Practical support for international students during COVID-19

By Rena Kim – Multicultural Outreach Services Worker 

We recognize that the confusion and anxiety that is being felt due to COVID-19 is even more significant for international students. Many may be wondering what will happen to their Study Visa if they go back to their home country, whether they will be permitted back in Canada, and if there are any financial supports/resources accessible for international students amidst this pandemic.

Here is some information that may help.

On March 16, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada would deny “entry to Canada to people who are not Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents.” This statement brought much fear, confusion, and anxiety to temporary residents who were not included in this announcement. 

However, the federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair confirmed that international students, as well as workers on visas, will be able to enter Canada amidst the travel restrictions. Minister Blair stressed that this group will still have to self-isolate for 14 days upon their arrival. 

On March 18, Prime Minister Trudeau committed an additional $50 million to support women’s shelters, sexual assault centres, and other community, anti-violence programs in order to respond to the needs and demands of the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, there have been additional financial measures and supports put in place by the government as part of the COVID-19 response. 

MOSAIC recognizes that the financial burden and strain from being restricted from working, not being able to go back home, and paying for rent is difficult. This situation, in addition to the intersecting barriers caused by gender-based violence or intimate partner violence, can pose a higher risk and create more fear and distress.   

MOSAIC is providing support to international students, whether answering questions regarding resources, financial supports, and study permits, or providing one-to-one direct services for victims of gender-based violence via phone, online meetings, or email. We offer both practical and emotional support. 

For detailed options, please see below: 

Please email women.support@mosaicbc.org or internationalstudents@mosaicbc.org for any additional questions or inquiries.