Published On: November 30th, 2021 / Last Updated: November 27th, 2021 / 2.5 min read /

Canada Announces Temporary policy changes to the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program (count the online study time from March 2020 to August 31, 2021) and complete 100% of your studies online and still be eligible for a PGWP

Due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on international students studying outside Canada, a new Temporary Public Policy has been announced by Canada.

Changes that will impact the Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) program are as follows:


  • Students already enrolled in PGWP-eligible programs in progress in March 2020
  • Students who began or will begin PGWP-eligible programs between spring (March) 2020 and fall (September) 2021

To be eligible for the temporary PGWP policy changes, these students must either

  • have a study permit
  • have been approved for a study permit
  • submit a study permit application prior to beginning their program and eventually be approved

PGWP Eligibility and Validity Changes

For a PGWP to be issued under normal circumstances, all distance learning courses completed outside Canada are excluded from the time accumulated towards the length of the post-graduation work permit, and 50% of a student’s courses must be completed in Canada and in person

As per the new temporary policy, all students who were enrolled in a PGWP-eligible program in progress in March 2020 or who started a program of study from spring (March to May) 2020 up to and including the fall (September to December) 2021 semester are not required to complete 50% of their program (or programs) of study in Canada. Up to 100% of their program can be completed online from outside Canada.

Time spent studying outside of Canada can be counted towards the overall length of the post-graduation work permit until August 31, 2022. Any time spent studying outside of Canada after August 31, 2022, should be deducted from the length of the post-graduation work permit.

What is PGWP – PGWP is a work permit that allows an international student to work temporarily full-time, in Canada and gain Canadian experience, after successful completion of studies. PGWP is an open work permit allowing you to work for any employer in Canada. Eventually to apply for Permanent  Residence after gaining relevant Canadian experience.


What this means is, if you have a valid study permit issued by IRCC and are studying outside Canada through distance learning, remotely. Your period of study will still count for full PGWP eligibility.  Previously you had to complete at least 50% of studies being physically in Canada. This is a very positive step for international students who eventually want to complete their studies through distance learning and come to Canada to gain Canadian experience and apply for Permanent Residence.

Need a hand with your study permit application, contact us today.  Turningstone Immigration Consulting is a full-service Immigration consultancy. Our services are provided by a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC).

We deal in all types of immigration-related applications, like Permanent Residence (PR), Study Permits, Work Permits, PGWP, Visit Visa (Temporary Resident Visas), Super Visa, Family Sponsorships for PR Applications and much more. Contact Us Today.

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