Immigration, Refugee, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently implemented a temporary post-graduation work permit (PGWP) policy for students graduating outside of Canada due to COVID-19. This public policy accommodates eligible international students that have not completed more than 50% of their program outside of Canada.
Who qualifies for this temporary policy change?
To qualify for this policy, international graduates must be enrolled in an eligible PGWP education program that:
- was in progress in March 2020; or
- began or was in session in spring 2020 and fall 2021
To be eligible under this policy, an international student must also must:
- hold a valid study permit
- a study permit approval
- submit a study permit application prior to beginning their program and eventually be approved
Applying for a post-graduation work permit
IRCC has also clarified that they do not require these applicants to have held a study permit within 180 days of applying for a post-graduation work permit. Instead, students must apply for their PGWP within 180 days of receiving written notification of completion from their Designated Learning Institution.
International graduates applying from within Canada must still apply for PGWP within 180 days of holding a valid study permit.
Length of post-graduation work permit
The recent IRCC announcement confirmed that only the time studying after receiving a study permit will count toward the length of an international student’s post-graduate work permit. As the minimum length that a PGWP can be issued is 8 months, if a student completes 7 months or less on a study permit, they will not be eligible to receive this work permit.
Before arriving, international graduates should check current travel restrictions and be aware of what they need to do before traveling. Students starting or returning to school this fall should also check requirements specific to their school.