International Students

Last updated: July 15, 2020

This page contains information that applies specifically to International Students, for more general information visit the Current Student FAQs page.

Bow Valley College is currently accepting registration for the 2021 Winter semester for students already residing in Canada. At this time, students who are not in Canada, should contact us to determine an alternate intake to attend classes. Please contact international@bowvalleycollege.ca for any further questions. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Special COVID-19 measures continue to be provided by Immigration and Citizenship Canada, to follow these updates check this page.


What updates have occurred for the Fall semester?

Bow Valley College will continue delivering its courses online for the Fall semester from September to December 2020. IRCC is allowing students to begin their courses online, outside of Canada. Please refer to Current Student FAQs for additional information regarding online learning. 

Fall 2020 International Students Orientation (ISO) will be held August 28 & 31 online with pre-recorded sessions and live Q&A with the international students advisors. Check MYBVC email for more updates and to register for the orientation.

How will online delivery impact you as an incoming international student?

Please refer to the following answers, as it pertains to your situation:

As an incoming student starting September 2020, already in Canada

New students within Canada will commence their studies online. Please refer to registration dates to register for your classes. As all classes continue to be delivered online, this will not impact your PGWP.  More information on this policy can be found here.

As an incoming student starting September 2020 with a study permit approval letter, studying overseas

Students who receive a study permit approval letter can commence their studies overseas without negatively impacting their PGWP.

As per IRCC“If you start your studies in September 2020, you won’t have time deducted from the length of your post-graduation work permit for studies you complete while outside Canada between September 2020 and December 31, 2020.”

Please find important updates from IRCC regarding study permit applications here.

Please note, course registration opened for new students on July 6th, 2020. 

As a current student studying in Canada

You will be able to continue your studies online, without an impact to your PGWP. 

As per IRCC“PGWPP eligibility will not be affected for international students whose fall 2020 courses will be online due to COVID-19. This is in line with guidance provided to students already studying in Canada or whose program had a spring or summer start date.

More information on this decision can be found here.

As a current student studying overseas

If you started classes overseas in May 2020, you will take an authorized leave for the fall semester. You need to request a letter from Bow Valley College outlining your authorized leave, by July 31. This ensures students studying overseas abide by IRCC restriction that limit students to study up to 50% of their program overseas. This break will not impact your PGWP, and you will resume your studies normally, beginning January 2021. 

Information on this decision can be found here.

Note: If you were a student who began your program in Canada, and decided to continue your studies in your home country, you will remain eligible for a post-graduation work permit if at least 50% of your total program of study is completed in Canada.

Information on this decision can be found here.

What can I expect from online delivery?

Course delivery vary between courses and programs. Courses are identified as either Real Time Online (RTOL), Combined Online (COOL), or Anytime Online (ATOL).

• RTOL and COOL courses will have scheduled class times over MS Teams. In some cases, classes may be recorded; however, attendance to classes is expected to be successful in the course. Course content, learning activities and group work will occur over MS Teams and some classes have participation/engagement grades that include activities.  

• ATOL classes, will not have scheduled class times; however, some of the lab/skills-based courses may require attendance to virtual labs, group work and discussion, or other learning activities to meet the course requirements. Instructors will be available via MS Teams.

As an International student, how many hours am I able to work a week during COVID-19?

International students in Canada are able to work more than 20 hours per week while classes are in session if they are working in an essential service or function such as health care, the supply of food or other critical goods.

Find out here if your work is considered an essential service.

Students can continue to work even if COVID-19 has forced them to become a part-time student or take a break in studies if :

  • Before COVID-19, they were studying full time; and
  • They were authorized to work on or off-campus during their studies. 

IRCC updates on working regulations for international students can be found here

I am studying overseas. Can I receive a reduction in my fees?

No we don't provide reduction in fees. While online classes may be an adjustment and different from what students are used to, they are an effective method to achieve the job-ready skills our students need and employers value. Our goal is to maintain our standards in teaching and learning while balancing the necessary maintenance of our campus to ensure it is safe, secure, and ready for your eventual return. Our tuition reflects the tools, resources, digital licenses and materials required to offer educational excellence. We make all learning count and continue to shape the future of College education.

I am an international student wanting to apply to Bow Valley College.  How can I provide official documents?

Academic requirements:

You must arrange to have your official transcripts sent to us. Please review this page to find which transcripts are required from the country in which you are educated in. Please refer to Admissions and Placement testing for the use of Examity, an online proctoring service: https://bowvalleycollege.ca/applying/admissions-and-placement-testing

English language proficiency:

To qualify for admission, learners must demonstrate their language proficiency. Bow Valley College is currently accepting Duolingo tests to demonstrate English proficiency: https://bowvalleycollege.ca/applying/english-language-proficiency-requirements

I am an international student; can I travel to Canada / Calgary from abroad? 

IRCC has restricted travel to Canada to essential travel.  As Bow Valley College is continuing to provide Fall courses through online channels, travelling to Canada for learning purposes is not considered by IRCC essential travel. 

Please refer to IRCC webpage on travel updates, and expectations for travellers.

My study permit is already being processed, but I still did not receive a response from the visa office. Is the study permit submission deadline flexible for the September 2020 intake?

The study permit deadline is August 12, for the Fall 2020 intake (commencing September 2020). There is no availability for an extension. Please keep us updated with your study permit application status and contact ieconnect@bowvalleycollege.ca if you have further questions.  

I am a current international student facing financial difficulty due to COVID19. Can I access financial assistance?

Eligible current international students can apply for Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).  If you have stopped working because of COVID-19 and are facing financial difficulty due to COVID19, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) may provide you with temporary income support. The CERB provides $500 a week for up to 16 weeks.  Please visit IRCC webpage to determine if you are eligible, and to access the application.

I'm an international student with a guard.me insurance policy, has anything changed?

As of March 15, 2020, coverage with respect to students arriving to Calgary has not changed. Provided they are eligible for the policy and are not experiencing any symptoms on arrival, they will have coverage for COVID-19 under the terms and conditions of the policy, just like any other medical condition. 

IMPORTANT: If you are a current student and travelled outside of Canada after March 13, 2020, your policy is VOID. 

I'm an international student with a Gallivan insurance policy, has anything changed?

According to GallivanInternational students can now claim for eligible health services received in their home country for the upcoming benefit year. Claims for services eligible under your Student Health & Dental Plan, made from a student’s home country, with a date of service during the benefit year are eligible for reimbursement. Travel benefits are excluded. The benefits will be paid based on the existing insurance policy according to the terms of the contract with all reimbursements, maximums, physician requirements, fee guide, frequencies,  policy details, etc. remaining in force.  Claims can be submitted using a standard claim form, once the student is back in Canada. If a student has registered for Groupnet with a Canadian bank account, they will be able to submit claims electronically from their home country.  All claims will be paid in Canadian Funds.

Please check here for more information.  

Will study and work permits continue to be processed?  

IRCC continues to process permits and has extended deadlines for applicants to provide required documentation. However, service delivery has been and will continue to be severely impacted, with many overseas missions down to essential staff, and Visa Application Centers closed, making it impossible, in some cases, for applicants to provide biometrics.

Until further notice, IRCC offices will not refuse an application for non-compliance. IRCC will continue to request additional supporting documents or necessary actions as part of the application process and will keep the application open.

Additional information can be found here.

How are longer processing times for study permits and co-op work permits going to impact my status in Canada?

Current international students who need to extend their study permit or co-op work permit should do so as soon as possible. These permits will remain in implied status, allowing them to resume their studies and co-op or practicum placements.   

Pleases refer to the College’s webpage on immigration related questions for applying.

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