International education has been a significant focus of Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). In partnership with national and provincial associations, several recommendations were submitted to IRCC regarding how certain operational and policy adjustments could help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on international enrolments.
Many of these recommendations, including the introduction of a 2-stage approval process for study permit applications and, more recently, additional flexibility concerning Post-Graduate Work Permit eligibility for student beginning, and in some cases, completing programs online, has been implemented. As the situation continues to evolve, Red River College is working closely with our national and provincial associations and ensures that international students will not be affected for reasons beyond their control.
RRC also participated in an institutional readiness plan for an anticipated process of the phased re-opening of campuses to international students, and further travel exemptions.
We are also aware that several international students with valid study permits or approved for one before March 18, being turned away by Border Service Officers upon their arrival in Canada or prevented to board flights to Canada. IRCC has made efforts to provide some examples of what may be considered non-discretionary travel. We will continue to work closely with provincial and national associations to address issues with IRCC and request flexibility for international students.