Work permit eligibility for students beginning programs online

Work permit eligibility for students beginning programs online

Many prospective international students who would like to study in Canada this fall are facing uncertainty due to travel restrictions. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada recognizes this, and will continue to ensure that Canada’s immigration programs are flexible to respond to these uncertainties with 3 new measures on post-graduation work permit eligibility for students beginning programs online.

These changes are being implemented to provide more flexibility on eligibility rules for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program for students who need or want to start their Canadian study program online from abroad.

Three changes are being introduced:

  • Students may now study online from abroad until April 30, 2021, with no time deducted from the length of a future post-graduation work permit, provided 50% of their program of study is eventually completed in Canada.
  • Students who have enrolled in a program that is between 8 and 12 months in length, with a start date from May to September 2020, will be able to complete their entire program online from abroad and still be eligible for a post-graduation work permit.
  • Students who have enrolled in a program with a start date from May to September 2020 and 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 post-graduation work permit in the future, as long as 50% of their total studies are completed in Canada.

To be eligible for these measures, students must have submitted a study permit application before starting a program of study in the spring, summer, or fall 2020 semester, or the January 2021 semester. All students must eventually be approved for a study permit.

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.