International Students: Canada Extends Period Online Studies Count Towards PGWP

Last Updated on November 30, 2021

Canada has extended the period international students can complete their studies online and still qualify for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) says 100 percent of online studies between March 2020 and August 31, 2022 can count towards the PGWP.

Normally, Canada does not allow any online studies to count towards the length of the PGWP.

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The measure was originally put in place in February 2021 with so many international students unable to travel to Canada due to COVID-19 restrictions.

It was due to expire on December 31, 2021.

A student can complete their studies at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) from abroad and still qualify to come to Canada to work. The measures apply to all international students enrolled in a PGWP-eligible program, and meet all other PGWP criteria.

To qualify, international students must:

  • Be enrolled in a PGWP-eligible program.
  • Have begun, or will begin, a program in any semester from spring 2020 to fall 2021, or whose program was already in progress in March 2020.
  • Have a study permit or approval for a study permit, or applied for a study permit prior to starting their program and are eventually approved.
  • Meet all other PGWP criteria.

Post Graduation Work Permit: How Long Is It Valid?

The validity of a PGWP is linked to the length of study. If a candidate studied for less than eight months, they are not eligible.

Length of Study

8 months to 2 years

2 years or more

More than one program

Duration of PGWP

Same as length of study

3 years

Cumulative total length of study is applicable

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