Mohanad Moetaz - 12 February, 2021
International students who graduate with a post-secondary degree online will now be eligible for Canada's three-year post-graduate open work permit.
Prior to this change, online learning could not count towards a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP). Canada had introduced an exception because of the COVID-19 pandemic that allowed students who completed 50 per cent of their studies from abroad to work in Canada after graduation.
However, now, international students who complete their entire program from abroad will still have the option to apply for a PGWP.
"Our message to international students and graduates is simple: we don't just want you to study here, want you to stay here."
This new announcement came just weeks after Canada announced the current PGWP holders can renew their work permit for up to 18 months.
Usually, PGWPs have a duration of up to three years, and cannot be renewed or extended.
International students who complete their post-secondary education in Canada are offered the chance to remain in Canada and work.
Canada offers international students the chance to submit an application for a PGWP. This helps graduates gain valuable Canadian work experience.
The program is part of Canada's efforts to retain international students as skilled workers after they graduate. The years of Canadian work experience that graduates gain during this time can then be used as part of a permanent residence application at a later date.
Graduates do not need to have any prior experience to apply for the PGWP. Those who gain experience and integrate into the Canadian labour market have a very good chance of becoming permanent residents.
The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) under the federal Express Entry system is a popular economic class immigration program among international graduates. It is tailored to those who have work experience in Canada.
The PGWP cannot be extended. For that reason, it is important that holders gain work experience so that they are able to apply for permanent residence. The PGWP is also an open work permit. This means that holders can choose to work for any employer in Canada.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted immigration to Canada. Service disruptions and travel restrictions introduced because of the pandemic has made it difficult for international students to make the trip to Canada.
International students who attend a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) that has an approved COVID-19 readiness plan may be able to travel to Canada.