Online study done before study permit approval counts towards the PTPD

Posted on Aug 4, 2020 at 3:06 p.m. EDT
Updated August 11, 2020, 11:59 a.m. EDT



International student studying on laptop The time international students spend studying online from outside Canada now counts towards a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PTPD).

When Canada initially relaxed the PGWP requirements to include online study in the eligibility criteria, this only mattered once international students were approved for their study permits.

Now, the time international students spend on their courses before obtaining their study permit counts as long as their program begins in 2020. They must also apply for the study permit by September 15 and at least half of their program must be completed in Canada.

Get help with your study or work permit

Until December 31, 2020, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will not deduct time spent studying outside of Canada from the duration of the PTPD.

Canada’s Immigration Department has made sweeping changes to the PTPD eligibility criteria in light of the challenges international students face when trying to complete their education during the coronavirus outbreak.

Among these challenges is the transition from in-person classes to online study. Before the pandemic hit, the PGWP only recognized face-to-face classes. This is no longer viable with so many Designated Educational Institutions (DLIs) switching to online courses.

If you have not yet applied for a study permit

Most international students must apply for their study permit online, as ports of entry do not issue visas during the pandemic.

Canada will accept incomplete study permit applications. The new two-step study permit system allows international students to start their studies without being fully equipped with a study permit. The full study permit, which will eventually be required if international students wish to obtain a PTPD, will be issued once all documents have been submitted and the application approved.

How a PTPD Can Lead to Permanent Residence

The PGWP gives international graduate students the opportunity to work in Canada for up to three years after completing their degree program.

PTPD holders can use all of their years of Canadian experience to apply for immigration. Most immigrants to Canada go through economic class immigration where Canadian work and study experience is highly valued for an application through the Express Entry system.

Express Entry manages applications for Canada’s three federal skilled immigration programs: Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, and Canadian Experience Class.

PTPD holders may be eligible for any of these programs based on their experience. They must first submit a profile in the Express Entry system and become an Express Entry candidate.

Applicants for Express Entry are given a score based on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Applicants are ranked based on factors that the Canadian government believes will support the job market. Points are awarded based on the candidate’s age, work experience, education, and English or French language skills.

The highest-rated applicants receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence through an Express Entry draw. The next draw is expected to take place this week, depending on how the government has run draws roughly every two weeks this year.

Get help with your study or work permit

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