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Ottawa relaxing post-graduate work rules for foreign students

Thursday, August 27, 2020 @ 12:44 PM | By Terry Davidson

In its continued response to the COVID-19 crisis, Canada’s government is loosening post-graduation work eligibility rules for international students starting their studies online due to travel restrictions.

According to an Aug. 26 news release, three changes are being made to bring greater flexibility to eligibility requirements when it comes to foreign post-graduates applying for work permits.

“These changes are being implemented to provide more flexibility on eligibility rules for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program for students who need or want to start their Canadian study program online from abroad,” states the release.

There are three changes:

One, students abroad can now study online until April 30, 2021, with no time being deducted from the length of a future post-graduate work permit — provided half of their program of study is eventually completed in Canada.

Two, those who have enrolled in a program eight to 12 months in length and with a start date between May and September 2020 will be able to complete their entire program online, from abroad and remain eligible for a work permit.

Three, students enrolled in a program starting between May and September 2020, who study online up to April 30, 2021 and who graduate from more than one eligible program, may be able to combine the length of their programs when they apply for a future permit. Again, half of their total studies must be completed within Canada.  

“To be eligible for these measures, students must have submitted a study permit application before starting a program of study in the spring, summer, or fall 2020 semester, or the January 2021 semester. All students must eventually be approved for a study permit,” states the release.

It goes on to state that the “easing of COVID-19 related restrictions will depend on the progress made in Canada and around the world in containing the spread of the coronavirus,” and that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada “will continue to closely monitor the situation and assess whether further changes are needed.”

In March, Canada’s government placed restrictions on entry into the country as part of sweeping measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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