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COVID-19 Updates for International Students

Please see the information below for Red Deer College's most up-to-date information for international students.

Update October 6, 2020 - International Students
Update August 13, 2020 - International Students
Update July 17, 2020 - International Students
Update April 13, 2020 - International Students
Update April 7, 2020 – International Students 
Update March 31, 2020 – International Students
Update March 23, 2020 - International Students
Update March 18, 2020 - International Students


Update October 6, 2020 - International Students

Recently, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) made an exciting announcement regarding travel restriction exemptions for international students wishing to come to Canada. As of October 20, asymptomatic international students who have the appropriate documents to enter Canada and whose designated learning institution (DLI) is on the list of institutions with approved COVID-19 readiness plans will be allowed to enter Canada. Click here to read the full announcement from IRCC.

Red Deer College’s COVID-19 Readiness Plan has been approved by the Alberta Government. It is very exciting to soon be able to welcome international students back to Canada, and to attend RDC, in the near future.

It is important to note that international students should not make any travel plans until they have met all requirements and received all necessary authorizations (i.e. have study permit approval).

Action Required

All current RDC international students must complete a Mandatory Form to indicate their current location (within or outside of Canada) and to indicate if they intend to travel to Canada. Click here to access the form.

*ALL INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS MUST SUBMIT A RESPONSE BY OCTOBER 14, 2020. *

Introducing RDC’s Self-Isolation Support Program

To ensure all incoming international students and their co-arriving family members (if applicable) are able to safely complete their mandatory 14-day self-isolation period, RDC is launching a Self-Isolation Support Program. This program will include:

  • Transportation from either the Edmonton International Airport or the Calgary International Airport directly to your self-isolation unit
    • Accommodations for the duration of your self-isolation period
    • Other support, such as:
      • Food necessities hamper for the first few days of quarantine
      • Periodic check-ins, access to counselling, and other virtual programming
      • A “Self-Isolation Plan Letter"

Please visit RDC's Self-Isolation Support Program webpage for more information on how to register. 

When to Expect RDC’s Winter Term Delivery Method Announcement

We also recognize that many of our students are eagerly anticipating the announcement of how RDC will be delivering classes for the Winter 2021 term (January 2021). Rest assured, we are working on how RDC’s courses will be delivered, and we will communicate this announcement by the end of October.

Please ensure you follow RDC on social media, and check your personal announcements on TheLoop frequently.

Remember, all international students are required to complete the mandatory form (hyperlinked above) by October 14. If you have any questions, please email international [at] rdc [dot] ab [dot] ca.


Update August 13, 2020 - International Students

The RDC International department has a few important messages to share with you as we approach the start of the Fall term. Please carefully review the information below and reach out to us at international [at] rdc [dot] ab [dot] ca if you have any questions or concerns.

Tuition Payment Deadline:
Remember – all tuition and fees for fall term classes must be paid in full on or before Friday, August 14, 2020.

Providing Proof of Study Permit Approval:
One of the following MUST be emailed to international [at] rdc [dot] ab [dot] ca prior to September 3rd, the first day of classes.

  • Option #1 – Scanned version of your Study Permit
  • Option #2 – Proof of Stage One Approval
    • As per IRCC’s temporary 2-stage assessment process, study permit applicants will receive a notification from IRCC once they have passed the preliminary eligibility assessment (stage 1 of the 2-stage process), but before they give their biometrics.
    • If you have received stage one approval, there will be a notification sent to you through your MyCIC account in the form of a letter. This is what should be emailed to international [at] rdc [dot] ab [dot] ca.

Travel to Canada:
At the current moment, the borders to Canada remain closed. In order to enter Canada, incoming international students will be required to prove that they are eligible for an exemption to the travel restrictions. Please carefully review all information on IRCC’s website under “Travel exemptions and restrictions for international students” PRIOR to incurring any travel expenses. The ultimate decision on if you will be allowed to enter the country is up to the Canadian Border Services Agency.

Please note that RDC will not provide any additional travel letters for incoming international students, unless a student has in-person classes during the Fall 2020 term.  IF YOU HAVE AN IN-PERSON CLASS, contact international [at] rdc [dot] ab [dot] ca to request a verification letter.

Connect with the RDC International Team: 
If you believe you are exempt from the travel restrictions and plan to travel to Canada, please reach out to the RDC International team at international [at] rdc [dot] ab [dot] ca as soon as possible.

Please feel free to contact international [at] rdc [dot] ab [dot] ca if you have questions or concerns with the information above.


Update July 17, 2020 - International Students

Red Deer College understands that many international students planning on beginning their studies online in the Fall term have been faced with challenges in getting their study permits due to pandemic-related closures. We are happy to share with you an announcement made by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) earlier this week that will help many international students overcome this barrier.

The new measures include:

  • providing priority study-permit processing for students who have submitted a complete application online, to ensure that permits are processed as quickly as possible
  • allowing students to count the time spent pursuing their studies online abroad toward their eligibility for a post-graduation work permit, if they have submitted a study permit application and if at least 50% of their program is completed in Canada
  • providing reassurances to international students who cannot submit all of the documentation needed to complete the processing of their applications, and who choose to pursue programs through distance learning, by implementing a temporary 2-stage approval process

This process is available to students starting a program in the fall semester who submit a study permit application before September 15, 2020. This measure will reassure students that they can enrol and begin their studies this fall online, even when they are not able to submit all required documentation due to pandemic-related closure. We strongly encourage all international students to review the full IRCC announcement.


Update April 13, 2020 - International Students

Congratulations on finishing classes for the Winter 2020 term. We understand that this has been an extremely difficult term and more uncertainty lies ahead. Please continue to connect with us and let us know how we can support you. 

Updates: 

IRCC Temporary Policy Changes:   

  • To address ongoing developments with respect to COVID-19, on April 7, 2020, IRCC introduced temporary policy changes, effective immediately. These temporary policy changes impact students who currently have a study permit, or who have been approved for a study permit, for a program starting in May or June 2020, but who are unable to travel to Canada at this time due to travel restrictions. 
  • For these students, if their in-class courses are being moved to an online-only format because of COVID-19, their eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program won’t be affected. International students in this situation may begin their classes while outside Canada and may complete up to 50% of their program while outside Canada if they cannot travel to Canada sooner.
  • All international students are encouraged to follow IRCC’s Twitter account to stay informed on the latest updates. 

Study Permit Support from Immigration Professionals:

  • RDC recognizes that many international students have concerns about how the COVID-19 pandemic may impact your ability to remain in Canada, your current study permit, future study permits, and your ability to obtain a post-graduate work permit. 
  • RDC International is arranging 15-minute one-to-one consultations between current international students and an immigration professional to help address individuals with unique concerns. 
  • If you are interested in an appointment with an immigration professional, please review the conditions and instructions below:
    • Virtual one-on-one consultations will be arranged with either Karen Howley, (Lawyer & Founder at CRT Legal) or Martine Varekamp-Bos (Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant at Immigration Care). Each consultation will be 15 minutes. 
    • These one-on-one consultations will be scheduled on April 16 and April 17. 
    • International students who would like to request a one-on-one consultation are asked to Shelby [dot] Pomeranz [at] rdc [dot] ab [dot] ca (email )no later than Wednesday, April 15.  

Update April 7, 2020 - International Students

The RDC International team would ask that you please complete a brief survey (see the email you were sent on April 7 for the link) to help us determine how to best provide support for you during COVID-19. This survey has been extended until Sunday, April 12, 2020.

Updates:

Canada Emergency Response Benefit:  

  • The Government of Canada has recently released information on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. International students who have stopped working because of COVID-19 may be eligible for temporary income support. Click here to review information on eligibility and the application process. 

Register for a Free Virtual Information Session!

RDC is offering free virtual information sessions, specifically for our international students. The sessions described below will curate content tailored to the unique circumstances and needs of international students. 

_______________________________

COVID-19 Impacts on Study Permits & Post Graduate Work Permit Eligibility Virtual Information Sessions:

Overview:

  • Equip yourself with up-to-date information, provided by professional immigration advisors, on how the COVID-19 pandemic may impact your ability to remain in Canada now and in the future. Find out how it may affect your current study permit, future study permits, your ability to obtain a post-graduate work permit and what resources are available to you.

Facilitators: 

  • Karen Howley, Lawyer and Founder at CRT Legal
  • Martine Varekamp-Bos, Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant at Immigration Care

Date & Time:

  • Session #1: Wednesday, April 8 | 11:00am-12:30pm
  • Session #2: Thursday, April 9 | 3:00pm-4:30pm 

________________________________________

Tutoring and Learning Strategies Virtual Information Session:

Overview:

  • This virtual information session will show students where to find RDC resources to help them succeed in an online learning environment. There will be an overview of reading and exam preparation strategies, including a discussion of academic vocabulary. Students will also learn how to book an appointment with the ESL Tutor and the Learning Skills Strategist for further support.

Facilitator(s): 

  • Jodi Clovechok, Academic Tutor, RDC Library & Student Supports
  • Amy Becker, Academic Support Coordinator, RDC Library & Student Supports

Date & Time:

  • Session #1: Thursday, April 9 | 11:30am-12:00pm 

____________________________________

Managing your Mental Health During COVID-19:

Need to talk to someone?

  • If you would like one-on-one support, RDC Counsellor's are providing virtual video or phone sessions. To discuss further, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. 
  • Krystal Waldo, RDC Counsellor, is available from Monday to Thursday, 9:30am-3:30pm MST.
    • Contact her via e-mail at krystal [dot] waldo [at] rdc [dot] ab [dot] ca and she will respond to you, to book an appointment as soon as possible.  

All of us at RDC are here to support you as best we can through this unprecedented situation. Please contact us with any questions you may have. 


Update March 31, 2020 - International Students

We understand that the disruptions to your life and studies caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have been extremely challenging and stressful. You have our support during this difficult time. 

The RDC International team would ask that you complete a brief survey (see the email you were sent on March 31 for link) to help us determine how to best provide support. This survey will close on Sunday, April 5.

Updates:

  • Travel Restrictions Exemptions:  
    • On March 20, the Government of Canada announced exemptions to the air travel restrictions to allow international students who have already committed to studying in Canada to enter the country. This applies to international students who held a valid study permit, or had been approved for a study permit, when the travel restrictions took effect on March 18, 2020.
    • These travel exemptions are now in place. International students who are exempt can travel to Canada. If travelling by air, international students need to pass a health check before being allowed to board the flight. Anyone who shows symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to enter Canada by air. Please note that all individuals entering from abroad must isolate for 14 days upon their arrival in Canada. Click here to read more information.
  • Health Insurance for International Students:
    • All international students will be covered for COVID-19 related medical assistance, even if they do not have health insurance coverage.
    • Alberta Health will extend health coverage for international students for up to 90 days or until they leave Alberta, whichever happens first. To receive the extension, international students can call the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) general Inquiries line. Students can call toll-free to 310-0000, and then ask to be redirected to 780-427-1432.

Virtual Information Sessions: 

RDC is offering free virtual information sessions, specifically for our international students. The sessions described below will curate content tailored to the unique circumstances and needs of international students.

_____________________________

COVID-19 Impacts on Study Permits & Post Graduate Work Permit Eligibility Virtual Information Sessions

Overview:

  • Equip yourself with up-to-date information, provided by professional immigration advisors, on how the COVID-19 pandemic may impact your ability to remain in Canada now and in the future. Find out how it may affect your current study permit, future study permits, your ability to obtain a post-graduate work permit and what resources are available to you.

Facilitators: 

  • Karen Howley, Lawyer and Founder at CRT Legal
  • Martine Varekamp-Bos, Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant at Immigration Care

Date & Time:

  • Session #1: Wednesday, April 8 | 11:00am-12:30pm | Click here to register
  • Session #2: Thursday, April 9 | 3:00pm-4:30pm | Click here to register

____________________________

Mental Health Coping During COVID-19 Virtual Information Sessions

Overview: 

  • This virtual information session will provide students with the skills to cope with difficult emotions and stressors related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes tips to manage stress, anxiety, loneliness and grief. There will also be a focus on self-care and mindfulness to create a sense of safety for ourselves during this time.   

Facilitator:  

  • Krystal Waldo Jenkins, Counsellor, RDC Counselling Service 

Date & Time: 

  • Session #1: Thursday, April 2 | 2:00pm-3:00pm 
  • Session #2: Monday, April 6 |10:00am-11:00am  

____________________________

Tutoring and Learning Strategies Virtual Information Session

Overview:

  • This virtual information session will show students where to find RDC resources to help them succeed in an online learning environment. There will be an overview of reading and exam preparation strategies, including a discussion of academic vocabulary. Students will also learn how to book an appointment with the ESL Tutor and the Learning Skills Strategist for further support.

Facilitator(s): 

  • Jodi Clovechok, ESL Tutor, RDC Library & Student Supports
  • Claire Campbell, Learning Skills Strategists, RDC Library & Student Supports

Date & Time:

  • Session #1: Thursday, April 9 | 11:30am-12:00pm 

____________________________

Other Supports 

  • RDC Emergency Bursary Online Application
  • RDC Students’ Association Food Bank Referral Request
  • School Academic Advising services will be holding online appointments until further notice. Please see the Contact Information page for contact details for each School.
  • Housing: RDC is committed to providing housing for individuals affected by COVID-19 who may not be able to return home due to travel restrictions or other factors. Are you an international student at RDC in a need of housing accommodations starting May 2020? Students that require housing are able to apply online to live in RDC Residence. Please Shelby [dot] Pomeranz [at] rdc [dot] ab [dot] ca (email us )for more information. 

Stay Informed 

Information related to COVID-19 continues to evolve. Once again, I encourage you to follow the sources of information below for all the latest information on 

If you think you have COVID-19 (coronavirus), please first call 811 (Alberta Health Link) to receive information. Next, please contact the RDC Health, Safety & Wellness Centre to report your illness. Email: health [dot] safety [at] rdc [dot] ab [dot] ca. Please also stay home and follow the advice you receive from 811.

All of us at RDC are here to support you as best we can through this unprecedented situation. Please contact us with any questions you may have.


Update March 23, 2020 - International Students

On Friday, March 20, the Government of Canada published a news release providing more information on the travel restrictions implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

The news release states that: “Exemptions to the air travel restrictions will apply to foreign nationals who have already committed to working, studying or making Canada their home, and travel by these individuals will be considered essential travel for land border restrictions." Therefore, international students who held a valid study permit, or had been approved for a study permit, when the travel restrictions took effect on March 18, 2020 are exempt from the travel restrictions in Canada. Valid study permit holders will be able to enter Canada at points of entry, including designated international airports. It is important to note that the Government of Canada has not yet announced when these exemptions will come into effect. Therefore, those covered by the exemptions should wait for this information before attempting to travel to Canada. Please see the international students section of the IRCC page for details. 

Students that are currently enrolled with RDC and have a valid permit will be able to return to Canada when in-person classes resume.  At this time, all in-person classes are cancelled, so students will not return to campus for Winter 2020 term. Please visit RDC’s Novel Coronavirus information for up-to-date information.

Please note that anyone entering Canada, including international students, are expected to and must self-isolate for 14 days. 

Information related to COVID-19 continues to evolve. Once again, I encourage you to follow the sources of information below for all the latest information on 

For information from IRCC’s on COVID-19:

For information from RDC on COVID-19:

If you think you have COVID-19 (coronavirus), please first call 811 (Alberta Health Link) to receive information. Next, please contact the RDC Health, Safety & Wellness Centre to report your illness. Email: health [dot] safety [at] rdc [dot] ab [dot] ca. Please also stay home, and follow the advice you receive from 811. 


Update March 18, 2020 - International Students

RDC has implemented several preventive measures to help mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19. RDC understands that these actions may have a unique impact on our international students. Please carefully review the FAQs below, follow the RDC social media accounts, and frequently check RDC's Novel Coronavirus webpage for additional updates.

  • Will courses being moved online for the Winter 2020 term impact my Post-Graduation Work Permit Program eligibility?
    • Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that courses of study being delivered online on an exceptional basis due to #COVID19 will not affect Post-Graduation Work Permit Program eligibility for a post-graduation work permit.
  • Should I return to my country of origin?
    • As of March 18th, all Red Deer College classes will be offered via online and remote delivery. There will be no requirement to physically be on campus for the remainder of the Winter 2020 term. Therefore, international students may return to their country of origin, if they so choose.
  • If I leave Canada, will I be able to return?
    • The Federal Government of Canada has indicated that temporary residents, including Study Permit Holders and Post Graduate Work Permit Holders will not be able to enter the country effective Wednesday, March 18, at 12:00 p.m. (noon) EDT. At this time, it is unclear how long this restriction will last.
  • Am I able to work additional hours at my part-time job during the cancellation of in-person classes?
    • The number of hours you are able to work as an international student have not changed. Therefore, the normal restriction of 20 hours off campus during the academic session and full time during what would have been a regularly scheduled break still applies. For additional information on working as an international student, visit the Government of Canada’s applicable webpage.

The IRCC has published additional information on their website that you may wish to review:

If you think you have COVID-19 (coronavirus), please first call 811 (Alberta Health Link) to receive information. Next, please contact the RDC Health, Safety & Wellness Centre to report your illness. Email: Health [dot] Safety [at] rdc [dot] ab [dot] ca. Please also stay home, and follow the advice you receive from 811.

It is important to note that information related to COVID-19 continues to evolve and the best way to stay apprised of the most recent information is to follow the RDC Coronavirus webpage and RDC social media: FacebookTwitterInstagram

Contact Us

RDC Main Campus 
Mon-Fri 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Main Phone: 403.342.3400
Toll-free: 1.888.732.4630 (in Canada only)
Email: inquire [at] rdc [dot] ab [dot] ca


RDC Main Campus Location
100 College Boulevard | Box 5005
Red Deer, Alberta | T4N 5H5