Canada has managed to bring the coronavirus situation under control for the time being, and regular life is slowly being restored. Canada plans to reopen classes, taking special measures to ensure that students and teachers remain safe and healthy. However, parents in the United States whose children are enrolled in schools in Canada are now struggling to navigate the border restrictions.
Canada has already extended its border restrictions with the U.S. until September 21, which means that regular travel is not possible for travelers. However, new classes are scheduled to begin well before the deadline.
Problems for U.S. parents
It is now a compulsion for U.S. parents to work their way around the travel restrictions if they want to send their kids to school in Canada.
They are already facing extended processing delays in 2020 because Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is handling a huge backlog of study permit applications. The IRCC webpage states that online application processing for fresh study permits will take around 20 weeks.
Usually, eligible students get study permits at the ports of entry of an airport or at land border crossings immediately. The travel restrictions imposed in March because of the pandemic have made this impossible now. Canada does not allow travelers to enter the country unless they classify under one of the exempted categories.
What to do?
The good news is that the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) informed CIC News that students who try to enter Canada from the United States could still secure permits immediately when they reach the port of entry as long as they can establish that their reason for travel is essential. If students can begin their studies online, they are encouraged to do so.