Today, IRCC posted program delivery update, extending temporary policy changes to the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) until August 31, 2022. Previously, this temporary policy was only in effect until December 31, 2021. It allows international students to complete 100% of studies online outside Canada and still be eligible for post-graduation work permit (PGWP).
Program delivery updates are posted in the section that contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. This February 7 update provided following instructions:
Also PGWPP page on IRCC’s website reflects the same changes now. As per the official website page, this is applicable to the following group of students:
- students enrolled in PGWP-eligible programs in progress in March 2020
- students who began or will begin PGWP-eligible programs between spring 2020 and summer 2022
“Time spent studying outside of Canada can be counted towards the overall length of the post-graduation work permit until August 31, 2022. Any time spent studying outside of Canada after August 31, 2022 should be deducted from the length of the post-graduation work permit.” – IRCC
As per IRCC, time spent studying outside of Canada only begins after they receive the study permit application. So, studies undertaken before that is deducted from the PGWP length. Furthermore, if your study is for 7 months, then you are not eligible for exception under this policy. This is because minimum length of PGWP is 8 months and it’s usually equal to the time of studies.
To be eligible for PGWP, students must either:
- have a study permit
- have been approved for a study permit
- submit a study permit application prior to beginning their program and eventually be approved
Normally, all the distance learning courses are not counted towards PGWP and at least 50% of the course must be completed in Canada and in person. However, this was changed by Canada due to COVID, allowing international students to complete 100% of their program online from outside Canada and still be eligible for PGWP.
Q: I applied for study permit and started my classes, but my application was refused. However, I reapplied and got my study visa.
A: As per IRCC website, “In cases where a study permit application is submitted before a program starts but is refused, if a subsequent study permit application is received before the end of the program and is eventually approved, the studies undertaken after the first study permit application was received by the department count towards the length of the PGWP.”
Q: Is CAQ required for submitting PGWP application?
A: As per IRCC website, “Foreign nationals who study in Quebec are not required to have a valid Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) when submitting a PGWP application. As the PGWP is an open work permit and Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exempt, a valid CAQ or study permit is not required at the time of PGWP issuance.”
Q: I am studying in Quebec and my study permit has expired. Can I still apply for PGWP?
A: As per IRCC website, “If foreign nationals are applying for a PGWP and their study permit has expired, they are permitted to apply to restore their status as a student without a CAQ and apply for the PGWP at the same time, as the CAQ is not required for the PGWP.”