The Feds Want International Students To Return To Canada — Here's What You Should Know

The Government of Canada is creating a transition period for these new measures.

Associate Editor, MTL Blog
Students walking toward McGill University entrance.

Students walking toward McGill University entrance.

As the back-to-school season returns to Montreal, the federal government has announced new incentives to encourage international students to resume their studies here in Canada.

When the pandemic first began, the Government of Canada allowed international students to pursue their studies online from abroad, all while remaining eligible for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) in Canada.

Well, new measures are being set in place for international students to return to Canada in order to resume their studies here. On August 25, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) released a notice that details these new measures.

"Following consultations with provinces, territories and education stakeholders, distance learning measures have been extended to August 31, 2023. But they are being reduced in scope," the government said.

The IRCC is implementing a "transition period" for students who will need more time to arrange plans for their return.

International students studying online from abroad or who submit a study permit application no later than August 31, 2022, will still be able to complete 100% of their program without affecting their PGWP eligibility, per the IRCC.

However, any study time completed abroad starting on September 1, 2023, will be deduced from the length of students' PGWP, regardless of when they began their studies.

The IRCC stated that these measures will apply to those starting programs from September 1, 2022, to August 31, 2023. The specific measures being applied are as follows:

  1. No more than 50% of the credits earned can be completed outside Canada to remain eligible for a PGWP.
  2. Studies completed online from outside Canada starting on September 1, 2023, will be deducted from the length of a future PGWP.

While the IRCC's main focus is reducing existing backlogs for student permit applications, international students might encounter some delays and long wait times.

"Nevertheless, despite prioritizing study permit applications for students looking to begin their studies in September, some international students may not have their application processed on time to begin their studies in person for the fall 2022 intake period," the IRCC said.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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