Distance learning from a Canadian designated learning institution (DLI) will now count towards the duration of a student’s post-graduation work permit (PGWP) but there is a catch. Distance learning must be less than 50% of the educational program for the time spent studying to count towards the PGWP.
This new rule is just one of many the Government of Canada is implementing that makes studying in Canada, in the age of Covid-19, much easier for international students.
What is a post-graduate work permit (PGWP)?
Only graduates of Canadian educational programs are eligible for the PGWP. The PGWP is an Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) free work permit. In other words, it is an open work permit that allows the holder the freedom to work for any employer in Canada they wish.
PGWP holders are eligible to work full-time, part-time, for multiple employers, or even be self-employed.
How long is a PGWP valid for?
PGWPs can only be issued to an applicant once and can be valid for eight months to three years. The validity of your PGWP will depend on the length of your program of study.
- If an applicant has studied full-time (900 hours/year) in Canada for longer than 8 months, but less than two years, the PGWP validity will coincide with the length of the program of study.
- If your program of study is longer than two years (1800 hours), the PGWP will be valid for three years.
- If an applicant has taken an accelerated course of studies, the length of the PGWP will be equal to the length of the program of study if it was taken at full-time hours.
The PGWP cannot be issued for longer than the validity of the applicant’s passport. Extensions of PGWPs are only be given in the event that the applicant’s passport will expire before the validity of the PGWP.
How a PGWP can lead to permanent residence
In addition to the world-class educational institutions that Canada has to offer, PGWPs are another great reason to study in Canada. Having a Canadian educational credential already makes it much easier to qualify for Canadian permanent residence. Having Canadian work experience and a Canadian educational credential can make you eligible for a wealth of immigration options both federal and provincial.