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Canada Wants International Students To Come Back & Here's What You Need To Know

A new "transition period" is now in place.

Trending Associate Editor
Students outside the University of Ottawa.

Students outside the University of Ottawa.

With back-to-school season right around the corner, Canada has just launched new incentives to encourage international students to return to the country.

During the pandemic, the federal government allowed them to study online while still living abroad, and ensured they were still eligible for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) in Canada.

But, as a new school year is set to start, there are certain changes being made. Most notably, international students are now being encouraged to come back to Canada.

In a notice on August 22, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada explained, "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," it said.

The IRCC has created a sort of "transition period" for international students to plan their move back, to help those who aren't quite ready to return.

Students studying online from abroad or who submit a new study permit application up until August 31, 2022, will still be allowed to complete all of their program online, without this impacting their PGWP eligibility.

However, study time completed from abroad starting from September 1, 2023 onwards will be deducted from the length of a student's future PGWP, regardless of when they began their studies.

For those starting programs from September 1, 2022, to August 31, 2023, the IRCC says these measures will apply.

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.

These new measures are in line with those in place before the pandemic. Back then, students were required to complete no more than 50% of their program online, while time spent studying outside of Canada could be deducted from their PGWP.

International students hoping to study in Canada might still have their work cut out for them, though.

At the moment, there are processing delays and longer wait times for student permits to be issued.

Moreover, "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 has cautioned.

Things have been pretty complicated for international students in Canada over the last few years, due to COVID-19 related public health measures.

Luckily, the feds also announced certain measures to help former international students in Canada earlier this year, all designed to ease their transition from temporary to permanent resident status.

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

    Janice Rodrigues
    Trending Associate Editor
    Janice Rodrigues is an Associate Editor for Narcity Canada’s Trending Desk focused on Canadian immigration and passports, and is based in Scarborough, Ontario.
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