Schools

Public and private schools

Preschools and elementary schools are gradually resuming their activities in all regions of Québec, with the exception of schools located in the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal This hyperlink will open in a new window. (In French only) (Montréal metropolitan community, CMM), which will remain closed to students until the end of August. The exceptions made for the territory of the Montréal metropolitan community also apply for the territory of the regional county municipality of Joliette.

Secondary schools will remain closed until the end of August, following recommendations by public health authorities. Students will consolidate their distance learning through increased pedagogical support.

Administrative centres will continue to carry out essential activities; they therefore remain open. However, until schools reopen in their regions, administrative staff members are asked to work remotely whenever possible.

Preschools and elementary schools are gradually resuming their activities in all regions of Québec, with the exception of schools located in the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal This hyperlink will open in a new window. (In French only) (Montréal metropolitan community, CMM), which will remain closed to students until the end of August. The exceptions made for the territory of the Montréal metropolitan community also apply for the territory of the regional county municipality of Joliette. Some secondary schools will also reopen, specifically public schools that offer regional or supraregional schooling services as well as private schools specialized in special education for students with disabilities or severe behavioral issues. Schools in the Montréal metropolitan community will reopen on May 25, health conditions permitting.

Secondary schools will remain closed until the end of August, following recommendations by public health authorities.

As of May 11, students in these sectors have been able to resume their training in various ways (online courses, distance education), except for students whose schools are located in the Montréal metropolitan community and the regional county municipality of Joliette. These centres will open on May 25. Activities will resume in all training sectors.

Staff in these sectors will also return to work, either at a distance or in person, depending on the program, while complying with physical distancing rules. Providing training at a distance or working from home should be the preferred delivery method in the current context.

If students must be present in person for practical training or certain evaluations, there must never be more than 15 individuals in the same space and physical distancing rules will apply.

Since May 11, learners in this sector have been able to resume their training in various ways (online courses, distance education), except for learners whose centres are located in the Montréal metropolitan community and the regional county municipality of Joliette. These centres will open on May 25.

As of May 11 (May 25 for the Montréal metropolitan community and the regional county municipality of Joliette), adult education centres will be open for evaluations only. However, if students must be present in person for certain evaluations, there must never be more than 15 individuals in the same space and physical distancing rules will apply.

The measures put in place in the French sector will also apply in the English sector.

In general, elementary schools tend to be smaller than secondary schools. Secondary school students are more independent and are in a better position to finish their school year through distance learning.

Teachers will provide pedagogical support, and sites such as ecoleouverte.ca This hyperlink will open in a new window., and educational activities kits will continue to be made available to elementary students, particularly those whose parents choose not to send them back to school.

Parents are not obliged to send their children back to school. Parents may decide to send them back to school after May 11, but they must give the school administration one week’s notice to allow for the organization of school transportation and pedagogical supervision in the classrooms.

School organization will be based on public health recommendations, which are constantly evolving and can vary from region to region.

Each school will take measures to respect the physical distancing recommendation of maintaining at least 2 metres between students. Where possible while following this recommendation, each group can have a maximum of 15 students.

A variety of means can be used for groups where more than 15 students wish to return to school, such as reforming different groups of students at the same grade level, with each group staying in the same classroom until the end of the school year while respecting the 2-metre rule between individuals, for example.

Visitors will not be allowed to enter the school.

The premises will be subject to regular, appropriate maintenance to ensure their cleanliness. Efforts will be made to raise awareness about proper handwashing and respiratory hygiene.

Hygiene and sanitation measures are being implemented in schools, as per public health recommendations.

Each school will take measures to ensure that students stay the recommended 2 metres apart.

School teams must carefully plan student groups according to the space they have available. It is possible that a child might not return to their usual classroom, as the groups will have to be smaller than usual.

School teams must be particularly careful to set up the necessary supervision so that students remain at least 2 metres apart and wash their hands regularly. It is essential that teachers and parents collaborate in explaining these rules to the children.

The application of public health rules is at the heart of this return to normal life. Incidentally, 15 is the maximum number of children allowed per group, but fewer than 15 will be accepted into a group if a classroom is too small for it to respect the 2-metre physical distancing rule. Children will be assigned to a group and to a teacher, and measures will be taken to ensure that large groups of children are never in contact or together at the same time, such as having staggered recess times, with small groups of children.

School organization will certainly look different. However, since the beginning of the pandemic, emergency daycare services have been set up in more than 350 elementary schools all across Québec and have managed to adapt to the new measures.

On the strength of the experience acquired in this context, and in collaboration with the public health authorities in each region, the school teams will ensure the safety of children and staff with care and vigilance.

Each school will take steps to enforce physical distancing rules, thereby making sure to reduce the risk level.

Different methods can be used if a group of more than 15 students wishes to return to school, such as reforming different groups of students at the same grade level, with each group staying in the same classroom until the end of the school year while respecting the 2-metre rule, for example.

Schools will have to limit travel within the school, minimize times when groups travel at the same time and use staggered schedules.

They will use one room for classes, lunch and daycare. They will take turns using the schoolyard. Students must wash their hands regularly and avoid physical contact with each other.

Elementary schools are given the flexibility to adjust their schedules. For example, students could arrive and leave at different times to avoid gatherings.

No, wearing a mask is not compulsory. However, the government has confirmed that face coverings may be provided to teachers who request them.

Measures will also be taken by each educational institution to comply with the physical distancing rule of maintaining 2 metres between students.

Students or staff members with symptoms of COVID-19 must not enter the school. Any person who receives a diagnosis of COVID-19 must comply with a 14-day isolation period.

No. Like the rest of the population, students who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms must stay at home and contact a health care professional. A Self-Care Guide with information on the necessary steps to take has been made available to Quebecers. More information on the health guidelines to follow, especially who to contact in order to get tested, is available on Québec.ca.

Parents are not obliged to send their children back to school. However, returning to school is not recommended before September 2020 for children who are vulnerable for health reasons (chronic disease, severe immunodeficiency, etc.). Pedagogical support will be provided to these students.

Parents do not have the obligation to send their children back to school. However, as a precautionary measure, the presence at school of a child whose parents have a health vulnerability (chronic disease, severe immunodeficiency, pregnancy or person aged 70 or over) should rather be privileged from September 2020. By then, parents could opt for distance learning, with the support of members of the school staff.

School attendance will remain non-compulsory until the end of the school year. Pedagogical support will be provided by teachers to all of their students, including those who do not return to the classroom. Those students will be provided with schoolwork by their teachers, who will also carry out a weekly follow-up with them.

Since student advancement to the next grade level is determined by teachers’ professional judgment, teachers will be able to use online schoolwork or evaluations to validate their judgments of certain learning content.

In addition, in order to continue fostering learning by preschool, elementary and secondary students, the Ministère will continue to offer educational activities on the Open School This hyperlink will open in a new window. and on Télé-Québec. website and on Télé-Québec.

Vulnerable students are strongly encouraged to return to the classroom as soon as possible to be able to benefit from optimal pedagogical support. School staff will contact the parents to reassure them and provide appropriate support during the return to the classroom.  

The members of the school teams will increase the weekly personalized follow-up with their students, giving priority to the most vulnerable students and using—for students who are not in the classroom—a technological tool allowing direct contact (e.g. telephone, video call).

Being present on the school premises is not recommended for staff members who are vulnerable for health reasons (chronic disease, severe immunodeficiency, pregnancy or aged 70 or older). For health and safety reasons, these staff members are encouraged to delay their return to school until September 2020.

As soon as a case is confirmed, the child is isolated in a room and cannot return to school for a period of 14 days. Schools have received an emergency kit to be used when a case of COVID-19 is confirmed.

The public health authority in the region concerned will assess the situation and issue appropriate instructions.

Anyone who presents symptoms associated with COVID-19 must immediately leave the school premises, call 1-877-644-4545 and follow the instructions they are given. Pedagogical support will be provided to students during their absence from school.

Yes, school transportation will resume as soon as schools reopen, and the routes will be established based on the needs. Strict measures determined by the public health authority must be respected, including a limit of one child per bench. Every second bench must remain empty. The driver must be provided with a protective zone. In the event it is not possible to create a protective zone, drivers may wear the protective equipment provided.

It is recommended that parents transport their child to school until the end of the school year if they are able to do so.

Parents must inform the school as to whether they want their child to use school transportation, and the school will organize transportation based on the needs.

It is recommended that parents transport their child to school until the end of the school year if they are able to do so.

Starting on May 11, as preschools and elementary schools in some regions reopen, school daycare services will resume regular operations in every school. Any family with children enrolled at a school can register for that school’s daycare services, if needed, by following the standard local procedures.

In the Montréal metropolitan community, emergency daycare services will remain open until June 30, inclusive. The exceptions made for the territory of the Montréal metropolitan community also apply for the territory of the regional county municipality of Joliette.

As this is a return to normal activities, students must register directly at the school where they are enrolled.

The main objective of the return to the classroom and of the support for students remaining at home will be to reinforce the essential learning required to move up to the next grade level.

No, the school year will not be extended into summer.

Student advancement to the next grade level will be determined by the students’ evaluations carried out before schools closed on March 13. In addition, teachers are asked to determine the students’ results for the last report card based on their knowledge of the students’ acquired learning. 

No matter the level, schools must plan for a review period at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.

At the moment, it is difficult to predict the needs for educational staff as the number of students that will be present in schools is not yet known. However, the limitations imposed by physical distancing, that is, maintaining 2 metres between individuals, and the exclusion of employees who are vulnerable for health reasons will create added pressure on the availability of elementary school teachers. If necessary, secondary school teachers on permanent contracts will be asked to step in, with the support of professionals and support staff in elementary schools. The order allowing for this redeployment of resources must come from a reassignment measure from the local union, if necessary.

No. The ministerial examinations will not be administered. Students were unable to acquire all the learning targeted by the programs of study because of the health crisis that caused educational services to be suspended for a considerable amount of time.

The government can, if the circumstances warrant it, cancel an examination and use the marks awarded by the school as a final grade. Due to the current exceptional circumstances, the ministerial examinations will be cancelled, and the school results will be taken into account in the awarding of diplomas. Students will move up to the next grade level based on the teachers’ professional judgment and the students’ previous results on the first two report cards.

Non-essential activities like infrastructure sharing are temporarily interrupted in order to slow the spread of the virus, as a public health measure. Related activities such as room rentals as well as sports and cultural activities are also targeted by the closure.

A massive open online course This hyperlink will open in a new window. (In French only) is available, free of charge, for teachers who wish to improve their understanding of how technological tools can be used to provide support.

Higher education

College- and university-level teaching activities will continue at a distance for the Summer 2020 term, until September, except in the case of practical training that cannot be carried out remotely and that is necessary to enable students to continue their studies in order to graduate. 

Research activities in colleges, in the Centres collégiaux de transfert de technologie and in universities may resume. Accordingly, research activities related to the health, science, agriculture, forestry and engineering sectors, as well as vital seasonal outdoor activities, the resumption of which is urgently awaited, may now begin. The resumption of activities in all other research sectors should also be considered if these sectors are directly related to the collective effort to relaunch the economy. 

Moreover, institutions of higher education may resume any activity they deem necessary and may authorize some of their employees to return to the workplace. Whenever possible, remote work must still be the preferred approach when resuming these activities.

All of the above is conditional upon compliance with the guidelines issued by the competent authorities, namely the Direction de santé publique, the CNESST and the IRSST.

If internship settings have confirmed the continuation of the internship, the students’ workplace respects the guidelines issued by the public health authority, and the students are able to complete the internship, for example, by working remotely, then internships are possible. However, students cannot be penalized for their inability to meet requirements.

It is up to each institution to establish learning and evaluation procedures it deems appropriate in order to ensure that students develop the competencies required to complete their program of study and to graduate. Students should not be penalized for their inability to complete their program through alternative means developed by their institution.

Compiling of a list of students and materials

Students may collect their personal effects once they have been invited to do so by the administration of the institution and in compliance with the hygiene measures issued by the Direction de Santé publique.

Access to educational institutions

This is an exceptional procedure that aims to meet the most urgent needs of students, teachers and professors. The Ministère will not establish specific categories; rather, it will call upon institutions to identify the persons concerned as well as the order of priority. 

Exceptionally, and for this purpose only, each institution must establish an adapted procedure that ensures compliance with physical distancing guidelines, particularly by tightly controlling the number of people who can access the institution’s premises. Anyone accessing a building on the institution’s premises must wash their hands upon entering and leaving. Students must be supervised when moving about the premises in order to minimize any risks. 

The administration must establish a precise schedule in order to control the number of people present at any given time and to ensure that necessary services are available to students and teachers with special needs. If necessary, the administration may contact its regional public health agency to obtain further information.

These guidelines must be followed at all times:

  • Handwashing is mandatory when entering a building.
  • Physical distancing must be maintained and there must be no contact between individuals.
  • Students cannot be accompanied by another person.
  • Anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms must be excluded from this operation.

Aide financière aux études (Student financial assistance)

All Explore 2020 spring and summer sessions have been cancelled.

Financial assistance will continue to be available for students whose period of studies may be lengthened.

For the moment, the student financial assistance program has not been modified. Payments will continue to be issued.

The income taken into account when calculating the 2019-2020 financial assistance is that of the 2019 calendar year. For that reason, any fluctuations in the students’ income in 2020 are not considered for 2019-2020. In some cases, they may, however, affect the calculations for 2020-2021. The government has announced that it will be postponing repayment of any loans incurred under the Loans and Bursaries Program and the Loans Program for Part-Time Studies for a period of six months.

The Loans and Bursaries Program already accounts for the financial needs of people who are caring for children. Students who have lost their jobs due to the current situation may apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

The Minister of Education and Higher Education is currently studying the best ways to increase the amount of financial assistance awarded to students in Québec and is collaborating with the federal government to ensure financing. Announcements to student associations are planned in the coming weeks to prepare for a rollout in Fall 2020.

No, the government has announced that repayments of all loans contracted under the Loans and Bursaries Program and the Loans for Part-Time Studies Program are postponed for a period of six months. The government will pay the interest.

No payments are expected during this period. You do not have to take any steps or provide any proof to benefit from this exceptional measure, since it applies automatically to anyone who has incurred a debt with Aide financière aux études.

No. The government will pay the interest. Students are not required to make any payments during this period.

Yes. Contact your financial institution. They will tell you what steps to follow.

No. The government has made arrangements with all partner financial institutions to automatically postpone the repayment plan. People who have contracted student loans do not have to take any action.

No. Your financial institution will automatically extend the amortization period for your loan by six months and your monthly payments will remain the same.

Yes. This measure applies to all outstanding amounts, whether owed to a financial institution or in collection with Aide financière aux études. 

For the next six months, you will not be required to make repayments of your student loan.

Your Deferred Payment Plan is also suspended for six months.

After this postponement ends, your Deferred Payment Plan will continue for the rest of the time remaining in it.

No. This postponement is not included in the 60 months of eligibility for the Deferred Payment Plan.

No. This postponement applies only to student loans contracted under a program offered by the Aide financière aux études department of the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur.

If you have questions about lines of credit and other student loans offered by your financial institution, please contact the staff there directly.

Recreation and sports

As of May 20, 2020, the following recreational activities carried out individually, without contact, will be permitted in all regions of Québec:

Non-organized leisure activities

  • Whitewater and still water canoeing and kayaking
  • Jogging
  • Rock climbing
  • Kitesurfing
  • Day fishing
  • Paddleboarding
  • Scuba diving and snorkeling (outdoors)
  • Horseback riding (outdoors)
  • Hiking
  • Surfing

Non-organized outdoor recreational sports activities carried out individually or in pairs, without physical contact and with limited or no access to sanitation facilities

  • Track and field (outdoor running and throwing events)
  • Rowing (singles only)
  • Speed canoeing and kayaking (singles only)
  • Outdoor cycling
  • Golfing
  • Sea kayaking
  • Open water swimming (lakes)
  • Rollerblading on streets, bike paths or tracks
  • Roller skiing
  • Outdoor tennis (singles only)
  • Triathlon (open water swimming only)
  • Sailing (single rider only)

Several phases are anticipated and will be developed based on the following five criteria:

  1. Physical distance during the activity
  2. Location
  3. Equipment required
  4. Activity context (non-organized versus supervised training or competition)
  5. Travel

The next phases will be announced as they are authorized by the public health authorities, subject to the epidemiological situation.

At the moment, only outdoor sports and leisure activities carried out individually or in pairs, without physical contact and in compliance with the physical distancing rules, are permitted.

We are working on different scenarios with the sports federations to assess the conditions under which the various sports may resume activity. The resumption of activity will depend first on our capacity to adapt the different sports to the health standards in effect, and then on the progression of the situation in the different regions of Québec.

Measures will be implemented to comply with the directives issued by the public health authorities. Sports federations and provincial recreational and outdoor activity organizations have worked in collaboration with the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur to develop guidelines tailored to their respective fields and disciplines.

These organizations are responsible for informing their members of these guidelines and for making it clear that health and safety guidelines, especially hygiene rules, must be followed in order to ensure that activities are practised safely.

In addition, the CNESST has produced the Guide de normes sanitaires en milieu de travail pour le secteur des activités de loisir, de sport et de plein air – COVID-19 This hyperlink will open in a new window. to ensure the safety of employees working in facilities that are permitted to open.

The sports federations and provincial recreational activity organizations govern the practice of sports and recreational activities by more than 1 million members in Québec. These governing bodies are working with the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur to develop guidelines tailored to their respective fields and disciplines. They are responsible for informing their members of these guidelines and for making it clear that health and safety guidelines, especially hygiene rules, must be followed in order to ensure that activities are carried out safely. In addition, the CNESST has produced a guide on how to ensure the safety of employees working in facilities that are permitted to open.

In addition, a CNESST is available This hyperlink will open in a new window. to ensure the safety of employees working in facilities that are permitted to open.

Competitions and events will be permitted as soon as the public health authorities deem it possible under physical distancing rules and guidelines concerning gatherings to authorize them. The holding of such events is certainly not anticipated during the initial phases.

Renting and sharing equipment is not recommended during this first phase. Participants must use their own equipment. Where renting equipment is allowed, procedures for cleaning and decontaminating/disinfecting items must be established.

The situation is being studied. The Association québécoise du loisir municipal (AQLM), the Association des responsables aquatiques du Québec (ARAQ) and the Unités régionales de loisir et de sport (URLS) have provided tools, training and expert analyses to enable municipalities to manage the current situation.

Control and physical distancing measures will be implemented by the administration of each outdoor site.

Yes, the owners and administrators of recreational and sports facilities have this authority.

The Association québécoise du loisir pour les personnes handicapées (AQLPH) is working with experts to produce a guide regarding assistance in leisure activities that complies with the guidelines issued by the public health authorities. It will cover all of the rules to be followed and will be available shortly. However, the health measures do allow assistance from a person living under the same roof.

The Companion Leisure Card grants free admission to the accompanying party of a person with a disability and is recognized by leisure, cultural and tourist organizations (supporting document provided justifying the need required). We therefore invite the people concerned to verify their eligibility for this service.

It is recommended that you wear a mask or face covering in public spaces and when physical distancing is not possible. However, you do not have to wear one if it hinders your ability to breathe during physical exertion. Be sure to follow the recommended physical distancing rules.

According to the INSPQ, it is possible for COVID-19 to be transmitted via objects contaminated by the droplets or secretions of an infected person. However, simply touching a contaminated object does not pose any risk if you wash your hands immediately afterwards and before touching your face.

The protective measures to be taken vary from one activity to another. It is always recommended that you avoid touching your face and wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Given that it is difficult to avoid touching your face with your hands, especially during sports activities, it is recommended that shared objects or equipment be disinfected before each person uses them. As much as possible, each participant should also use their own equipment (for example, use your own golf balls, have each tennis player use a different ball). The use of sports equipment that is touched by several people without being disinfected in between (e.g. balls, frisbees) is not recommended.

The 2-metre physical distancing rule remains in effect. Consequently, the use of balls or frisbees must allow for this distance to be maintained between people who do not live under the same roof. For example, this rule is easy to follow when practising punting a football. However, following physical distancing rules would be difficult when playing an actual game of soccer, ultimate frisbee or football (CDC).

The 2-metre physical distancing rule remains in effect. Consequently, sports activities must allow for this distance to be maintained between people who do not live under the same roof. Non-contact or low-contact activities such as mountain biking, jogging, golfing and swimming in lanes are considered low-risk and may be among the first activities to be resumed. Moreover, contact of less than 2 metres for a duration of only a few seconds (e.g. passing someone on a bicycle) presents a low risk for contracting COVID-19. However, contact sports during which it is difficult to maintain the 2-metre distance, such as basketball, should be avoided.

According to the INSPQ, it is possible for COVID-19 to be transmitted via objects contaminated by the droplets or secretions of an infected person. However, simply touching a contaminated object does not pose any risk if you wash your hands immediately afterwards and before touching your face.

The protective measures to be taken vary from one activity to another. It is always recommended that you avoid touching your face and wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Given that it is difficult to avoid touching your face with your hands, especially during sports activities, it is recommended that shared objects or equipment be disinfected before each person uses them. It is also recommended that surfaces that are touched with hands or that may come into contact with mucous membranes (mouth, eyes, nose) be disinfected before each person uses them.

The use of community play structures is not recommended, because it is difficult to ensure that surfaces are regularly disinfected and that users wash their hands regularly (CDC). 

A different set of variables comes into play with indoor sports. A smaller space, a larger concentration of people and intense physical activity over a long period are factors that increase the risk of spreading the virus.

The 2-metre physical distancing rule remains in effect. Consequently, indoor sports activities must allow for this distance to be maintained between people who do not live under the same roof. It is also recommended that indoor facilities have proper ventilation. 

Engaging in physical activities outdoors helps to minimize the risk of airborne transmission, given that the virus droplets are diluted and dispersed by the wind. Playing outdoors also makes it easier to maintain physical distance.

International students

The modifications to the different administrative procedures announced for educational institutions apply to both Québec and international students. It is recommended that any information that may be of interest on this page be consulted as it pertains to all students.

International students will be entitled to the Canada Emergency Response Benefit This hyperlink will open in a new window. (CERB) if they meet the program eligibility criteria, particularly:

  • Have declared an income of at least $5000, earned in Canada or outside the country, during the last fiscal year or during the 12 months prior to their application. Applicants must be Canadian residents.
  • Have stopped working in relation to the COVID-19 crisis, without having left their employment voluntarily. Thus, they are not eligible if they stopped working before the crisis began.

No measure is currently planned for this specific purpose.

The repatriation of foreign nationals is usually the responsibility of their country of origin.

No measure is currently planned for this specific purpose.No measure is currently planned for this specific purpose.

No measure is currently planned for this specific purpose.

However, the Ministère has encouraged educational institutions to offer special support and possibly implement measures to help international students who may find themselves in a precarious situation.

International students will be able to leave Canada based on available flights or may choose to stay in Canada if they have yet to complete their studies, provided that their immigration documents are in order.

Institutions are encouraged to continue processing all applications so as to not delay the subsequent steps required for international students to begin their studies at the chosen institution.

International students must have a valid Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) and study permit when they begin their classes. To obtain these documents, students must have a proof of admission.

Note that international students are not required to obtain a CAQ and a study permit prior to starting a program of study through distance education while they are not residing in Canada. However, they will need to obtain these documents before being authorized to enter the country to complete their program in person, as needed.

International students can attend distance courses, just like Québec students.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has not announced the automatic renewal of temporary residency permits. Students are asked to submit a request for renewal before the date on which their permit expires. If students meet this condition, they are granted “implied status,” meaning that their current temporary residency is maintained until a decision is made regarding their application. International students are requested not to go to border crossings in an attempt to renew their immigration documents. The most up-to-date information is usually published by the federal government This hyperlink will open in a new window..

The Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) is extending, until December 31, 2020, the minister’s consent for the duration of the stay in Québec of international students whose Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) for studies expires as of April 30, 2020 and before December 31, 2020. This regulation applies to students whose CAQ had not already expired on April 30, 2020.

Temporary residents must maintain valid temporary resident status at all times. The Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’intégration (MIFI) continues to process applications for temporary selection.

Students who were already studying in Canada and whose courses were moved online due to the travel restrictions and public health measures introduced because of COVID-19 will not be penalized and will retain their eligibility for the PGWPP, including the length of the work permit to which they would be entitled. However, these students must continue at least 50 % of their program of study in Canada to be eligible for the PGWPP.

The IRCC has introduced a new temporary policy for students who currently hold a study permit or who were approved for a study permit for a program set to begin in May or June 2020, but who are unable to enter Canada due to the current travel restrictions. If courses of study are delivered online exceptionally because of COVID-19, the eligibility of these students for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) will not be affected. International students in this situation can begin their courses from outside Canada and complete up to 50% of their program from outside the country if they cannot travel to Canada earlier.

international students are not required to obtain a Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) and a study permit to study through distance education. However, they will need to obtain these documents before being authorized to enter the country to complete their program in person, as needed.

It is important to note that students whose study permits were issued no later than March 18, 2020, are exempt from the travel restrictions in place in Canada This hyperlink will open in a new window. and are therefore allowed to enter the country. However, they must not be experiencing any symptoms prior to boarding their flight and must undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine period upon their arrival.

For information on health protection, foreign nationals can refer to the Questions and answers about our services during the pandemic page on the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec website This hyperlink will open in a new window., specifically the following sections:

  • COVID-19: Information and screening – What coverage does Québec provide for COVID-19 screening and care? 
  • Foreign workers and students in Québec: health insurance coverage

The Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) is extending, until December 31, 2020, the minister’s consent for the duration of the stay in Québec of international students whose Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) for studies expires as of April 30, 2020 and before December 31, 2020. This regulation applies to students whose CAQ had not already expired on April 30, 2020.

This decision is intended to facilitate the steps that must be taken by inernational students who were in the process of completing their study program but who must extend their stay in Québec due to the current health state of emergency and the temporary interruption of their courses.

These students can therefore submit an application to the federal government as soon as possible to have their study permit extended without having to include a new CAQ, which will allow them to maintain valid temporary residence status and to complete their study program when their courses resume.

No, international students will not have to pay any fees for extending their CAQ, since the required fees were already paid when they submitted their application for the CAQ that they obtained.

International students who would like to extend their stay in Québec for studies beyond December 31, 2020, in order to complete a study program or to begin a new program in the fall 2020 semester, must submit a new application for a CAQ for studies to the MIFI and a new application for a study permit to the federal government. In all cases, students should start the required immigration procedures at least three months before their current authorization for studies expires.

International students who have earned their degree can submit an application for permanent selection under the PEQ if they have been awarded, by an educational institution in Québec, within three years of the date of submission of their application, one of the following:

  • a university diploma attesting to a bachelor’s, a master’s or a doctoral degree
  • a college diploma for technical studies or a vocational diploma at the secondary level, with or without attestation of vocational specialization, obtained consecutively, attesting to 1800 hours or more of consecutive study and leading to a trade

The Ministère accepts attestations of successful completion of a study program as well as a final transcripts issued by the registrar of the educational institution. Since the programs admissible under the PEQ must have a minimum duration of 1800 hours, these graduates can obtain a three-year post-graduation work permit. The duration of this permit gives them all the time they need to submit an application for permanent selection under the PEQ as graduates or even as temporary foreign workers.

The federal government is responsible for issuing study permits. If you have any questions about study permits, please visit Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website This hyperlink will open in a new window..