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“Students Outside Canada Continues To Be Eligible For PGWP Until December 31” – IRCC

“Students can continue to count their studies taken online towards their future Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) eligibility, from the time they apply for a Study Permit (SP) up to December 31, 2021” as per recent tweet by High Commission of Canada in India. Because of COVID pandemic, students were unable to enter Canada and was offered to study online without being any effect on their eligibility of PGWP. As per IRCC, 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 fall 2021

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

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.

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 scrapped by Canada allowing up to 100% of a program to be can be completed online from outside Canada, if they fulfill aforementioned requirements and eligibility.

Students FAQs

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.”

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