Canada is relaxing the eligibility requirements for Post-Graduate Work Permit and reiterating its commitment to International student graduates during the pandemic.
Students who finish their entire postsecondary course online will be eligible for the three-year open work permit after graduation, which was not possible before.
Those applying need to meet all other PGWP eligibility criteria, including the requirement to have an approved study permit. The new policy will prove to be ideal for the students who hope to work in Canada after graduation as they will not have to miss out on opportunities, and the economy and society on the other hand will continue to benefit from all that international students bring.
These measures apply to all International students whose study program was already in progress in March 2020 when Canada first went into lockdown as well as those who are currently enrolled in a PGWP-eligible program, whose study program begins in any semester between spring 2020 and fall 2021. This new measure has come just weeks after Canada announced the renewal of PGWPs for up to 18 months. It must be noted that generally, the Post Graduate Work Permits have a fixed duration and cannot be extended.
According to statistics, in 2019, $21 billion were contributed to the Canadian economy by more than 572,000 international students, supporting 170,000 jobs through tuition and spending. More than 58,000 graduates also became Canadian permanent residents that year.
The service disruptions and travel restrictions put in place because the pandemic make it difficult for international students to come to Canada. Currently, international students are allowed to travel to Canada if they are attending a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan.
Does PGWP support permanent immigration?
The PGWP lets international graduates from Canadian DLIs to work for any employer anywhere in Canada for up to three years. Immigration pathways like Express Entry, Quebec Experience Program, and the Provincial Nominee Program, value Canadian work experience greatly and some programs even require it. Therefore, work experience from a PGWP can actually support a future application for permanent residence.