With the current emphasis on Canada’s economic recovery due to the recent pandemic, the Canadian government is supporting the entry of International Students into Canada more than ever. The International Students are making a significant contribution to the Canadian economy and are contributing over $20 billion annually to Canada’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The travel restrictions during the pandemic have prevented many international students from traveling to Canada. Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has implemented several policies to respond to the needs of international students.
One of the important changes made by the IRCC was to allow students to continue their academic programs online during the pandemic, even though they were not physically in Canada. This new policy has allowed graduate students to count their online study toward a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). A Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is a temporary worker program for international graduates.
In this case, all the time a student has spent studying online from outside Canada between the spring of 2020 and August 31, 2022, will count toward the length of a PGWP. Moreover, this also applies if you are completing two study programs. However, any time spent studying outside Canada after August 31, 2022, and the time spent studying before applying for a study permit will not count toward the length of a PGWP.
If you are currently inside Canada, your PGWP eligibility won’t be affected if your in-person classes in Canada were moved to an online-only format; if your program has a mix of online and in-person classes; and if you had to put your studies on hold, or study part-time during the winter, spring, and summer 2020 semesters. However, it is highly recommended for students to attend in-class options when they are offered, and as of the Fall 2020 semester, all students must be studying full-time to be eligible under the PGWP.
One of the greatest advantages for students to come study in Canada is because they can apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) after their studies, which allow them to gain work experience in Canada, work for any employer in Canada for a maximum duration of 3 years, and therefore give them the opportunity to gain the necessary experience to apply under permanent resident streams. Statistic Canada has demonstrated that international students are one of Canada’s most important growing sources of labor over the last decade, and almost 75% of all PGWP holders have transitioned to permanent residency within five years of obtaining their PGWP.
Therefore, Canada is an attractive destination of study for foreign nationals, and the government of Canada is aiming to receive more students in the years to come because of their positive impact on Canada’s economy. Moving to a new country to study might be overwhelming, so please contact us to assess your eligibility, discuss all the available options for you and assist you in making the process as simple as possible.