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International Student FAQ: COVID-19 Impact on International Students

Last updated: January 12, 2021 8:00PM

This Frequently Asked Questions page is intended to answer questions Algoma U international students may regarding the COVID-19 situation. Questions are organized by topic, which you can navigate throughout this page.

International Student Corner

STAY CONNECTED

Be sure to follow our social media @algomau, @AUSU82, and our Youtube channel for updates on ways to virtually spend time together and support one another.

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Quarantine/Arrival Information

This plan outlines the steps required when an international student attempts to enter Canada, and provides details on how our institution is prepared to support these students.

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Prospective Student FAQ

This page is intended to provide information for prospective students who are looking to apply or have applied to study at Algoma University.

New International Students

Are you a new international student and not sure where to start? We're here to help! On this page, you will find a step-by-step guide to help you get started at Algoma University.

Campus status

For specific campus related questions, such as course delivery, open/available facilities, and registration, please visit the campus specific Covid-19 FAQ pages:

Student FAQ: COVID-19 Impact on Brampton Campus
Student FAQ: COVID-19 Impact on Sault Ste. Marie Campus
Student FAQ: COVID-19 Impact on Timmins Campus

Immigration and Travel

Currently Canada has Travel Restriction Measures, or a travel ban, for all foreign nationals.  There is an exemption in place however for students who hold a valid study permit or study permit approval letter, and have a Letter of Acceptance for a DLI with an approved Readiness Plan.  Algoma university is a DLI with an approved Readiness Plan.

Students travelling to Canada will need to subscribe to Algoma University’s Quarantine Readiness Plan.  For more information on the Quarantine Plan, travel, and arrival procedures, please email arrival@algomau.ca

Additonally, Algoma University has made the decision to offer the majority ofcoursework online for the Winter Term.  As a result we are recommending that students wait until Algoma University announces the resumption of in-person coursework before making arrangements to travel to Canada, if possible.

We have developed a comprehensive plan to support all students who are travelling to Canada and ensure they follow requirements under the Quarantine Act and all Public Health protocols to quarantine on their arrival.  Algoma University’s International Travel Quarantine Readiness Plan has been approved by the Provincial Government after a review by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Colleges and Universities.

View official communication memo (PDF)

Study Permit and Immigration Information

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have put special immigration measures in place in its response to COVID-19.  We encourage students to monitor IRCC’s website for the most up to date information.

Yes, you may begin or continue your studies online in the winter term. 

In response to COVID19, IRCC has introduced measures that allow students to maintain Post Graduate Work Permit eligibility will studying online and/or outside of Canada:

How much of your program you can complete online

How much of your program you can complete online depends on when you started studying and how long your study program is.

  1. If you’re taking a short-term program that started between May and September 2020
    You can complete 100% of your program online. Your program must be between 8 and 12 months long, and you must have started your studies between May and September 2020.
    If you’re studying in a Quebec vocational program, your program must be between 900 and 1,348 hours.
  2. If you’re taking a program that is 12 months or longer, or you started a short-term program before May 2020
    You can complete up to 50% of your program online (until April 30, 2021). You must complete the other 50% of your program in Canada.
  3. If you’re completing 2 study programs
    You can complete up to 50% of your total studies online (until April 30, 2021). To be able to do this

    • you must complete both study programs from an eligible DLI within 2 years
    • one of the programs must have started between May and September 2020, and
    • each program must meet all PGWP eligibility requirements and be at least 8 months long
    • You must complete at least 50% of the combined length of the 2 programs in Canada.” (from www.canada.ca)

 

Post-Graduate Work Permit(PGWP) program

Students currently outside of Canada may begin their studies once they have submitted an application for a study permit.

 

More on IRCC’s COVID Measures for international students: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-covid19/visitors-foreign-workers-students.html

If you have any questions about online studies and its effects on your eligiblity PGWP, please contact our immigration team by emailing immigration@algomau.ca.

IRCC has made changes to the PGWP program delivery to address the effects of COVID-19:

Students may be required to put their studies on hold or become part-time students due to course cancellations as a result of health and social distancing restrictions at DLIs. For the winter and summer 2020 semesters, when a student’s status changes from full time to part time due to changes in course delivery at a DLI, their eligibility for a post-graduation work permit will not be impacted.”

Upon request, Algoma University will provide a letter explaining the circumstances for the student to include with their PGWP application.

Students who wish to remain in Canada beyond the duration of their current status should do so within the recommended 30-90 days prior to their status’ expiration date. Students who will not be continuing their studies and will not be making an application for a work permit, but are unable to return to their home country due to travel restrictions should make an application to change their status to “visitor” before the expiration of their current status.

Certificate Students

Certificate students currently working off-campus are limited to 20-hours per week as per the conditions of their study permit.  The cancellation of face-to-face classes and the postponement of the Spring term do not constitute a scheduled break as defined in the Algoma University Academic Calendar.  Any off-campus work that exceeds this limit will constitute unauthorized work and could jeopardize your status in Canada.

Degree Students

Degree Students who were studying at Algoma University full-time in the 2020 Winter Term and will study full-time at Algoma University in the 2020 Fall Term, have a scheduled break that begins on April 22 and ends on September 8th.  During scheduled breaks, holders of study permits with off-campus work authorization are able to off-campus work full-time.   

All International students providing essential services

You are temporarily allowed to work more than 20 hours if you are

  • a study permit holder in an academic session
  • eligible to work off-campus, and
  • providing an essential service

To see if your work is considered an essential service or function, check the Guide on Essential Services and Functions in Canada During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

This measure is scheduled to expire on August 31, 2020.

If you have questions, our immigration professionals are here to help you. Please email immigration@algomau.ca.

Health Coverage (UHIP)

Yes, all international students who study Algoma University are enrolled in UHIP.

If you would like to confirm your eligibility or coverage, please email the UHIP Administrator at uhip@algomau.ca.

You can get more information by visiting the Algoma University website or directly visiting the UHIP website.

You should have received your UHIP card in an email, the subject line of the email from Sunlife reads: Here’s your University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) Coverage Card. If you did not receive your coverage card, please check your spam folder.

Please note, for most health care providers you must PRINT your coverage card for it to be accepted. If you are having issues accessing or printing your card please contact uhip@algomau.ca.

All students ending their studies this semester have the option to extend their coverage for 2 months past their termination date. If you would like to do so please contact uhip@algomau.ca for further details.

COVID testing for those who meet testing requirements (outlined here) will continue to be covered by Public Health, and any COVID related treatment expenses outside of testing are covered by UHIP. Students who need to visit an assessment centre for testing should take a paper copy of their UHIP card.

As per the Government of Ontario COVID-19 webpage, there is no specific treatment for COVID-19 yet.

UHIP will cover emergency fees at hospitals and hospitalization fees, as well as  drugs dispensed during hospitalization. For more information, please see plan details.

UHIP provides minimal out-of-country coverage for emergency medical expenses (a medical emergency is an injury or illness that poses an immediate risk to a person’s life or long-term health). This may not be enough to cover your medical expenses (see Emergency Services outside Ontario or Canada).

We strongly recommend you look into additional private travel insurance.

Additional FAQ updates on academic accommodations, academic and non-academic support services, finances, travel and other areas of student concern will be added on an ongoing basis.