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Canada: Further relaxation around PGW rules

The Canadian government has announced a further relaxation of the rules around its post-graduation work permit scheme for international students who are studying online.

Canada has announced updates to rules around their PGW permit. Photo: Pexels

Before, only time spent studying online after being approved for a study permit counted

IRCC has said that time spent studying online outside Canada now counts towards the length of a student’s post-graduation work permit- starting from when they apply for a study permit.

“Time spent studying online from outside Canada since spring 2020 now counts toward the length of a PGWP”

Before, only time spent studying online after being approved for a study permit counted.

“If you apply for your study permit before starting your program, any time spent studying online from outside Canada since spring 2020 now counts toward the length of a post-graduation work permit,” IRCC said in a statement.

“You won’t have time deducted from the length of your post-graduation work permit for studies you complete outside Canada until April 30, 2021.”

Under the current rules students are still eligible for a post-graduation work permit if they can’t travel to Canada at this time due to travel restrictions and they either:

  • Have a study permit, have been approved for a study permit.
  • Have applied for a study permit before starting their study program in the spring, summer or fall 2020 semesters.
  • Or have applied for a study permit before starting their study program in the January 2021 semester.

Students in this situation can begin their classes while outside Canada and complete 100% of their program online if the program is between 8 and 12 months in length, and they started their studies between May and September 2020.

At the end of August, IRCC made changes to the rules around PGW permits, meaning that international students were able to pursue their Canadian study program online from abroad with no time deducted from the length of a future post-graduation work permit.

However, there has been much confusion around the rules on travel restrictions, with some Indian students telling The PIE News they were turned away from flights by airlines even though they have bought tickets, have study permits and believed they were allowed to travel.

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