Flexibility in Post-Graduation Work Permit Rules for International Students
International students have faced a lot of uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Post-secondary institutions and students are unsure about how the fall semester will operate, with existing travel restrictions and physical distancing requirements in place.
Both institutions and students have asked IRCC for guidance regarding eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) for students starting this fall.
Under normal circumstances, criteria for the PGWPP:
- limit an international student’s ability to pursue a program via distance learning, from inside or outside Canada,
- and time spent studying outside Canada is subtracted from the length of the work permit for which they are eligible.
Criteria changes in response to current pandemic restrictions:
- PGWPP eligibility will not be affected for international students whose fall 2020 courses will be online due to COVID-19. This is in line with guidance provided to students already studying in Canada or whose program had a spring or summer start date.
- Students in this situation may begin their classes while outside Canada and complete up to 50% of their program via distance learning if they cannot travel to Canada sooner.
- In addition, students will not have time deducted from the length of a future post-graduation work permit for studies completed outside of Canada, up to December 31, 2020.
To read the full release issued by IRCC, click here.