Home » Canada: Until Next April, Online Study Will Not Affect PGWP Eligibility

International students applying for a work permit will not have the length of their post-graduation work permit (PGWP) removed or deducted even if they are studying online outside the country. In other words, the online study will not affect PGWP eligibility.

The new rule recently announced by Canada’s immigration department will apply as long they complete fifty percent of their studies in Canada. This relaxation will take effect until April 30, 2021, extended from the previous December. 31, 2020 deadline.

For international students enrolled in a program lasting eight to twelve (12) months and starting from May to Sept. 2020, they will be able to complete their entire program abroad and still be eligible for a Postgraduate work permit.

Before the COVID-19, international students are not eligible for a Canadian work permit if they studied online and were not enrolled in a full-time program for at least eight (8) months.

Another new rule states that international students who fulfill the following requirements will be able to combine the length of their programs when they apply for a postgraduation work permit:

  • enrolled in a program with a start date between May and Sept. 2020
  • study online up to April 30, 2021
  • complete fifty percent of studies in Canada
  • graduate from more than one eligible program.

Canada bolsters efforts to support international students

The series of measures listed above are aimed at supporting international students affected by the coronavirus pandemic. This includes launching the two-step Canadian study permit approval process which will allow students to begin the semester online without a finalized study permit and providing priority study permit processing for students who have lodged a complete application online to ensure that permits are processed as fast as possible.

The PGWP is highly sought after among international students as it enables them to remain in the country and gain valuable work experience after graduating from an approved Canadian designated learning institution (DLIs).

International students can work full-time for up to three years, but the ultimate duration of the postgraduation work permit depends on the length of time the individual studied at a Canadian DLI.

PGWP eligibility is crucial for international students as it’s the first step towards becoming a permanent resident, or the equivalent of a green card in the United States.

To be eligible for these new measures, international students must submit a study permit application before starting a course of study in the spring/summer/fall 2020 semester or for the Jan. 2021 semester.

International students must be eventually approved for a study permit. Canada’s immigration department added that Canada’s coronavirus related restrictions will be eased based on progress made in Canada and abroad in curbing the coronavirus’ spread.

It will continue to assess Canadian and international situation as it explores additional changes to make.

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