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Online Courses Started Before Study Permit Approval Count Toward PGWP

The time that foreign students spend studying online from outside Canada now counts towards a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).

When Canada first relaxed the Post-Graduation Work Permit requirements to include online study as part of the eligibility requirements, it only counted after foreign students who were approved for their study permit.

Now the time international students put into their online courses before getting their study permit counts as long as their studies starts in 2020. They also must apply for the study permit before September 15 and at least fifty per cent of their program must be completed here in Canada.

Up until December 31, 2020, Canada’s immigration departments also known as IRCC will not deduct the study time completed outside Canada from the length of the PGWP.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has made sweeping changes to the eligibility requirements for the PGWP in light of the challenges international students face while trying to complete their studies during the coronavirus crisis.

Among these challenges is the change from in-person classes to online study. Before the coronavirus pandemic hit, the PGWP only recognized in-person classes. This is no longer realistic with so many Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) changing to online courses.

If  You Have Not Applied For A Study Permit Yet

Most international students have to apply for their study permits online as ports of entry are not giving out visas during the coronavirus pandemic.

Canada may accept incomplete applications for study permits. The new two-step study permit system enables foreign students to begin studying without being fully equipped with a study permit. The full study permit, which will eventually be required if international students want a PGWP, will be issued once all necessary documents are submitted and application is approved.

How A PGWP Can Lead To Canadian Permanent Residence 

The PGWP grants international student graduates the opportunity to work in Canada for up to three years after the completion of their study program.

PGWP holders can use all their years of Canadian experience toward an application for permanent residence. Most immigrants to Canada pass through economic-class immigration where Canadian study and work experience are highly valued toward an application in the federal Express Entry system.

The federal Express Entry manages applications for Canada’s three Federal Skilled Immigration programs: Federal Skilled Trades Program, Federal Skilled Worker Program, and Canadian Experience Class.

PGWP holders can be eligible for any one of these immigration programs depending on their experience. They have to first submit a valid profile into the Express Entry system and become an Express Entry candidate.

Candidates are allotted a score based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Immigration candidates are ranked based on factors that the Canadian government has determined will support the labor market. Points are awarded based on a candidate’s age, education, work experience, and language ability in English or French.

The highest-scoring applicants are issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residence via an Express Entry draw. The next draw is expected to take place this week, based on how IRCC has been holding draws about every two weeks this year.

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