Online Courses Extended To August 2023

To save the school year for international students who will unlikely receive their study permits before they start school, the federal government extended online studying to students studying abroad and still allowed them to remain eligible for post-graduation work permits (‘PGWP’).

International students who are studying from abroad or who submitted their study permit application no later than August 31, 2022, can still complete 100% of their program online without affecting their eligibility for a Post-Graduate Work Permit. The latest IRCC decision lets international students study from abroad take online courses for an extra year and still qualify for the visa.

Read More: What Is Canada Doing To Keep International Students?

Students can take their online courses as part of the distance learning measures until August 31, 2023. However, they’re being reduced in scope, said the IRCC in their announcement.

After that, things are going back to normal and all the study time completed from abroad starting on September 1, 2023, will be deducted from the length of their PGWP. To stay eligible for the permit,  no more than 50% of the credits earned can be completed from outside Canada.

The Decision Comes A Week After India Put Pressure On The Government

Just a while ago, India, one of the biggest sources of immigrants for Canada – international students included – called on Ottawa to cut study permit processing times.

Indian students enrolled in Canadian universities are a valuable contribution not only to the culture and diversity of Canada but to its economy as well. According to the High Commission of India, their students bring in more than five billion dollars per year into Canada’s post-secondary institutions. This is a necessary contribution to Canadian universities, who depend on tuition fees, which increased two years in a row, a Statistics Canada report says.

At the same time, the IRCC has revealed that they faced a backlog of more than 195, 000 study permit applications and more than 35, 000 study permit extensions as of July 17th of this year. To tackle this processing issue, the immigration department went on a hiring spree and employed 1250 additional employees.

Read More: IRCC Addresses Backlog And Wait Times

However, many of the international students were desperate to know if they could study in Canada this year or not and this extension of distance learning is a bit of a temporary lifesaver.

Still, coming to Canada and learning in person is the ultimate goal, which cannot be achieved without a permit. This becomes an issue if students have already paid for their education and are still waiting for their visas. According to the High Commission of India in Ottawa, this is the case for some Indian students.

“Highlighting these (processing) issues and the fact that Indian students have already deposited tuition fees with the Canadian institutions we requested the Canadian authorities to expedite processing of visa applications for students from India.”

However, some institutions did provide students with some options to start the term even without their visas. A student can contact their university and ask about courses that have the remote option and discuss their options if there are none.

Read More: How To Get A Canadian Study Permit?