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Canada will accept incomplete study permit and PGWP applications

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New IRCC updates allow flexibility when applying for study permits, and Post-Graduation Work Permits
Some international students can’t submit all the required documents for their study permit or Post-Graduation Work Permit application, so Canada is keeping their files open until they can.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced many application centers to close or limit their operations. As a result, some study permit applicants are unable to complete three essential components of their application:

  • giving biometrics;
  • having medical examinations; and
  • submitting their original travel documents

In light of the circumstances, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) says they will not refuse study permit applications that are missing documents as a result of coronavirus service disruptions.

Instead, they will keep the application open, and continue requesting additional supporting documents, or necessary actions until either they receive the documents or are provided proof that an action has been taken.

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International students can work before Post-Graduation Work Permit approval
The temporary measure also extends to Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) applicants who are unable to get a letter of completion, or final transcript from their Designated Learning Institution (DLI).

If international students apply for the PGWP before their study permit expires, but they are unable to submit the complete application due to a DLI closure, they will be able to start working full time until a decision is made.

However, they should submit a letter of explanation, indicating they are unable to submit the documents due to their school’s closure. Once their documents are available they can submit them using the IRCC web form, which facilitates communication between Canada’s immigration department and immigration candidates.

IRCC is also allowing applicants to restore their status without the letter of completion or final transcript. Applicants who are restoring their status are not allowed to work while the application is processing.

Post-Graduation Work Permit eligibility not affected by part-time status
Following health and social distancing restrictions, Canadian post-secondary institutions may have to close or cancel classes. International students may consequently have to put their studies on hold or study part-time.

If a student’s status changes from full time to part-time due to changes in the programming at their DLI for the winter and summer 2020 semesters, they will still be eligible to apply for a PGWP.

The PGWP is important because it enables international students to gain Canadian work experience. Such work experience helps them become eligible for more immigration streams under the likes of Express Entry and the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

Canada recently announced a major reform to provide more PGWP flexibility for international students that want to begin their Canadian immigration journey this fall.

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