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Update: Ryerson University’s readiness plan to welcome international students

As was announced by the federal government earlier this fall, all post secondary institutions must have a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by their provincial government to be able to welcome international students.  Effective November 17th, Ryerson's readiness plan has been approved by the federal and provincial governments.

In addition to Ryerson University’s approved COVID-19 readiness plan, international students must be eligible to enter Canada through possession of a valid study permit or letter of introduction issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). For more information related to travel to Canada please visit this webpage, external link. If you are unclear about your eligibility to enter Canada, please contact International Student Support at issask@ryerson.ca

Date: November 17, 2020

COVID-19 Updates & Information

We understand our international community is particularly impacted at this time - and we are here for you.

In order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the health of both students and staff we have implemented the following measures beginning Monday, March 16, 2020:

  • ISS remains open, in online formats, like many other campus support services.
  • Advising appointments with an international student advisor will be conducted via Google Meet or Zoom.
  • You may submit status letter requests online by completing all sections of the google formStatus Letter Request Form, external link and selecting the appropriate letter for your specific purpose. If you are not certain of which type of letter to select, contact the ISS office at issask@ryerson.ca for assistance. An incomplete form may not be accepted and can delay your request.
  • Please note that our rush service will not be available at this time.
  • Download the Arrival and Self-Isolation Handbook here, external link.

If you are in need of a UHIP card, please complete the google formfollowing form, external link and your card will be emailed to you.

  • If you are unable to leave Canada at this time due to travel restrictions, please know that you are able to apply for an extension of your temporary residence documents.
  • If your legal status in Canada has expired, please request an appointment with an international student advisor at issask@ryerson.ca for your next steps.
  • If you wish to return to your home country, please connect with your program administrator or departmental assistant to confirm course delivery and examination formats before making this decision. We recommend that you continue to monitor entry restrictions, airline policies and mandatory self-quarantine periods that may be required upon your arrival in your home country.
  • Returning to Canada: Ryerson's readiness plan was approved by the federal and provincial governments  effective November 17th, 2020.  International students with a valid study permit or study permit approval letter  may now travel to Canada.For more information, it is important that you consult the FAQ section below under “I’m an international student with a valid study permit or study permit approval letter. Can I travel to Canada?”

International Student Support is available to support you with any questions related to navigating the Canadian immigration process. Reach out to them at issask@ryerson.ca.

Housing and Residence Life is currently accepting applications for Fall/Winter 21/22. They continue to follow public health and governmental directives in providing residence spaces that follow the required social distancing and health and safety guidelines.  Housing and Residence Life’s priority is to continue to provide residence; our housing team will be in touch with all applicants as the COVID-19 situation in Toronto develops. For any questions or concerns about your housing application, please contact housing@ryerson.ca.

Ryerson has partnered with Keep.meSAFE to provide all students with 24/7 mobile access to licensed counsellors via the My SSP app. Mental health care can be provided in over 60 languages and students can access the service from outside of Canada too.

  • Keep.meSAFE is a mental health counselling service that specializes in student mental health support and provides 24/7 access to licensed counsellors through telephone and mobile chat.
  • Students can download the My SSP app on your phone’s app store: Apple Store, external link; Google Play, external link. Keep.meSAFE can also be accessed with a phone call by dialing 1-844-451-9700.

Please know that you are not alone during this time and ISS is here to support you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Beginning October 20th, 2020, international students are able to enter Canada only once their designated learning institution (DLI) has an approved COVID-19 readiness plan in place.

Ryerson's readiness plan was approved by the federal and provincial governments and we were added to the list of approved designated learning institutions (DLIs) on November 17th, 2020. In addition to Ryerson having an approved COVID-19 readiness plan, you must be eligible to enter Canada through through the following:

The current travel exemptions for international students are to travel to Canada for the purpose of studies. We do recommend that if you are traveling, you are either currently enrolled in courses or are travelling shortly before you begin courses. We would recommend travelling no earlier than four (4) weeks prior to beginning your courses.

In accordance with the details of Ryerson’s readiness plan, every single student coming into Canada (whether fully vaccinated or not) is required to complete the google formQuarantine Requirements & Planning form, external link at least 1-2 weeks prior to your departure. This form initiates the arrival support process for you and any co-arriving family members who may be travelling with you to Canada. You will be contacted by the International Student Transition Coordinator to confirm the details of your quarantine plan including transportation arrangements from the point of arrival in Canada to your self-isolation site. If you do not have a self-isolation plan in place, we are happy to assist you with the details of formulating one.

If you are unclear about your eligibility to enter Canada, please contact International Student Support at issask@ryerson.ca.

In an effort to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 and new strains of the virus in Canada, Transport Canada has recently released new protocols related to the new mandatory COVID-19 testing requirement for those travelling to Canada by air.

Effective January 7, 2021, all air passengers five years of age or older, including Canadians, will be required to show a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours prior to boarding their scheduled departure to Canada.

Written or electronic documentation of a negative laboratory test result must be presented to the airline. You are advised to contact local health authorities in your country of departure to organize a PCR test.

For additional information, please visit the Government of Canada website, external link.

The Government of Canada , external linkhas announced that beginning July 5th, 2021 at 11:59pm EDT, you may qualify for certain exemptions to quarantine and COVID-19 testing requirements if you meet all of the following eligibility criteria:

*Please note that international students with a valid study permit or study permit approval letter (also known as a letter of introduction) who are attending a designated learning institution (DLI) with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan are eligible to enter Canada. Ryerson’s COVID-19 readiness plan was approved on November 17th, 2020. 

To be considered fully vaccinated, you must have received the full series of a vaccine – or a combination of vaccines – accepted by the Government of Canada at least 14 days prior to entering Canada. The list of accepted vaccines is available here, external link and may expand in the future.

If you received your vaccines outside Canada, it’s still accepted but proof of vaccination must be uploaded digitally in ArriveCAN and must only be in French or English, or certified translation into French or English.

For full details of the requirements to meet this exemption, please contact issask@ryerson.ca

The three-night government authorized hotel stay requirement will be removed for all travellers arriving by air as of 12:01 A.M. EDT on August 9, 2021. Fully vaccinated travellers who meet the requirements will be exempt from quarantine; however, all travellers must still provide a quarantine plan and be prepared to quarantine if required to do so by a border services agent.

A suitable place of quarantine is a location where you have a separate bedroom, access to the necessities of life and do not have contact with any vulnerable populations (i.e. seniors, people who are immunocompromised or who have underlying medical conditions). View full details on suitable quarantine places, external link.

At this time, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), external link has advised that immediate family members, external link may be eligible to travel to Canada if they will be

  • establishing themselves with the student in Canada
  • helping a minor child attending a school from kindergarten to grade 12 settle in Canada (1 parent)

Family members will need to show that their travel is non-discretionary. Parents or custodians requesting to travel with a student who is attending post-secondary studies (no longer a minor) would be considered discretionary unless they can provide proof that the student requires their care (for example, disability, doctor’s note).

Beginning August 9, 2021, Canada plans to allow entry to American citizens and permanent residents, who are currently residing in the United States, and have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to entering Canada for non-essential travel.

On September 7, 2021, provided that the domestic epidemiologic situation remains favourable, the Government intends to open Canada’s borders to any fully vaccinated travellers who have completed the full course of vaccination with a Government of Canada-accepted vaccine, external link at least 14 days prior to entering Canada and who meet specific entry requirements.

In order to prepare for your travels to Canada, please ensure to take action on the points listed below:

  • Every single student coming into Canada (whether fully vaccinated or not) should complete the google formQuarantine Requirements & Planning form, external link. Please complete this form at least 2 weeks prior to your departure. This form initiates the arrival support process for you and any co-arriving family members who may be travelling with you to Canada.
  • Download the Government of Canada’s ArriveCAN app, external link and complete the information required. You and each member of your co-arriving immediate family (if applicable) needs to have this app with you on your devices.
  • Check-in via the ArriveCAN app 48 hours in advance of your departure.
  • Complete the Government of Ontario COVID-19 Self-Assessment, external link.
  • Review the Pre-Arrival Checklist.
  • Complete the On and Off-Campus Informed Consent Form, external link. If you have immediate family members that will be co-arriving with you to Canada, please ensure that they have a copy of this document and they also follow the requirements.
  • Complete a COVID-19 (PCR) test within 72 hours prior to boarding a flight to Canada (This is mandatory unless you qualify for an exemption, external link).
  • If you have immediate family members (such as a spouse, partner and/or dependent children) that will be co-arriving with you to Canada, please ensure that they have a copy of this document and they also follow the requirements.
  • Ensure you have a non-medical mask or face covering that can be worn for the duration of your travel.

Please be aware that there are several important measures in place to ensure your safe arrival and self-isolation experience over the 14-day period should you be required to quarantine. International Student Support is here to guide you through the process leading up to your travels. The steps outlined are mandatory and in compliance with Ryerson’s Readiness Plan. If you have questions, please contact issask@ryerson.ca.

Absolutely! Upon confirming your offer of admission to Ryerson, we recommend that you apply for your study permit as soon as possible. Due to COVID-19, many of the Visa Application Centres are temporarily closed, so at this time, you will need to apply online. To start the study permit application process, please create an online secure IRCC account, external link, free of charge. IRCC stands for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, which is the government entity that processes applications to work, study, visit and/or move to Canada. You will proceed to answer a questionnaire that determines which application forms and documents are required based on your unique situation. Please complete the application forms, upload the required documents and finalize your application by making the study permit fee payment by credit or debit card within your online secure IRCC account. Upon paying the application fee, the application is complete and submitted for processing.

If you did not apply to extend your study permit before leaving Canada, you should apply for a new study permit, external link, as study permit extensions can only be requested from inside of Canada. At this time, study permit applications must be submitted online through your secure IRCC account, external link. This account is also referred to as a MyCIC account or GC Key. You will need to request a status letter from ISS to confirm your enrolment as this is a mandatory document for your application. Please apply for your new study permit as soon as possible to get your application in the queue for processing.

In order to get your application in the queue for processing, you should apply for your study permit as soon as you receive your offer of admission. Students can choose to begin studying from outside of Canada if their study permit has not yet been approved, so long as they have submitted the application before beginning their studies .

If you decide to begin your academic program prior to receiving your study permit final approval, there are a few important considerations to take into account:

  • If your study permit application is denied, you may not be able to proceed with or complete your academic program when in-person classes resume. In this case, any request for tuition refunds, whether partially or in full, will be subject to university policy.
  • If you intend to remain in Canada upon completing your studies via the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program, you must submit an application for a study permit prior to starting your online studies if you want them to count towards the length of your PGWP. If you begin your program before you submit your study permit application, the time that you are studying online without this document will not count toward the length of your PGWP. For more information on PGWP considerations and distance learning, please see ‘Will taking courses online impact my post-graduation work permit (PGWP)?’.

If you are an international student at Ryerson University and would like to request a Letter of Permission (LOP) to study at a post-secondary institution outside of Canada, please note that there are some immigration considerations to keep in mind.

As a study permit holder, it is important that you maintain continuous enrolment at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). If your LOP is granted, you will not be considered as enrolled at Ryerson.

Undergraduate students, continuous enrolment means:

  • you must be enrolled in the fall and winter semesters;
  • enrolment during the spring/summer is optional (depending on your program of study).

Graduate students, continuous enrolment means:

  • you must be enrolled during the spring/summer semesters to maintain continuous enrolment.  

If you proceed to enrol at a post-secondary institution abroad through a granted LOP, you will not be enrolled at Ryerson during the semester(s) that you are studying at the institution in your home country. This could impact your eligibility for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), external link.

In order to maintain eligibility for the PGWP, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) confirms that you must maintain a full-time student status in Canada during each academic session of the program of study you have completed. As a result, if you are not enrolled in a regularly scheduled academic session at Ryerson as a full-time student, you may not qualify to apply for the PGWP upon the successful completion of your program of studies.

Ryerson will do whatever we can to support your access to our educational platforms. More information regarding global access to Ryerson systems. Please keep in mind that you may need to use a Google authenticator to log into D2L.

If your courses have been moved online due to COVID-19, you are still eligible to apply for a PGWP. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has updated the eligibility requirements, external link to reflect this change. If you have a valid study permitOR have applied for a study permit prior to beginning your studies AND are unable to travel to Canada at this time, you are still eligible for a PGWP.

All your time studying online outside Canada between spring 2020 and December 31, 2021, external link, counts toward the length of a PGWP. This applies even if you’re completing 2 different study programs. All students must eventually be approved for a study permit in order to obtain a PGWP.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) allows some situations in which international students may take an authorized leave, external link from their studies for a maximum of 150 days and continue to comply with the conditions of their study permit. You do not need to inform IRCC of your authorized leave, however, you will be required to show proof that your leave was authorized and no longer than 150 days if they ask for it in the future. Due to IRCC regulations, you cannot work on or off-campus during an authorized leave from your study program, even if your study permit says you’re allowed to work in Canada. If you take a leave of absence for any of the reasons approved by IRCC and you continue to comply with the conditions of your study permit, you may still be eligible for a PGWP, external link. We do not anticipate that you will obtain a longer PGWP as a result of taking an authorized leave. Please ensure to follow the procedure on the Short-Term Withdrawal page and connect with your program administrator or departmental assistant.

At this time, applications for PGWP made outside of Canada must be submitted online through an online IRCC account, external link. Instructions on how to complete an online application can be found here, external link. To submit an online application, you will need a scanner or camera to make digital copies of your required documents and a debit or credit card to pay the application fee. You have up to 180 days, external link to submit your application for a PGWP after receiving official confirmation that you have satisfied all of your program requirements and are eligible to graduate.

Supporting documents for your PGWP application include a PGWP letter from ISS confirming the completion of your study and your final transcripts from your RAMSS account. To request a PGWP letter from the ISS, please complete all sections of the google formStatus Letter Request Form, external link and select the appropriate letter for your purposes.. In order to receive a PGWP letter from ISS, you must have attended a mandatory PGWP Immigration Insights Session.

Effective June 30, 2020 Ryerson is issuing official digital transcripts. Please order an e-transcript through your RAMSS account under “My Academics” to include in your PGWP application.

Service Canada locations are currently closed, however, you can apply to obtain or renew your Social Insurance Number online via the Service Canada website, external link. Please see the online application guide, external link to ensure you have all required documents before beginning your application.

ISS is committed to supporting students in navigating the uncertainties associated with their immigration applications at this time. Please feel free to reach out to us for support at issask@ryerson.ca or register for one of our immigration insights group advising sessions.