Students who are studying online at a Canadian school because of travel restrictions now have more flexibility when applying for their Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).
The three new measures are an acknowledgement from Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that there is a great deal of uncertainty for Canadian international students. It also acknowledges that the current covid-19 related travel restrictions might be extended well into 2021.
Three new measures for Post-Graduation Work Permits
To be eligible for these new PGWP measures, students must submit an application for a study permit before starting a program of study in the spring, summer, or fall 2020 semester, or the January 2021 semester.
Students must eventually be approved for a study permit to be eligible under these new measures. But they can take advantage of the two-stage submission process IRCC introduced earlier this year and start their studies with only an “approval in principle.”
- Students may now study online until April 30, 2021, with no time deducted from the length of their PGWP, provided 50% of their program of study is eventually completed in Canada.
- Students who have enrolled in a program that is between eight and 12 months in length, with a start date from May to September 2020, will be able to complete their entire program online and still be eligible for a post-graduation work permit.
- Students who have enrolled in a program with a start date from May to September 2020 and study online up to April 30, 2021, and who graduate from more than one eligible program of study, may be able to combine the length of their programs of study when they apply for a PGWP in the future, as long as 50% of their total studies are completed in Canada.
What is a PGWP?
Only graduates of Canadian educational programs are eligible for the PGWP. The PGWP is a 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.