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Online courses that began before the study permit approval will contribute towards PGWP

Margaret Cooley



Manitoba Express Entry

The coronavirus lockdown has made it difficult for international students to travel to Canada for the Fall semester. However, the Canadian government is trying its best to make things more flexible for students so they can continue their studies without much hassle.

According to recent updates, the time that international students devote to studying online outside Canada will be taken into account for their Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). International students will not be penalized since they have no choice other than to study online because of coronavirus closures. They can apply for the Post-Graduation Work Permit without being affected.


Initially, Canada relaxed the PGWP requirements only for international students who were already approved for their study permit. They were allowed to use the period of online to fulfill their eligibility criteria. However, the rules are even more relaxed now. The time that international students devote to their courses even before they secure their approved study permit will be counted as long as the program begins in 2020. The students will have to submit their applications the study permit prior to September 15, and they have to complete at least one half of their program in Canada.

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One of the primary challenges is the quick transition from in-person classes to an online education model. The PGWP only acknowledged in-person classes before the pandemic but it is no longer plausible since many DLIs are opting for online classes.


Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is not going to deduct this study time from the length of the PGWP until December 31, 2020. The immigration department has introduced many changes to the eligibility criteria for the PGWP because of the challenges posed by the coronavirus outbreak. They are trying to minimize the damage for students who are looking to complete their studies.

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