The February 2021 study permit changes affect those international students studying remotely overseas Said changes affect their eligibility to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (“PGWP”). Until December 31, 2021, students can count 100% of time studying remotely abroad towards their PGWP.
These measures will assist international students by ensuring that studies completed outside Canada will count towards a future PGWP. These measures will also allow international students to complete their entire program online from abroad and still be eligible for a PGWP. The measures apply to all international students who are enrolled in a PGWP-eligible program, and meet all other PGWP criteria.
School Program Timeframe for Study Permit February 2021
The school program’s timeframe must be reviewed to determine eligibility. To be eligible, you must have been enrolled in a program that was in progress in March 2020, or have started or will start a program between spring 2020 and fall 2021, and the candidate must
- have a study permit, or
- have been approved for a study permit, or
- have applied for a study permit before starting your study program
- have a study permit that is eventually approved.
It appears that the tuition fees would not be cheaper despite the loss of studying in a Canadian environment in favour of online study. It remains to be seen whether Canadian employers will see such remote attendees/graduates of Canadian schools as suitable employees for the Canadian labour market. Perhaps the type of job (e.g. one that can be done remotely) would make such a graduate well-placed to acquire Canadian work experience while on her Post-Graduation Work Permit.
Amount of Studies that Can Count Toward a PGWP
You can complete 100% of your studies online from outside Canada. All of a study permit applicant or study permit holder’s time studying online outside Canada between spring 2020 and December 31, 2021, counts toward the length of a PGWP. However, the time spent studying outside Canada after December 31, 2021, won’t count towards the length of a PGWP.
Visitor Visa Required Candidates and PGWP Application Process (after study permit February 2021)
It must be emphasized that visitor visa required Candidates for a PGWP have to prove their intention to return to their country of citizenship in order to be issued a PGWP. This criterion will be difficult to address given that the ostensible intention of seeing to study in Canada was to better one’s work prospects in one’s home country. It is thus foreseen that many refusals of PGWPs will result without proper representation.