Canada confirms post-study work rights for full online study
Due to Covid-19 entry restrictions, IRCC had previously announced that time spent studying outside of Canada would count towards the PGWP and that students on short (eight-to-12 month) courses could complete programmes outside of Canada could still receive the post-graduation work permit.
IRCC has now confirmed that all studies outside of Canada will count towards a future PGWP and that any PGWP-eligible programme can be completed online from abroad and students will still able to access PGWP.
The move is the latest Canadian measure to support international students impacted by Covid-19. Last month IRCC announced that former international students whose PGWP period has been disrupted by the pandemic will be able to apply for an open work visa.
In a statement confirming the new measures for online study, the government said that international students contribute more than CAN$21 billion annually to the economy and support the vitality of communities, but that the pandemic had presented “myriad challenges” for them.
Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, said, “Whether as health workers on the pandemic’s front lines, or as founders of some of the most promising start-ups, international students are giving back to communities across Canada as we continue the fight against the pandemic. Their status may be temporary, but the contributions of international students are lasting.
“This new policy means that students hoping to work in Canada after graduation won’t miss out on opportunities, while ensuring that Canada meets the urgent needs of our economy for today and tomorrow. Our message to international students and graduates is simple: we don’t just want you to study here, we want you to stay here.”
The new measures apply to all international students who are: enrolled in a programme that is eligible for the post-graduation work permit; began or will begin a programme in any semester from spring 2020 to autumn 2021, or whose course was already in progress when the pandemic started; have a study permit or be approved for one; and meet all other PGWP criteria.
Canada’s borders closed to all international arrivals at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, but international students have been allowed to enter the country to since October.
Click here to see the IRCC statement on the new measures.
By Matthew Knott
News Editor in Study Travel Magazine