International students starting their Canadian study program in the coming weeks will not receive a penalty for online coursework if they eventually apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).
The PGWP allows international students to work in Canada for up to three years. It is a way to get Canadian work experience, which is highly valued in economic class immigration programs that lead to permanent residence.
Canadian government research shows that those with Canadian experience before becoming permanent residents tend to integrate quickly into the labour market. As such, many of Canada’s economic class immigration programs reward candidates who have Canadian experience with extra points. They can also be are geared specifically for international students.
- Under normal circumstances, international students must have continuously studied full time in Canada. They can do so in a program that is at least eight months to be eligible for this work permit. Studying online could render an applicant ineligible for a PGWP.
This temporary reform is another step by Canada to make its immigration policies more flexible and avoid disrupting immigration clients’ plans during a period in which it seeks to contain the coronavirus outbreak’s spread.
Given that many courses were forced to move online following coronavirus prevention measures, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) allowed international students enrolled in these courses to be eligible for a PGWP.
This also includes students who have a study permit or approved for a program starting in May or June but cannot travel to Canada amid travel restrictions.
International students in this predicament can begin their classes while outside Canada. They may complete up to half of their program while abroad if they cannot travel to Canada sooner.
Length of the PGWPs
The length of PGWP depends on the student’s study program length. The actual amount of time the student spent studying and the duration while the student was physically in Canada. PGWP can be granted for a maximum of three years. For example, an International student graduated from VIU with a four-year BA degree program. She/he would only be eligible for a maximum three-year PGWP. If the student graduated from a one-year PDDB program at VIU, they would be suitable only for a one-year PGWP.
Graduating from a study program equal to two years or more qualifies a graduate for up to three years of work permit.
If the program is for less than two years, but more than eight months, the student gets a work permit for the program duration.
Who is eligible for PGWP?
To be eligible for a PGWP, a student must have:
- graduated from a full-time academic, vocational or professional program at VIU, which is longer than eight months
- received written confirmation that the student has completed the program
- received a graduation letter (Bldg.255) and official transcript (Bldg.200 or order online from student account)
- a valid study permit and have complied with its conditions (or have changed status to the visitor or restored student status if study permit expired) or left Canada after study permit expiry
- Continuously studied full time (minimum of nine credits per semester) except for the final semester, where part-time studies are allowed. A student must cease any type of work upon completing the program of study. If applied for PGWP within 90 days on a valid study permit, can start working full time from the date of application.
- A student may apply up to 180 days after program completion. But applying later than 90 days may lead to disadvantages. Please consult with Immigration Advisor.
Can I work full time while waiting to receive my PGWP?
“They can continue to work off-campus provided that they hold a valid study permit and have applied for a work permit under the PGWP.”
If you have questions regarding your PGWP application or made an error, you may contact IRCC (formerly CIC):
- Help Centre search for answers online
- Call Centre toll-free number: 1-888-242-2100
- Case-Specific Enquiry
All international students must meet graduation requirements and criteria established by their respective academic programs. They must complete the required number of work terms indicated in the program outline.
This was a complete guide on the PGWP in Canada. We genuinely hope we helped you in resolving any queries you would have had.
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