In response to the COVID-19 epidemic, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced that it is expanding its distance learning programs for the following student groups:
- enrolled in active PGWP-eligible programs in March 2020
- between March 2020 and August 31, 2022, started PGWP-eligible projects
Till December 31, 2023, Canadian students who studied abroad for less than 50% of their PGWP-eligible coursework would be qualified for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). The intended deadline for these regulations was August 31, 2023. The distant learning policies that IRCC first implemented during the COVID-19 epidemic have important consequences for overseas students applying for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). Prior to the pandemic, foreign students had to limit the percentage of their coursework that was done online to little more than 50%, and any time spent studying online outside of Canada did not count toward PGWP eligibility.
Students who enrolled in programs after August 31, 2022 are not subject to these temporary policy adjustments (full facilitation measures).
Students who started or will start PGWP-eligible programs between September 1, 2022, and December 31, 2023, will be subject to new temporary policy modifications (referred to as “reduced facilitation measures”).
Full facilitation measures – All students who began a program of study between March 2020 and August 31, 2022, or who were enrolled in PGWP-eligible programs in March 2020, are exempt from the need to finish 50% of their program (or programs) of study in Canada. Their program may be completed entirely online from outside of Canada. Up to December 31, 2023, the time spent studying outside of Canada for the aforementioned set of students can be added to the PGWP’s overall duration.
Reduced facilitation measures –All students must finish at least half of their program (or programs) of study in Canada if they began or will begin one between September 1, 2022, and December 31, 2023. Up to December 31, 2023, time spent studying outside of Canada will only be taken into account when it makes up less than 50% of the PGWP for the aforementioned category of students.
What is PGWP?
PGWP or Post-Graduation Work Permit is an open work permit for foreign students who want to reside and work in Canada after completing their course of study.
PGWP holders are permitted to work for nearly any employer in Canada because it is an open Canadian work permit. The duration of the PGWP might run up to three years, depending on the length of the study program.