International students who complete their full online post-secondary education program will now be eligible for an open work permit upon graduation.
Canada is making it easier for international graduate students to qualify for post-graduation work permits (PGWPs) during the pandemic. Before, e-learning couldn't count for a PGWP application, but that has changed.
"This new policy means that students who hope to work in Canada after graduation will not miss out on opportunities while ensuring that our economy and our society continue to benefit from all that international students bring." Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said in a press release. Our message to international students and graduates is simple: we don't just want you to study here, we want you to stay here.
This new measure to support international graduate students comes just weeks after Canada announced that PGWPs can be renewed for up to 18 months. PGPW is supposed to have a fixed duration that cannot be extended or renewed.
The new measures apply to international students who are enrolled in a program eligible for the PGWP and whose program of study begins in any semester between spring 2020 and fall 2021.
This new measure is also for those whose study program was already underway when Canada first went into lockdown.
International students are required to meet all the other requirements of PGWP that includes an approved study permit.
In 2019, more than 572,000 international students contributed $ 21 billion to the Canadian economy, supporting 170,000 jobs through tuition fees and expenses. Also that year, over 58,000 graduates became permanent residents of Canada.
Canadian immigration has been affected by the pandemic. It has been difficult for students to come to Canada because of travel restrictions and service disruptions. International students with a COVID-19 preparedness plan are allowed to travel to the country.
Through PGWP, international students who have graduated from a DLI can work for any eligible employer in Canada for a maximum of three years.
The work experience that international graduates can get from a PGWP can support a future application for permanent residence through several immigration routes. Express Entry, the Quebec Experience Program, and the Provincial Nominee Program, for example, all place a high value on Canadian work experience and some programs require it.
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