Important IRCC announcement
In order to accommodate students who may be starting programs online from outside of Canada, IRCC announced several measures on July 14 including: “allowing students to count the time spent pursuing their studies online abroad toward their eligibility for a post-graduation work permit, if they have submitted a study permit application and if at least 50% of their program is completed in Canada.”
Updated July 30th, 11:30 am PST
Check the links below for important and trustworthy updates from government agencies, health authorities and the BCIT community:
- Government of Canada – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
- Government of Canada – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Visitors, foreign workers and students
- Government of Canada – Measures to support international students during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Government of Canada – Coronavirus (COVID-19): financial assistance for newcomers, temporary residents and refugees
- Government of Canada – Travel Advice and Advisories
- British Columbia – COVID-19 Provincial Support and Information
- Medical Services Plan – British Columbia Response to COVID-19
- BC Centre for Disease Control – COVID-19
- HealthlinkBC – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
- Vancouver Coastal Health – Information on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
- BCIT – COVID-19 Information
- BCIT – Admission during COVID-19
- BCIT – Breaking News
- BCIT Student Association – COVID-19 Info Hub
International students may be eligible for financial support through several government programs including the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the Canada Child Benefit. For more information, see IRCC – Coronavirus (COVID-19): financial assistance for newcomers, temporary residents and refugees.
Students in rental housing may also be eligible for the BC Temporary Rental Supplement Program.
Visit BCIT Counselling – Mental Health at Home for some very useful information and tips for improving your mental health. You can also schedule a virtual appointment to speak with a Counsellor.
The province of BC also provides Here2Talk, a 24-hour online mental health resource for post-secondary students.
BCIT’s Early Assist Program is another way for students who are struggling personally or academically to be connected with appropriate support and services at an early stage. You may refer yourself or another student whose well-being you are concerned about.
Although services have transitioned online and staff are working from home, the BCIT International Student Centre is open from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm Monday through Friday and we are ready to support you! Please contact us at email@example.com or 604-432-8816 and we will do our best to assist you.
The Government of Canada has established strict travel restrictions that prevent most foreign nationals from entering Canada.
For more details about which international students may be exempt from travel restrictions, see IRCC – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Visitors, foreign workers and students.
If you are able to travel from abroad to British Columbia, then you will need to satisfy a 14-day quarantine requirement mandated by the federal government and also submit a BC Self-Isolation Plan as required by the provincial government.
For additional information, see IRCC – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Who can travel to Canada – citizens, permanent residents, foreign nationals and refugees.
Most programs will be delivered entirely online for the fall term, but some programs will be blended — meaning that there will be some in-person components. See Admission During COVID-19 : Fall 2020 Program Delivery Modes (PDF) for details.
You may be approved to start your full-time program online from outside of Canada. If you are considering this option, note that you must communicate your intention to your Admissions Officer (or International_Admissions@bcit.ca) and they will be able to confirm if your program can accommodate international students studying from abroad.
For more information, see BCIT – Admission During COVID-19.
IRCC announced several measures on July 14 including: “allowing students to count the time spent pursuing their studies online abroad toward their eligibility for a post-graduation work permit, if they have submitted a study permit application and if at least 50% of their program is completed in Canada.”
International students enrolled in a full-time program (with the exception of the International Student Entry Program) beginning in the Fall 2020 term can be withdrawn from the program by November 16, 2020 with a full refund of tuition fees (including the commitment fee, but excluding the application fee which is not refundable).
Contact International_Admissions@bcit.ca for further details.
If this will be the first term of your program, we would suggest you withdraw your course registration. You may be able to register for a future term.
If you are a returning student, you may be able to remain enrolled and continue to make progress towards your studies via online delivery. However, studying from outside of Canada could affect your eligibility for a post-graduation work permit. We strongly advise against traveling outside of Canada at this time.
While it may be possible for students in certain programs to complete all coursework for the Fall 2020 term from anywhere in the world with internet access, we strongly advise against traveling outside of Canada for the following reasons:
- The Canadian government is advising against all non-essential travel outside of Canada.
- Canada’s travel restrictions may prevent you from being able to return to Canada until further notice.
- International students who are able to re-enter Canada must satisfy both a 14-day quarantine requirement mandated by the federal government in addition to submitting a BC Self-Isolation Plan as required by the provincial government.
- Leaving Canada could negatively affect your eligibility for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP). Students who complete more than 50% of their program from outside of Canada are not be eligible for a PGWP.
IRCC has announced that:“If your in-class courses are being moved to an online-only format because of COVID-19, you’re still eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP).
If you have a study permit, or been approved for a study permit for a program starting in the spring, summer or fall, but you can’t travel to Canada at this time due to travel restrictions, you’re also still eligible for the PGWPP.
If you’re in this situation, you may
- begin your classes while outside Canada, and
- complete up to 50% of your program while outside Canada, if you can’t travel to Canada sooner.
If you start your studies in fall 2020, you won’t have time deducted from the length of your post-graduation work permit for studies you complete while outside Canada between fall 2020 and December 31, 2020.”
IRCC announced several additional measures on July 14 including: “allowing students to count the time spent pursuing their studies online abroad toward their eligibility for a post-graduation work permit, if they have submitted a study permit application and if at least 50% of their program is completed in Canada.”
For students who are continuing your studies, see IRCC – Study permit: COVID-19 program delivery.
Regardless of the course delivery format, if you choose to drop, withdraw, or not attend your courses you will be considered as no longer enrolled at BCIT. See Academic Status for more information.
Please check Guard.me’s FAQ and Urgent Update re: COVID-19 for details regarding their medical insurance coverage for international students in Canada and COVID-19. Keep in mind that all international students staying in Canada for over 6 months should apply for BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) upon arrival in BC.
You should contact Health Insurance BC to verify if you are still covered by MSP. You may be able to request to extend your MSP coverage while waiting for a new permit. See Medical Services Plan – British Columbia Response to COVID-19 for more details.
If there will be any gap in your MSP coverage, then you should make sure to purchase temporary private medical insurance such as Guard.me so that you are not in a situation where you are uninsured.