Post Graduation Work Permit in Canada: New Rules Implemented

On July 22, the Canadian Government announced further updates to Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) eligibility for international students. After a student applies for a study permit, any time spent studying online from outside of Canada due to the pandemic now counts towards the length of their PGWP.

To be eligible for a PGWP, students must:

  • Complete at least 50% of their program in Canada (Online credits completed abroad will be added)
  • Student must apply for a study permission by September 15, 2020
  • Start a program in spring, summer or fall 2020 session.

Students will not have time deducted from the length of a PGWP for studying outside Canada until December 31, 2020.

Applying for a Study Permit

International students applying for a study permit from outside Canada should:

  • Include as many required documents as possible that includes Academic Documents, Proof of Financial means, Photo, Study Plan, Birth Certificate, Police Clearance etc.
  • Submit a letter of explanation for why the other documents were included in the client information section.

Completed applications that include Biometrics finger print and Picture are processed first. Incomplete applications with additional documents will be processed in two stages.

This will only be effective for applications:

  • Submitted by September 15, 2020
  • For programs starting in spring, summer or fall 2020

Stage 1: Eligibility

A visa consular will review an application for:

  • A letter of acceptance (LOA) issued from a designated learning institution (DLI)
  • A Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (for students studying in Quebec)


 Proof that the applicant has sufficient funds to pay for:

  • Tuition fees
  • Living expenses for themselves and any family members who will accompany them in Canada
  • Return transportation arrangement for themselves and any family members who travel with them to Canada
  • Evidence the student won’t overstay their visa when it expires

The student will receive a notification in their IRCC online account if they pass the first stage. Please note, this doesn’t guarantee that an application will be approved and that a study permit will be issued. The Government of Canada intends to pass most applications through stage one prior to the start of the fall 2020 semester.

Stage 2: Admissibility and Changes to Eligibility

A visa consular will review an application for:

  • A medical exam (if necessary)
  • Police certificates (if necessary)
  • Biometrics
  • Any information that changed after the application was reviewed for eligibility for example a deferral letter from the university for the next session.
  • An application will be approved if it passes the second stage. Once travel restrictions change, students can:

Travel to Canada to start their studies, or

Continue their studies in Canada if they’ve already commenced online

Travelling to Canada

International students returning to Canada with a valid study permit, or who received approval for a study permit on or prior to March 18, 2020, for the first time are exempt from travel restrictions implemented by the Canadian Government.

All travelers entering Canada by air, including international students, must:

  • Pass a health check conducted by the airline prior to boarding their flight. Passengers exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms will not be permitted to enter Canada by air.
  • Quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Canada. Students must be able to share a quarantine plan upon request when entering Canada. Anyone who cannot demonstrate a quarantine plan should not travel to Canada.
  • Working in Canada
  • Students with Authorization to Work

Students can continue to work even if COVID-19 has forced them to drop down to a part-time student or take a break in studies as long as they are:

  • A full-time student
  • Authorized to work on- or off-campus while studying

Students employed off-campus can work up to 20 hours per week during an academic session and full-time during scheduled breaks in the academic year.

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