Studying in Canada can be a rewarding experience. Aside from it being an easy way to get into the country, it also offers one of the best educational opportunities due to its high worldwide standing, inclusive programs for all cultural backgrounds, and bilingual formal instruction (English and French). However, many aspiring students and teachers were affected by the global pandemic. Major changes had to take place, and its effect can still be felt today. 

Use this article as your guide to better understand what you need to do if you want to study in Canada. 

What happened to student applications for Canada during 2020? 

The COVID-19 pandemic put face-to-face classes on hold, affecting both currently enrolled students and those considered to take up further schooling. In fact, according to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), there were only 402,427 study permits issues in 2020, which is half of the total permits for the previous year. 

Additionally, only 11,566 students enjoyed the privilege of becoming permanent residents due to the effects of the global pandemic. For instance, since most students and schools were unprepared for the closing of classrooms, they had to resort to distance learning and encouraged international students to go home to their country of origin. Canadian educators also had a needs assessment and curriculum restructuring to reconfigure how general schoolwork is handled. 

The CIC also implemented some policies to meet international students’ needs by ensuring all were cared for, especially for COVID-19 preparedness. They also followed these temporary changes: 

  • All individuals under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWP) get the chance to extend their qualification period through online training, depending on their studies’ terms and conditions. 
  • International students were allowed to have full-time jobs off-campus until August 31, 2020 (there may be extensions or adjustments to this ruling upon further discretion by the IRCC). 
  • International students could move to Canada if their education institution has implemented a COVID-19 readiness plan. 
  • A student applicant can have an Interim study permit issued while waiting for final decisions regarding their residency status. 

What should I take note of when I apply to study in Canada for 2021? 

One significant difference between 2021 and the previous year is vaccines are being rolled out to different individuals. It means that there could be relaxed social distancing, and face-to-face classroom education may come back. On the other hand, take note that it may take time for Canada and other countries to have the majority of their respective population vaccinated, meaning it will take a while for travel restrictions and COVID-19 screening to be lifted. 

As such, you should be prepared to meet those requirements and expect a mix of in-person and distancing learning. It’s best to consult with a reputable immigration agency to help with student visa concerns and guarantee you stay in the loop about any international student policy changes. 

If you are looking for an ideal education opportunity in Canada for 2021, you may want to consider the PGWP, an open-work permit for recent graduates. Just meet the following requirements to apply: 

  • You aren’t a former PGWP holder.
  • You had a valid study permit while pursuing your studies.
  • You studied for a period of at least eight months, and it was accomplished less than 180 days ago. 
  • You were a full-time student in a PGWP-eligible institution.
Bright Immigration
Studying in Canada


Going to Canada to study in 2021 could be your next big step to becoming more prepared for your preferred career path. You just have to make informed decisions since current events have impacted the application process and education system. Remember all the previously mentioned information and look further into the student permit procedure today!

Are you looking for an easy way to enter Canada and pursue higher studies? Consult with us at Bright Immigration. We are your dedicated team of immigration consultants, enabling you to see and take advantage of your options to enhance your personal and professional development. If you’re looking for professional help from a trusted firm, please contact us at or call 1-888-404-8472.

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