Accredited online programs may lead to a post-graduate work permit in Canada

PRODIREKT is excited to share some important news from Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Canadian Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino announced new visa policies and services this week that are designed to ease international students’ transition to study in Canada in the coming months.

These new measures include:

  • Providing priority study permit processing for applicants who have submitted a complete application online
  • Allowing students to count time spent in online studies abroad toward their eligibility for a post-graduation work permit, so long as (i) they have submitted a study permit application and (ii) at least 50% of their program of study is completed in Canada
  • Implementing a new two-stage approval process for students who cannot submit all of the documentation needed for a complete study permit application (for example, any biometric requirements)

Each of these is significant, but the last item is especially noteworthy as it effectively introduces a conditional approval process for new applicants to help reassure students that they are on track to pursue studies in Canada once visa processing services are fully restored, travel restrictions ease, and international flight services are re-established.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) explains this new two-stage approval process as follows:

  • “Applicants who pass the approval-in-principle stage — which includes showing that they have been accepted at a Canadian learning institution, have the available funds and are otherwise eligible for the study permit — will be notified of a first-step approval.
  • Once the approval-in-principle is issued, applicants can begin studying online abroad and have that time count towards their post-graduation work permit, provided they meet other criteria and that they eventually receive full approval of their study permit.
  • An applicant will receive final approval once they have met all eligibility and admissibility requirements, including submitting biometrics and necessary documents such as an immigration medical exam and a police certificate. Only once a final approval is received will an applicant be able to travel to Canada.”

The conditional approval process also sets up a new type of timeline for the students’ studies in Canada. It allows study permit applicants to count time spent studying online (while still outside Canada) towards post-graduate work permit eligibility once they have the conditional approval (“approval-in-principle”) from the first step of the approval process. The idea being that as more visa services reopen, applicants will then submit any remaining documentation required in order to secure their final, second-stage approval for the study permit and, subsequently, travel to Canada to continue their studies.

The IRCC statement on this new policy adds, “This process is available to students starting a program in the fall semester who submit a study permit application before 15 September 2020. This measure will reassure students that they can enroll and begin their studies this fall online, even when they are not able to submit all required documentation due to pandemic-related closures.”

We are happy to see the Canadian government making progress in bringing international students back to Canada. In 2019, Canada hosted over 650,000 international students at the post-secondary education level. More than 58,000 former international students have become Canadian permanent residents.

With a team of counsellors across all specialties, PRODIREKT can address every aspect of education opportunity in Canada – from complimentary counseling, to support students with their entire application process, help in guiding to arrive to a decision about their choice of education, scholarships while studying abroad, school selection, study permit, visa application & pre-departure services (accommodation, flight tickets etc.).

Want to learn more about studying in Canada? Fill in our form or contact here any of our offices. We also recommend to check here regularly about any special promotions the PRODIREKT Group has for students coming from the emerging markets.

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