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Post Graduation Work Permit, PGWP

Posted on July 23, 2020
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Post Graduation Work Permit, PGWP

The Coronavirus pandemic has created uncertainty for students who are looking at study abroad options. The travel restrictions and the delays in the processing of visas has made them defer their plans to study overseas. Canada has been proactive in mitigating the concerns of international students and has implemented measures ever since the pandemic broke out to help international students.

Even though Canada introduced travel restrictions on March 18, there were certain exemptions to the rule. Students who had a study permit approved by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act before March 18 were permitted to enter Canada.

Change in PGWP rules

Canada has made significant changes to the requirement for Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) for foreign students who will attend online classes this fall.

The PGWP helps foreign students gain work experience in Canada after completing their course of study at a specified learning institute. The PGWP is valid for three years, depending on the study program’s duration.

The PGWP helps international students to work in the country for up to three years after completing their studies.

Online classes are normally not eligible for a PGWP application but due to the travel restrictions imposed by the Coronavirus pandemic, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has decided to permit international students to study online in their country and still be able to apply for a work permit after graduation.

Under this new legislation, students will be able to start their online programs at Canadian universities in the autumn of this year and complete up to 50% of their program abroad, and then earn their PGWP for work in Canada after completing their studies.

The IRCC has decided not to deduct the validity of the PGWP for the time the students spend on the course from outside Canada.

Due to the pandemic, international students can now begin their course in the fall and still be eligible for a PGWP of three-year duration provided they come to Canada by December 2020 and complete a qualifying educational program at Designated Learning Institute (DLI) of at least two years duration.

A two-step process for international students

The IRCC has announced a new two-step approval process to help international students to come to the country to help them start their semester online even though their study permit is not finalized.

The IRCC intends to process all the complete study process applications as early as possible.

IRCC stated last week it is aiming to process complete study permit applications that have already been submitted as quickly as possible.

Meanwhile, students can use the two-step process until September 15 to apply for a study permit.

Stage 1

In the first stage, students will have to submit documents just like the regular study permit process. They will have to submit the following documents:

  • Letter of acceptance from the university
  • Proof of enough funds to finance one’s studies
  • Selection to a university in Quebec will need a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec’ (CAQ that will be sent by the university)
  • Proof that they are ready to leave Canada when their legal or temporary status in Canada expires
  • Proof of any family ties in Canada

The IRCC will examine these applications and decide whether to issue a pre-approval or not.  However international students can begin their course at this stage.

Stage 2

In the second stage, students will have to apply for their full study permit to be able to travel to Canada. The documents required for this stage are:

  • Immigration medical examination
  • Security-Police certificates
  • Biometrics

Student Direct Stream (SDS) applicants

International students who wish to apply under the Student Direct Stream can avail of the expedited processing service only if they submit a full application. The other options are to submit their application under the regular process or collect all the required documents before submitting their application.

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