Changes meant to provide greater flexibility on eligibility rules
As Canada continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government is implementing three new measures on post-graduation work permit eligibility for students beginning programs online.
The changes will provide greater flexibility around the eligibility rules for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program for students who need or want to start their Canadian study program online from abroad.
Recently, the ministry also announced that visitors who are currently in Canada with a valid job offer can now apply for and receive an employer-specific work permit without having to leave the country.
Students may now study online from abroad until April 30, 2021, with no time deducted from the length of a future post-graduation work permit, provided 50 per cent of their program of study is eventually completed in Canada.
Students who have enrolled in a program that is between eight and 12 months in length, with a start date from May to September 2020, will also be able to complete their entire program online from abroad and still be eligible for a post-graduation work permit.
Also, students who have enrolled in a program with a start date from May to September 2020 and study online up to April 30, 2021, and who graduate from more than one eligible program of study, may be able to combine the length of their programs of study when they apply for a post-graduation work permit in the future. This is as long as 50 per cent of their total studies are completed in Canada.
In July, the IRCC issued a temporary public exempting former workers, students and visitors who are foreign nationals and in Canada from the requirement to apply for restoration within 90 days of losing temporary resident status. Temporary residents whose work permits, study permits or authorization to stay expired after Jan. 30, 2020 will have until Dec. 31, 2020 to apply to restore their status instead of the current 90 days
Stakeholders aired their appreciation for the new measures.
“Huge news from IRCC regarding eligibility for Post-Graduation Work Permit eligibility for international students! This reflects the Canadian government's continued commitment to international students impacted by COVID-19,” says Ann Welsh, a consultant at A. Welsh Immigration Consulting Services, in a LinkedIn post.
“With everything that’s been going on, it’s great to have some positive news,” says Nicole Jamison, admissions coordinator at ApplyBoard, on LinkedIn.
The federal government has also announced two temporary policies: one that gives asylum claimants working in the healthcare sector a chance at permanent residency while the other allows temporary foreign workers to work in a new job while their work permit application is being fully processed.