Canada allows PGWP for full online study

IRCC has announced a policy change in Canada PGWP for Online Study. International students who complete their entire program online from abroad will be eligible for a Post Graduate Work Permit PGWP for their online study.

These temporary changes apply to all international students enrolled in a PGWP-eligible program and meet all other PGWP criteria.

What is the change in Canada PGWP for Online Study?

Studies completed outside Canada up to December 31, 2021, will count towards a future PGWP and allow international students to complete their entire program online from abroad while still being eligible for a PGWP.

Minister Mendicino announced these measures earlier today to ensure that international students won’t miss out on opportunities after graduation due to the pandemic.

“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 Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Who is eligible under Canada PGWP for Online Study?

These measures apply to all international students who:

  • are enrolled in a PGWP-eligible program
  • began, or will begin, a program in any semester from spring 2020 to fall 2021, or whose program was already in progress in March 2020
  • have a study permit or approval for a study permit, or applied for a study permit before starting their program and are eventually approved
  • meet all other PGWP criteria

Facts released in the press release underline the importance of immigrants and immigration for Canada’s economy.  

Currently there are three Canadian workers for every retired Canadian, but by 2035, there will be only two workers for every retiree. 

Without immigrants to help support an ageing population’s needs, younger Canadians will pay more per person to provide the same benefits.

Post Graduate Work Permit and permanent immigration

The PGWP allows international student graduates who studied at a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI) to work for any employer anywhere in Canada for up to three years.

The period of work permit depends upon the length of study.

Generally, if a student has completed two year full time study, he/she is eligible for a three year open work permit under PGWP.

If the program duration is less than 2 years, then the duration of work permit is equal to the actual duration of study. Example, a one year course would be eligible for a one year open work permit. 

Skilled Canadian work experience in National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill type 0 or skill level A or B that is gained through the Post Graduate Work Permit Program helps graduates qualify for permanent residence in Canada through the Canadian experience class within Express Entry.