Online studies are not normally eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PTPD), but that has changed since the pandemic.
International students can now complete 100% of their studies online from outside Canada and earn a PTPD upon completion of the program. Canada has extended the period during which international students can study online until August 31, 2022, instead of December 31, 2021. The measure was initially implemented in 2020, as part of a measure related to the coronavirus to allow international students affected by the pandemic to continue to be eligible for the PGWP.
International Students: We are extending the length of time you can study online from outside of Canada and this counts towards PTPD eligibility. You can:
count online study time from March 2020 to August 31, 2022
Complete up to 100% of your studies online and be eligible for a PGWP pic.twitter.com/dtcGlr5Ita
– IRCC (@CitImmCanada) November 26, 2021
The Canadian government website states that the rule applies even if you complete two degree programs, as long as the programs were ongoing or started between March 2020 and summer 2022.
Study programs must be offered at an eligible Designated Educational Institution (DLI) and meet the other requirements of the PGWP. The shortest duration of a program is eight months. Time spent studying outside of Canada after August 31, 2022 and any time spent studying before applying for a study permit does not count towards the duration of a PTPD.
The length of your study period is important both for PTPD eligibility and also in determining how long your PTPD is valid. If your study program has lasted more than eight months but less than two years, the validity of the PGWP is the duration of the study program. If it has lasted more than two years, the PGWP can last up to three years.
PGWP paves the way for Canadian immigration
Having work and study experience in Canada can go a long way in applying for immigration. A report from Statistics Canada indicates that six in ten international students (holders of a first study permit) who worked during or after their studies became permanent residents.
Some economy-class immigration routes such as Express Entry, the Quebec Experience Program (PEQ) and the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) all value Canadian work experience. Some programs even require it.
The Canadian Experience Class, for example, is a program administered by Express Entry that requires one year of Canadian work experience in a skilled trade. The PEQ is a popular path for graduates of French-speaking international students in Quebec. Additionally, PNP opens up immigration pathways for people who are not eligible for Express Entry.
The PTPD is an open work permit, which means you can use it to work for any employer, in any profession in Canada. This is a unique agreement, which cannot be renewed or extended.
However, if you get it, you have the option to work anywhere in Canada. Studies suggest that having both work and study experience in Canada can increase the income potential of immigrants. For these reasons, the PTPD is a much sought-after work permit as it opens doors to opportunities in Canada.
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