way?


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