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Canada takes steps to safeguard students’ interest - eases PGWP rules

Continuing its effort to protect the international students' interest, the Canadian government introduced more study and work permit flexibility to students pursuing their courses online from their home countries due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada issued the new measures on 26 August that contained three major announcement

Students may now study online from abroad until 30 April 2021

Students can now continue their study till 30 April 2021 form their home country, and it will not affect their post-study work permit duration, provided they complete 50% of their courses in Canada. Earlier continuing online study had been allowed until 31 December 2020.

No effect on PGWP if students complete their 8-12 month-long programs online

May/September 2020 students whose study programs are 8 to 12 month long will be eligible for a post-graduation work permit if they complete their entire programs online.

Duration of multiple programs will count towards PGWP

Students may combine the length of their study programs when they apply for a post-graduation work permit in the future, as long as they

  • are enrolled in a course with a start date from May to September 2020
  • study online up to 30 April 2021
  • graduate from more than one eligible program
  • complete 50% of studies in Canada

The government of Canada has also taken similar steps for Similar international students who are already in Canada. Noticeably, those taking classes online due to COVID-19 classroom restrictions are allowed to work if their study permit allows. Moreover, international students are assured that their PSWP duration will not be affected if they complete more than 50% of their study online due to the pandemic.

A post-study work permit allows international students to work in Canada for up to 3 years. It helps them when they apply for permanent residency through the express entry program.

Earlier to this, the Canadian government has taken several steps to support international students affected by the coronavirus pandemic, which includes a 2-stage study visa process, which is also being popularly called the AIP Visa process.

AIP study visa process

The standard study permit process is now divided into two parts. Students can start their Canadian education online after completing the first stage.

Stage 1: Approval-in-principle
  • Requirements of the 1st stage are 
  • Letter of acceptance
  • Proof of funds
  • Evidence that the applicant is a genuine student
  • Disclosure of family ties to Canada (if any)
  • Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (for those students who want to study in Quebec)

On completing stage 1, students receive approval to start their courses online, and by doing this, their eligibility towards PSWP is not affected. Before the coronavirus pandemic, international students were ineligible for PSWP if they studied online.

Stage 2: Final decision

Requirements of the 2nd stage are

  • Immigration medical examination
  • Security-Police certificates
  • Biometrics

On completing both the stages, the applicant will get his/her study permit. To be eligible for these measures, students must submit a study permit application by 15 September.

Students will be able to fly to Canada when travel restrictions are removed. According to the IRCC. “The easing of COVID-19 related restrictions will depend on the progress made in Canada and around the world in containing the spread of the coronavirus. IRCC will continue to closely monitor the situation and assess whether further changes are needed.”

Pyramid eServices always strives to keep you up to date on matters related to studying abroad. For the latest updates, please follow our page on Facebook. To apply to study in Canada, please call 92563-92563 or visit any of our branches.

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