Canada announced three major measures to help international students, who are currently outside the country, to pursue education and work opportunities. Canada’s immigration agency, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), in its press release provided for specific relaxations for international students.
The agency informed that the students can study online from abroad, until April 30, 2021, without affecting their eligibility for the length of a further post-graduate work permit (PGWP), provided that they are able to complete at least 50 per cent of their course in Canada. While the officials did not provide any information as to when the country will open its borders to international students, it, however, said that the leeway has been extended from December 31, 2020, to April next year.
The Canadian immigration agency said that those international students who have enrolled in programs of a duration of 8-12 months that commenced during the spring, summer or fall terms will be able to apply for PGWP, even if they complete their entire program abroad.
Further, the students enrolled in a program with a start date from May to September 2020, who study online up to April 30, 2021, and who graduate from more than one eligible program of study, may be able to combine the length of their programs of study when they apply for a PGWP in the future, as long as 20 per cent of their total studies are completed in Canada.
According to the press note, the work permit is available for up to three years and its tenure will be depending on the length of the educational course. Under PGWP ‘special cases’, the agency said, “There are a few cases where international students may be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit if they have completed an accelerated or distance learning program or requested a leave from studies”.
The immigration agency concluded the press release by saying that Canada’s COVID-19 related restrictions will be eased based on progress made in Canada and abroad in containing the spread. IRCC will continue to monitor the Canadian and international situation as it explores addition changes to make, the note read.