Previously, International students who had been approved for their study permit and were studying online were eligible to have their time spent studying online to be counted while applying for Post-Graduation Work Permit.
Now, the updated rules introduced by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) due to the Covid-19 outbreak and its effect on immigration, state that the time put in by the international students will be counted towards their PGWP even if they have not been approved for their study permit provided that they have opted for a program which has started in 2020. According to new rules, till 31st December 2020, the time spent by international students studying outside Canada will be counted for the PGWP, provided at least 50% of their program must be completed in Canada.
Before the pandemic, only in-person classes were counted for the PGWP, but due to the unforeseen situation, most Designated Learning Institutes are opting for online mode of education.
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.
Canada has said that it will be introducing a two-stage study permit and will even accept incomplete applications of those candidates who are not able to provide the necessary documents such as biometrics or medical certificates due to the Covid-19 restrictions that are still eligible for the study permit. Students who have been approved for the first stage study permit have already met most of the criteria required.
Students who have completed both stages of study permit will be able to travel to Canada once the travel restrictions are lifted.
PGWP is issued for a maximum of three years and is based on the length of study programs the candidate has completed from a DLI. PGWP holders can apply for permanent residence under the Federal Government’s Express Entry system that manages applications from three Federal skilled immigration programs that are Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, and Canadian Experience Class.
The selection of candidates for Express Entry depends on their CRS scores that are awarded based on age, work experience, and proficiency in English or French. The candidates with the highest score are issued invites to apply for Permanent Residence in the future Express Entry draws.