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August 26, 2020

Additional flexibility for international students and online studies

We are very pleased to share that Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced additional flexibility with respect to Post-Graduate Work Permit eligibility and online studies for international students:

  • 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% of their program of study is eventually completed in Canada.
  • Students who have enrolled in a program that is between 8 and 12 months in length, with a start date from May to September 2020, will be able to complete their entire program online from abroad and still be eligible for a post-graduation work permit.
  • 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, as long as 50% of their total studies are completed in Canada.

We appreciate IRCC’s leadership on this issue and all the feedback that we have received from our members. This announcement reflects keys elements of our advocacy efforts and will provide much needed certainty for students and institutions. As always, we continue to work with IRCC, other government departments and stakeholders to advocate on your behalf.

As previously communicated, the Government of Canada has also established a process whereby provinces and territories must validate institutional readiness to safely welcome international students. Provinces and territories are asked to do this against a set of institutional readiness requirements laid out by the Public Health Agency of Canada. We encourage you to work proactively with your local public health unit to finalize your plans and share them with your respective provincial officials.