Canada Extends Online Study Eligibility Period for PGWP Applicants

Posted Nov 29, 2021 10:06 a.m. EST

Online study is normally not eligible for the Post-graduation work permit (PGWP), but that has changed since the pandemic.

International students can now complete 100% of their studies online from outside Canada and still earn a PGWP upon completion of the program. Canada has extended the period international students can study online to August 31, 2022, up from December 31, 2021. The measure was originally implemented in 2020as part of a coronavirus-related measure to allow international students affected by the pandemic to still be eligible for PGWP.

Get help with Canadian study and work permits

The Canadian government website says the rule applies even if you complete two degree programs, as long as the programs were ongoing or started between March 2020 and summer 2022.

Study programs must be with an eligible Designated learning institution (DLI) and meet other PGWP requirements. The shortest duration of a program is eight months. Time spent studying outside of Canada after August 31, 2022 and any time spent studying before applying for a study permit does not count towards the duration of a PGWP.

The length of your study period is important for both PGWP eligibility and determining how long your PGWP is valid for. If your study program lasted more than eight months but less than two years, the validity of the PGWP corresponds to the duration of the study program. If it was more than two years, the PGWP can last up to three years.

PGWP opens pathways to Canadian immigration

Having work and study experience in Canada can greatly contribute to an immigration application. A Statistics Canada report indicates that six out of 10 international students (first study permit holders) who worked during or after their studies became permanent residents.

Certain economic class immigration pathways such as Express entry, Quebec experience program (PEQ), and the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) all value Canadian work experience. Some programs even require it.

The Canadian Experience Classfor example, is a program run by Express Entry that requires one year of work experience in Canada in a skilled trade. The PEQ, is a popular route for French-speaking international graduate students in Quebec. Additionally, the PNP opens immigration pathways for people who are not eligible for Express Entry.

The PGWP is an open work permit, which means you can use it to work for any employer, in any profession in Canada. This is a one-time agreement, and it cannot be renewed or extended.

However, if you get it, you have the option of working anywhere in Canada. Studies suggest that having both work and study experience in Canada can increase the earning potential of immigrants. For these reasons, the PGWP is a highly sought-after program. working licensebecause it opens the door to opportunities in Canada.

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