Hard times, great plans from Canada for international students

Canada support international support

Here’s how international students are served by Canada immigration to help them with study permits and obtaining PSWP.

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic started in Mid-March in Canada, the border was shut and travel restrictions imposed. This affected the arrival of foreign students to study in Canada. As of now, only the following categories of international students can enter Canada:

  • International students arriving from the US
  • International students who have the approval to get a study permit on or before March 18, 2020
  • International students holding a valid study permit

International students contribute much to the economic and social sectors of Canada. This makes them very important human resources that Canada takes great care and ensure a smooth immigration process. Among the measures taken for students under immigration, Canada has introduced a 2-stage study permit process. Students can also start studies online from their home countries. Students can cover up to 50% of their courses online and that time will be counted towards their eligibility for PGWP.

The current temporary policies regarding study in Canada for international students are as follows:

Study permits

The difficulty in procuring all the necessary documents required for Canadian permit applications has been rampant due to COVID-19. To solve this, IRCC implemented a 2-stage approval process. So, now international students can start with their fall semester online even before getting the final study permit. The current inability to produce other documents like biometric data may still be considered for the Canada study permit. This will constitute the first stage where most of the eligibility criteria will have been met.

In the second stage, the student will have submitted the pending documents within a stipulated time. Then the applications will be processed at the earliest and the student will get the study permit.

Once both the stages are completed and travel restrictions get eased, the student can travel to Canada and finish studies there.

PGWP program

So, what after a student completes a study program in a designated educational institution in Canada like a university or college? The student could get themselves a PGWP with a validity period of up to 3 years.

Before the pandemic crisis, overseas learning or distance learning could not count towards getting the student eligibility for PGWP. But now, IRCC has allowed the time spent on online learning to be counted for eligibility for PGWP.

The student must complete at least 50% of the Canadian study program in Canada. Only then he/she will be eligible for PGWP. Also, students who have joined 8 to 12-month programs that began in the fall, summer, or spring semesters of 2020 can apply for a PGWP though they did the whole study program abroad.

There’s yet another provision. Are you a student who joined a Canadian study program starting between May and September 2020, and who studies online until April 30, 2021? Have you graduated from more than one qualifying study program? Then you may combine the durations of study while applying for PGWP. But then, the 50% rule mentioned earlier will apply here too.

Students already in Canada

IRCC has good news for them. They will be eligible to get PGWP even if they must complete over 50% of the study program online. They can also reduce their studies to part-time or take a full break owing to restrictions imposed on learning in-class due to the pandemic.

If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate to Canada, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Company.

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PSWP – Post-Study Work Permit

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IRCC – Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada

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