Canadian Immigration News

International Students Can Study Online 100% and Get PGWP

1.75 minute read
"Canada has announced that international students who complete 100% of their study program online will be eligible to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) after completing their studies."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  May 5, 2021
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Canada has announced that international students who complete 100% of their study program online will be eligible to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) after completing their studies. 

What is a Post-Graduation Work Permit?

A PGWP is an open work permit for international students enrolled in a study program that lasts more than 6 months. It allows international graduates to work for any employer and in any location in Canada for up to 3 years compared to a closed work permit.

This allows international graduates to gain Canadian work experience which is an important eligibility requirement for many federal and provincial immigration programs. 

International graduates with Canadian work experience can apply for permanent residence through several programs including Express Entry, the Quebec Experience Program, and the Provincial Nominee Program, which is offered by each province or territory with the exception of Nunavut and Quebec.

Why Did Canada Make this Change for the PGWP? 

This move was taken to help international students gain Canadian work experience during the pandemic. In the past, online studies did not meet the eligibility requirement for a PGWP.

The main purpose of this move was to retain international students who could contribute significantly to the current and future economic development of Canada and be crucial for post-pandemic recovery. 

This measure was announced not soon after another provision that allowed PGWP holders to renew their work permits for up to 18 months. In the past, PGWPs could not be renewed or extended. 

Who Do these New Measures Apply to and Benefit?

These new measures apply to international students enrolled in study programs eligible for a PGWP between spring 2020 and fall 2021. International students whose study programs were in progress in March 2020 are also eligible for these measures. 

Applicants will be required to meet all the other eligibility requirements for a PGWP. International students contributed more than $21 billion to Canada’s economy in 2019 by supporting over 170,000 jobs through tuition and expenditure. In 2019, 58,000 international graduates transitioned to permanent residents.

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