International Students Who Complete Program Online Still Eligible for PGWP

It was announced Friday that international students who are unable to study in-person in Canada due to COVID-19 travel restrictions can complete their entire program online and remain eligible for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP). This update applies to studies completed outside of Canada until December 31, 2021.

International students will be able to take advantage of these temporary measures if they:

  • Are taking a PGWP-eligible program
  • Started, or will start, a program in any semester from Spring 2020 to Fall 2021, or if their program was already in progress in March 2020
  • Received a study permit or approval for a study permit, or applied for a study permit before beginning their program and are eventually approved
  • Meet all other PGWP criteria

The news reaffirms Canada’s ongoing commitment to supporting international students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This new policy means that students hoping to work in Canada after graduation won’t miss out on opportunities, while ensuring that our economy and society continue to benefit from all that international students bring,” said the Honourable Marco Mendicino, the Canadian Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

“Our message to international students and graduates is simple: we don’t just want you to study here, we want you to stay here.”

International students may be eligible for a PGWP if they have completed a program of study at a Canadian designated learning institution (DLI). The permit is valid for a minimum of eight months to a maximum of three years, depending on length of study, and PGWP holders can work full- or part-time, or be self-employed.

Learn more: How to Get Canada’s Post-Graduation Work Permit

With the PGWP offering a viable path to permanent residency for international students, Canada continues to lead the way when it comes to international study abroad opportunities.

Last month, it was announced that international graduates holding a Canadian PGWP that has expired or will expire soon are eligible for a new open work permit. It will enable as many as 52,000 international graduates, many of whom have been prevented from fulfilling their Canadian work experience requirement for permanent residency due to COVID-19, to remain in Canada for 18-months. Post-graduation work permit holders can take advantage of the new work permit beginning through July 27, 2021.

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