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IRCC Announces Extension of PGWP Distance Learning Measures

Canada allows the new extension to the public policy permitting distance learning for Post Graduate Work Permit eligibility on September 1, 2023.

According to the September 1 announcement by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, students outside Canada completing less than 50 percent of their PGWP studies will be eligible for Post Graduate Work Permit until December 21, 2023. These measures were in place throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

International students could not count the time spent studying outside Canada for PGWP eligibility before the pandemic. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) eliminated the study restrictions subject to the international student’s enrollment in PGWP-eligible programs that were in progress on March 22. IRCC also removed study restrictions for students who started the PGWP-eligible programs between March 2020 and August 2022.

The new announcement allows any student who started PGWP-eligible studies overseas before August 31, 2022, to use 100 percent of that period to remain eligible for PGWP. IRCC will only consider 50 percent of the time if student started their studies between September 1, 2022, and December 31, 2022.

International students can work full time with no work permit if they apply for Post Graduate Work Permit before the expiration of the study permit. They can work anywhere in Canada while waiting for a decision on their PGWP application. Completing a PGWP-eligible study program and having a valid study permit while applying for a study permit are necessary criteria to work without a work permit.

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