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Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced they are extending distance learning measures that were implemented throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Students who completed less than 50% of their PGWP-eligible studies outside of Canada will be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) until December 31, 2023.
Before the pandemic, all international students needed to complete no more than 50% of their studies online, and time spent studying online outside of Canada was not counted toward PGWP eligibility.
Due to the inability to travel throughout the pandemic, IRCC removed the online study restriction for those students who
This means anyone who began their studies overseas prior to August 31, 2022, can use 100% of that time towards their PGWP eligibility. For a student who started their studies between September 1, 2022, and December 31, 2023, only 50% of the time can be counted.
The measure and current extension does not apply for students studying abroad after September 1, 2023, regardless of when they began their studies. It also does not apply to students who enrolled in programs after August 31, 2022.
A PGWP is an open work permit for international students who want to remain in Canada to live and work after they complete their program of study.
Because it is an open work permit, PGWP holders are able to work for almost any employer in Canada. The length of the PGWP depends on the length of the program of study and they can last as long as three years.
IRCC's update notes that if a student spent time studying at a designated learning institution (DLI) while outside of Canada, that time begins to count toward the length of the PGWP only after the department receives the study permit application.
To be eligible, students must have:
Those who stay in Canada on a PGWP after their studies can use any work experience gained towards getting permanent resident status, as many federal and provincial immigration programs value candidates with Canadian education and work experience.
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