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Advisory for Students

Posted on: March 24, 2020 | Back | Print

Consulate General of India

Toronto

Dear Students,

Following the growing cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19), Canadian universities/colleges have taken measures to shut down on-campus operations and / or move classes online. The Consulate General of India Toronto has the following advisory for Indian students who may be impacted by these decisions. Please note that this advisory is based on information available as of 27 March 2020.

  • If your university is shutting down on-campus services, check with your university on how to avail your University’s health services, student health insurance, international student services, and any other essential service(s) that may be impacted.
  • Most Canadian Universities and Colleges have made changes to teaching methods and have transitioned to on-line mode of teaching. Instructions for how to access the online content / course and how they impact the overall academic curriculum are also available on the websites of your institutions.
  • For individual / specific cases of Canadian visa and / or study permit extension and the impact of enhanced online studies on course credit and visa status, students are advised to approach their respective institutions for resolution. The Canadian immigration authorities have also made special provisions for those having visa or work and study permit related issues due to impact of COVID-19. Students so affected can approach Government of Canada. Their latest position can be seen at https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship.html
  • We have been assured by Canadian authorities and the administrations at institutions that international students on campus are a priority for them and that they are making all possible efforts to facilitate the students and minimize distress. The authorities are also trying to ensure that students can complete all courses in which they are currently registered and receive their evaluations and credits without any interruption.
  • Despite emergency being declared, essential services like banks and some shops, including food shops and supermarkets are open across Canada and there is no shortage of items for daily use and food. The local Indian community has been supporting Indian students by running food banks etc.
  • Although a number of colleges / universities have been asking students to move out of Residence, international students who are not in a position to move out or go back home due to travel restrictions are being asked to complete the Residence Extension Request Form (available with your institution) explaining their extenuating circumstances to get the approval of the concerned college / university authorities to continue staying in Residence. So far, the response of all such colleges / universities have been found to be encouraging in extending continued support to students who are not able to move out of Residence by allowing them to continue staying in their Residence or have provided alternate accommodation to such students. If there is a situation where the college / university does not provide any solution, please bring this to notice of this Consulate if the institute falls underthe consular jurisdiction of this Consulate.
  • Please avoid all non-essential domestic or international travel. Please note that Canada has closed its borders to foreign travellers. Students are advised to ensure that they are receiving regular updates on the local situation from their host institution and stay informed on the latest Government of Canada Travel Advisories. These can be seen at https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html.
  • As of 27 March 2020, if you are planning travel from Canada to India, then you cannot travel as India has discontinued the international commercial passenger aircraft to land on Indian Soil till 1830 hrs GMT of April 14, 2020. At present there are no special flights operating between Canada and India. For queries/clarifications regarding recent travel advisories issued by the Government of India for travel to India in view of the spread of COVID-19, please see travel advisories at the websites of the High Commission of India, Ottawa or Consulate Generals of India in Toronto and Vancouver depending on your location.
  • Students who have enrolled for studies in Canadian institutions and have deposited their fees but have not yet travelled to Canada, may approach their respective institutions for redress as policies vary from institution to institution.
  • Some students facing resource constraints have also approached the Consulate for advice. It is not possible to offer any blanket advice as the condition and situations differ from case-to-case depending on the visa/study- permit status health insurance, and financial status. In such cases, due prudence may be exercised by the individual concerned. Canada also has world class medical facilities and as our students have medical insurance, they can avail these facilities.
  • Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, a dry cough and difficulty in breathing. Should you experience these symptoms and if you or someone you have been in close contact with has recently travelled internationally to an affected region, avoid contact with others and use the self-assessment tool available on https://ca.thrive.health/covid19/ento find out what to do.
  • For emergencies, students may call the help-line numbers of the Consulate at +1 437 239 4077  and email us at com.toronto@mea.gov.in and comsec.toronto@mea.gov.in

This is an unprecedented situation, but we can successfully manage it by taking decisions with a calm mind. Please take prudent health precautions and carefully review information and travel advisories.