The Government of Canada has announced that studies completed outside Canada will count towards a future Post-Graduation Work Permit.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada made the announcement February 12, 2021 as part of several new measures to ensure international students are not missing out on any opportunities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The announcement also means that international students who complete their entire program online from abroad will still be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).

These measures apply to all international students who are enrolled in a PGWP-eligible program and meet all other PGWP criteria.

“This new policy means that students hoping to work in Canada after graduation won’t miss out on opportunities, while ensuring that Canada meets the urgent needs of our economy for today and tomorrow,” said Marco Mendicino, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.

The new PGWP measures apply to all international students who:

  • are enrolled in a PGWP-eligible program
  • began, or will begin, a program in any term from spring 2020 to fall 2021, or whose program was already in progress in March 2020
  • have a study permit or approval for a study permit, or applied for a study permit prior to starting their program and are eventually approved
  • meet all other PGWP criteria

The Canadian government has made significant efforts to encourage international students to settle permanently in Canada.

“Whether as health care workers on the pandemic’s front lines, or as founders of some of the most promising start-ups, international students are giving back to communities across Canada as we continue the fight against the pandemic,” Mendicino said. “Their status may be temporary, but the contributions of international students are lasting… Our message to international students and graduates is simple: We don’t just want you to study here, we want you to stay here.”

For more information about Canada’s Post-Graduation Work Permit program visit Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website.


Published on Feb. 12, 2021.