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Temporary policy changes to the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program


Given the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 on international students and the post-secondary sector, temporary policy changes have been made to post-graduation work permit (PGWP) eligibility requirements for the following groups of students:

  • Students enrolled in PGWP-eligible programs in progress in March 2020

  • Students who began or will begin PGWP-eligible programs between spring 2020 and fall 2021

To be eligible for the temporary PGWP policy changes, these students must either

  • Have a study permit

  • Have been approved for a study permit

  • Submit a study permit application prior to beginning their program and eventually be approved

Under normal circumstances, all distance learning courses completed outside Canada are excluded from the time accumulated towards the length of the post-graduation work permit, and 50% of a student’s courses must be completed in Canada and in person.

The following temporary policy changes have been made to better accommodate eligible international students who have completed distance learning in or outside Canada.


All students who were enrolled in a PGWP-eligible program in progress in March 2020 or who started a program of study from spring 2020 up to and including the fall 2021 semester are not required to complete 50% of their program (or programs) of study in Canada. Up to 100% of their program can be completed online from outside Canada.


Time spent studying outside of Canada can be counted towards the overall length of the post-graduation work permit until December 31, 2021. Any time spent studying outside of Canada after December 31, 2021 should be deducted from the length of the post-graduation work permit.


Want to learn more about study permits and the rights of students to work during and after their studies? Check out or course "The Complete Guide to Study Permits and Study Plans" here: https://www.lpen.ca/study-permits-2021

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