Immigration Changes for International Students in Canada

Recently, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced major changes for the Post-Graduation Work Permit program and also provided clarifications and changes to the maintenance of student status in Canada. Here are some of the major highlights:

Students now have 180 days, instead of 90 days, to apply for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP). This extension, however, does not modify regulations surrounding the automatic expiry of study permits; a study permit will still become invalid 90 days following program completion.

  • A valid study permit is no longer a requirement to apply for a PGWP. Applicants can qualify if they have held a valid study permit within 180 days prior to their PGWP application. However, valid temporary status is still required if applying for the PGWP from within Canada.

  • Eligibility criteria clarify that a student must have maintained full-time status at their institution during each academic session of the program, or programs, being used towards the PGWP

  • An exception from the above requirement of continuous full-time studies has been included for students who may need to take a leave. Pursuant to an earlier program update, where the leave has been approved by the institution, students are able to take a leave of up to 150 days on their study permit. Any leaves where a student remains in Canada beyond 150 days requires a change in their Canadian temporary status (in other words, obtaining visitor status).

  • The changes that were announced with regard to the PGWP only apply to applications submitted on or after February 14th. However, if you have applied for a PGWP and were refused based on the old provisions, you may be eligible to apply again under the new rules.

Webinar on Changes to the International Student Immigration Rules

We will be holding a free webinar to explain the recent immigration changes for international students in Canada on

Tuesday, February 26 at 6:00PM EST

Click here to sign up.

Please note that space is limited.