On August 25, 2022, the government of Canada announced that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) created a transition period for measures allowing international students to pursue their studies online from abroad. IRCC extended the distance learning measures to August 31, 2023.
International students who submit a study permit application no later than August 31, 2022, will be able to complete up to 100% of their program online and remain eligible for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP). However, study time from September 1, 2023, will be deducted from the length of students’ post-graduation work permits, regardless of when they began their studies.
Canada continues to set a higher bar for immigration processing with unprecedented interest from around the world. Due to the response to humanitarian crises and the update of aging technology, processing delays and longer wait times have occurred. The goal is to reduce existing backlogs, including those for student permits. However, some international students may not be able to begin their studies in person for the fall 2022 intake period despite study permit applications being prioritized.
As a result of the pandemic, travel and health restrictions were imposed on international students and the Canadian international education sector. Students from outside Canada could complete up to 100% of their program online without affecting their eligibility for permanent residence. Before the pandemic, students could study online for no more than 50% of their program, and time spent studying online from outside Canada was deducted from the program length.