COVID-19 | Update for International Students

The COVID-19 pandemic may prove especially difficult for international students, and may raise a number of questions.

This section contains responses to the most frequently asked questions. For general information, please consult the section entitled For students. If you have other concerns, or if you are suffering from psychological or financial distress, please contact Student Services.

Please note that our site offers a summary of the procedures in place in Quebec and Canada which can change at any time and without notice. Please refer frequently to IRCC and MIFI’s COVID-19 special pages which take precedence.

Last update: October 20, 2020

Postponement of admission

Postponement of admission

If your arrival at ÉTS has been compromised by the Coronavirus pandemic, you can request a postponement of admission to a later semester by e-mail. Please indicate your name, your program, your permanent code and the semester to which you wish to have your admission applied.

It is recommended that you submit your request as quickly as possible in order to receive your new admission letter via your MonÉTS portal. You will need this letter for your immigration procedures. Given the elevated number of requests, it may take several weeks for your request for postponement to be processed.

On May 25, 2020, the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) issued the following statement: Students who were issued a Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) to start a study program in the 2020 summer semester and who have to postpone the beginning of that program until fall 2020 will not have to apply for a new CAQ for studies. With this measure, students will not have to repeat the administrative steps involved in applying for a new CAQ application now. However, this measure does not change the period of validity of CAQs (Foreign students section).

For all other types of postponement, it is important to remember that only a single postponement from the Fall semester to the subsequent Winter semester is permitted. If you have a CAQ that was issued for Winter 2020 and postponed to Fall 2020, or a CAQ that was issued for Summer 2020 and postponed to Winter 2021, you must obtain a new CAQ for studies (source).

The following is a list of possible scenarios related to immigration documents (CAQ, study permit):
 

  • If you have already received your CAQ but have not yet requested a study permit, submit your request with your current CAQ and your new admission letter.
     
  • If you have already received your CAQ but have not yet requested a study permit, submit your request with your current CAQ and your new admission letter.
    • It is strongly recommend that you submit your request for a study permit online, because many Visa application centres (VACs) are temporarily closed.
       
  • If you have already received your CAQ and are waiting to receive your study permit, send your new admission letter via the IRCC Webform.
    • Due to the closure of VACs or other institutions in your country, you may not be able to complete all of the steps required to obtain your study permit (e.g.: biometric data, medical exam). Your request will not be rejected or closed, but will remain pending until you are able to complete all of the required steps.
       
  • If you have already received your CAQ and your study permit, you are not required to request a new study permit (consult the IRCC website, section E. Deferred enrollment).

If you are already in Canada and you decide to postpone your admission, you must ensure that you meet the study permit conditions in order to maintain your legal status. For example, you are not authorized to work before the official beginning of your first semester, you must begin your studies during the subsequent semester and you must obtain an updated letter of acceptance. If you do not resume your studies within 150 days, you must either change your status (i.e.: to visitor status or worker status) or leave Canada.

If you are a future student

If you are a future student

Since the beginning of the pandemic, ÉTS has continued to welcome international students, doing everything possible to facilitate their studies despite this difficult context. At present, the Winter 2021 semester is expected to progress in accordance with the current Academic Calendar. ÉTS will communicate with you on a regular basis until your return to campus in order to keep you informed of any changes that may impact your studies.

NOTICE! There are travel restrictions that currently apply to foreign nationals. ÉTS is not in a position to know when these restrictions may be lifted. We recommend that you do not incur any non-refundable expenses, such as airline tickets, until the situation stabilizes. Consult the Arriving in or returning to Canada tab for information concerning exemptions from travel restrictions.

Even if you begin your studies remotely, you must follow the proper procedures to obtain your immigration documents so that you can travel to ÉTS as soon as health conditions allow for a return to campus.

Upon receipt of your admission letter (whether conditional or definitive), you should begin the procedure for applying for a CAQ and study permit. Some processing times are longer than normal, but immigration authorities in Québec and Canada continue to receive and process applications for CAQs and study permits (online only).

Consult the procedures for obtaining your immigration documents in your Mon ÉTS portal and on our website, and continue to consult the Immigration websites to keep abreast of the current situation in Montréal and Canada.

Student Services organizes a series of webinars intended for new students. Invitations and presentations will be sent to you via your personal e-mail.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada confirms that, if you apply for your study permit before starting your program, any time spent studying online from outside Canada since spring 2020 now counts toward the length of a post-graduation work permit. (Before, only the time spent studying online after you were approved for a study permit counted.) You won’t have time deducted from the length of your post-graduation work permit for studies you complete outside Canada until April 30, 2021. (Source)

On May 22, ÉTS issued a Press Release concerning the Fall 2020 session, which will follow the existing Academic Calendar. However, despite the partial reopening of the campus, the majority of courses will be delivered remotely.

Registration procedures for international students - graduate and postgraduate studies (PDF, see second part)

ÉTS will communicate with you on a regular basis until you return to campus to keep you informed of any changes that may impact your studies.

If you have already received your admission letter, it is recommended that you begin your immigration procedures as quickly as possible, because some processing times are longer than normal. The immigration authorities in Québec and Canada continue to receive and process applications for CAQs and study permits (online only).

Consult the procedures for obtaining your immigration documents in your MonÉTS portal or on our website, and continue to consult our website and the Immigration websites to keep abreast of the current situation in Montréal and Canada. Student Services organizes a series of webinars intended for new students registered for the Fall session. Invitations and presentations will be sent to you via your personal e-mail.

If your arrival at ÉTS for the Fall session has been compromised by the Coronavirus pandemic, or if you have questions concerning the validity of your immigration documents, please consult the Postponement of

Insurance

Insurance

During a pandemic, it is more important than ever to remain in good standing with respect to health and hospitalization insurance. The following directives relate specifically to COVID-19.

General information concerning insurance can be found in the Insurance section, and the various health resources available in Montréal in connection with COVID-19 can be found on the Santé Montréal page.

If you are covered by Desjardins insurance, please refer directly to the online FAQ page or the FAQ for international students.

Exceptionally, the eligibility period for the Fall 2020 semester begins on August 1 instead of August 15.

In addition, the Desjardins insurance card will now be accessible online via the members’ page and the mobile 360 app. If you do not know your contract number, please contact assurances.etrangers@etsmtl.ca.

NOTICE! If you left Canada to complete your study program from your country of origin, your insurance coverage ends 15 after your departure, regardless of the expiry date indicated on your membership card. Contact the insurer directly for more information.

If you are covered by health and hospitalization insurance through the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ), the various treatments related to COVID-19 are covered. Visit the RAMQ Questions and answers page for information concerning exceptional measures.

RAMQ offices are currently closed, and requests for cards must be sent by mail. You can request a renewal form (in French) or contact the client services centre online.

In light of the current exceptional circumstances, an expired card will be accepted for urgent health care, whether it is related to COVID-19 or not.

NOTICE! If you are a student from France and you return to your country of origin, please consult the note d’information sur la protection santé (Health protection information notice – in French). If you are from another country that is a signatory to the agreement, you will be covered in accordance with your country’s social security conditions.

If you are currently attending your session remotely, from your country of origin, you are exempt from paying the Desjardins insurance fees or presenting a valid RAMQ card, because you are not eligible to benefit from this coverage. However, you maintain your eligibility for coverage. Upon your return to or arrival in Québec, the full coverage will resume, with the adjusted premium. When you arrive, you must contact insurance.etrangers@etsmtl.ca for Desjardins insurance, or follow the proper procedures for the RAMQ.

If you receive an invoice that includes insurance fees, please fill out the Formulaire de demande d'exclusion et d'annulation des frais (Application for exemption and cancellation of fees – in French) and return it to accueilbdr@etsmtl.ca as soon as possible.

Current students | Immigration and work

Current students | Immigration and work

International students must maintain legal status at all times during their stay in Canada. Immigration authorities in Québec and Canada continue to operate, but longer than normal processing times can be expected. Therefore, it is critical that you begin your renewal procedures as soon as possible.

You must follow the normal renewal procedure, as indicated in the During your studies tab.

  • If you are unable to provide certain required documents (e.g.: original documents), you should still submit your applications, accompanied by a dated and signed letter of explanation detailing your situation.

Official documents and compliance of your file

The Registrar’s Office continues to produce official documents for obtaining your immigration documents.

  • Submit a demande de document officiel (Request for official document – in French)
  • Request digital copies to avoid delays related to postal delivery. However, transcripts will be sent by post to the address indicated in your student file.

You must then forward your new documents (CAQ, study permit or IMM5739 form as proof of renewal) to accueilbdr@etsmtl.ca as soon as you receive them in order to avoid having your file closed when your current documents expire.

NOTICE! If your study permit has expired and you have not yet received your CAQ, you should still submit your request for renewal and attach a dated and signed letter of explanation instead of the CAQ. This will allow you to maintain implied status. Once you receive your CAQ, forward it to IRCC using the form.

Since July 15, 2020, IRCC has exempted temporary residents from the obligation to provide biometric data if they apply for an extension or change of status from within Canada. This measure is temporary, and is intended to allow for faster processing of pending applications.

On an exceptional basis, students whose legal status has expired have until December 31, 2020 to apply for renewal of their status, rather than the usual 90 days, if their study permit expired after January 30, 2020.

If this applies to you, please contact an International Student Advisor immediately, at etudiantsetrangers@etsmtl.ca.

Information concerning authorization for working in Canada as an international student can be found in the Working in Canada section.

A temporary measure adopted by IRCC allows you to continue to work even if you have been forced to become a part-time student or postpone your studies as a result of COVID 19, if you meet the following conditions :

NOTICE! You must document your situation properly in order to adequately justify your part-time status within the context of ÉTS offering all courses online.

In-person SIN applications have not been accepted at Service Canada centres since the beginning of the pandemic. You have the option of submitting your application online or by mail.

Please note that this procedure may take several weeks. For more information, consult the Service Canada website.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada confirms that courses offered online on an exceptional basis due to COVID-19 will not affect eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program. For more information concerning the PGWP, consult our website.

Flag-poling

Within the current context, and until further notice, going to a land border to obtain immigration services or documents is strongly discouraged. All requests should be submitted online in accordance with the applicable procedures.

Return to your country of origin

Return to your country of origin

Given the current situation, it is possible, and understandable, that some students may wish to return to their country of origin. This is a personal decision that will vary according to each student’s specific reality: their level of progress in the program, the situation in their country of origin, etc. The following are some academic and logistical elements that should be taken into consideration.

ETS has implemented all necessary measures to ensure that the Winter session can be delivered remotely, in terms of both the courses and final exams. Therefore, we encourage you to continue your studies and complete your exams remotely, even after returning to your country of origin. If there are constraints related to time differences, access to certain platforms, etc., please communicate with your professors.

For research students (interns, Masters with Research and Doctorate), it is worthwhile to determine the following in consultation with your home institution and your supervising professor at ETS:

  • The extent to which the activity can be maintained, or whether it should be temporarily suspended;
  • Whether remote work from your home country is compatible with carrying out the internship project as initially planned, or whether the project can be modified in order to be compatible with remote work methods

Warning! From the time when you register for ÉTS credits, you must maintain an active file with the Registrar’s Office with respect to immigration (CAQ, study permit, work permit, if applicable) and insurance (valid RAMQ or billed Desjardins insurance).

The situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic is evolving rapidly on a daily basis. It is your responsibility to become familiar with the information presented here in order to make an informed decision:

  • For exchange students: Check with your home institution to see whether instructions have been issued regarding repatriation. If necessary, inform your university and the BRECI (Student Recruitment and International Coordination Office) of your decision.
  • Check with your embassy or consulate for information concerning entry requirements and other guidelines or recommendations that apply to your home country.
  • Verify the status of flights between Canada and your home country.
  • If you are in residence at the university, follow the instructions that have been sent to you with respect to vacating your room.
  • Find out about the applicable conditions once you return to your home country (isolation, insurance, etc.). Returning to Canada

Keep yourself informed of the changes in the situation in Canada in order to plan for a possible return when conditions allow.

The Canadian government has implemented a number of travel restrictions. You are responsible for keeping yourself informed of the changes in the situation in Canada in order to plan for a possible return when conditions allow. Consult the section entitled Travellers returning to Canada and the various hyperlinks it contains.

Arriving in or returning to Canada

Arriving in or returning to Canada

Since March 2020, the government of Canada has restricted the arrival of foreign nationals into the country. International students who wish to enter Canada must first confirm that they are exempt from travel restrictions. It is also crucial to be familiar with the provisions of the Quarantine Act.

Please take note that ETS has an intervention plan relating to the reception of international students. A series of webinars and newsletter are planned to inform international students on health and travel requirements before they arrive in Canada. These webinars and newsletters will help international students establish a quarantine plan and provide tips for acquiring basic necessities such as food and medicine.

NOTICE! The final decision rests with the Border Services Officers, who have the authority to refuse to allow you to enter the country, despite all of these elements, if they are not convinced that your travel is urgent and essential in nature.

Students who meet the following conditions (as of September 4, 2020) are exempt from travel restrictions:

  • Hold a study permit or letter of introduction that was issued before March 18, 2020
    or
  • If arriving from the United States: Hold a valid study permit or letter of introduction from IRCC confirming that your study permit has been approved.
    or
  • Hold proof of approval of renewal of your study permit, along with your old study permit that was valid before March 18.
  • Be travelling to Canada for essential purposes, or in other words, for reasons that are not optional or discretionary. Consult the IRCC directive for information concerning non-discretionary reasons for travel.
    • If your presence on campus is essential, your Director must submit an application for specific confirmation to registraire@etsmtl.ca. If you do not have a Research Director or Project Director, it will not be possible to obtain this document.
    • If you were established in Québec before the pandemic, present supporting documents proving your residence in Québec (e.g.: Lease, bills, letter from an employer, etc.).

Be aware that you won’t be allowed to go out to the grocery store, for a walk, use public transport, go to school, receive visitors, etc.

You plan needs to include several aspects:

  • a place to stay
  • how you’ll get to your destination
  • how you’ll get your groceries
  • how you’ll access essential services and medical care.

The quarantine is mandatory, even if you have no symptoms. Violating any instructions provided to you when you entered Canada is an offence under the Quarantine Act a and could lead to up to 6 months in prison and / or fines up to $1,000,000.

Quarantine Guide

Warning! The final decision to admit you in Canada is up to the border agent. He or she could, despite all these elements, deny your entry if it’s not considered as essential.

If you have family members who are accompanying you or who wish to join you in Canada, you must confirm that they are authorized to enter the country. They must have written authorization from the Canadian government in order to board a flight to Canada. The request for this authorization must be submitted to IRCC by e-mail.

If you wish to travel with family members, you must confirm that they are also authorized to enter Canada. They must have written authorization from the Canadian government in order to board your flight to Canada. The request for this authorization must be submitted to IRCC by e-mail, along with all required information.