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More big Study Permit news from Canada!

As a response to the corona virus, the Canadian Immigration Department continues to announce updates to its study permit (study visa) system as it adapts to the realities of the worldwide corona virus pandemic.

In today’s announcement the Canadian government confirmed the following.

Eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program

  • Students can study online from abroad until April 30, 2021, without affecting their eligibility or the length of a future post-graduation work permit, provided they are able to complete at least 50% of their program in Canada.

  • Students enrolled in programs between 8 and 12 months in length that started during the spring, summer or fall terms (from May to September) of 2020 will be able to apply for a post-graduation work permit if they complete their entire program outside of Canada.

The official link for this information can be found here:

What are the key meanings of this announcement?

1. This is the first confirmation that in case the student can’t come into Canada even for the start of the January semester the study outside Canada from January to April 2021 will still count towards the Post-graduation Work Permit (PGWP). This applies if the student can still complete half Of the program in Canada. The program can be a degree, diploma or certificate as long as it is a “designated” institution (approved by Canada immigration).

Example A Student begins on-line study in her home country in September 2020 and studies in her home country until April. This is two semesters of study. If she completes two more semesters of study in Canada, then she will qualify for the full three year work permit based on two years (four semesters) of full-time study. This is the same as if she had done all 4 semesters in Canada.

If her program is only 3 semesters of study then she can complete the final semester in Canada but the 2 semesters of study completed outside Canada will not count in the evaluation of whether any PGWP should be issued.

Example B Student begins on-line study in her home country in January 2021 and studies her first semester in her home country. If the student completes a two semester program by doing one semester in Canada, then the first semester of study outside Canada will count towards the PGWP. The student will get a one year work permit based on a two semester degree, diploma or certificate which is the same as if she had done both semesters in Canada. If the student completes a 4 semester program by doing the final 3 semesters in Canada, the full three year PGWP will also be issued.

2. For shorter programs that are only 2 or 3 semesters long (8 to 12 months) the students can get the full PGWP according to the length of the program even if they only come to Canada on a study permit after completing the entire academic program. This only applies if the student has completed the entire program before January 1, 2021.

Example C Student begins a two semester program from her home country in May 2020 and completes the full program before January 1, 2021. In this case then she can come to Canada with her study permit and immediately apply for a one year PGWP which she would have been eligible for if she had completed the entire program in Canada.

Is there anything unclear about this announcement?

Yes. One important issue is whether a student must have a study permit before beginning the program in order to qualify for the PGWP in the examples above? So far, in previous announcements in the past several weeks the Canadian government has said that a study permit must be required in order for the on-line study overseas to count towards the PGWP. However, it is possible some students began studies in May or July of 2020 without a study permit yet having been issued and this was also before the Canadian government made any announcement about when the calculation of the eligibility of PGWP would begin. For further assistance and clarification, contact the educational institution at which you are studying.

Make sure you subscribe to this blog or check it regularly for the latest Government of Canada study permit news as well as our regular study tips, Canadian culture information and many other useful resources for students and families with an interest in Study in Canada options. We have organized our information in different categories. Consult the “Study Canada Visa” category to see our many important blogs about the recent Government of Canada announcements that can affect planning for students and families.

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