IRCC Makes Sweeping Changes To Eligibility Criteria For PGWP
Any Canadian online courses that international students participated in while outside of Canada before being approved for a study permit will now count toward a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), according to CIC news.
Due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions that restricted international students from travelling to Canada to study, PGWP requirements had initially been loosened to include online study as part of the eligibility criteria. However, these courses would only count once international students had been approved for a study permit.
Prior to this, the PGWP would only recognize in-person classes, and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) would not deduct any study time that was completed outside Canada from the length of the PGWP. This was recently changed, as many post-secondary institutions made the transition to online learning due to COVID-19 requirements.
Presently, any time that students put time into their coursework before receiving approval for their study permit will count towards a PGWP, as long as their program starts in 2020, and half of it is able to be completed in Canada.
How to Apply
Most international students will need to apply for their study permits online as ports of entry are not issuing visas at this time. Students must also apply for their study permit before September 15.
Also, keep in mind that Canada will accept incomplete applications for study permits, as the new two-step study permit system allows international students to start studying before their study permit is approved.
However, an approved study permit will eventually be needed if international students want to be eligible for a PGWP.
A PGWP gives international student graduates the opportunity to work in Canada for up to three years after they have completed their schooling.
PGWP holders with work experience in Canada can then use this to their advantage when applying for permanent residence, since Canadian work and study experience are highly valued by the Express Entry system.