Canada Allows International Students to Complete 50 Per Cent of Studies Online Due to COVID-19
As Canada’s immigration system continues to adapt to the COVID-19 travel restrictions, the federal government has announced new, more flexible policies regarding work and study permits.
As announced by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada on May 14, study permit holders hoping to study in Canada this fall will be able to begin their studies while living abroad. They will also be able to complete up to 50% of their program through online studies while still being eligible to apply for Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWC) after graduation.
Furthermore, IRCC has announced that until December 31, 2020, international students will not have any time deducted from their PGWP for the period they had to spend outside of Canada due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
This means that international students can begin their studies online this fall while living outside of Canada and still being eligible for a PGWP for up to three years after completing their studies. The only stipulations are that they must arrive in Canada by the end of 2020 and meet the requirements for their study permit by participating in a post-secondary program that lasts for at least two years.
A significant benefit to this change is that International students will be able to reduce their living expenses, as a portion of their studies will take place at home without the need to travel or pay for an apartment.
The Benefits of This Change
This new policy change will help Canada’s post-secondary institutions immensely along with the international students who contribute on average $21.6 billion to Canada’s GDP and support nearly 170,000 jobs.
International students are incredibly valuable to the Canadian economy as they often eventually become permanent residents of Canada, with nearly 54,000 former students accepted for permanent residency in 2018.
In fact, Under Express Entry’s Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), applicants that studied in Canada with a study permit are given additional CRS points for their Canadian education and work experience. There are also several Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) streams designed to help former international students transition to permanent residence.
Therefore, this announcement is wonderful news for both Canada’s post-secondary institutions and incoming international students, as it encourages more students to move forward with their studies rather than deferring their education until next year.