Bill Blair
Hon. Bill Blair
Member of Parliament for Scarborough Southwest
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada: COVID-19 Updates
October 30, 2020

International Students 

International students with, or approved for, a study permit who will be attending a designated learning institution with a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by their provincial or territorial government may be able to travel to Canada. 

The list of designated learning institutions with approved COVID-19 readiness plans is now live:

If you plan to come to Canada as an international student, your designated learning institutions must be on the list with approved COVID-19 readiness plans before you travel. Please be reminded that all travellers must have a plan to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Canada.

We’ve been making it easier for international students to pursue their studies online from abroad. Learn about the measures we’ve put in place on PGWP eligibility for those studying from abroad:

Parents and Grandparents Program

Due to COVID-19, the launch of the 2020 PGP Program was delayed to allow the Government of Canada to prioritize its efforts to contribute to the whole-of-government response to the global pandemic. As a result, fewer applications will be accepted than in previous years. Minister Mendicino recently announced details on the opening of the 2020 Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) to reunite families. The launch of the 2020 Parents and Grandparents Program builds on the government’s initiatives to prioritize the approval of 49,000 family sponsorship applications by December 31, 2020, as well as last week’s announcement of a process to reunite more families and approve compassionate cases within the current border restrictions.

The interest to sponsor form will be available online for a 3-week period, from 12 p.m. EDT on October 13, 2020, until 12 p.m. EST on November 3, 2020. This is an opportunity for potential sponsors to IRCC they want to bring their parents and grandparents to Canada.

To ensure a fair process, IRCC will randomly select potential sponsors for applications. The random selection intake process randomizes all interest to sponsor submissions received in 2020 and invites a number of potential sponsors to apply, for a maximum of 10,000 applications. The randomization model ensures that the process is fair and transparent, and that all interested sponsors have an equal opportunity to submit their interest to sponsor form and to be invited to apply.

This program is a vital part of Canada’s immigration system and will help bring families together while attracting the best and brightest from around the world.

For more information visit:

New Temporary Work Permit Policy

Canada is a global leader in immigration, and our government has worked hard to grow our immigration levels to keep our country competitive, reunite families, and reduce backlogs.

However, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impose restrictions both in Canada and abroad, it has also significantly impacted our ability to accept newcomers. As the pandemic unfolded, many temporary workers have had to change their status to visitor because their work permit was expiring, and they couldn’t find a job to be able to apply for a new work permit. Similarly, visitors to Canada have had difficulties finding flights home due to international travel restrictions, the reduction in flights available, or the health situation in their home country.

Recognizing these challenges, Minister Mendicino has announced that starting August 24, 2020, visitors who are currently in Canada and have a valid job offer will be able to apply for an employer-specific work permit and, if approved, receive it without having to leave the country.

As well, applicants who had a valid work permit in the past 12 months will be allowed to begin working for their new employer before their work permit application has been fully approved.

As we slowly rebuild our economy, these temporary measures will benefit both temporary workers and employers facing labour and skills shortages, including those who provide important goods and services that Canadians rely on.

For more information visit the IRCC website

New measures for Post-Graduation Work Permit Program

To help international students who would like to study in Canada this fall as they are facing uncertainty due to travel restrictions, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada continues to ensure that Canada’s immigration programs are flexible to respond to these uncertainties with  new measures on post-graduation work permit eligibility for students beginning programs online.

These changes are being implemented to provide more flexibility on eligibility rules for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program for students who need or want to start their Canadian study program online from abroad.

Three changes are being introduced:

To be eligible for these measures, students must have submitted a study permit application before starting a program of study in the spring, summer, or fall 2020 semester, or the January 2021 semester. All students must eventually be approved for a study permit.

For more information visit: 


Main Office - Scarborough
2263 Kingston Road
Scarborough, Ontario
M1N 1T8


Show Map
Office Hours
Mon: 9:00am - 4:00pm
Tue: 9:00am - 4:00pm
Wed: 9:00am - 4:00pm
Thu: 9:00am - 4:00pm
Fri: 9:00am - 1:00pm
Sat: Closed.
Sun: Closed.

Hill Office
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6


Show Map