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PGWP program transitioning back to restrictions on distance learning

In response to the unprecedented impact of COVID-19 public health measures on international students and the unavoidable shift to distance learning that had to occur, IRCC put in place temporary public policy changes to the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program which were intended to minimize the impact of pandemic public health restrictions on affected students. These public policy changes applied to students who were enrolled in PGWP-eligible programs in March 2020 or who began PGWP-eligible programs between March 2020 and August 2022 and removed the requirement to complete at least 50% of a program of study in Canada. For such students, all time spent studying outside of Canada up to August 31, 2023 is counted toward the length of a PGWP.

Since pandemic public health restrictions have now been lifted and in-person learning has resumed, IRCC has put in place reduced public policy measures to enable the transition back to ordinary PGWP requirements. Under these reduced measures, to be eligible for a PGWP, all students starting a program of study between September 1, 2022, and August 31, 2023 must complete at least 50% of their program while in Canada. Time spent studying outside of Canada will be counted toward the length of the PGWP only if it makes up less than 50% of the total length of the program of studies.

Students starting a program of studies after September 1, 2023 will be subject to the ordinary requirements of the PGWP Program, with all distance learning excluded from the length of any PGWP and at least 50% of the student’s courses required to be completed in Canada and in person.