On February 12, 2021, Canada announced further measures to encourage international students. The students who are unable to study in-person in Canada due to COVID-19 travel restrictions can complete their entire program online will remain eligible for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP). This measure will be applied to the studies completed outside of Canada until 31st December 2021.

Canada Introduces New Measures on PGWP Eligibility for Students Studying Online

Previous Measures taken by the Candian government for the betterment of International students

International students bring so much to Canada, contributing more than $21 billion annually to the Canadian economy and supporting the vitality of their communities. The pandemic has presented countless challenges for international students. The Government of Canada has taken many actions to assist them through this difficult time with a variety of measures

  • International students could study online from other countries, until April 30, 2021, without affecting their length requirement of a future post-graduate work permit (PGWP) on a condition that they must complete at least 50% of their courses in Canada.  
  • offering open work permits for former international students who hold or held a PGWP(post-graduation work permit)

IRCC modifies further PGWP rules for International students studying online

In the latest news, IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) has announced further measures for international students, so that they don’t miss out on opportunities after they graduate due to the pandemic. International Students who complete their Canadian study program online will still be eligible for PGWP.


These measures will support international students by ensuring that studies completed outside Canada will be counted towards their future PGWP. So you can complete your entire program online from abroad and still be eligible for a PGWP. 

Eligibility  for  PGWP in Canada as per new rules

The measure applies to those international students who are enrolled in a PGWP-eligible program. The international students should meet the following criteria:

  • He/She must be enrolled in a PGWP-eligible program
  • He/She has started or will start, a study program in any semester from spring 2020 to fall 2021, or whose study program was already in progress in March 2020.
  • He/She has a study permit or approval for a study permit, or applied for a study permit before starting their study program and is approved at the time.
  • He/She has met all other PGWP criteria.

The PGWP is high in demand among international students who wish to study in Canada. After a student completes an eligible academic program at a Canadian designated learning institution, they have the right to obtain a PGWP for a maximum duration of three years.


The Honourable Marco Mendicino, the Canadian Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada said “This new policy means that students hoping to work in Canada after graduation won’t miss out on opportunities while ensuring that our economy and society continue to benefit from all that international students bring,” He also added, “Our message to international students and graduates is simple: we don’t just want you to study here, we want you to stay here.”

Changes in the rules of Permanent Residency (PR) in Canada

The government has made genuine efforts for international students to help them settle permanently in Canada. As international students bring 

  • strong employment and language skills,  
  • strengthened by their Canadian education and 
  • Excellent work experience of Canada,

 So they are typically well positioned to apply for permanent resident status.


Canada has invited about 27,300 workers for permanent residency (PR) to create more opportunities for international students. It will help skilled workers along with boosting the economy. You will be surprised to know that this time the 75 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score has been set, which is considered to be the lowest score in the history of Canada. 


Read Also 
Postgraduate Courses in Canada
Study in Canada for Indian students
How to Apply to Universities in Canada?

Last update: 15/02/2021

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