Visa Crunch

Canada: Getting study and work permit just got easier amid the pandemic.

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have recently released three new eligibility measures on their website regarding a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) for international students who are pursuing their Canadian education online due to the ongoing pandemic.

The PGWP is required by international students who wish to work for any Canadian employer. PGWP can only be obtained after completing an eligible study program at a Designated Learning Institute (DLI). The duration of PGWP depends on the time student has studied at a Government recognized DLI. The maximum duration of a PGWP is three years. 

In order to help students who wish to obtain Canadian education and work opportunities, Canada has announced the following three new measures.

Firstly, Students will be able to study overseas without any time being deducted from their PGWP up until April 30, 2020. This will only be taken into account if the students complete their 50% of studies in Canada.

Another new measure that is being introduced is that students who have graduated from more than one eligible programs will be able to combine the lengths of their programs when applying for PGWP. This rule is applicable for students who have enrolled in a program starting between May to September 2020 and study online up till April 2021. Students are also required to complete at least 50% of their studies in Canada.

Lastly, Students who have opted for short-term programs with a duration of 8-12 months starting from May to September 2020 will be eligible to apply for PGWP while being able to complete their entire program overseas.  

Obtaining a PGWP is very important for international students as it provides them with the opportunity of gaining work experience that ultimately boosts their Canadian immigration chances to become Permanent Residents of Canada.  

Canadian work experience is highly coveted and is rewarded by extra points under Express Entry’s Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and makes international individuals eligible for Express Entry’s Experience Class Program.

These changes in PGWP are shaping up the post-pandemic immigration system adopted by Canada that is making education and immigration easier for International applicants. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Distance learning was not considered as a criterion for PGWP eligibility. Keeping in mind the immigration problems caused due to the pandemic, IRCC made a major announcement in May that distance learning obtained up until December 31, 2020, would be counted in the criteria for obtaining a PGWP.

Students are required to submit a study permit application before starting a program of study at a DLI in the winter/summer/fall 2020 semester or for the winter 2021 semester to be eligible for the new measures introduced by IRCC. 

IRCC has also said that Covid-19 related restrictions will be eased depending on the progress made by Canada and in other countries to flatten the curve and containing the Coronavirus’s spread worldwide.

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